The Playlist

Director Justin Kurzel Talks About The World Of 'The Snowtown Murders' & His Dark Comedy Followup

  • By Julian Carrington
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  • March 2, 2012 6:30 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Despite taking a short film called “Blue Tongue” to Cannes Critic’s Week in 2005, Australian director Justin Kurzel isn’t a member of the Aussie collective Blue Tongue Films, which includes “Animal Kingdom” writer/director David Michôd and star Joel Edgerton (also of acclaimed MMA drama “Warrior”). Comparisons will be inevitable, however, in that like “Animal Kingdom,” Kurzel’s debut feature is an uncommonly accomplished crime drama about a naive teen corrupted by the poisonous, sociopathic tutelage of a deranged father figure. The two films also share cinematographer Adam Arkapaw who spent time behind the camera for both productions. If there’s a key difference, though, between Kurzel’s film, “The Snowtown Murders,” and Michôd’s "Animal Kingdom," it’s that the former is based on a horrific true story. Specifically, “Snowtown” dramatizes the events of Australia’s notorious Snowtown murders (also called the “Bodies in Barrels murders”), perpetrated by John Justin Bunting and three accomplices, one of whom was teenager James Vlassakis. "Snowtown" is a grim, hard-to-watch chronicle of how Vlassakis was lured into Bunting's world, eventually participating in his brutal, vicious murders.

Review: 'The Snowtown Murders' An Uneven But Still Mesmerizing & Disturbing Serial Killer Thriller

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 29, 2012 1:57 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Both naturally thrilling and grotesquely over-the-top, the feature length debut by Justin Kurzel is certainly unforgettable and at times unnervingly mesmerizing. Based on the true story of Australia's "Body In Barrels" murders, "Snowtown" is structured much like "Animal Kingdom," using an adolescent teenager as a gateway into a world and family (of sorts) that is profoundly disturbing.

Watch: Trailer For Unsettling Aussie Serial Killer Pic 'The Snowtown Murders'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 17, 2012 12:00 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Don't let that image up top fool you. Deeply unsettling, controversial, and one of the most talked-about films at Cannes last year (it played the Critics' Week sidebar, taking home a Special Jury prize) the Australian film "Snowtown" (renamed "The Snowtown Murders" for American audiences) is one that you won't soon forget.
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Director Justin Kurzel Talks About The World Of 'Snowtown' & His Dark Comedy Followup

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 16, 2011 2:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Despite taking a short film called “Blue Tongue” to Cannes Critic’s Week in 2005, Australian director Justin Kurzel isn’t a member of the Aussie collective Blue Tongue Films, which includes “Animal Kingdom” writer/director David Michôd and star Joel Edgerton (also of acclaimed MMA drama “Warrior”). Comparisons will be inevitable, however, in that like “Animal Kingdom,” Kurzel’s debut feature is an uncommonly accomplished crime drama about a naive teen corrupted by the poisonous, sociopathic tutelage of a deranged father figure. The two films also share cinematographer Adam Arkapaw who spent time behind the camera for both productions. If there’s a key difference, though, between Kurzel’s film, “Snowtown,” and Michôd’s "Animal Kingdom," it’s that the former is based on a horrific true story. Specifically, “Snowtown” dramatizes the events of Australia’s notorious Snowtown murders (also called the “Bodies in Barrels murders”), perpetrated by John Justin Bunting and three accomplices, one of whom was teenager James Vlassakis. "Snowtown" is a grim, hard-to-watch chronicle of how Vlassakis was lured into Bunting's world, eventually participating in his brutal, vicious murders.

'The Descendants,' 'Shame,' 'The Artist' Head Full Line Up For 55th BFI London Film Festival

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 7, 2011 1:01 AM
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  • 0 Comments
'The Ides Of March,' 'We Need To Talk About Kevin,' 'Carnage,' 'Wuthering Heights' & More Also IncludedWe're really getting into the thick of festival season by now. Telluride is long departed, things are winding down in Venice (we're here for another 24 hours, but it's starting to look like a ghost town), and The Playlist team head off to Toronto this afternoon. But there's plenty more on the way in the months to come. Only this morning, AFI Fest revealed that it would open with the premiere of Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar," and shortly afterwards, the full line-up for the 55th BFI London Film Festival has been announced.

Watch: Trailer For TIFF Vanguard Entry & Controversial Cannes Critic's Week Winner 'Snowtown'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 4, 2011 7:32 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Here's the thing with film festivals, you may head into them thinking that you already know what the "must see" films are but inevitably, the real surprises and pleasures aren't easily predictable and arise from smaller flicks that thanks to word of mouth begin to take on a life and shape of their own. Such was the case with "Snowtown," a film that played the Cannes Critic's Week sidebar back in May (and took home a FIPRESCI Prize) and was a picture we heard murmurs about before we left for France, and once we arrived on the Croisette was something that kept coming up in conversation. And after turning heads -- and revolting many -- in Cannes, it's headed for Toronto and a trailer has arrived.
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Cannes Winners 'The Kid With The Bike,' 'Poliss' & 'Snowtown' Get Distribution Deals

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 23, 2011 2:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments
It looks like the folks over at IFC were working their chequebooks pretty hard last week at the Cannes Film Festival, coming back home with an armload of films.

'Take Shelter' Takes Top Prize At Cannes' Critic's Week

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 20, 2011 1:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Australian Serial Killer Flick 'Snowtown' Gets Special MentionThe 2011 Cannes Film Festival is just stumbling on its last legs, with the final big film of the festival, Sean Penn starrer "This Must Be The Place," bowing this morning (watch for our review in a few hours). The festival's main awards won't be revealed until Sunday, but a select few awards have already been given out, focusing on films in the Critic's Week, the sidebar which highlights first and second films from directors, and celebrates its 50th year in 2011.

Cannes Review: 'Snowtown' An Uneven But Still Mesmerizing & Disturbing Serial Killer Thriller

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 17, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
This film was screened as part of the Critic's Week sidebar.

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