A three hour long ‘pick-and-mix’ of Australian filmmaking talent working with the prose of writer, Tim Winton, seems daunting, heck, the idea of an interval mid screening is enough to freak out any cinemagoer. Bench any trepidation and embrace the opportunity because The Turning is a sumptuous film that encapsulates a broad emotional spectrum within the Australian experience.
The project led by producers, Robert Connolly (who also directs) and Maggie Miles, showcases seventeen short films and it’s an incredible achievement in storytelling as well as a master-class in micromanagement. Each short contributes to an overarching storyline that flows through the entire film, and Winton’s world comes alive in spectacular fashion. The interpretation of the material by each director is varied but allows the narrative to evolve and the hits easily outnumber the misses.
Everyone is sure to have their own favourites and the post-screening discussions about the merits of each short as part of the overall structure is sure to be a great takeaway from the experience. Connolly’s The Aquifer, Anthony Lucas’ The Damaged Goods, Simon Stones’ The Reunion, Stephen Pages’ Sand and Tony Ayres’ Cockleshell stood out as my personal highlights
The diverse range of stories presented in The Turning achieves the hefty goal of capturing the essence of life in Australia that’s as vast, beautiful and mysterious as the landscape itself. The Turning is pitched as ‘a unique cinema event’ and it’s an offer not to be refused.
The Popcorn Junkie