Monkey Grip

Director: Ken Cameron
Screenwriters: Ken Cameron, Helen Garner

Institute History

  • 1985 Sundance Film Festival


Set in the underground world of musicians, actors and writers, Monkey Grip is the story of Nora, an independent young woman trying to raise a daughter alone. Strong-minded and unconventional, Nora changes houses and lovers as easily as shedding a winter coat in the spring. Then she meets Javo—a brooding, sexually volcanic Heathcliff whose fascination for Nora becomes dangerously obsessive. She soon finds herself trapped in a relationship she knows is wrong but from which she cannot escape. In a world of promiscuous impermanence her emotions pulsate with rage and disillusionment over the inevitable betrayals and desertion. Based upon the best selling cult novel by Helen Garner and directed by the up-and-coming Ken Cameron, Monkey Grip is an effective examination of the artistic underground. Noni Hazlehurst, called the “Australian reincarnation of Jeanne Moreau” as Nora and Alice Garner as her daughter carry the film with particularly strong and life-like performances.

Screening Details

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