Published in The Monthly (online), 2018
Landscape is the font of Australian cinema. No matter the stats on urban populations, our filmmakers are lured back to the outback’s endless vistas: the stolen land from which the nation grew, the originary wound whose blood we’re yet to staunch. I could cite examples from nearly every Australian classic, but I always return to that 360-degree pan across the burnt ground that opens Wake in Fright (1971): a vision of nothingness made threatening in its infinitude.
So it’s gently bracing when Russian-born Australian filmmaker Alena Lodkina opens her feature debut, Strange Colours, by looking up at a galaxy of stars, not menacing or melancholy but glittering and alive. She rounds out her one-two combo by plunging us headlong beneath the earth’s surface before she reveals the landscape where the film is set: Lightning Ridge, the remote mining town in…
Read online at The Monthly.