CCU23 – Breaker Morant (1980), Mister Johnson (1990)

breaker morant - 3morant

This is the first Criterion Close-Up double feature. Mark and Aaron take a close look at two films from Bruce Beresford, released theatrically a decade apart and just recently as part of The Criterion Collection. We look at Breaker Morant and how it reconciled British Colonialism on both its subjects and enemies, and how it dispensed justice. We then look at Mister Johnson, which deals with colonial issues such as commerce and civilization.

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Show notes:


0:00 – Intro
2:55 – Criterion Connection
5:00 – Overview of Show for CriterionCast Listeners
8:50 – Schedule Changes
10:15 – Changes to News
12:20 – What Have We Seen Lately? aka Short Takes
22:00 – Breaker Morant
1:15:15 – Mister Johnson

Podcast Schedule

CriterionCast Newsstand Episode

Breaker Morant


Facebook Photo Album

Mister Johnson


Where to Find Us:

Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd
Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd
Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email

Posted on January 10, 2016, in Criterions, Film, Podcast. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Finished the podcast last night. Thanks for causing my wife to give me another epic eye roll when my name was mentioned.
    I thought both of you were spot on with Breaker. Fantastic movie and definitely in the 9/10 category.
    I was surprised that Aaron was so harsh on Mister Johnson. I thought it was a very mediocre, decent movie. I didn’t struggle through it or feel like I wasted my time watching it which is my criteria for a very low score. Probably a 6/10 for me so I would side more with Mark. 4/10 is Jellyfish Eyes territory.
    If you have an opportunity some time I think a brief discussion on rankings would be interesting. I.e. What separates a 9 from a 10? Or, a 4 from a 6? Since this was the lowest rating that has been given and some shows are coming up that may/may not dip below the 7-10 range (Jellyfish Eyes, Gross out episode), I would be interested to hear about how both of you rate films. Especially since I’m getting into Letterboxd more and checking out reviews/ratings.

  2. I watched Mister Johnson this week and listened to this ep this morning and agreed with a lot of points you guys made. I think Mister Johnson may be my choice for the worst Criterion release ever, not because of its quality (I’d put in somewhere in the lower end of the middle of the pack) but because there is absolutely no reason for its inclusion other than that it is tangentially related to Breaker Morant. This would be more understandable if Beresford was a better director, but he’s basically a generic studio guy who was able to establish his career based on a couple of solid early films. The best I can say about it is that the production design was really impressive. Super disappointed in this release.

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