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F.J. HOLDEN, THE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Kevin (Peter Couzens) and his mate Bob (Carl Stever) are teenagers in Sydney's Bankstown of the 70s, sharing their beer, their drag racing nights - and Anne (Eva Dickinson).

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
It was a time when for young adults in Sydney's Bankstown the height of sophistication was Sid's of Milperra, with its continental menu and aperitifs.... The 70s in Sydney is the setting of this classic Aussie movie with its unflinching insight into the youth culture of the day. And how innocent it now seems. Then, of course, sex was still a novelty, drugs were off the radar and a young man's own car was the big deal. The FJ Holden was not a new model, but a reliable and affordable piece of status affirming prize. And when you got petrol, the service station attendant filled your car.

Girlfriends, not partners, were the young women you drove around, and the music was as energetic, naïve and simple as the lifestyle. The most defiant act was drag racing your Holden at night.

Michael Thornhill injects a great sense of freewheeling fun into the film, with terrific naturalistic performances from his cast adding dynamic pace. Peter Couzens is fresh and feisty as Kevin, whose revved up, canary yellow FJ Holden announces his intentions with the plate, BAD 781 in naïve bravado. Eva Dickinson adds a melancholy undertone to her Anne and the supporting cast is confidently relaxed in their roles. Sigrid Thornton makes a delightful screen debut in a small role.

The film is well driven (pardon the pun) by a terrific soundtrack and it looks just as you might remember those good old cruisin', flirtin' days. Take it for a spin.

Film writer Peter Galvin tries hard to interview director Mike Thornhill as a commentary track, often straining Thornhill's memory. Thornhill does reveal, though, that the film came out of Terry Larsen's poems about the characters and he, Thornhill, was really interested in the cinematic poetry of the characters - not trying to make a piece of social realism.

Published February 14, 2008

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

F.J. HOLDEN, THE: DVD (M)
(Aust, 1977)

CAST: Paul Couzens, Eva Dickinson, Carl Stever, Garry Waddell, Graham Rouse, Karlene Rogerson, Vicky Arkley, Sigrid Thornton, Ray Marshall, Maggie Kirkpatrick, Tony Barry, Frankie J. Holden

PRODUCER: Michael Thornhill

DIRECTOR: Michael Thornhill

SCRIPT: Terry Larsen

CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Gribble

EDITOR: Max Lemon

MUSIC: Jim Manzie

RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 2.0

SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary by Michael Thornhill with film writer Peter Galvin

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella

DVD RELEASE: November 7, 2005







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