If Aussie filmmaker Joseph Sims has his way, 2010 will be the genre revolution in Australian cinema. After the success of Aussie genre film Animal Kingdom and hype surrounding upcoming releases The Loved Ones and Red Hill, Sims hopes his debut feature film Bad Behaviour will continue the move away from `depressing dramas' and add to the renaissance of thrillers, chillers and blood-spillers.
"There has been a slew of Australian films that are beginning to break the mould,'' said Sims.
"A lot of the depressing dramas are quite good, but they're all similar and I think it's not being creative; it's just being safe and finding those trends.
"Australian has an amazing history of genre cinema in the 70s and 80s, then in the 90s and 2000s we turned very arthouse.
"A lot of the fun and more exciting films that push the boundaries have slipped away.
"But with Wolf Creek in 2005 it started to bring genre back, and 2010 will be the genre revolution.''
It certainly seems that way, with Bad Behaviour announced as the headliner at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF) this month and hand-picked to screen on closing night. Shot entirely on the Gold Coast in January and February, Bad Behaviour is a Tarantino-esque action thriller that was written, produced and directed by Sims. The twenty-something filmmaker said it is very exciting to have his work screen at `Australia's biggest and coolest genre film festival'.
"Every festival is important and with Bad Behaviour it has been my mission to make a big splash,'' he said.
"We've been building momentum up to the premiere, which has almost sold out, and the idea is to create a shit fight between the distributors as to who will take us on.''
Playing `out of type' and taking on the role of the film's protagonist is renowned Australian actor John Jarratt. Jarratt said he hopes the film will `take off' so he can be viewed as a more versatile actor.
"My character is an everyday copper who gets into an extraordinary situation,'' he said.
"I'm a hero in this one and everyone only thinks I can play a villain.
"After Bad Behaviour it would be nice if people saw me in different light, instead of playing Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek all the time.
"It was probably one of the best performances I've done and it was well received, but the bad part is before that I had a lot of diverse roles.''
Jarratt said he was attracted to the low-budget, independent feature because of Sim's `fantastic script' which he hopes will transfer onto the big screen.
"It's a good piece of work and if it's good, it doesn't matter what genre it comes from or what country,'' he said.
"Like, Samson and Delilah went mainstream because it had the x-factor and so does this.''
Sims said he is currently in the process of `polishing the film off' and is is working with Australian filmmakers such as Brian Trenchard-Smith (BMX Bandits), Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood) and Sean Byrne (The Loved Ones) on the final product.
"Thankfully they have all liked it because it's so original and this strange, non-linear narrative,'' he said.
"It really is one of those movies where you have no idea what's going to happen next.''
Bad Behaviour will premiere at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF) on closing night, August 28 at 7pm. Bad Behaviour is expected to get a national release in early 2011. Having attended cast rehearsals late last year and spending a few days on set in January, I'm really excited to see this puppy taking off as it has serious substance. Speaking of puppies, there's a whole program of awesome undergound cinema screening at MUFF so to get the full run down, head here.