As people of a former penal colony, Australians have long been fascinated by and with crime. It’s an obsession that’s often reflected in our artistic output as a country. Yet the sometimes-stale genre had a refresh with an influx of Aussie neo-noir films released from the mid-naughts onwards from a new wave of filmmakers tackling the classic genre conventions with fresh perspectives.
From ‘one last good cop’ in Patrick Hughes’ Red Hill (2010) and Ivan Sen’s Mystery Road (2013) sequel Goldstone (2016), to the ‘man on a mission’ present in Daniel Nettheim’s The Hunter (2011) and The Square (2008) from brothers Nash and Joel Edgerton, stereotypes of the sub-genre were given a shake-up in these stories imbued with atmosphere and attitude. The idea of the outsider and enduring vengeance prove versatile themes for these filmmakers to play with as they transplant the core elements into diverse settings. Paying homage to what came before but also forging forward with something new, these filmmakers were able to balance substance and style within one of cinema’s most beloved genres.
– Maria Lewis, Assistant Curator