We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.


Russell Crowe wasn’t always your father’s Oldsmobile; in fact, the hulking gladiator was once a pretty smooth indie Mustang. In 1992, he played a disaffected, dislodged, discombobulated 20-nothing with no morals whatsoever in the Australian film Romper Stomper. The picture follows a gang of Melbourne skinheads and their volatile relationship with the immigrant Vietnamese population that has settled in their neighborhood. The movie often pays homage to the brutality of A Clockwork Orange, but it also serves as a precursor to American History X and other such suburban racist flicks. In his 1993 review of Romper Stomper, Richard Harrington made this stunningly accurate comparison of the film to gangsta rap: The “movie exploits the frustration, anger and violence of a despicable subculture while excusing the glorification of its hate aesthetic as necessary ‘reporting.’” Writer/director Geoffrey Wright (who is working on Havoc with Traffic screenwriter Stephen Gaghan) is certainly not light with his portrayal of the obvious violence, but he uses it as a tool to provide insight into an incredibly intense subject. (That intensity cuts deeper when the real-life suicide of actor Daniel Pollack is factored into his portrayal of the innocent and tragic Davey.) The film screens at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the Big Hunt, 1345 Connecticut Ave. NW. $2 (suggested donation). (202) 736-1732. (Tina Plottel)