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Australia 1971
Directed by
Tim Burstall
85 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars


Made under the aegis of what was then called the Experimental Film and Television Fund for the princely sum of $70,000, this bawdy Ocker comedy, an adaptation by David Williamson of his own play The Coming of Stork, is recognised as the kick-off for the Australian film renaissance of the 1970s an achievement shared with Bruce Beresford's Barry McKenzie fillums.

Director Burstall's second feature after the disastrous experience of his art-house opener 2000 Weeks, this film with its chunder jokes and scatological anti-authoritarianism speaking to the temper of the times. It worked a treat with audiences who found in it the larrikin humour they could relate to (Burstall was even more commercially successful two years later with more of the same in Alvin Purple).

Although the film wears out its welcome and grinds to an uninventive finish, when it is good, which is often enough, it is enjoyable, thanks to some good writing by Williamson and an energetic performance by Bruce Spence as the eccentric hypochondriacal would-be-leftie-but-not-really-anything-except-lonely Stork. One gets some nice exteriors of Melbourne of the time and iconic '70's jug band The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band appears in one extended sequence along with. briefly, Hans Poulsen who had a couple of pop hits around the time and wrote the music for the film, whilst future pop diva Jane Clifton appears uncredited in one scene as a university student. .




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