Updated: May 15
The opening sequence of Gallipoli is an extreme close-up of a stern older man teaching an avid young apprentice some of the vigorous requirements of manhood. With this scene, one realises that they are in the company of a profoundly able storyteller. Peter Weir is one of my favourite Australian Directors.
What are your legs? Steel Springs, steel springs. What are they going to do? Hurl me down the track? How fast can you run? As fast as a Leopard. How fast are you going to run? As fast as a Leopard. Then lets see you do it.
On a remote Western Australian farm young Archy (Mark Lee) practices his sprinting for an upcoming local running meet. But Archy is more than a sprinter; he is the fictional embodiment of every young man's thirst for adventure. Like millions of other young men at the time he is driven by a deep love for his country, a felt sense of empire, honour and country, and the lure of excitement and change. A wonderful film to revisit. There is something stirring about watching "Gallipoli" even though we are aware of the impending disaster to come.