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Interview: 'Wake In Fright' Director Ted Kotcheff Talks Martin Scorsese, His Lost Film, And What A Canadian Was Doing Directing An Australian Classic

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • October 13, 2012 12:02 PM
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  • 3 Comments
It’s strange to think that one of the year’s very best films was actually released in 1971. “Wake in Fright,” a gonzo descent into madness set against the bleak backdrop of the Australian outback, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1971 and, after a brief theatrical run, was more or less lost to the sands of time. Thankfully, a worldwide search turned up the original negatives and in 2009 it was screened at Cannes again, this time in a painstakingly restored version. That restoration is now making its way across the country, courtesy of Drafthouse Films, premiering in Los Angeles today and expanding to 35 major markets before being released on a new high-def Blu-ray in January.

Exclusive: Clip From Lost Ozploitation Flick 'Wake In Fright'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 1, 2012 12:45 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Every now and then, the cinematic gods smile upon devoted cinephiles and a lost treasure is unearthed from the depths of time. And while we'll forever hope that in someone's attic sits the original ending to Orson Welles' "The Magnificent Ambersons," if we have to watch the 1971 Aussie flick "Wake In Fright" in the meantime, that's just fine by us.

Fantastic Fest Review: 'Wake In Fright' Is A Genuine Lost Ozploitation Classic

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 26, 2012 12:23 PM
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  • 0 Comments
As the terrifically fun and informative documentary "Not Quite Hollywood" notes, at around the same time that austere, gauzy Australian films were bewitching American art house crowds (dubbed the Australian New Wave by people who dub those sorts of things), another, equally powerful surge of Australian movies were capturing the hearts and minds of stateside grindhouse audiences. Colorfully characterized as "Ozploitation" films, these pictures were down and dirty and unlike anything anyone had seen. In the same year that Nicolas Roeg's poetic outback tale "Walkabout" debuted (a cornerstone of the Australian New Wave), so too did Ted Kotcheff's "Wake In Fright," a much more bruising portrait of the Australian wilderness. While "Walkabout" was instantly considered a classic, "Wake In Fright" has largely languished as an unseen Ozploitation oddity. Until now. It's been cleaned up and is ready for canonization.

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