Monday, 25 July 2011

A Beginner's Guide To Blue-Tongue Films

My borderline-unhealthy obsession with Animal Kingdom (now my favourite film of the last five years and firmly lodged in my Top 30 of all time) has led me, via hours of furious Googling, to discover Blue-Tongue Films, a loose collective of six Australian (and one American) filmmakers started in 1996 by stuntman Nash Edgerton and his actor brother Joel, and which includes - among others - Animal Kingdom's writer / director David Michôd.
Blue-Tongue have knocked out an impressive bunch of short films over the last few years, and are responsible for - amongst other things - the forthcoming feature Hesher, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a massive pair of undercrackers, and why anybody wouldn't be excited about that prospect is quite beyond my capacity.

So here's The Incredible Suit's unsolicited but invaluable cut-out-and-keep guide to the most fun bunch of Aussies since the Rebecchi family. Bonzer!

The Players

Nash Edgerton - Actor, writer, director, editor, stuntman. Doubled as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith. Played "Security Guard #5" in The Matrix Reloaded.

Joel Edgerton - Actor, writer, director. Looked bored as Owen Lars in the Star Wars prequels. Was brilliant as Barry Brown in Animal Kingdom.

Kieran Darcy-Smith - Actor, writer, director. Played "John Harrop" in Animal Kingdom. I've seen it twice and I can't remember seeing him. Soz KDS.

David Michôd - Actor, writer, director. Wrote and directed Animal Kingdom, starred as "Nurse #2" in Aussie toilet-based comedy Kenny. Not sure which of those two achievements is the greatest.

Luke Doolan - Actor, writer, director, editor, cinematographer. Edited Animal Kingdom. Never appeared in Neighbours as far as I can tell.

Spencer Susser - Writer, director, editor. The American one. May be responsible for the recent theft of Alan Davies' hair.

Tony Lynch - Stuntman, actor, cinematographer. Performed stunts in Superman Returns, M:I-2 and He Died With A Felafel In His Hand, which is the best movie title ever.

The Shorts
The Blue-Tonguers, as I'm sure they don't want to be called, have all either written, directed, edited or acted in their own - and each other's - short films. Some of the early shorts are essentially showreels for Nash Edgerton's stunt skillz, but the rest range from thoughtful crime dramas to alien bodysnatcher nonsense. They're all on the Blue-Tongue Films website and if you've got an afternoon spare you could do worse than sit and watch them all.

If you've only got an hour spare though, here are five of the best (and if you've only got ten minutes, just watch Spider):

 (2007, d. Nash Edgerton, w. Nash Edgerton & David Michôd)
From mundanely familiar to blackly comic via horrifyingly shocking, Spider is Safe For Work but be warned: you will probably swear out loud twice.

I Love Sarah Jane 
(2007, d. Spencer Susser, w. Spencer Susser & David Michôd)
A kids' love story with zombies (better than it sounds), I Love Sarah Jane stars a young Mia Wasikowska as a potty-mouthed girl who impresses the boys with her spade-wielding proficiency. "Word" on "the street" is it's being turned into a feature.

 (2007, w. & d. David Michôd)
The second of three shorts directed by Michôd, Crossbow is as atmospheric as Animal Kingdom and displays the same eye for a beautiful depiction of mundanity and terror in the same frame.

Miracle Fish
(2009, w. & d. Luke Doolan)
Doolan received massive plaudits for this wish-fulfilment tale, including an Oscar nomination in 2010.

 (2010, w. & d. Joel Edgerton)
Features no actual monkeys but some great Australian mullets.

The Feature Films
Solitary Endeavour On The Southern Ocean
(aka Solo) (2008, d. David Michôd & Jennifer Peedom)
Michôd co-directed this hour-long documentary using footage found in the empty kayak of Andrew McAuley, who set out to row from Australia to New Zealand but disappeared a day before he was due to complete his task. I haven't seen it.

The Square
(2008, d. Nash Edgerton, w. Joel Edgerton & Matthew Dabner)

I haven't seen this either.

Animal Kingdom
(2010, d. & w. David Michôd)

Ooh, I've seen this one. Did I mention it's completely brilliant?

(2010, d. Spencer Susser, w. Spencer Susser & David Michôd)

I haven't seen this because it hasn't got a UK distributor yet. Considering buying it myself.

Wish You Were Here
(2011, d. Kieran Darcy-Smith, w. Kieran Darcy-Smith & Felicity Price)
The press release for this mystery-thriller says "Four friends lose themselves in a carefree South-East Asian holiday. Only three come back." I'm guessing the fourth isn't just hiding in the plane's toilet. I haven't seen this because it isn't finished yet.


This has been a public information post by The Incredible Suit on behalf of Blue-Tongue Films. You're welcome.


  1. The Square is thoroughly enjoyable. I highly recommend it. Also, you referenced toilet-comedy Kenny, which is also fantastic. Get some Aussie films up ya, as they say (they being the Aussie bogans that populate this part of the world).

  2. The Square is awesome, i just watched Hesher today and totally loved it. So defo check them both out.

  3. Never heard of any of these guys, but it is awesome that some indie fellows got a chance with a big name actor (JoGord) to make a film for wide release. I didn't see it but was interested at the time, and reading this review of the film I must. Where was it filmed? I've been working on a lot of video production in New Hampshire recently. A lot of indie films are made here (to be honest, mostly ones that use the forest as a character/theme/setting... we have a lot of trees haha), it would be cool to reel in a big name for a video production. Thanks for the article!