Age of consent dating
And now you could see it almost in the historical context, as far as Australia was concerned.It's capturing an era of Australian society that's very interesting." What happened when the film was finished is a mystery to Mirren.
But she still has vivid memories of Australia on that first trip. "It was obviously very deeply influenced by Australian landscape and Australian light.It was exciting, like seeing an explosion of art that I'd never seen before." Queensland was a different matter.Mirren remembers the cast and crew were slammed by the Townsville press when they arrived barefoot after three months filming on Dunk Island. "We'd gone completely native, the lot of us," she says."I had nursed the secret hope that we might succeed in breaking through the known reluctance in British and US markets to accept films made in Australia," he once said."That breakthrough was not to be achieved until Barry Mackenzie came along with the magic new ingredient - 'chundering'." Mirren is pleased Age of Consent has been restored, because of her admiration for Powell. The film is not his greatest movie probably, but it had an internal energy.Based on a Norman Lindsay novel, Age of Consent is about a famous Australian artist, played by Mason, who heads to a Queensland island to paint.
He spies a free-spirited teenager, played by Mirren, who becomes his muse.
It was a slightly scary place to me, certainly, the far north of Australia, at the time.
It was deeply sexist, racist, oppressive, conservative and frightening, from what I saw of it." Age of Consent still has an important place in her heart, partly because of working with Mason, who met his wife, actress Clarissa Kaye, on the film.
"We were all in our sarongs and blissed-out Dunk Island state and suddenly there were all these townswomen in their hats, handbags and gloves." Mirren thought Townsville and Cairns were extremely conservative and old-fashioned.
"Cairns still had bars that women weren't allowed into, and I remember seeing a sign outside a bar saying something like 'Aborigine Throwing Competition on Friday night'.
Afterwards, Herald film writer Garry Maddox will chair a discussion in the Festival Club with composer Peter Sculthorpe, editor Anthony Buckley, associate producer Michael Pate and production manager - and son of the director - Kevin Powell.