HEAD ON

Australia, 1998 (MIFF 1998, Australian Showcase)

Director: Ana Kokkinos

Nineteen year-old Ari (Alex Dimitriades) is obsessed with sex, drugs, his little sister's Lebanese boyfriend and his best friend's transvestite tendencies. Spread over an intense and eventful day, Head On packs a king hit of ethnic, sexual and drug-related tensions.

Those familiar with Christos Tsiolkas's contemporary post-grunge novel, Loaded, will recognise the same tightness of the book in Kokkinos' adaption for film. Ari's world, with pressures ranging from the singular to the political, is seamlessly conveyed in a compelling and deeply sensitive performance by Dimitriades. Kokkinos is as uncompromising in framing the issues surrounding Ari's sexuality, as she is spot-on in depicting the tensions of Greek inter-generational life in Australia.

"Tsiolkas's book is very much, an interior monologue... We wanted to capture that roller-coaster ride of the 24 hours and put the audience into a position of having to experience it with Ari." - Ana Kokkinos

"Dimitriades' (previous roles) don't begin to compare with his fine, brave work here... He utterly convinces as a reckless, hedonistic seeker after instant gratification... The sexual scenes are vividly yet tactfully handled... What gives Head On its remarkable strength is that its protagonist's wild journey is set firmly against his ethnically specific family background, one that Kokkinos knows well." - David Stratton, Variety

Ana Kokkinos, Alex Dimitriades and Jane Scott are guests of the Festival.

In 1991 Ana Kokkinos completed a Post Graduate Diploma at the VCA School of Film and Television. Her first film, Only the Brave (1993-4), which she co-wrote with Mira Robertson, won numerous awards including the Erwin Rado Award for Best Australian Film at MIFF 94, Best Film (Fiction) at the 1994 Sydney Film Festival and the 1994 AFI Awards for Best Short Fiction and Best Screenplay.


See also...

BOOK OF REVELATION, THE

SATURDAY 29 JUL, 9.15PM - SOLD OUT ... WORLD PREMIERE ... Part mystery, part thriller, erotic and dream-like, this uncompromising work from filmmaker Ana Kokkinos is, in the director's own words, “not... More »

BLESSED (MA15+)

A haunting and evocative tale about mothers and children, about being lost and finding your way home. ... Seven children from five different families wander the streets in an urban odyssey through a d... More »

BLESSED

'For those of us willing to be challenged and excited, Blessed is another really fine Australian film ... it’s a searingly honest portrait of that most primal relationship – mothers and children. 4½ s... More »

ONLY THE BRAVE

Alex and Vicki are wild girls, torching hedges, smoking dope and just hanging out, both in and out of school. Allegiance is owed to no one but each other and to a plan of escaping, going to Sydney and... More »

IN THE WINTER DARK

James Bogle's Mad Bomber in Love was voted Best of the Fest at MIFF in 1993. The following year the film was invited to screen at the Santa Monica Film Festival, and Bogle was quickly heralded as the ... More »

REDBALL

Blasting from the screen like the cinematic progeny of some unholy union between Lars Von Trier and Abel Ferrara, here is uncompromising Australian 'underground' filmmaking at its very best - an in-yo... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director