Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Two Hands (1999)

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clip Origami gangster education content clip 1

Original classification rating: MA. This clip chosen to be M

Clip description

Jimmy (Heath Ledger) meets Alex (Rose Byrne) in a pub in Chinatown, but she’s followed by Les (Kiri Paramore), another small-time hood who wants to get on Pando’s good side. Les calls Acko (David Field), who’s out looking for Jimmy. Pando (Bryan Brown) is at home, making paper dinosaurs with his son Jake (Adam Muncu) when he hears they have found Jimmy. Alex and Jimmy have to make a run for it.

Curator’s notes

The more ridiculous the situation, the more straight and deadpan the acting – an old rule of comedy that Gregor Jordan adheres closely to throughout the film. We know how dangerous Pando is, so the scene of him making origami with his son is beyond incongruous, and yet still believable. Why should gangsters not love their kids? Most films about crime allow no space for this kind of characterisation, because they’re only interested in the elements of character that separate the violently capable criminal from the rest of ‘normal’ society. Two Hands does the opposite – the violent are part of the ‘normal’ fabric of society here. In that sense, it’s less an outlaw film than a domestic comedy, in which violence is a frequent occurrence.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

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  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
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