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Australia 1996
Directed by
Shirley Barrett
101 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Love Serenade

This black comedy about a couple of sisters living in a small country town and nurturing a crush on their next door neighbour, despite its very Australian references (like the pink galah on the picnic table) owes much stylistically to American films like The Last Picture Show that are set in backwater hamlets and is beautifully filmed by DOP Mandy Walker in a dream-like manner.

With Jan Chapman as producer, Shirley Barrett as director and Denise Haratzis as editor, the film is very much a woman's project with George Shetsov as the strangely phlegmatic and unprepossessing male lead and Miranda Otto and Rebecca Firth as his naively other-worldy sisters. The pitch is so off-beat that even if aspects of the film raises questions (like, where are the rest of the town's inhabitants?), it doesn't really matter and the use of smouldering 70s American disco-pop is priceless. 

Love Serenade is a wonderfully well-made film (it won the 1996 Camera D'Or at Cannes) that you are likely to either love or hate.




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