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Nicolas Roeg's mystical masterpiece chronicles the physical, spiritual, and emotional journey of a sister and brother abandoned in the harsh Australian outback. Joining an Aborigine boy on his walkabout-a tribal initiation into manhood-these modern children pass from innocence into experience as they are thrust from the comforts of civilization into the savagery of the natural world.
Very few films achieve a kind of subliminal greatness with cross-cultural impact, but Walkabout is one of those films--a visual tone poem that functions more as an allegory than a conventionally plotted adventure. Considered a cult favorite for years, Nicolas Roeg's 1971 film--about two British children who are rescued in the Australian outback by a young aborigine--was originally released in the U.S. with an R rating, edited from its European length of 100 minutes. In 1997, the film was fully restored to its director's cut, and in its remastered video and DVD release, it's now wisely unrated (as Roeg had always intended) but still suitable for viewers of all ages. For parents this is a rare opportunity to treat well-supervised children (ages 5 and over) to an adventure that won't insult their intelligence, presenting scenes of frontal nudity and the hunting of animals in a context that invites valuable discussion and introspection. Through exquisite cinematography and a story of subtle human complexity, the film continues to resonate on many thematic and artistic levels. Roeg had always intended it to be a cautionary morality tale, in which the limitations and restrictions of civilization become painfully clear when the two children (played by Jenny Agutter and Roeg's young son, Lucien John) cannot survive without the aborigine's assistance. They become primitives themselves, if only temporarily, while the young aborigine proves ultimately and tragically unable to join the "family" of civilization. With its story of two worlds colliding, Walkabout now seems like a film for the ages, hypnotic and open to several compelling levels of interpretation. In addition to presenting the film in its original 1.77:1 aspect ratio, the Criterion Collection DVD of Walkabout includes a variety of bonus features, including a full-length commentary by Nicolas Roeg and Jenny Agutter, original theatrical trailers, and an essay by critic Roger Ebert. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The 2010 Criterion edition of this remarkable film includes a commentary track and a couple of new interviews with Jenny Agutter and Luc Roeg (billed as "Lucien John" in the film), and these do contribute to our appreciation of it; but the real bonus here is the hour-long documentary on the life of David Gulpilil, who made his screen debut here and went on to many other films. He is one of those rare people with the ability to cross the cultural barriers which are so realistically presented in Walkabout -- and the "One Red Blood" documentary also shows how much this has cost him, indeed how much the colonial invasion from Europe has cost indigenous people everywhere.
Walkabout is just as unusual and disturbing today as it was in 1971. It shines an almost painfully bright light on European-derived civilization by contrasting it with the aboriginal -- yet does not idealize life in the outback at all. Life is harsh on both sides of the divide, as Roeg shows clearly by intercutting ironic parallels between them, and the tragic/ironic ending follows quite naturally from the lack of communication across that divide between the two adolescents.Read more ›
I love this movie and have wanted a copy for years. I finally ordered, but am very disappointed. I purchased this DVD on Amazon Canada from BonnieScotland. The DVD will not play in Canada and US. I was in contact with BonnieScotland regarding this and although they claimed that this is mentioned on the Amazon site, it isn't. They offered to refund my money if I returned the item, but the return would be more than my refund. I will take the loss.
Walkabout follows two young English kids, one a fourteen-year-old girl and the other a six-year-old boy (I think) as they are abandoned in the middle of the vast Australian outback. The abandonment itself is quite perplexing and I was fairly confused as to how it was handled, but you'll see that addressing those unanswered questions is not what Roeg's film sets out to do at all.Read more ›
A young woman and her little brother are abandoned in the Australian outback by their father who has committed suicide. The two encounter an young aborigine man who is on 'walkabout' a ritual where individuals are sent out to see if they can survive on their own. He eventually leads them back to a populated area.
The original music score by John Barry is superb and sounds very similar to the music he did in the earlier James Bond films.
The Criterion collection DVD has an excellent audio commentary by director Nick Roeg and leading actress Jenny Agutter who was in the film. Jenny Agutter is also well known for her role in the film Logan's Run. This movie
Can you PLEASE fix this UP?
Most recent customer reviews
This film maybe nothing to Australians and aboriginals, as they know the landscapes, wildlife, flora/fauna, and customs. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Johnny Rocker
Did not realize this was a european version was unable to watch it on my dvd player. Seller should let customers know this. was disappointed.Published on Sept. 10 2013 by Lesley H. Harris
DONT LET THE OTHER REVIEWS THROW YOU> I honestly thought that the end credits were the best part of this movie. Read morePublished on July 19 2004
Walkabout is simply one of the best films ever made. The photography and editing are exceptional. The sound editing is better than in any other film I have seen. Read morePublished on June 23 2004 by J. Carroll
A very unusual film for its time, Walkabout combines many themes in what is ostensibly a tale of survival in the Australian outback. Read morePublished on April 12 2004 by James Ferguson
If you regard nature as a transcendant realm that clearly trumps the fragmented, modern world, this film will move you. Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2004 by William S. Loughman
Father takes son and daughter out in the middle of the desert. For some reason that the viewer need not know, he tries to kill them. He fails. Sets fire to the car. Read morePublished on Dec 28 2003 by muskiedine