Flammable Children stars Kylie Minogue and Guy Pearce as we've never seen them

Guy Pearce and Kylie Minogue in Flammable Children.
Vince Valitutti

Guy Pearce and Kylie Minogue in Flammable Children.

It's Australia in 1975. A dead blue whale puts an Australian beach suburb in the spotlight as teenagers deal with racing hormones and adults experiment with a wife-swapping key party.

If a new comedy from director Stephan Elliott sounds wildly colourful, the first photos to be released for the film are even more so.

Guy Pearce and Kylie Minogue are a riot of kitchy fashion – and hardly recognisable – as a couple Keith and Kaye Hall.

The seventies are back: (from left) Guy Pearce, Kylie Minogue, Jeremy Sims, Asher Keddie, Julian McMahon and Radha ...
Vince Valitutti

The seventies are back: (from left) Guy Pearce, Kylie Minogue, Jeremy Sims, Asher Keddie, Julian McMahon and Radha Mitchell in Flammable Children.

Also starring - and dressed just as loudly - are Radha Mitchell and Julian McMahon as Jo and Rick Jones, alongside Asher Keddie, and Jeremy Sims as Gale and Bob Marsh. 

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Jack Thompson plays the Mayor of Nobbys Beach, where the story takes place over summer. 

Elliott, who broke through with The Adventures Of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert more than two decades ago, shot the film on the Gold Coast late last year.

It's set at a time when "the mums and dads of a quiet suburban cul-de-sac are ... joining the sexual revolution and throwing a wife-swapping key party".

The film is described as a poignant comedy set in an beachside neighbourhood – "a love letter to a world of careless parenting, constant sunburn and unsupervised activities".

Fourteen-year-old Jeff (Atticus Robb) is trying to find his place in a world changing rapidly while dealing with a crush on sensitive girl-next-door girl Melly (Darcey Wilson).

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Flammable Children, which is due out next summer, is Elliott's first film since A Few Best Men in 2011.

He has described it as "the Priscilla reunion" given it re-unites him with Pearce, producer Al Clark, Oscar-winning production designer Colin Gibson (Mad Max: Fury Road), Oscar-winning costume designer Lizzy Gardiner, composer Guy Gross and editor Sue Blainey.

Before the film was pitched to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival last year, Elliott told Variety that Minogue immediately agreed to join the cast when she read the script, saying "I know where I am."

There was a similar response from other cast and crew members.

"The script means so much to a lot of people," he said, adding that it appealed to the same fun-loving urge evoked by Priscilla.

"It's going to be as outrageous, noisy, colourful, fun and heart-wrenching," he said. 

The starting point for the film came when Elliott watched Ang Lee's The Ice Storm in New York, and the partner-swapping scene brought back memories of the sexual antics of his parents and their friends.

"I walked onto the sidewalk and threw up," he said. 

That colourful period helped define Elliott.

"A lot of stuff that happened at that time formed me as a person," he said. "I've been called the most fabulous car crash in the world, which I am quite happy to admit I am.

"My entire sense of humour comes from this growing-up period, which was brilliant, breath-taking and completely bananas."

 - Brisbane Times

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