Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mondovino Downunder
Jonathan Nossiter's Mondovino has made its way to Australia and appears to be receiving positive reviews even though Australia was essentially ignored in the film.

In reviewing the film Philippa Hawker gets to the heart of the ethic of the film. Nossiter seems to have put his subjects at their ease. The most frosty and haughty patricians have let down their guard with him. People joke, confide and hold forth: they must have been sublimely unaware, at times, that the filmmaker did not and does not share their views.

There is a certain uniformity, it must be said, about Nossiter's approach, in that he knows which side he supports, and he's not really interested in teasing out the arguments that might be able to be presented in opposition.

In his review of Nossiter Damien Murphy gets several significant quotes from the film maker.

"It would have been great to have Australian wines in the film," he says. "The idea of a country where there is the same fearlessness to innovate that you have in America, without the imperial burden."

(I’ll have to view Mondovino again because I honestly don’t remember examples of fearless innovation that were portrayed by American winemakers in the film.)

"In the post-9/11, Iraq-war era, the film is considered by some a betrayal in a time of global conquest, and the fundamental notion that the acquisition of money and power is the only reason to exist on Earth is now the essence," Nossiter says.

"There's this wonderful throwaway line, (in which Parker) goes, 'You know, I brought an American sense of democratic values to wine.' And he says it with a sort of blithe assurance that, of course, everyone in the world will regard that as inherently positive. There is no notion that three-quarters of the planet is horrified to hear those words."

(After those comments I’m not sure who has the bigger ego, Parker or Nossiter?)

The Shiraz review of Mondovino is here.

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