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Head On Details


In this gritty Australian drama, the nihilistic son of Greek immigrants indulges in 24 hours of hedonism in ethnically conflicted inner-city Melbourne. Ari (Alex Dimitriades), a 19-year-old layabout, spends his time picking up strange men for furtive sex; dealing, and doing, speed with his friends; fighting with his conservative father and beleaguered mother; and trying to look after his younger sister, Alex (Andrea Mandalis), who's involved in a clandestine relationship with a young Lebanese guy. Although Ari rails against the racism of Australian society, he's also a bit of a bigot himself. And despite his enthusiastic participation in Greek activities -- weddings, fortune tellers, music, and dancing -- he's also repulsed by his culture's intolerance. Best friend Johnny (Paul Capsis), who defiantly dresses up as his own dead mother, is an outcast, but the straight-seeming Ari refuses to drop him. During the course of a single day, Ari fools around with his friend Betty (Elena Mandalis) and several men of various ages and nationalities. He also pines away for Sean (Julian Garner), a dreamy college friend of his brother's, who may offer a loving alternative to self-destructive excess. When Ari and Johnny are arrested and brutalized by a pair of race-baiting cops, however, the chance for redemption seems more remote than ever. Adapted from the Christos Tsiolkas novel Loaded, Head On marked the feature debut of writer/director Ana Kokkinos, herself an Australian of Greek extraction. The film was shown in the Directors Fortnight section at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

  • Release date:August 13, 1999


Alex Dimitriades
as Ari
Paul Capsis
as Johnny
Julian Garner
as Sean
Tony Nikolakopoulos
as Dimitri
Elena Mandalis
as Betty
Eugenia Fragos
as Sophia
Damien Fotiou
as Joe
Andrea Mandalis
as Alex
Maria Mercedes
as Tasia
Dora Kaskanis
as Dina
Alex Papps
as Peter


Ana Kokkinos
Jane Scott
Mira Robertson
Andrew Bovell
Ana Kokkinos
Christos Tsiolkas
Book Author
Jaems Grant
Ollie Olsen
Composer (Music Score)
Jill Bilcock
Nikki diFalco
Production Designer
Paul Heath
Art Director
Anna Borghesi
Costume Designer
Livia Ruzic
Sound/Sound Designer
Phillip Madison Jones
First Assistant Director
Zev Eleftheriou
Roger Savage
Sound Mixer
Catherine Bishop
Production Manager
Dina Mann
Gina Hallas
Production Accountant
Annie Went
Script Supervisor
Lisa Thompson
Set Dresser
Murray Kelly
Set Dresser
Iain Pirret
Third Assistant Director
Jerry Long
Foley Artist
Christine Miller
Christine Miller
Hair Styles
Shane Phillips
Costumes Assistant
Mal Hughes
Boom Operator
Alistair Reilly
Location Manager
Kim Travis
Production Coordinator
Lloyd Carrick
Sound Recordist
Rochelle Oshlack
First Assistant Editor
Cameron Harris
Extra Casting
Keryn Ribbands
Costumes Supervisor
Rowena Crowe
First Assistant Editor
Colette Birrell
Art Department Coordinator