Melbourne’s inner suburbs offer a backdrop for the misadventures of a young dandy in this key title of the ‘Carlton ripple’.
A louche twentysomething with rock-star looks, Kevin runs and edits an underground magazine. Having turned his back on a lucrative position at his father’s firm, he prefers instead to spend his days goofing off and chatting up women, making enemies and losing friends along the way. As the debts pile up and the business falls apart, he chances upon an even less reputable source of income.
Starring a young John Duigan (the director of 1987 hit The Year My Voice Broke), this bittersweet low-budget comedy directed by Nigel Buesst (Compo, MIFF 1989) was one of the strongest works to emerge from the underground Carlton-based cinema movement that briefly flourished in the decade prior to Australia’s film revival. Bonjour Balwyn provides a fascinating glance at the streetscapes of inner-suburban Melbourne circa 1971, as well as an insight into the cultural fault lines of the time pertaining to gender, sexuality and censorship.
A deliciously tart satire with excellent performances … probably [Nigel Buesst’s] best film.
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