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THEY'RE A WEIRD MOB

Australia, 1966 (MIFF 2001, Australian Showcase - Marvellous Melbourne)

Director: Michael Powell

Nino Culotta arrives in Australia brimming with hope. And why not? Sydney greets him with glorious weather and he has a job to go to working as a journalist on his cousin's magazine. The immigrant dream becomes a nightmare when Nino finds that the magazine has folded, his cousin has skipped the country with a string of debts and even his fare was loaned. Nino undergoes profound culture shock in 'Kingsa-bloody-Cross' before being assailed by Kay Kelly, to whom he already owes money in lieu of his dodgy cousin.

Despite being directed by an acclaimed Englishman Michael Powell, They're A Weird Mob is a fascinating and ominously accurate portrayal of the 'New Australian's' experience in the 1960s. Chips Rafferty, Ed Devereaux. John Meillon and Tony Bonner star alongside veteran Italian comic talent Walter Chiari as Nino and Clare Dunne as Kay.

Despite extreme prejudice and a crash course in assimilation Nino lands a job working construction in order to repay the money owed to Kay. Now, over their initial disagreement, a multi-cultural romance blossoms in spite of the disapproval of overbearing, racist patriarch Rafferty. As Nino slowly learns the hidden codes of Aussie mateship, the rituals of BBQs, pub shouts and assorted dinky di activities he eventually becomes one of the 'mob'. A new 35mm print of a timeless piece of Australiana.

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