Van Diemen's Land director on bushranger territory
The director of Van Diemen's Land (Filmstalker review) has revealed what film he's working on next, right now in fact, and he's staying in Australia but tackling something that sounds like a cross between The Proposition and a Jesse James film. I really don't know why I just did that, I don't like it when people compare a new film to others in order to explain it!
Anyway, the film will be about the notorious bushranger Ben Hall, who committed some three hundred robberies from farms to banks and travellers to mail coaches.
Sounding a lot like Jesse James, the character was immortalised and romanticised through history and at the time was known as the gentleman bushranger, a bit like the Public Enemies' character of John Dillinger.
"Oscar and I were joking around about making a comedy as we don't want to be pigeonholed into making these serious art movies. But for our next one we're starting to write a Western, something closer to The Proposition, an Australian bushranger story…
…He was the most prolific bushranger; he did something like 300 robberies and was known as the 'gentleman bushranger' and girls dug him…
…He's a good basis but I think for the next film we won't be so caught up in the true events, and will make it more action-packed."
It's interesting that they are looking to a real life character with real life stories to tell but that they are deliberately not looking to recreate that true life story on the screen, and that they may well be changing the story to make sure it's more exciting and action packed.
I'm not sure they are the best words for him to chose to describe the film, but we get the idea. Van Diemen's Land was a beautiful film to look at but was quick to continue to retell the same event again and again and not really cover anything new, there were some great touches in there, but it did lack a development and escalation of the story and events. That was possibly down to the fact it was a true story, and that could be the driver for these two writers to avoid the true story route once again.
I don't think they have that quite right though as the stories of the bushranger could be far more expansive and exciting than a group of people wandering through the wilderness going through the same emotion and events at every stage.
One thing is, it will certainly look good.