Show Me the Magic: The Ad­ven­tures of Don Mcalpine

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Tues­day, 9.30pm, Stu­dio ‘‘ Ah, that’s good, McAlpine.’’ It sounds like a clever mar­ket­ing slo­gan, but it’s ac­tu­ally a phrase heard on most of the 50 films leg­endary Aus­tralian cinematographer Don McAlpine has worked on. From Bruce Beres­ford’s The Ad­ven­tures of Barry McKen­zie (1972) to Gavin Hood’s X-Men Ori­gins: Wolver­ine (2009), McAlpine worked with 32 di­rec­tors on some of the world’s best known films such as Moulin Rouge! (2001) and Pa­triot Games (1992). While there are fan­tas­tic set vis­its shot dur­ing the mak­ing of X-Men Ori­gins: Wolver­ine, the most touch­ing se­quences are dur­ing a camp­ing trip to McAlpine’s home town, Quan­di­alla, NSW, where he and Jeanette, his wife of 56 years, go to get away from the stress of mak­ing movies. A well-rounded por­trait of a great Aus­tralian and his work. its de­but six weeks ago. But when a lo­cal se­ries is as good as this there is no rea­son not to blow its horn again. Still creepy — watch out for a jug of boil­ing wa­ter in the hands of top dog Jacs Holt (Kris McQuade) — and still poignant as Vera Ben­nett (Kate Atkin­son) is haunted by taunts from her hate­ful mother in the past even as the old bat con­tin­ues to de­stroy her life in the present. Vera is clearly dam­aged but still seems a long way from evolv­ing into any­one who could rea­son­ably be called ‘‘ vine­gar tits’’, as her pre­de­ces­sor in the orig­i­nal se­ries, Fiona Spence, was. There is also an en­tan­gle­ment be­tween gover­nor Erica David­son (Leeanna Wals­man) and lip­stick les­bian Franky Doyle (Ni­cole da Silva) that would have been in­con­ceiv­able in Pris­oner.

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