Dir: TED KOTCHEFF
It is becoming all too rare nowadays to see a film that leaves a genuinely indelible impression. A combination of my own academic education (which pretty much destroyed the magic of the movies) and a gradual desensitisation towards challenging and provocative material means that most films cross my line of sight with barely a blip on my internal Richter scale. But occasionally one can still find that precious diamond buried beneath the tonnes of coal. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that when such a discovery is made the film is quite often a product of the 1970’s. One such recent discovery was an Australian film called Wake in Fright, a nightmarish narrative that left me bewildered and devastated in equal measure. That we can now view Wake in Fright in a pristine high definition transfer is a tremendous privilege. For decades the only print of the film in existence was considered totally insufficient for either VHS or DVD release. But thanks to the dogged efforts of the films editor Anthony Buckley, the negatives were located, and one of the most important restoration processes in modern film history was able to take place.