Tag Archives: Heatwave (1982)

10 great Australian crime films

To mark the addition of Ivan Sen’s 2016 film, Goldstone, to BFI Player, I was asked to write on 10 great Australian crime films. The piece is live and can be read in full on the BFI site here.

Updates: Contrappasso, the noir issue, Garry Disher at the Melbourne Crime & Justice Festival

cp noir front cover raw

I’ve recently discovered Contrappasso, a great magazine of international writing and poetry edited by a bunch of folks in Sydney, including some one who has recently become a friend, Matthew Asprey Gear.

Pulp Curry readers might be interested to know the latest issue of Contrappasso has a noir theme. There’s a grab bag of excellent material focusing on noir fiction and film, everything from The Maltese Falcon to The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Dashiell Hammett, Charles Willeford and Walter Mosley.

There’s poetry by Barry Gifford and Floyd Salas (whose 1969 book, What Now My Love I reviewed on this site a few weeks ago), amongst others, and a load of great essays, including my piece on the little known Australian noir films, Money Movers and Heatwave.

The issue is available here and will set you back just $9.50. 

And while I’m pulling on your coat, another reminder that I’ll interviewing Australian crime writing legend Garry Disher at the Reader’s Feast Crime & Justice Festival, this coming Sunday, November 17.

If you find yourself at a loose end Sunday morning, do come along. It’ll take place 10am, Sunday, November 17 at the Reader’s Feast Bookstore, 162 Collins Street, Melbourne. My session is just one of many events that will take place over the three days of the Crime & Justice Festival. … Read more

Heatwave

For years the 1982 movie Heatwave has languished in the shadow of director Phillip Noyce’s more recent and successful films.

It’s a great pity. Not only is Heatwave a dark, well-made thriller that can legitimately stake a place among the small group of Australian films with genuine noir sensibility, it is politically sharp-edged without coming across as either preachy or didactic.

Heatwave is one of two Australian films based loosely on the real life disappearance in 1975 of Juanita Nielson, a prominent local activist against mass development in the colourful vice quarter of inner Sydney known as Kings Cross. The other, Donald Crombie’s The Killing of Angel of Street, appeared the previous year. So close together were the two films that at one point they were reportedly both shooting at the different ends of the same inner Sydney street.

Heatwave takes place in the lead-up to Christmas and, as the title suggests, Sydney is sweltering after successive days of high temperatures. A group of Kings Cross residents are fighting attempts to demolish their houses to make way for a giant development named Eden, financed by businessman Peter Houseman (Chris Haywood).

For three years, young firebrand Kate Dean (Judy Davis) and Mary Ford, editor of the community newspaper, have led local opposition to Eden.… Read more