Films

STARSTRUCK
1982 RETROSPECTIVE FOR STROBE

 

STARSTRUCK – FULLY RESTORED
80S RETROSPECTIVE
STROBE Music Film Festival
• 5.30pm, SUN AUGUST 18th, 2024
+ Screens with Australian short film:
DO IT HERSELF: A HONEY TRAP SOUND SYSTEM STORY

GOLDEN AGE CINEMA & BAR, Surry Hills
Presented by Groovescooter

 

▣ BUY TICKETS

 

Watch the trailer below
Don’t judge this by the trailer quality!
Film is now beautifully restored

 

“A neon lightning bolt with all the makings of a classic…”  [The Guardian]

“… A new wave rock musical-fairy tale… Kennedy and O’Donovan are appealingly offbeat and the entire film is permeated with a sense of youthful, zany fun.”  [Associated Press]

“…Full of happy, musical surprises.’  [New York Times]

 

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Producers: David Elfick, Richard Brennan
Sound/Music: Phil Judd (Split Enz)
Production Co. Palm Beach Pictures

Starring: Jo Kennedy, Ross O’Donovan, Max Cullen
Margot Lee, The Swingers, Donnie Sutherland
& many more

 

Now meticulously restored and looking amazing as it pops on screen, is renowned Australian filmmaker Gillian Armstrong’s super-surprising follow up to My Brilliant Career: 1982’s deliriously-joyous, hyper-colourful, maniacal musical STARSTRUCK. Set in Sydney amongst the harbourside’s inner-city band scene, Starstruck is crazy fun, whether you’re watching it for the first time or reliving your misspent, substance-fuelled youth trekking from late-night Kings Cross clubs to band/beer-charged pubs. With a winning singing voice and clad in wild new-wave outfits, Jo Kennedy stars as the sex-positive, tightrope-walking wannabe star Jackie Mullens, who is egged-on by her 14 year-old school-wagging, cousin-cum-manager Angus (Ross O’Donovan). Together they live and plan out a rocky-road to stardom in a pub under the shadows of the Sydney Harbour Bridge’s pylons. Here, amongst a colourful family that includes their fortune-telling Nanna (Pat Evison), the cockatoo-loving Reg (Max Cullen) and mad-matriarch Pearl (Margo Lee), the unlikely pair cook up publicity stunts and eye-catching pop-art routines for performances that begin at the “Lizard Lounge” (Bondi Pavilion) and take them all the way to the Opera House on NYE. Throwing spanners into the works are Jackie’s new love interest (a guitar-playing boyfriend named Robbie who comes with a ready-made band) and a shady-but-bronzed talent-show impresario who isn’t quite what he seems. Can the pair save the family’s pub from foreclosure and maintain their indie integrity, all the while keeping their eye on the pop-prize? With New Zealand’s Counting The Beat band The Swingers providing much of the rollicking soundtrack (keep your eyes out for a youthful Bones Hillman of Midnight Oil on bass) it’s the journey that matters. Whether the cast are singing and dancing around hotel rooftop pools (where muscled sychronised male swimmers do their best to outdo the best Mardi Gras floats) or sliding across neon-pink Bondi bartops – Starstruck is full of silly city-pranks and music routines that will be seared into your memory.

Rarely screened in cinemas these days, this STROBE Film Festival retrospective will have you dancing out of the cinema doors when it all wraps up with New Years Eve harbour fireworks and newly coupled lovers rolling down the steps of the Concert Hall’s Northern Foyer. Splicing up the comic-drama, Starstruck comes on like a rush of vivid VHS videoclips, and like the best cinematic musicals it has a dream-like quality about it’s terrifically filmed upbeat musical numbers. Some might argue it’s worth the admission price alone to see a hyper-choreographed Ross O’Donovan racing around the labyrinthian corridors beneath the Sydney Opera House with a colourful gaggle of chimpanzee-mimicking boys to deliver the soundtrack’s suburban sarcasm song I Want To Live In A House (….With My Own Letterbox!). Did we mention that song was produced by Ian “Molly” Meldrum or that the numbers Jo Kennedy sings – like Body And Soul, Monkey In Me and Temper Temper –  are fantastic ‘80s pop tunes that shot the film’s soundtrack into Australia’s Top 20 album charts back in the day? With cameos by Geoffrey Rush and Sounds TV host/Blue Light Disco DJ Donnie Sutherland, this is an Australian classic you have to see at least once.

STARSTRUCK | Trailer
STARSTRUCK | Trailer