Swinging Safari is an Australian comedy drama film starring Guy Pearce, Kylie Minogue, Radha Mitchell, Julian McMahon, Asher Keddie, Darcy Wilson, Atticus Robb and Jack Thompson. It is written and directed by Stephan Elliot who is known for his film “The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert” which consists of sending a bunch of drag queens to the centre of Australia. Although it sounded odd, the concept came together naturally to create a brilliant film. Swinging Safari has the same aura and humour as its predecessor, but in a setting that is a lot closer to home. Literally.
Armed with a Super-8 Camera, Jeff Marsh played by Atticus Robb reflects on his childhood in the Australian suburban 1970’s when he was a 14-year-old budding filmmaker and a dead whale had washed up onto their local beach. While Jeff and his friends were filming death defying short films, the parents of the neighbourhood were diving into their own escapades by holding a swinger’s party.
It sounds utterly ridiculous, but it’s so cracked, it works. Swinging Safari is batshit crazy and displays the normality of the Australian 1970’s that now would be considered so very wrong. From setting your mate on fire for stunt authenticity, wearing an ice-cream container on your head to avoid swooping magpies or covering your baby in baby oil while on the beach, nothing is sacred in this Aussie satire that both parodies and celebrates Australian culture.
Swinging Safari is Atticus Robb’s film debut and I was thoroughly impressed by his portrayal of shy, inquisitive and awkward Jeff Marsh. While the parents in the film may have been a lot older, they certainly weren’t wiser with the kids appearing more grounded and calmer than the adults. The cast were all superb, but Kylie Minogue impressed me the most playing a convincing Kaye Hall who is a dry, angry, anti-social alcoholic mother of five.
While international viewers may be left scratching their heads, I firmly believe that the Australian public will love this soon to be Aussie cult classic. Swinging Safari is a hilarious loving tribute to our sunburnt country, and to the parents everywhere who don’t always get it right, but do the best that they can.