Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Turning.

Fascinating is how I would describe the ten wee vignettes that made up the Australian film The Turning (2013). All ten stories shown in this 110-minute version are based on a collection of short stories by Tim Winton - the full version has 18 stories and extends the movies running time to 180 minutes. Winton is an Australian novelist and short story writer who allegedly draws his inspiration from landscape and places "The place comes first. If the place isn't interesting to me then I can't feel it. I can't feel any people in it. I can't feel what the people are on about or likely to get up to."[1]

First published in 2005, the collection was originally adapted into a play for the 2008 Perth International Arts Festival before becoming an award winning movie that was nominated for nine AACTA awards, one of which Best Actress was awarded to Rose Byrne. Each part of the anthology was directed by a different director including actress Mia Wasikowska on her debut directing gig, and as well as Byrne, the best known of the actors on display would probable be Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and fellow Australian actress Miranda Otto who you may have seen in I Frankenstein (2014) and the western The Homesman (2014).

The best of the stories are The Turning about a woman (Byrne) who along with her abusive husband and her two wee daughters live in a trailer park. When she befriends Sherry (Otto) she discovers God. In Reunion its Christmas Day and Vic and Gale (Blanchett) invite Vic’s mum Carol to join them. All three are invited to their relatives for lunch but Carol gets the address wrong and they end up in the wrong house and the wrong swimming pool.  I was also impressed with Aquifer a moving story directed by Robert Connolly about a High School music teacher who hears of a tragedy on the TV news broadcast and without a word to his family drives all night back to his hometown to face a secret from his childhood. Each of the individual film’s are linked by a common emotional bond, bound together by recurring themes; the passing of time, regret, addiction and obsession. Well put together and photographed with each of the directors putting their own stamp on they’re own individual piece of work.

[1] The Sydney Morning Herald April 2008.

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