by Nikki Toole in New Film on Tuesday 27 March 2012

As a student in London, I spent many hours at the British Film Institute dreaming of life as a cinematographer, before the red light of the college darkrooms seemed like a more inviting way to spend my days. Nothing compared to watching old movies on the big screen of the BFI.

Walkabout, directed by Nicholas Roeg, is one of their latest presentations celebrating 40 years with a digitally remastered copy. This movie may not be one of my favorites, but it has certainly left a lasting impression. I watched this film as a child with my parents, and the Australian landscape, so alien to my forest filled Scottish one, seemed like a daunting prospect for anyone to be stranded in, never mind a teenage schoolgirl and her fair-skinned brother (Roeg’s son Luc). It was a marker for the way I would view Australia as a very distant land filled with unsettling cinema, such as Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Long Weekend, where it was always desolate and hot, and a three hour drive was seen as a day trip. If you have the chance to see the new remastered version of Walkabout, it will be time well spent watching a more innocent era when a young boy would discover you in the outback rather than a hook wielding serial killer.