Film review: The Turning

GRAEME TUCKETT
Last updated 05:00 02/11/2013
turning

POWERFUL IMAGERY: 17 short stories make up The Turning.

Relevant offers

Film reviews

Movie Review: Rings - compromised, mutilated and rushed onto screens Movie review: Trainspotting 2 is a more mature film than its predecessor Graeme Tuckett's video review: The Great Wall is Movie Review: I don't feel at home in this world anymore Movie Review: Toni Erdmann Movie Review: The Great Wall - File under deeply disappointing Movie Review: Silence Movie Review: The Great Wall - a big pile of fun Movie Review: The Great Wall Movie Review: Toni Erdmann

THE TURNING (M) Produced by Robert Connolly

Reviewed by Graeme Tuckett

My sister sent me a copy of the book The Turning for Christmas last year.

She knows me well enough to pick out fiction for me, and she knows that my attention span is tailor-made for collections.

It's a fabulous book, full of all the heat and underlying unease that anyone who spends a while in Australia gets to know.

Author Tim Winton stages his tales in those shifting tense spaces where the suburbs and the small towns brush up against the endless plains and coastlines of South and Western Australia.

Of the 17 stories, some are near novella-length, some not more than a few pages; a dozen or more feature a cast of recurring characters. It occurred to me, reading and re-reading the book over summer, that there was the guts of a very good feature film in those intertwined tales.

But The Turning – the film – is not that feature. It is instead a collection of short films; one for every story in the book. Seventeen directors, including Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah), Robert Connolly (Balibo) and first-time director, actor David Wenham (The Lord of The Rings), take on a story each, with a fresh cast each time.

The result distanced me at first. I wanted a closer interweaving of the narratives, and more continuity in the story telling. But a day or two later, I was forced to re-evaluate.

I can only review a film for what it is and The Turning is the finest collection of linked short films I have ever seen. It is a triumph for the Australian film industry and a very worthy representation of the book.

But you know, I still hold out hope that someone will also make a feature from the same material.

The Turning opens on November 7.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content