Wednesday, April 15, 2015

You wouldn’t think that a movie about a woman who goes on a walkabout 1700 miles across the Australian outback from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean with some camels carrying her gear would be very interesting. Images of a lady walking 20 miles a day with some camels across the desert come to mind. How do you make a compelling film out of that story? And yet I thoroughly enjoyed the movie “Tracks”.

It became available on Netflix streaming yesterday. It didn’t have much dialog but it really spoke to me. The desert imagery and vastness of the outback were stunning. I remember reading the story in National Geographic years ago. I might have to get the book now. Stories like this always get my imagination going.

When I was in middle school an Australian anthropologist lived in the basement apartment under the house my parents were renting. He was a visiting professor at the college my father taught at. I used to love going down into his apartment to listen to his stories of life in the Australian outback. He did his PHD dissertation on the aborigines and lived with them in remote Western Austalia back in the 1960's. He had slides and would give me a private slide show of life with the aborigines. I saw that he was listed as a consultant on the film credits of "Tracks." What a coincidence. He is living in Perth now. I haven't seen him in 40 years. Good to see he is still doing well.

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