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Last Wave
     

The Last Wave

3.7 4
Director: Peter Weir,

Cast: Peter Weir, Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett, David Gulpilil

 
Following in the thematic and artistic footsteps of his earlier film Picnic at Hanging Rock, director Peter Weir's haunting and equally enigmatic The Last Wave comes to DVD awash in a newly struck print and an even more impressive remastered sound design. The film, as with Picnic, has garnered a faithful cult following over the years and the two

Overview

Following in the thematic and artistic footsteps of his earlier film Picnic at Hanging Rock, director Peter Weir's haunting and equally enigmatic The Last Wave comes to DVD awash in a newly struck print and an even more impressive remastered sound design. The film, as with Picnic, has garnered a faithful cult following over the years and the two films are arguably still the best productions from the versatile and prolific Australian director. With its mix of horror, mystery, and metaphysical portents, The Last Wave is a cinematic spell which never relinquishes its power to take the viewer into a world of the supernatural and beyond. The Criterion Collection disc is fantastic and makes a very nice companion piece to their release of Picnic. The film is presented in its proper letterboxed format of 1.77:1 (enhanced for widescreen TVs) and its remastered transfer was supervised by director Weir. The image is sharp and appropriately dark and murky-looking, and only occasionally appears too grainy. The disc has also been given both a newly remastered 5.1 Dolby Digital English language track, as well as a two-channel option. Both tracks are great, though the 5.1 option is preferable as it sounds more bold and full, and adds even more to the film's already heady atmosphere. Compare the two tracks during the opening rain of hail sequence and enjoy the difference. In terms of extras, a nice video interview with the director has been included, wherein he talks briefly about working with the tightly knit group of aboriginal actors and actor Richard Chamberlain's stamina and courage during the film's finale set in the sewers below Sydney, among other things. The original theatrical trailer has also been included.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
Exploring similar ground as Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Last Wave delves into the gap between white Australia's button-down Victorian culture and the mysteries of the land occupied by that culture. Just as a prim, flaxen-haired schoolgirl is seemingly swallowed up by the sheer malevolence of Australia's rocky landscape in Weir's previous work, so does David Burton -- a prim, flaxen-haired tax attorney -- disappear into the Aboriginal caves located in the bowels of Sydney in The Last Wave. In both films, white Australian culture, with its fixation on rolled lawns, starched whites, and cricket, seems shallow and ludicrously ill-equipped to adapt to its rough and decidedly weird surroundings. One weakness of the film is its depiction of Aborigines; though much of the narrative's tension rides on the shadowy practices of this band of Native Australians, the film itself treads perilously close to cliché and stereotype. Another weakness is the lead actor who plays Burton; Richard Chamberlain, who usually has the emotional range of a bag of hammers, manages to imitate human facial expressions with some plausibility but fails to muster the intensity that the part demands. In spite of this, director Peter Weir manages to build a mood of dread and anxiety through a deft use of striking imagery and sound design. Overall, The Last Wave is both a fascinating look at a not-too-foreign culture and a profoundly creepy mood piece that stays with viewers after the lights have gone up.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/27/2001
UPC:
0037429161920
Original Release:
1977
Rating:
PG
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[stereo]
Time:
1:46:00
Sales rank:
14,187

Special Features

New digital transfer supervised by director Peter Weir and enhanced for 16x9 televisions; Interview with director Peter Weir; Original theatrical trailer; English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired; Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Chamberlain David
Olivia Hamnett Anne Burton
David Gulpilil Chris Lee
Frederick Parslow Rev. Burton
Nadjiwarra Amagula Charlie
Athol Compton Billy Corman
Walter Amagula Gerry Lee
Roy Bara Larry
Peter Carroll Michael Zeadler
Hedley Cullen Judge
Michael Duffield Andrew Potter
Wallas Eaton Morgue Doctor
Jo England Babysitter
John Frawley Policeman
Vivean Gray Dr. Whitburn
Cedric Lalara Lindsey
Morris Lalara Jacko
Tony Llewellyn-Jones Guest at party
John Meagher Morgue Clerk
Malcolm Robertson Don Fishburn
Greg Rowe Carl

Technical Credits
Peter Weir Director,Screenwriter
Neil Angwin Art Director
Annie Bleakley Costumes/Costume Designer
Russell Boyd Cinematographer
Max Lemon Editor
Hal McElroy Producer
James McElroy Producer
Tony Morphett Screenwriter
Jose Perez Makeup
Petru Popescu Screenwriter
John Seale Camera Operator
Charles Wain Score Composer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapters
1. Logos/Opening Credits [1:50]
2. Cloudless Storm [3:49]
3. Chaotic Commute [3:14]
4. Raining Indoors [5:12]
5. Childhood Dreams [2:41]
6. Crime [2:00]
7. Punishment [3:50]
8. Taking the case [5:32]
9. Troubling Dreams [5:00]
10. Chris [4:02]
11. Dinner Guests [9:24]
12. Dreams Continue [2:24]
13. A Warning [3:40]
14. "The dreamtime" [4:22]
15. Annie's Breakdown [5:25]
16. "Mulkurul" [7:34]
17. Fear [3:01]
18. In the Courtroom [3:12]
19. Secrets Revealed [4:39]
20. A Visit from the Reverend [2:58]
21. Into the Sewers [7:53]
22. Writing on the wall [5:27]
23. Last Wave [8:14]
24. Color Bars [:10]

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The Last Wave 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GeneRussell More than 1 year ago
This is a movie I will watch again every year. Always find new things not noticed earlier. Unforgettable characters. Takes you to places you've never been before.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago