By Kate Wilson
Happy New Year, fellow BREC lovers!
There are three words that make me happy to live in Bunbury at this time of year... you guessed it: Summer Film Festival! Time to get into the air con and enjoy a sweet (and savory) selection of movies on the big screen. Just add popcorn and you've got a recipe for some great times.
One of those great times was on Friday night, when some friends and I rolled in to BREC for the opening night Gala, complete with wine and nibbles, before Bunbury's first screening of The Turning, a film made up of 17 stories directed by 17 directors, based on a book of the same format by WA's literary darling Tim Winton.
I have to admit that I went in cold, not having read or heard much about the book or the film. I'm one of those weirdos who likes to watch films before reading the books they're based on, because the books are always better and I like to end on a high. Also, if I don't like the film then I've only wasted a couple of hours, instead of the many hours it would take me to read the novel because I read about as fast as a snail carrying a sandbag through a snowstorm.
I wish I was one of those reviewers who could sum up the essence and undertones and nuances (and those kind of artistic-y things) of a film after having just watched it, but I'm not.
Instead I will reflect upon a couple of things that stood out to me.
Having a variety of directors meant that each short film comprising The Turning was fresh and approached things in a different way. I don't want to give too much away, but one of my favourite pieces involved a stunning contemporary dance piece with gorgeous lighting and camera work. Another story had no dialogue, just a voiceover narration (I'm assuming using Winton's words). With such poetic writing as a basis, it doesn't surprise me that voiceover was a common device across many of the stories.
There were a number of recognisable Aussie faces on screen like Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Rose Byrne, Libby Tanner and one of the girls from last year's Puberty Blues TV series. The acting overall I thought was really strong. Rose Byrne's performance in the title story, The Turning, was particularly moving as her damaged character encountered unexpected spiritual redemption.
If you want to find out more about the stories, or if you've read The Turning and want to see the interpretation on offer, come along to a screening. And make sure you check out the film festival guide to see what other films take your fancy.
See you round!