Tag Archives: Ted Kotcheff

Midnight Screaming: Wake in Fright

1576169220149Australia’s great lost film, Wake in Fright, is a movie of untold wonders that might have been better left untold. Released in 1971, the film is mesmerizing but was nearly lost to the muck from whence it came, fitting considering its bleak, cynical worldview of perpetual loss and emptiness. It’s easy to see why it failed to find DVD or VHS distribution until the 2010s, nearly forty years after its release – this is about as far from a “feel-good” mainstream film as you’ll find. It’s not an easy film to sit through, the kind that not only depicts horrors of all variety but dares us to keep watching and then scares us for our own complicity in the activities it depicts. Wake in Fright marries realism to the land of nightmares as it gives us a vision of modern maleness and male-run civilization as a bandage stretched thin over past wounds still left to fester elsewhere in the world, forgotten by others. It’s a necessary film, an important social statement, but most people would probably rather not have to hear it. Wake in Fright is the purest form of lonely oblivion, an eternally mangled wail into the darkness of blinding light. It is cinematic ungodliness. Continue reading