Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Year My Voice Broke

Gentle, and sometimes brutal, coming-of-age films don't come along quite as sincere and genuinely moving as Director John Duigan's Australian film The Year My Voice Broke [1987]. The film was my first introduction to Actor Noah Taylor as Danny Embling. This was the first in a projected Embling trilogy that was to capture the life of Director John Duigan. The sweet, real story of life in a 1960s outback town is a real gem and told with such charm and honesty it's as beautiful as the on location shooting in New South Wales Australia. Sadly, the film is no longer in print in the Region 1 format. In fact, last I looked, my DVD was actually worth well over 100 dollars on Amazon. Crazy. Here is the charming Noah Taylor in what I remember to be his first film role in a scene typical of adolescence.

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Noah Taylor's other film highlights include appearances and roles in Shine [1996], Almost Famous [2000], Vanilla Sky [2001], He Died With A Felafel In His Hand [2001], the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider films [2001 & 2003] and a star turn as a young Adolf Hitler in the underrated film Max [2002] opposite John Cusack. He was also in The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou [2004] and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory [2005]. The Year My Voice Broke has a number of sci-fi connections not least of which is the fact it was produced by Aussie Producer/ Writer/ Director George Miller. It's also presented by production house Kennedy-Miller, a production house formed by Miller with friend Byron Kennedy. This, of course, is the same Kennedy-Miller behind the ingenious Mad Max trilogy starring Mel Gibson. Sadly, Byron Kennedy died in a helicopter crash in 1983. Director/ Producer George Miller has certainly carried the torch with a number of big films as well as Australian-based films keeping the Kennedy-Miller association in name and in honor of his late friend.
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The Year My Voice Broke resulted in the coming-of-age sequel Flirting [1991], once again starring Noah Taylor in the role of Danny Embling. The film was also the final Aussie-produced film starring the then rising superstar Nicole Kidman. She is gorgeous. Thandie Newton [The Chronicles Of Riddick] also made a splash in the film.

Anyway, The Year My Voice Broke is a special film and worth seeking out as is Flirting also directed by Duigan. Flirting would be the only sequel in the intended Danny Embling trilogy. It's a wonder why though. Both films were awarded Best Picture by the Australian Film Institute. It seems a no brainer to finish this little indie trilogy. What happened? It's never too late to revisit the life of Danny Embling with Noah Taylor at the helm.

In a recent Space:1999 entry, I mentioned Actor Nick Tate also guested in a supporting role in the film. Space:1999 fans love, as I do, the work of Nick Tate who played pilot Alan Carter. He guests in this film as a local police Sergeant. Here is a Nick Tate moment for fans of the man's natural style.

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Here's one more shot of Nick Tate.

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The Year My Voice Broke: B+

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