Esther Beaton


The movie “Australia” – what did YOU think?

I was sitting an at Italian restaurant in Palm Desert, California with 10 members of the Desert Cities Coachella Valley Camera Club. As their guest judge, I had been invited to dinner beforehand. One of them asked what I thought of the movie “Australia”. I figured it was a trick question so I carefully answered “I’m not sure if many Americans would find it relevant”, which then launched quite a lively discussion of the pros and cons of the movie.

One thing I regret not mentioning at the time is that I found the backdrop scenery completely uninspiring. What a pity to miss an opportunity to show the true magnificence of the Kimberley! Instead of the parched, overgrazed flatlands that were shown, and which are more typical of outback Queensland, the movie could have provided a feast of rolling vegetated hills, giant termite mounds, limestone-walled gorges and rivers swollen wide after monsoonal rains. I’ve travelled the Kimberly on my assignments and this part of the Top End is truly a landscape photographer’s paradise. I can’t wait to go back on another tour – despite the movie!

5 thoughts on “The movie “Australia” – what did YOU think?”

  1. Hi Esther. I spent two weeks in the Kimberleys last September. It was the most fantastic trip. On the strength of that I urged a lot of overseas friends to see the movie before I had seen it myself. What a disappointment. I couldn’t agree more with your comments. Given that the film crew was in Kununurra and photographed Mitchell Falls I thought they might have at least shown the palm forests of the Mitchell plateau or even the Bungle Bungles. Where were those brilliant red soils and tree poxed hills. The computer generated backdrops also got to me after a while. I thought it failed miserably to show off that unique country and it did look like any old arid zone. Carolyn P Eraring

  2. Thanks for your feedback, guys.

    By the way – I’ve committed the unpardonable sin for a photographer. I forgot to give proper attribution! The lovely photo of the Spring Creek Track was shot by Nick Gleitzman as we were leaving the Bungle Bungles. He’s the brave one who climbed to the highest point, carrying large format panorama camera and a butt-busting tripod, in sweltering midday heat. I cooled it in the shade of the car and followed his hand signals as to where to position the car. Sorry, Nick.

  3. Esther,
    We use hand held Walkie Talkies, instead of waving our hands. I can chat to Mary while she’s way down in the camp, and keep in touch in case I fall off the edge!

    I may now just hire the DVD of “Australia”, We also have seen much of the Kimberley, and will find it frustrating to watch a movie that misses the point of Australia

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