I caught up with Erskineville Kings last night on DVD, thanks to Surry Hills Library. Great music soundtrack, and relentless background noise so well rendered by my new TV that for a while I thought my neighbours were up to something! Hugh Jackman really is good as Wace, one of two brothers caught up in the detritus of their sometimes violent father’s death by euthanasia (see a key bit of dialogue here) and their mother’s earlier desertion. I was greatly amused by the cameo performance of Bob Gould as Bob Gould of Newtown’s famous book emporium. Steve Baker gets it about right when he says: “The beauty of this film is the space allowed for them and us to work out how they feel. This is accentuated by the deserted, run down, sun drenched, heat soaked, urban landscape within which the brothers work out their tensions. This really does look and feel like a stylised inner Sydney on a hot Sunday afternoon.” And stylised it is, with lots of loving architectural shots coloured to look like one of Russell Drysdale’s paintings.
The DVD includes a really good photomontage of inner city scenes and screen tests of the cast, well worth viewing. There is also an out-take scene that incidentally reveals the extent of the use of enhanced colour in the movie itself to represent the harsh Sydney summer light.