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DUST OFF THE WINGS

SYNOPSIS:
Lee Rogersí film explores the differences between the sexes - as discovered and discussed on the eve of a wedding. Inspired by Rogersí own experiences (he married singer Ceberano well before the making of the film), the setting is hedonistic Bondi Beach, where the surf culture and professional bachelorhood meet. The film explores the pre-nuptual rituals of young men and women in modern Australia, surrounded by recreational drug use, beer - and nude surfing.

Review by Louise Keller:
Lee Rogers brings an upbeat, entertaining glimpse of the differences between the sexes in a hip, life-loving (and abusing) surfie environment on Bondi Beach. Driven by a pulsating musical score, Dust Off The Wings is fresh with terrific naturalistic performances.

Rogers has great screen presence - the camera loves him; Ceberano emits openness and warmth. Bondi has never looked so good: glorious pthalo blue waves, crisp white surf, soft beige sand decorated with beautiful people and cobalt skies with wisps of powder-puff clouds. There is Girl Talk and there is Boy Talk; and never the twain shall meet. The guys are crass and their chat is littered with expletives and none too subtle bonking descriptions. The gals talk about romance, compatibility and bridesmaids. "Can men be anything but victims to their dicks?"

The integration by effective editing of the bucks and hens nights works well and the flippant mood changes to reflection before the much awaited event. Sections of the sexual banter tends to become a little repetitive at times, but the film delivers such a spontaneous zest for life that you canít help but tag along for the fun.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The title refers to an explanation in the script about the mating habits of moths; how the dust off the femaleís wings attracts the male. It goes to the more considered heart of the script, which has a spontaneous sense and feel to it, thanks to both the writing and the surprisingly robust delivery by a bunch of newcomers - most of whom actually do live on or near Bondi Beach and possibly found this film less fantasy than reality.

As Louise says, it is upbeat and funny, vulgar and crass; yet it touches on several gender issues with such a genuine and light-handed touch that it beds into our consciousness painlessly. While it will no doubt offend moral majority members, it will amuse and entertain the liberal, thoughtful (and perhaps thoughtless) younger audiences."

Review by Paul Fisher:
Australian cinema has often tried to come to terms with its own sense of identity, with mixed results. Dust Off the Wings is unique; what begins as a personal statement by director Lee Rogers on the notion of commitment and marriage, is in fact far more. On the one hand, he presents audiences with a no-holds-barred cinematic essay on the Sydney beach sub-culture, and peoples his film with an array of singularly Australian characters who tell it like it is. On the other hand, amidst the raucousness of Rogersí social satire, lies a human piece on what it is that makes us commit to a relationship.

Leeís character, played with natural charm and exuberance by Rogers, is almost a lost soul in a sea of mates who shy away from the thought of monogamy. They all tell him how brave he is to embark on this adventure, when the reality is, the rest of them havenít the courage to grow up.

Dust Off the Wings is a fresh, energetic, sardonically hilarious and ultimately engaging look at a somewhat silly lifestyle. Itís all there Ė drugs, sex and rock Ďní roll, laid bare yet told with obvious affection.

Kate Ceberano is the filmís major revelation, delivering a hypnotic, naturally charming performance. She glows on film, and her final speech to Lee, during which she philosophises on the importance of this lifelong journey about to be undertaken, is one of the most exquisite moments in the film. Sure, this is not a film for everyone - itís bound to polarise audiences - but itís an exhilarating and deliriously exuberant work and one which introduces us to a major new talent in Lee Rogers. The only tragedy is that the very audience that needs to see the film will be denied access because of the stupidity of its R-rating.

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LEE ROGERS & WARD STEENS INTERVIEW

LEE ROGERS INTERVIEW

DUST OFF WINGS (R)
(Australia)

CAST: Lee Rogers, Ward Stevens, Kate Ceberano, Felix Williamson, Rash, Leigh Russell, Simon Lyndon, Kate Fischer, Simmone Mackinnon, Alana Ross

DIRECTOR: Lee Rogers

PRODUCER: Lee Rogers, Ward Stevens

SCRIPT: Lee Rogers Ward Stevens

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jeff Malouf

EDITOR: Peter Whitmore

MUSIC: Phil Ceberano, Justin Stanley

RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 30, 1997







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