Richard Chamberlain stars as Australian lawyer David Burton, who takes on the defense of a group of aborigines accused of killing one of their own. He suspects the victim has been killed for violating a tribal taboo, but the defendants deny any tribal association. Burton, plagued by apocalyptic visions of water, slowly realizes his own involvement with the aborigines…and their prophecies. —The Criterion Collection
Known for making moody, complex dramas that often focus on the emotional struggles of men caught up in social change and/or upheaval, Australian director Peter Weir is regarded as one of the most solid directors in both his native country and in Hollywood. His many accomplishments include making vehicles that promoted such stars as Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Robin Williams, and Jim Carrey into the realm of “serious” acting, something that further established Weir as one of the foremost interpreters of the inner lives of men.
The son of a real estate agent, Weir was born in Sydney on August 21, 1944. After giving his father’s business a try, he spent time traveling around Europe. Upon his return to Australia, Weir secured a job with the Commonwealth Film Unit, where he learned his craft on the sets of documentaries and educational films. He made his directorial debut in 1971 with Three to Go, an effort that went largely unnoticed by audiences and critics alike. His next feature… read more
I had the goal in mind to watch an atmospheric, dreamlike, wtf just happened movie. I got that with Peter Weir's The Last Wave. Never been a fan of Richard Chamberlain and I'm still not after watching his kinda blah performance, come to think of it this isn't the type of film you watch for acting but more a long the lines of story and direction. Just like Picnic At Hanging Rock, Last Wave is a little hard to follow. All you really know is that 5 Aboriginal brothers are on trial for a murder that they may have or may not have committed. There's some sort of tribal voodoo going on here, one where Chamberlain must uncover the mysteries that unfold. I enjoyed it, but I think this requires more than one viewing to really get.
A little more straight-laced then the Still above would suggest. Yet perhaps that's it's strength, it's both somewhat normal 80s crime thriller and elements of the mystical surrealism of Picnic at Hanging Rock. It's those poetic elements and the downright creepiness of this film that cause it to linger.
An outstanding example of controlled, yet highly effective, storytelling by the brilliant Peter Weir - this is without a doubt his best picture. The eerie apocalypticism that manages to creep into the story so subtly soon becomes the overwhelming force that drives it. Beautifully shot from start to finish with incredibly compelling performances by all - "The Last Wave" is the perfect Australian new-wave film.
Peter Weir's amazing water-drenched legal-drama-cum-hallucinatory-mystery about Sydney's aboriginal underclass. I loved it. Its attitude toward native peoples is remarkably similar to Wolfen's. The natives are relegated to the status of an impoverished underclass and pushed to the fringes of the urban environment. By maintaining a connection to their ancient culture, they enjoy mystical powers the whites can't fathom