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The Last Wave

Last Wave, The (Peter Weir, 1977) prod. Jim & Hal McElroy, wr. Peter Weir, Tony Morphett, Petru Popescu, dp Russell Boyd, design Goran Warff, ed. Max Lemon, music Charles Wain, sound Don Connolly; Richard Chamberlain, David Gulpilil, Olivia Hamnett; thriller; Eastman colour, 35mm, 104 min.

This is still as impressive as on first release: effective, if a bit weird.

Looking back, Weir sees The Last Wave as, in some respects, his "roughest", "most awkward" film, but it's a film with a rare sense of mystery. Some critics, like Derek Malcolm in the Guardian, complained that Weir "manages only the most superficial commentary on Aboriginal culture which hinges more on mumbo-jumbo than fact and totally plays into the hands of those who persist in the assumption that we have to move back, not forward, to rediscover ourselves." in the same vein, Phillip Adams in his Bulletin column in April 1979, called the film "fatuous" and "silly" and took to task American critics for taking it seriously. This point of view fails to take into account Weir's fascination with the past as it affects the present, and totally fails to appreciate the mastery with which he juggles his mysterious forces to create one of the most affecting and least sensational mystery thrillers ever made. David Stratton: 79.

Garry Gillard | New: 16 November, 2012 | Now: 13 December, 2019