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Great bodies of work

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WHEN Bill Hunter died, it was the worst career move he ever made. Far worse than his career move, or decision not to move, to Hollywood after his brilliant successes in Gallipoli, Newsfront and Death of a Soldier.

Two Australian films with very different creative and imaginative agendas made big splashes at the recent Cannes International Film Festival.

Both deal with the human body. Sleeping Beauty focuses upon the adoration and physical manipulation of a naked young woman, consenting to be drugged out and handled, without penetration, by very old men in a sensual, sexual sleepover ceremony – part necrophilia, part a Proustian remembrance of things past them. In this film, the unique Emily Browning is the crumpet not the madeleine. I certainly did not doze off during these scenes.

Snowtown deals with bodies, the slicing and dicing of them in a frenzy that would shame the very worst of Indonesian slaughterhouses as lame and tame, too kind to the cows and, indeed, pussycats in the carnage business. In Snowtown the bodies are alive while being dismembered.

 

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The Sydney Morning Herald

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