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Bondi Nami Hits London's Barbican Screen

Date: 2005 February 21 16:46

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We've just got details in about the London Australian Film Festival screening of Bondi Nami, what's that you cry? Otaku News is supposed to be "News For Fans Of Japan", not "News For Fans of Down Under", well the more clever otaku readers (which is about 99% of our readers) will know that this film is being marketed as "The first Japanese Road Movie in Australia". So if you're in London or can get there, get down to the Barbican Cinema Centre for 9pm Saturday 5th March.

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Press release as follows:

The BONDI NAMI movie
Bondi Nami will be screening at the Barbican Cinema at the London – Australian Film Festival on March 5th at 9pm

Bondi Nami - Cast On EK Holden

Surf, Sun and Salvation – the Australian Dream hits the Big Screen!
Blue Skies, highways with no end, desert roads and surf guitars-Australia has long held the mythology of being a distant, tropical island paradise in the popular European imagination. There is something decidedly mesmerizing about roaming a country of vast desolate space, pristine beaches and endless summer days, that captures the imagination of the thousands of English and European backpackers and tourists that travel to Australia on a rites of passage adventure every year. First time Australian film director Rachael Lucas’ highly acclaimed debut feature Bondi Nami captures the essence of this distinctly `Antipodean’ feeling, through the eyes of the most recent wave of tourists to have colonized Australia - the Japanese Surfers.

Bondi Nami is the first Japanese Road Movie in Australia, a cutting edge music video motion picture that follows the psychedelic adventures of four punked up, Manga inspired Japanese surfers; Shark, Yuto, Kimiko and Gunja Man as they venture up the spectacular east coast of Oz in a 1961 EK Holden.

Bondi Nami - Kimiko Hitching A Lift

However the unique cross cultural, music video motion picture style of Bondi Nami, is what sets this film apart from anything that has ever been produced in Australia before. All that is real is surreal in the Land of Oz; the satirical comic book world of Bondi Nami explores the sublime, spectacular dreamscape of Shark (Taki Abe), a chain-smoking asthmatic Japanese Surfer Cowboy in denial of his own consciousness. The film presents a spectacular fusion of Australian and Japanese pop iconography, a conceptual work born of the MTV world where the ‘nothingness’ of Zen, surfing, landscape, fashion and music video meet.

The films themes have global relevance through to the `me’ generation of the now; the young, commitment free, substance abusing collective that search for identity and spiritual guidance on the eternal student/ traveler highway- a self centered generation where marriage, mortgage and kids are no destination. The Japanese Surfer is symbolic of the MacDonald’s/ Nintendo generation, who come to Australia on working holiday visas in search of the surf, sun and salvation. The film has equal resonance with nostalgic baby boomers who find a sense of nostalgia in the films references to the Australian road trips of the 60’s and 70’s.

Based around the conceptual nature of music, Bondi Nami has been affectionately described as Kabuki meets MTV meets the Wizard of Oz Meets Monkey Magic, as it is a bizarre existentialist travelogue, rich in vivid colour and mesmerizing cinematography. Featuring a stunning soundtrack, Bondi Nami shares a similar sensibility to Bollywood and karaoke music video formats of the east, rather than the conventional 3-act western cinema framework.

This high profile Australian road movie is considered to be a breakthrough in Australian Cinema due to it’s unique style, creating a new genre of film described as `Pop Cinema Fusion’, or cinema born of other cinema/ media as it takes inspiration from fashion advertising images, pop iconography, surfing magazines, Japanese manga cartoons and images of the Australian landscape as portrayed in calendars and postcards. There are also moments in the film that resemble Spaghetti Western clichés, Asian Karaoke videos, 1960’s 8mm home movies and the surfing movies of the 1970’s. It is also in effect a bizarre satire on Australian Tourism and the surrealism of Australia from a foreigners perspective; the surreal `Big Things’ that sign post the pacific highway on route to the Gold Coast, an amusing, stylish dreamscape.

NB. The original name of ‘Bondi Nami’ is actually Bondi Tsunami (a name the film has had since its inception in 2000) though in the height of the emotion surrounding the Asian Tsunami tragedy the name was changed to Bondi Nami at the request of the Barbican London Australian Festival Organizers.

Source: The London Australian Film Festival
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