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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television - Evan Wil­liams

MASOCHIS­TIC view­ers are in for a treat this week, with no short­age of sadis­tic tor­ture scenes, satanic vis­i­ta­tions, mass killings and things that go bump in the night. They hap­pen to be the best films on of­fer — two Ro­man Polan­ski thrillers, Rose­mary’s Baby (Sun­day, 12.35am, ABC1), which we all know about, and his un­der­rated hor­ror film The Ten­ant (Sun­day, 2.50am, ABC1), set in a haunted apart­ment in Man­hat­tan. Then there’s Snow­town (Satur­day, 9.30pm, SBS One), Justin Kurzel’s hor­ri­fy­ing (and bril­liant) ac­count of the crimes of John Bunt­ing and his gang, who tor­tured and killed as many as 12 peo­ple in South Aus­tralia and dis­posed of their bod­ies in bar­rels of acid.

More hor­rors, I’m in Noise (Sun­day, 11.45pm, SBS One), rated by this col­umn the best Aus­tralian film of 2007. It opens with an un­nerv­ing se­quence on a sub­ur­ban train at night. A young woman (Maia Thomas) takes a seat in what looks to be a largely empty car­riage. Then she no­tices the woman in front of her slump to one side, dis­cov­ers she is dead and finds other mu­ti­lated bod­ies lit­ter­ing the car­riage floor. We fol­low a Melbourne cop (Bren­dan Cow­ell) as he in­ves­ti­gates the mur­ders. But the film’s no­table fea­ture is its sound­track. The cop suf­fers from tin­ni­tus, a per­sis­tent ring­ing in the ears, and writer-di­rec­tor Matthew Sav­ille uses an in­ge­nious sound mix to con­vey both the dis­ori­ent­ing ef­fect of the con­di­tion and the height­ened im­pact of fa­mil­iar sounds as they af­fect his state of mind. It is a de­vice that might have quickly worn us down but Sav­ille uses it to sug­gest a world in which fa­mil­iar sounds can pos­sess an un­fa­mil­iar and dis­con­cert­ing res­o­nance.

Fred Schep­isi’s first film was his un­for­get­table ver­sion of Tom Ke­neally’s novel The Chant of Jim­mie Black­smith, and his most re­cent a grace­ful adap­ta­tion of Pa­trick White’s The Eye of the Storm, with so many good things in be­tween. In 1987 he made Rox­anne (Sun­day, 4pm, 7Two), an up­dated take on Ed­mond Ro­stand’s play Cyrano de Berg­erac, with Steve Martin as a small-town fire chief whose out­sized nose is a fa­tal im­ped­i­ment to his wooing of Rox­anne (Daryl Han­nah). It’s touch­ing, funny and beau­ti­fully done. And in an era when ro­mance seems to have taken sec­ond place to sex in Hol­ly­wood movies, what a plea­sure to see a film in which love is the name of the game.

The Hang­over (Tues­day, 9.30pm, Nine) was a hit in 2009 — a hy­per­ac­tive farce about a group of boozy bud­dies who wake up in a drunken stu­por af­ter a wild bach­e­lor party and are un­able to re­mem­ber any­thing that hap­pened the night be­fore. Be­yond that, I can’t re­mem­ber much my­self, ex­cept that Bradley Cooper has a role. An in­fe­rior se­quel fol­lowed in 2011 and, by co­in­ci­dence, The Hang­over Part III is now in cinemas. I sup­pose I’ll have to see it.

(MA15+) ★★★★✩ Sun­day, 11.45pm, SBS One

(MA15+) ★★★★✩ Satur­day, 9.30pm, SBS One

(M) ★★★ ✩ Sun­day, 4pm, 7Two

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