- Sun 11 Oct 2020
- Len Lye Centre Cinema
- Rating: PG
- General $12
- Concession $10 for seniors, students and community service card holders (with valid ID)
- Booking recommended
- Hearing loop provided for the hearing impaired
- Wheelchair spaces available. Free entry for a companion to assist an audience member who has a disability. Companion seat is automatically allocated when a wheelchair space is booked
Three California beach buddies begin to realise there is more to life than waxing down their surfboards as they ditch their alcoholic and unruly ways to go fight in the Vietnam War.
In the early '70s, Milius began his loose adaptation of Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness for Francis Ford Coppola, inserting the indelible character of surf-mad Colonel Kilgore into the dark heart of Vietnam. The crazy notion that surfing could interrupt Vietnam launches perhaps the most famous action sequence in modern cinema.
However, by the time Coppola finally decided to make Apocalypse Now, Milius was already filming his more autobiographical tale, in which Vietnam rudely suspends the endless summer of surfing.
One of the funniest scenes in Big Wednesday features surfers going to extreme lengths to dodge the draft, but the solid and dependable Jack decides to do his duty and the Point surfers inevitably begin to drift apart. Vietnam will later extract its bitter tithe from the group of friends.
Big Wednesday does not pretend to the Wagnerian heights of Coppola's opus but, played in a minor key, this small surfing movie displays comparative ambition. A running time of less than two hours takes in a dozen years, a half-dozen story strands, and still finds time for the odd side-swipe at hippy counterculture or crass commercialism. It is no surprise to find Big Wednesday started life as an unfinished Great American Novel. (Empire Magazine)
US | 1978 | 120 min | Dir. John Milius