During a sweltering Sydney summer, architect Stephen West faces determined community opposition to his greatest opus, a $200 million inner-city development called the Eden Project. The developer, Peter Houseman, hires goons to forcibly remove squatters and protesters from a line of old terraces that are to be demolished. Local newspaper publisher Mary Ford enlists union help to ban work on the project. Fiery activist Kate Dean rallies the divided residents, some of whom want to sell out. At a swanky Christmas party, she poses as a waitress in order to tip food over Houseman. When Ford disappears, architect West and activist Dean become uneasy allies in an attempt to find out what happened.
The plot concerns a driven career woman returning to Australia from New York to make her mark in the world of fashion design. Tessa returns home to Melbourne to establish her own label while battling her devious younger sister, the mob, and a slew of other enemies including an alcoholic competitor, a stalker, drug dealers, jealous wives, corrupt police, and militant unions. Tessa also juggles love affairs with a married Australian businessman who may be a gangster, an American photographer, and a hot-tempered Irish thug, in between surviving various attempts on her life and investigating the “accidental” death of her father.
Policeman Jack Welles finds himself in possession of the pay off from a huge drug deal. He decides to keep the money but his plans turn sour when he discovers his wife with her young lover. In the ensuing struggle the lovers mistakenly believe they have killed Jack. They take the money and run, pursued by Jack and a hit man from the drug syndicate. The action explodes as they each fight for their own desires and obsessions.
When the small town of Minyaka suffers from a drought, a kind and mysterious stranger offers to make it rain by playing his flute; under the condition that he be paid. But after Fluteman makes it rain, and even stops it; the town council, blind by their greed and pride, refuse to pay him. Fluteman stands before the town and warns them of a curse he would bring; and so the next day the school playground fades into silence as all the children disappear into the bush… except one.
Charles Bremer, a retired, wealthy aesthete, regularly hires Lisa, a young female artist’s model, to strip for him to the soundtrack of a Donizetti aria. Charles writes letters to his dead mother, plays church organ, loves flowers, and attends drawing classes. Lisa meanwhile is having problems with her chauvinist, drug-abusing boyfriend David, a modernistic painter who keeps hitting her for money. As Charles and Lisa form a strong attachment that has nothing to do with sex, it becomes clear that the aggressive David presents a problem that needs to be solved.
Alvin is a quiet, urban Australian male who finds himself the unlikely object of female lust. The film tracks him from his schooldays through early jobs – water-bed salesman, sex therapist where he seeks psychiatric help to solve his problems. His psychiatrist is, of course, a woman. He ultimately falls in love with the one girl who doesn’t throw herself at him. She becomes a nun, and he ends up a gardener in the convent’s garden, but even then he inflames the nuns with a desire to fornicate with him.
Maani Petgar‘s CINEMA CINEMA deals with the controversial and popular Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf and the making of SALAAM CINEMA. The filmmaker placed an ad in the paper, with the opening words: ‘Wanted: one hundred common people who want to become actors.’ Around five thousand people reacted and fought for a role. In the following eight days, Makhmalbaf filmed thousands of applicants. During the auditions he tried to find out why they would love to act and to which extremes they would go to achieve their aim. In CINEMA CINEMA Petgar shows how the filmmaker works, manipulates and brings about effects, but also how Makhmalbaf himself is manipulated.
A rock and roll singer gets stranded in a small Australian town after losing her job in a band. She winds up in a trailer park only to encounter, by accident, the teenage daughter she deserted following her husband’s death.