Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The Castle

1997 - Dir: Rob Sitch
Shown at The FeckenOdeon on 23rd February, 2008
This is a funny little thing. Some of us saw it on the telly, tucked away on an obscure channel in the wee small hours and we thought it deserved better. When we did a bit of research we discovered that it’s the biggest box office hit in the history of the Australian cinema. It’s a strangely charming piece of work that celebrates the quirkiness and humour of Australian life every bit as well as the Ealing comedies celebrated Britishness. It's about characters who have a rock-solid view of the universe and their place in it, and gaze out upon the world from the high vantage point of the home that is their castle.
The film was made on a shoe-string by the team responsible for “Frontline” - a popular Aussie TV show that satirises current-affairs programs. Its uncompromisingly Aussie take on life was difficult for the big American distributors to cope with and it was given a lacklustre release in the US and the UK. The acclaimed Chicago film critic Roger Ebert screened it at his “Overlooked Film Festival” and wrote: “The Castle is one of those comic treasures like "The Full Monty" and "Waking Ned" that shows its characters in full bloom of glorious eccentricity”. Director Rob Sitch went on to produce “The Dish” (shown here in January 2005).

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