I may not be the best critic to review Not Quite Hollywood, Mark Hartley’s documentary about the Australian exploitation boom of the Seventies and Eighties: I know little to nothing about Australian cinema, let alone its schlocky genre movie fringes. However, I might also be exactly what the film’s looking for as a target audience: an impressionable cinephile who might use its survey of gratuitous nudity and ridiculous splatter as a springboard to discover treasures mostly unknown or forgotten in the U.S.
Hartley begins in the early Seventies, when a virtually nonexistent Australian film industry was awakened by more lenient censorship rules and greater federal funding—at the time whatever movies of interest were made there were from British directors working temporarily abroad such as Nicolas Roeg and Tony Richardson. Reserved, Hollywood-wannabe period films languished; more successful were crude, ribald cheapies that accurately captured the tenor of the time and perhaps a wild impertinence unique to the country. Click here to read the rest of Michael Joshua Rowin's review of Not Quite Hollywood.