[Bran Nue Dae for Night Train]

* Bran Nue Dae is based on the 90s Australian musical about an aboriginal boy in the late 60s. He’s been attending boarding school with the eventual goal of becoming a priest, but he changes his mind for a few excellent reasons, and runs away, landing in a road movie as he tries to get home.

It’s pretty goofy (especially the final 10 minutes) but it has a huge heart, and I quite enjoyed it. (Also, days later I am still singing about how there is nothing I would rather be than to be an Aborigine. So there’s that.)

I couldn’t help but think, though, especially as the credits rolled by with lists of the various stage production casts, that if a similar film had been made in the States, the producers would have had a serious conversation about casting a white guy with a tan in the lead. And then they probably would have done it. Taylor Lautner, I’m looking at you.

* Night Train was the second half of a Jerzy Kawalerowicz double feature, and one I almost skipped out on because I was so bored by the one about possessed nuns. Thanks to the fact that I am painfully cheap I opted to give it a chance, and I am glad I did. It’s a Polish noir set almost entirely on an overbooked overnight train to the seaside. The cast of characters is great, all your noir staples of mysterious men and blonde bombshells eyeing each other with suspicion, flirtation, or both, and among it all trying to guess if one in their number might be an escaped murderer. It was totally entertaining, and would not at all have been out of place as a Noir City selection.

(Yes, the title of this post is a cheap Truffaut reference. I couldn’t help it. I apologize!)