Premiering back at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival, Ted Kotcheff‘s unsettling Australian noir Wake In Fright will get new life this fall. Virtually lost for three decades, a print was discovered and restored a few years ago (where it played at Cannes again) and now Drafthouse Films have picked it up for a limited release, after it debuts at Fantastic Fest this month.
We’ve now got the trailer for the 40th anniversary release, as well as a poster, which touts praise from Martin Scorsese, Nick Cave and Roger Ebert. Considering its barely been on the radar of US audiences due to lack of distribution, its great to see a team get behind something like this and put it back in front of our eyes. Check out that trailer and poster below for the film starring Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Jack Thompson, Chips Rafferty and Sylvia Kay.
Alongside Max Max and Walkabout, Wake In Fright is widely acknowledged as one of the seminal films in the development of modern Australian cinema. Combining the backwoods horror of Deliverance and the gritty nihilism of Straw Dogs, the film tells the story of a British schoolteacher’s (Gary Bond) descent into personal demoralization at the hands of drunken, deranged derelicts (including a very inebriated “doctor” played by Donald Pleasence), while stranded in a small town in outback Australia. Virtually unseen in the US and renowned in its home country after years of neglect for its daring criticism, Wake In Fright is ripe for rediscovery, and returns after 40 years to reclaim its title as one of the most awe-inspiring, brutal and stunning films of all time.
Wake In Fright plays at Fantastic Fest and will have a limited release on October 5th, 2012.
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