Archives For Bastardy

August Film Round Up

October 6, 2017 — Leave a comment

From the great to the shocking, here’s a round up of what I was writing about in August.

Small Town Killers (2017, Dir: Ole Bornedal) – ‘Your enjoyment will vary depending on how you feel about slumming it with the darker side of suburbia.’ Full review at

Ben Elton’s Three Summers of Love, Racism, Social Comment and Satire – Interview with Three Summers actors, Robert Sheehan and Rebecca Breeds. Full interview at

Bastardy (2008, Dir: Amiel Courtin-Wilson) – ‘Nearly ten years on from its release, Bastardy is still a powerful, bittersweet but optimistic watch about one of the biggest trailblazers in the acting world and indigenous rights.’ Full review at

The Silent Eye (2017, Dir: Amiel Courtin-Wilson) – ‘The Silent Eye is as much a monument to friendship as it is to gestation of creativity.’ Full review at

Three Summers (2017, Dir: Ben Elton) – ‘Uses the microcosm of a WA folk festival to pick at the scabs of Australia’s political climate.’ Full review at

Handsome Devil (2016, Dir: John Butler) – ‘A warm blanket of a film that manages to tackle sexuality and homophobia with a surprisingly light, but not ineffectual, tone.’ Full review at



Since the age of 19, with his accomplished documentary about his aunt, Chasing Buddha, Amiel Courtin-Wilson has been swimming through a sea of never-ending work (“I just really love what I do, so I try to do as much as I can.”) When FilmInk catches up with him in Paris, he is working with composer and sound designer Nicholas Becker (Batman Begins), about to board a plane to return to hometown Melbourne as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) for a screening of his new film The Silent Eye, as well as a 10th anniversary screening of his documentary Bastardy.

Running just over an hour, The Silent Eye is a contemplative performance piece that sees Japanese dancer, 72-year-old Min Tanaka collaborating with free jazz pioneer, 88-year-old Cecil Taylor; the pair having known each other for over 30 years. It’s a stripped back affair that contrasts with Amiel’s previous narrative work.

“I’ve been doing these shoots that take years and years, I wanted to do something that was discreet and very contained,” he explains. “I was really interested to see if I could shoot a feature in a few days, in a single room and setting those kind of creative constraints.”

Read the rest of the interview here.

Bastardy (2008)

August 31, 2017 — Leave a comment

Amiel Courtin-Wilson pretty much sets up the tone of 2008’s Bastardy within its opening moments. “If I were to hide any of this,” says indigenous actor ‘Uncle’ Jack Charles as he lays out his drug paraphilia. “I don’t think this would be a true depiction of my lifestyle.” It’s a powerful image and not the last time we see Charles this open and frank.

Courtin-Wilson shoots Charles from a distance as he wanders around the streets of Melbourne leaving the larger than life character to seem tiny and insignificant in the world around him. In the best possible way, Bastardy shows the mass of contradictions that make up the then-homeless actor. As he waxes lyrical about his addiction, his lost love and his criminal record, Charles can leave his audience humble by his cheerfulness. He is happy to share his tales and is good for a philosophical thought or two. And yet, with the demons that run rife in Charles’ life, this kind of optimism doesn’t continue all the way through Bastardy.

Read the rest of the review here.