Australia Movie Essay

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Fall Preview Way up in the north-western corner of Australia, about 2,500 miles from Sydney, sits a sprawling, sun-scorched region known as the Kimberley. It’s a sparsely populated zone of rugged desert terrain where crocodiles roam and temperatures regularly reach upward of 100 degrees. This harsh, unforgiving swath of outback is about as far as you can get from the cush world of moviemaking -no five star resorts in these parts- yet it was here that Baz Luhrmann spent three months shooting his upcoming epic, Australia. “It was so remote, it was like filming on the moon,” says Hugh Jackman. There were days whenLuhrmann and his crew had to shoot a herd of horse leading a stampede of 1,500 cattle. And other days when, thanks to a nationwide outbreak of equine flu, there were no horses at all. “Epic means big in scale, and this experience was epic.” says the Moulin Rouge! director. “Nothing that happend on this film was small. You’re up against 110-deegree heat, and you just hit a point where you say, ‘Bring it on, man!’” Did we expect anything less from a man who couldn’t resist putting an exclamation point in the title of his last movie? His first effort in seven years stars Nicole Kidman as a prim English aristocrat who, on the eve of World War II, travels to Australia to sell the cattle far that her philandering husband has mismanaged. Instead she ends up falling in love with both the wild terrain and a lone-wolf cowboy known as the Drover (Jackman). A sweeping romantic adventure, Australia aims to combine the grandeur of movies like Lawrence of Arabia with the frontier spirit of American Westerns, and announces a new phase in Luhrmann’s career. If the three films in his Red Curtain trilogy-Strictly Ballroom, Romeo+Juliet, and Moulin Rouge! – were genre-busting sensory-overload spectacles, this one is rooted in a more classic, old-Hollywood style. Budgeted at a

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