Friday, August 12, 2011

Bliss (1985) - Ray Lawrence

Bliss (1985)

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Director: Ray Lawrence
Writer: Peter Carey

Stars: Barry Otto, Lynette Curran and Helen Jones

3 wins & 11 nominations

Video: XVID (.mkv) | 608x352 | FPS: 25 | Sound: mpga | Color: Color | Size: 1.28 GB | Runtime: 2:09:44 (Director's cut) | Country: Australia | 2 Language Channels: 1st English | 2nd English Commentary | Subtitles: English | English-HI | German | Filming Locations: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | Genres: Comedy | Drama | DVD Cover and Sticker incl.


Harry Joy, an advertising executive in an unnamed Australian city who is known for his ability to tell stories, has a terrifying near-death experience after suffering a massive heart attack, brought on by his dissolute lifestyle. Upon recovering, he believes himself to be either in a hellish version of the world he knew, or with his eyes opened to an altogether different view of that world. He eventually discovers that his wife is unfaithful, his dissolute daughter trades sex for hard drugs with his deviant son, and his latest client is a carcinogenic polluter.

Harry tries to reform and steer a morally correct path, abandoning most of the trappings of his previous affluent life, to the dismay and disruption of everyone around him. He is also seemingly 'tested' by a series of bizarre and frightening events including being 'sectioned' to a psychiatric hospital. In one memorable sequence, Harry is dragged through a bizarre and blackly humorous chain of events, in which he smokes marijuana for the first time with a terminally ill waiter friend, then has his car crushed by an elephant and is finally arrested. The extended version of this sequence was cut from the original theatrical release after its premiere at Cannes, but the full length scene featuring a tour-de-force monologue by Barry Otto (captured in a single unedited take) was restored for the film's re-issue in the 1990s.

Fighting for his sanity, Harry flees his home and takes up residence in a hotel, where meets a young hippie country girl, Honey Barbara, who prostitutes herself and helps a friend sell marijuana on trips to the city to bring money back to their forest commune. Harry decides that Barbara is his true love but he is soon drawn back into his old ways, and she with him. She eventually rejects Harry's lapse back to materialism and flees to the commune, refusing to see him. Harry pursues her patiently over many years, living alone near her commune, and eventually winning her heart with a 'gift' of plantings of the type of tree that provides Barbara's favourite honey (the Yellow Box Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus melliodora).

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