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DALLAS DOLL

Australia, 1994 (MIFF 1994)

Director: Ann Turner

She came, she stayed, she conquered!

This new feature from Melbourne-based filmmaker Ann Turner follows the sexual and professional conquests of the colourful Dallas Adair - American golf-pro with a dubious putting style but an impressive habit of getting her own way - as she moves in with, and then on, the Sommers family. All manner of encounters both cosmic and carnal ensue as she bewitches the household members and eventually the entire town. But Dallas (played by Sandra Bernhard with her customary caustic flair) is not necessanly a destructive force. Rather, she liberates the characters like an avenging angel, blazing a trail through middle-class morality to whatever it is that they want, if only they knew. Her persuasive psychobabble seduces all but the teenage daughter Rastus, who immediately smells a rat.

Wildly inventive with a truly bent sense of humour - everyone eventually gets their own fantasy sequence, even the dog - Dallas Doll runs riot with plot machinations that defy description. Its moments of inspired comedy include two sublime seduction scenes, one involving a game of indoor strip mini golf that would charm the pants off Doris Day, the other providing a startling insight into what Hitchcock's The Birds could have been like if Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor hadn't been so uptight amongst their feathered friends.

No sacred cow of contemporary culture is left unmilked as Turner takes the audience on a cinematic rodeo ride that may leave some breathless and more than a little sore.

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