Nature, Redemption and Tasmanian Tigers in The Hunter

The Hunter is one of 2012’s best films.

One of the greatest pleasures of being an avid film lover is discovering those overlooked gems.  The Tasmanian-set Australian allegory The Hunter (directed by Daniel Nettheim) is one such film.

The titular character is a man with no back-story played by Willem Dafoe in what is ironically the peculiar actor’s richest role since portraying Jesus in Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ.  His Martin David is a man tempted by necessity to track and capture the elusive Tasmanian Tiger (thought to be extinct) by a stereotypically evil corporation (Red Leaf – echoing the Weyland Corporation alluded to in The Grey and the driving force in Prometheus) looking to unlock the secrets of the beast’s DNA and its alleged paralyzing toxins.

The cresting and rolling landscape of Tasmania (which can only be described by this ignorant American as a cross between the Smoky Mountains and a tropical rainforest) are on display in a coldly haunting way.  The hills seem cut off and without an apex – as if Mother Nature came down with the wind and shaved off the peaks with a butter knife.  David becomes the lodger of an environmentalist widow (the elusively alluring Frances O’Connor) with two young children (the endearingly naturalistic Morgana Davies and Finn Woodlock) and is guided into the Tasmanian wilderness by Sam Neil. Continue reading

Rooted in the Earth

Congratulations to fellow blogger and film buff, Dianne Glave, whose non-fiction book, Rooted in the Earth was released August 1st by Lawrence Hill Books!

I first came across Dianne Glave’s writing through her blog when I read her amazingly perceptive review of the sci-fi/horror melodrama, Splice, a movie that for film bloggers had to be the most talked-about box-office bomb of the summer.  Her unique environmentalist spin on the film drew me in, and I quickly found that her love of film was matched by her passion for the environment.  Glave’s film reviews are unlike anything out there on the web, and she serves up filet-mignon style observations on typically fast-food entertainment.  Until I read Glave’s reviews, I never thought I would think so deeply about films like Iron Man 2where she argues the film promotes a destructive environmental policy and mirrors our BP spill crisis in the Gulf.  Or take for instance Glave’s spin on Predators where she discusses Survival of the Fittest and a new fractured vision of Paradise.  She also features posts on music, photography, books and current events tied to environmentalism.

While her blog should be of special interest to cineasts and bloggers looking for reviews and opinions with greater substance, her new book should be of interest for those involved with or who are students of African-American Studies and/or The Environmentalist Movement. Continue reading