Friday, June 28, 2013

Turning Up

It seems that the Sydney-based omnibus film Sydney, I Love You is never going to get made due to legal issues, which means there's only one anthology film coming out from these shores. That's still more than I can recall happening in this country in a very long time.

The film is The Turning, adapted from seventeen short stories by Tim Winton (whose Cloudstreet was successfully adapted into a TV miniseries last year), and premiering at this year's upcoming Melbourne International Film Festival. I usually have issues with films like this, and from the sounds of things they have kept all of the 17 stories that made up The Turning's criss-crossing arc, so I suspect I'll have similar problems here. However, looking at the trailer below makes me somewhat confident that the film could be something special. Certainly, it will be a unique film within the Australian film landscape, which rarely goes this intimate on such a large scale.

Amongst the cast are five incredible Aussie actresses Cate Blanchett, Susie Porter, Rose Byrne, Miranda Otto, and Brenna Harding (of newfound Puberty Blues fame). Filling it out are names like Hugo Weaving, Richard Roxburgh, Wayne Blair (who recently directed the film adaptation of The Sapphires after starring in the stage version), Harrison Gilbertson, Dan Wyllie, Matt Nable, Callan Mulvey (known to most outside of Australia as "the guy that shot Osama Bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty), Myles Pollard, Eva Lazzaro, and Oscar Redding who recent watchers of Top of the Lake may recognise. Basically, that's an incredible cast.

And then there are the directors, which is a list even more star-studded than the actors (well, "star-studded" for people who care about the people behing the camera even more than who's in front). It's an eclectic list, too, as Robert Connolly, Warwick Thornton (his first film directing work since Samson & Delilah), Justin Kurzel (of Snowtown fame), and Jonathan Auf der Heide rub shoulders with actors-turned-directors David Wenham, Simon Stone, and (most surprising) Mia Wasikowska. I can't wait to see what they have all come up with.

The poster, released alongside the trailer this week, features a beach-front campfire. Beach parties are a typical piece of imagery in Australian drama, especially in stories about youth and young adults. It also recalls to old adage of sitting around a campfire telling stories, which is apt for a film such as this. I appreciate that they didn't just go ahead and plaster all the actors' faces on there, but instead went with a piece of imagery that is meant to provoke a feeling and a context. It's not the greatest poster I've seen all year, but it gets the job done in a way that isn't entirely trite so let's call it a win.

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