THE TURNING: THE DVD REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

Big thanks to Salty Kernel, Andrew Brusentsev, for attending this one in September and writing what I found one of his best reviews. I am devastated I missed this but my turn will come today, Monday 24th February, when it releases in Australia on DVD and Blu Ray. Be advised – it’s a mammoth one – over three hours long and rated MA15+. And our awesome friends at MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT have given us a whopping giveaway – we have 3x copies on DVD and 3x copies on Blu Ray for you all. Suss out how after Andrew’s review.

Let me say straight off the bat that the adaptation of Tim Winton’s collection of stories “The Turning” is one of the most ambitious movies made in Australia. It premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival with much fanfare and was marketed there as something fresh, new and interesting. A monumental moment in Australian cinema. Robert Connolly the project’s creator certainly has given us something monumental. At just over 3 hours we are presented with 18 stories from Tim Winton’s novel of the same name. Each story is interpreted by different teams of film makers. And not just film, we have an exploration of Winton’s stories through photography, animation, visual art and dance. What did I think of it? Read on dear reader…

 

The Turning, Marieka Walsh, Warwick Thornton, Jub Clerc, Robert Connolly, Anthony Lucas, Rhys Graham, Ashlee Page, Tony Ayres, Claire McCarthy, Stephen Page, Shaun Gladwell, Mia Wasikowska, Simon Stone, David Wenh, Tim Winton, Australian Film
THE TURNING – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Some heavy weight directors signed on for this project, it really is a showcase of Australian talent. It reads like a talent laundry list:  Justin Kurzel (Snowtown), Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah), Tony Ayres (The Slap), Claire McCarthy (The Waiting City) and making their directorial debuts, two high profile actors Mia Wasikowska and David Wenham. On the other side of the camera we have some fairly brilliant talent too; Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, Richard Roxburgh and a career defining performance from Rose Byrne.

These movies are centred on short ideas, pastiches have a hard time working a lot of the time. There needs to be a unifying central theme that links all the work together, The Turning, I believe achieves this. It may take you a while to work out the central message; indeed I pondered it for days. Everyone will probably have their own deeply personal interpretation. The Turning is definitely engaging, haunting and thought provoking. I didn’t enjoy every story but nearly all captivated me, enchanted me and transported me into the world of the story effortlessly. It can be forgiven a few missteps.

 

The Turning, Marieka Walsh, Warwick Thornton, Jub Clerc, Robert Connolly, Anthony Lucas, Rhys Graham, Ashlee Page, Tony Ayres, Claire McCarthy, Stephen Page, Shaun Gladwell, Mia Wasikowska, Simon Stone, David Wenh, Tim Winton, Australian Film
THE TURNING – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Some of the episodes are stand-alone, some are linked. Characters drift in and out of narratives at different stages in their lives and it often allows you, as the viewer, to explore the central theme from a different perspective. It really is an extraordinary achievement in this sense. The different mediums of explorations, different pacing and styles keep things fresh and interesting.

It is also a very unashamed unapologetically Australian film. Our vast and contrasted landscape is laid bare in all its aching beauty. From the city, to remote coastal towns to the outback it is all there.

We see the lives of many different types of Australians: children growing up in different circumstances, fishermen, AFL players down on their luck, the privileged, the middle class and the working poor. It deals with some very dark themes: drug addiction, alcoholism, child homicide, disconnection, police corruption and domestic violence.

 

The Turning, Marieka Walsh, Warwick Thornton, Jub Clerc, Robert Connolly, Anthony Lucas, Rhys Graham, Ashlee Page, Tony Ayres, Claire McCarthy, Stephen Page, Shaun Gladwell, Mia Wasikowska, Simon Stone, David Wenh, Tim Winton, Australian Film
THE TURNING – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

I loved the preface to the whole movie done in different dark hues of whites, browns and blacks, exploring the sea, its terrors and it uncompromising beauty. What is quite brilliant is that most of the linked short films have no resolution. It is as if we have just stumbled in on the lives of these characters, voyeuristic watching of their lives from a distance. Some characters are played by different actors, different races, with different temperaments. There is something unifying and human about it all.

One of my favourite episodes called “Reunion” sees the brilliance of Roxburgh and Blanchett take front and centre. I would mention Hugo Weaving but who needs to, once again he proves why he is one of Australia’s finest ever actors. Mia Wasikowska’ s proves herself a more than capable director and also one, it seems, possessed with a very dark comic voice. One that I thought I would not enjoy, but really fell in love with, was Yaron Lifschitz’s modern-dance piece “Immunity”. The stand out performance though is Rose Byrne who plays perhaps her best role to date on camera. I won’t spoil any of it but it is like no role of hers you have ever seen, impressive.

 

The Turning, Marieka Walsh, Warwick Thornton, Jub Clerc, Robert Connolly, Anthony Lucas, Rhys Graham, Ashlee Page, Tony Ayres, Claire McCarthy, Stephen Page, Shaun Gladwell, Mia Wasikowska, Simon Stone, David Wenh, Tim Winton, Australian Film
THE TURNING – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

My only real criticism is that the film is a tad too long and could have done with a few edits in places.

As a whole this is a landmark Australian achievement. But let’s take the Australian out of it. This is an achievement for world cinema and it should enjoy a lot of success, I hope it achieves it.

 

4 and a Half Pops

 

COMPETITION ENTRY RULES

With special thanks to MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT to win one of the 3 x copies of the DVD or one of 3 x copies of the Blu Ray of THE TURNING you need to either like and share this post on Facebook or retweet/ favourite it on Twitter, you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer to the following question (please also indicate if you would like Blu Ray or DVD):

What is your favourite Australian film of all time and why? 

If you do not have Facebook and Twitter then get with the times old timer haha – You can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jkdigitaldesigns@gmail.com telling me you don’t have social media 🙂

Prizes will no longer be awarded to first in first served. It will now be a game of skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be sent in the next week. Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.