Drafthouse Films Acquires Sweaty Donald Pleasance, Doomed 'Roos
Drafthouse Films acquires Ozploitation Classic 'Wake in Fright'
By Marc Savlov,
3:42PM, Thu. Jul. 19, 2012
Drafthouse Films has announced their acquisition of the long-unseen Australian outback thriller Wake in Fright, with plans for limited release in New York, Los Angeles, and presumably here in Austin this October, with DVD and VOD to follow in early 2013.
Although director Ted Kotcheff's thriller debuted the 1971 Cannes Film Fest – and was nominated for the prestigious Palme d'Or – the film itself has been rarely screened since, and was considered "lost" until serial film preservationist and marinara sauce fanatic Martin Scorsese screened a comprehensively restored version at Cannes 2009 (Thus making it the only film ever to be screened twice at the legendary fest.)
We've heard all about Wake in Fright over the years, but this is one Ozploitater we haven't actually viewed. Shocking, we know, but our infatuation with both the films of Brian Trenchard-Smith and Jenny Agutter in Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout have kept us obsessively busy of the years. (We do so love Razorback, as well.)
So in lieu of our own critique of Kotcheff's film, we're going to drop in a nifty quote from no less a scholar of darkness than Australian-born murder balladeer Nick Cave, who said Wake in Fright "is the best and most terrifying film about Australia in existence."
From the official press release:
"Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema announced today their acquisition of North American rights to classic Australian thriller Wake In Fright. Alongside Mad Max and Walkabout, Wake In Fright is widely acknowledged as one of the seminal films in the development of modern Australian cinema. Directed by Ted Kotcheff (Rambo: First Blood, North Dallas Forty), the film tells the story of a British schoolteacher's descent into personal demoralization at the hands of drunken, deranged derelicts while stranded in a small town in outback Australia. Virtually unseen in the United States and renowned in its home country after years of neglect, Wake In Fright is ripe for rediscovery and returns to cinemas beginning with engagements at Film Forum in New York City on October 5th, The NuArt in Los Angeles on October 19th and expanding to additional markets before a home video and VOD release in Q1 of 2013."
Damn. We can't wait.