a review by Nalini Haynes
Starring: Jeff ‘Joffa’ Corfe and Shane
Co-Starring: The Gold Jacket & The Volvo
Joffa the Movie: Joffa and Shane are two ordinary blokes based in Melbourne supporting their footy teams and working together as J & S Labour Force mowing lawns. The movie is part documentary, part mockumentary, heavily influenced by Home Improvement and The Simpsons with a little Pimp My Ride for garnish. Within the movie Joffa and Shane are referred to as “Dumb and Dumber”, but from the little of that movie I have seen (the ads), I believe this movie has more universal appeal.
We learn a little about Joffa’s background, growing up in a boys’ home and being taken to see Collingwood play where he discovered a tribe of people who accepted him, shaping the rest of his life. Joffa’s passion for football has made him famous as a Magpies supporter, but he also works with Reclink and supports the Celtic Football Club.
The movie is ideas based and unscripted. It seemed to me that Father Bob felt very uncomfortable in his role in the beginning of the movie, but soldiered on, ad libbing his way through the pivotal scene where he sends Joffa and Shane to business school. Father Bob seemed to grow into his role through the course of the movie. Other ordinary people, not actors, also used their own words to play their parts. Sometimes they seemed a bit tense, but on the whole they played themselves well. My favourite cameo was the little old lady rubbing her hands together with glee, ordering Shane to give her a massage. I’m convinced she’s a character and a stirrer, and enjoyed her role immensely.
Unlike many documentaries this story has a plot and a climax, with a good finish. I would describe this movie as ‘Danny Deckchair for footy fans by footy fans’. And it works no matter what footy club you barrack for. Laugh at the antics of Joffa and Shane. Watch the adventures of The Gold Jacket, right up until it loses most of its sequins. Mourn for (or gloat over) Collingwood supporters who bask in the glories of triumphs earnt about 80 years ago, when they won 4 premierships in a row.
When I walked in to the cinema and saw Joffa standing there in his gold jacket, I thought ‘O no, I knew I should have Googled this movie before I came… I am SO in the wrong place.’ Then Joffa took off his jacket to reveal – a Magpies jumper. Help! Then someone asked me where I was from. When I explained that I was the editor for Ethel the Aardvark (my previous zine editing role) I got a stra-ange look, so I explained I was from the Melbourne Science Fiction Club. The guy looked affronted, saying ‘Fiction? Joffa’s not fiction is he? He’s over there!’ By this time I wished the ground would open up and swallow me. But I stayed. I figured, I came, it’s a local film, dammit, even if it is about football, I’m sticking this out. And I am glad I did. It was a window into a different culture, the tribal culture of football, with lovable characters who can be ratbags.
After I left the movie I went to some art stores and bought some grounds (paper) so I could finish a work (AKA drawing) I was developing (the cover for this zine actually), then I had a soy latte. And I said that to say this – ok, the movie was made by footy fans for footy fans, but even I enjoyed it. Most of the people in the cinema laughed a lot more than me. I believe the appeal of this film is fairly universal as it works on a number of levels, just like Home Improvement and The Simpsons. So go, watch it, and support a local, low-budget Aussie film. And to my readers overseas – look out for it! Joffa the Movie has an international distributor looking at taking up the rights.
This review was previously published in Dark Matter issue 1, October 2010, and predated on this website to reflect the original publication date.