Mystery Road (2013)

Mystery Road
Director: Ivan Sen
Writer: Ivan Sen
Cast: Aaron Pedersen, Hugo Weaving, Ryan Kwanten, Jack Thompson, Tony Barry, Robert Mammone, Tasma Walton, Damian Walshe-Howling, David Field, Bruce Spence, Jack Charles, Tricia Whitton, Samara Weaving
Part of: We Are One Film Festival
Seen on: 14.6.2020

Detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen) returned to his hometown in the Outback just in time to investigate the murder of a young native girl – a murder the white rest of the police force doesn’t seem too interested in. Jay soon starts to suspect that the lack of interest may actually be active hampering from his colleagues, let alone the people around who all saw, heard and know nothing. Including Jay’s own daughter (Tricia Whitton) who doesn’t want anything to do with her father, but who knew the victim.

Mystery Road is atmospheric and Pedersen is a great lead, but I constantly felt like I was missing some context to understand what the fuck was actually happening. While that can make the appeal of a film, in this case, it was completely frustrating for me.

The film poster showing a lone car on a dirt road and the heads of three of the main characters.
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Outlaws (2017)

Outlaws aka 1%
Director: Stephen McCallum
Writer: Matt Nable
Cast: Ryan Corr, Abbey Lee, Simone Kessell, Josh McConville, Matt Nable, Aaron Pedersen, Sam Parsonson, Eddie Baroo, Aaron Fa’aoso, Jacqui Williams, Adam T Perkins
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 28.9.2018

Content Note: ableism, sexism, homomisia

Paddo (Ryan Corr) is the second-in-command of the biker club Copperheads. With their leader Knuck (Matt Nable) in prison, he is running things, trying to keep everything as smooth as possible until Knuck returns. With Paddo’s girlfriend Katrina (Abbey Lee) pushing him to grab for power in the Copperheads, while Knuck’s wife Hayley (Simone Kessell) jealously guards his position it’s easier said than done. But it’s his disabled brother Skink (Josh McConville) who throws the biggest wrench in his attempts at balance when he gets involved with Sugar (Aaron Pedersen) in a drug deal that goes badly.

1% isn’t exactly a revolutionary film, tackling a generally well-known conflict. But despite that and the fact that nothing much actually happens, it is engaging throughout and I enjoyed it, though I didn’t love it.

The film poster showing the main characters leaning around a huge "1%".
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Killing Ground (2016)

Killing Ground
Director: Damien Power
Writer: Damien Power
Cast: Aaron PedersenHarriet DyerStephen HunterMitzi RuhlmannMaya StangeTiarnie CouplandIan MeadowsAaron GlenaneJulian GarnerAirlie Dodds
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.10.2017

Ian (Ian Meadows) and Sam (Harriet Dyer) decide to spend New Year’s Eve camping in the outback. As they set up their tent they discover an empty tent not far from them. Not thinking much of it at first, they become a little concerned when nobody comes back to the tent. When they find a lone toddler in the woods, their concern turns into panic. But before they can get help, they run into two men (Aaron Pedersen, Aaron Glenane) who probably aren’t up to much good.

Killing Ground operates a little too much along the usual plot lines, but it does so rather effectively, making it a solid film.

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