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The pig is the terminal corpse time - MIFF 2009 Blog

Going Down (1983)

Director: Haydn Keenan
Starring: Tracy Mann, Vera Plevnik, Julie Barry, Moira MacLaine-Cross, Esben Storm, David Argue, Gary Foley

Tagline: A raw coming of age story with a party vibe

Written by two of the women starring in the movie, this movie tells the story of four friends over the course of one night. Karli (Tracy Mann) is leaving for New York in the morning and wants to go out and party.

Making things difficult is her going away money goes missing and she has to find out what has happened to it in the middle of various parties and driving around the inner suburbs of Sydney.

A lot of wild stuff happens, but there it ends up much better than you would expect and there are a lot of things to laugh at along the way.

I have to admit I found this film infuriating at times, you just want to shake some of the characters and should "what are you doing!" I don't really have the experience of living in a share house, but some of the characters were familiar to me. Why someone would want to be friends with such dropkicks is never discussed. The actions of some people in the course of events seem strange, but it is based on real life, so most of the stuff would have happened at one point, just not all at the same time.

It was interesting to hear the director talk about the movie in the Q&A at the screening on how the print that was shown is the only one in existence and the problems he has had getting it restored.

I also liked hearing about shooting the movie and how they managed to get Sydney Harbour Bridge closed for 40 minutes to shoot the car stunt and the international terminal at Kingsford Smith airport closed for the big final scene.

There were lots of people helping out in the movie and it is also Claudia Karvan's first screen role as a little girl who gets her panda stolen.

David Argue was funny and rambled somewhat, but he did tell some good stories and credited how good he was on screen to playing opposite Moira MacLaine-Cross as Ellen.

I enjoyed the musical sections of the film also and it was interesting to hear how the Divynls were originally going to be in the film, but had to be cut due to Monkey Grip using them, also the Laughing Clowns only appeared on the poster as there was trouble with the contracts. Pel Mel still did well however as did the other bands and also Australian Crawl contributed songs to the soundtrack under the name of the Park Rats.

It was sad to hear that Vera Plevnik died before the end of the production as I am sure she would have gone on to big things, but her role here is great and she makes the most out of very difficult character (Jane) Talking about his influences the director said he did see Pure Shit before making this film and it served as a warning to him that bad things can happen if you start living the movie that you are trying to shoot.

Comparing it to Dogs in Space, it comes across as more real and not as stylised. Having it based on the people's actual lives and the two writers starring in it makes a big difference.

At the moment the film is not available in wide release, but the director hopes that screening it at the festival will get the word out and it can be restored to have a proper DVD version.

Rating: 8/10

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