Film lovers at the recent Chauvel Cinema's Australian Film Feast in Sydney enjoyed brand new prints of two iconic Australian movies, courtesy of the NFSA. The films Goodbye Paradise (1982) and The Siege of Pinchgut (1959) have recently been restored by the NFSA. Chief Programmer Quentin Turnour said that Goodbye Paradise was restored as part of the Kodak/Atlab Project. With the generous assistance of Kodak and Atlab Australia over 50 of Australia's colour films have been restored, and the prints are available for screenings as part of the NFSA's Cinema Lending Collection.
"Goodbye Paradise has become a cult film," Turnour said. "It's a compelling tale about a drunken ex-police commissioner who stumbles across a bizarre plot to take over Queensland. Ray Barrett gives one of his best performances as he weaves his way through one breath-taking plot twist after another." Ray Barrett and other cast members, as well as screenwriter Bob Ellis and cinematographer John Seale, took part in a Q&A at the Chauvel screening.
The Siege of Pinchgut is a remarkable piece of cinema history. It was the last film ever made by the classic English film company Ealing Studios. With a curious cast of American, English and Australian actors, headed by the brooding Aldo Ray, the film presents a tense yet grimly humorous tale of escape and intrigue set on Sydney Harbour in 1959. Turnour says that Pinchgut has grown in repute in recent years as one of the few Australian films made in the post-war years to address contemporary Australian society. "It has also developed a reputation overseas and is a favourite of Quentin Tarantino who is quite an Australian genre cinema enthusiast. He introduced and screened his own print in December last year at the QT Fest, a film festival he holds in Austin, Texas, every December."
The Chauvel Cinema says that its Australian Film Feast, which ran 9-17 September, was designed to celebrate 2006 - a bumper year for Oz films - as well as great films from the past. Other titles screened from the NFSA's Kodak/Atlab Project included: The Year My Voice Broke (1987), Newsfront (1978), Sweetie (1989) and Pure S- (1975).