Ponderings on life, getting the most out of it, and the inspirational people you meet along the way.
The Ponder Room is a place where weary brains can rest, ruminate, re-energise. Like any trip to the powder room, some visits may miss the target or prove unnecessary, but you never know the next one might prove insightful, or at the very least leave you giggling and feeling a little bit lighter about life.
Now I don’t always run towards new experiences, but a few weeks ago I
jumped at the chance to join a dozen others in a small pitch black room for ‘a
unique’ experience, or so the media release said. It wasn’t wrong. The much
anticipated movie The Turning is unlike any other movie experience I’ve ever
been to, here’s a few reasons why.
For starters it’s a made up of a collection of short stories.
As someone who prefers a snappy collection of short stories to a War
and Peace tome, this already got me in.
Then there’s the director … there’s 17 of them, from Marieka
Walsh (The Hunter), Warwick Thornton (The Sapphires), Robert Connolly (Balibo)
to first time director David Wenham.
Next the depth of acting talent. It’s a who’s who of great Australian
actors including Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Rose Byrne, Miranda Otto,
Richard Roxburgh, Susie Porter, and Callan Mulvey to name a few.
Robert Connolly and Callan Mulvey
At 180 minutes it’s long but, and here’s another utterly unique
aspect, there’s an interval. When was the last time you went to the movies and
half way through the theatre lights came on. I must admit I found the break
timely, and not just because my stomach and bladder were vying for my attention,
it was good to have a break from some of the bleaker themes being played out. I
also gave us a chance to chat about what we’d seen so far.
By now you all know that the film is based on the book by multi-award
winning author Tim Winton. The movie reinterprets his book that delves into the
turning points in people’s lives.
For me the real beauty is in the diversity of tales and
treatments, so if you’re not enjoying one story don’t worry there’s another one
coming along, or as Robert Connolly explained …
‘Our plan … presenting a cinema experience similar to
entering an art gallery, allowing a personal response to the many unique
threads and connections without losing the value of experiencing each
individual work and the artist behind it. The Turning presents a unique
invitation to an audience to come into the cinema, to experience and
investigate each of the works, to discuss them and create their own meanings.’
I came away remembering themes of bullying, regret, domestic
violence, being home alone, obsession, and rural life, but also the strong presence
of alcohol underlying many of the turning points. The labyrinth of stories are
made all the more complex because recurring characters are played by different
actors. The lack of continuity makes the viewer work harder and hints at a
greater story which may have been missed on first viewing.
Writing this review made me realise how much some of the
stories have stayed with me, even if I didn’t think so when I left the cinema. Standouts
for me were Rosie Burn (The Turning), Hugo Weaving (Commission), Callan Mulvey (Aquifer),
Susie Porter (On Her Knees) and Waangenga Blanco (Sand).
‘… the past is in us, and not behind us. Things are never
Luna Cinema is hosting a Q and A session next week