Blu-ray, DVD & VOD: Walkabout (1971)
I think Walkabout remains in a lot men’s minds because it features a naked, nubile 16 year old Jenny Agutter. However, Nicolas Roeg’s first foray into directing is a classic piece of cinema. One could say that it’s dated, but I think that’s part of its charm letting us glimpse a now gone 1971 Sydney. You could also say that the juxtaposing of urban and wilderness is a bit clumsy now, but at the time it was ground breaking.
After their father (John Meillon) commits suicide during a trip to the Australian outback, a young girl (Jenny Agutter) and her younger brother (Luc Roeg, the director’s son) are left literally in the middle of the Outback. Thankfully they meet a young Aboriginal boy who is on a ‘walkabout’ (David Gulpilil) who helps them survive.
The imagery in Walkabout is still a joy to watch, long shots of the sun setting over the outback, ants crawling out of sand dunes, a lush, muddy oasis with drinkable water, and on this Blu-ray release from Umbrella Entertainment it all looks wonderful, instilling a sense of heat and isolation that is palpable.
Slow paced and shot with intimate care by Nicolas Roeg, Walkabout’s isolation and desperation for survival slowly sinks into your psyche and you find yourself with beads of sweat appearing as you watch this seemingly hopeless battle for survival unfurl in front of you.