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HomeReview‘Flathead’: Rotterdam Review

‘Flathead’: Rotterdam Review

Dir/scr: Jaydon Martin. Australia. 2024. 89mins

This affecting, however barely meandering fiction-documentary hybrid follows septuagenarian Cass Cumerford as he returns to his childhood residence, the small Queensland city of Bundaberg in northeastern Australia. Via the connections that Cass forges with the townsfolk, we find out about his troubled previous and in regards to the rhythms of life on this predominantly blue-collar farming neighborhood. Just like the characters it follows, this primary characteristic from director Jaydon Martin is unpolished, trustworthy and somewhat tough across the edges at instances.

Unvarnished, however placing

Shot virtually totally in black and white (the moments of color are taken from the well being and health Youtube channel of the image’s different most important character, Andrew Wong) the movie is an unvarnished however placing account of life on this working class neighborhood. Each within the mixture of fiction and non-fiction – the filmmakers describe it as “dramatised verité” – and within the milieu – impoverished, with widespread substance abuse points – the movie has a kinship with the work of the US-based Italian director Roberto Minervini (The Different Aspect, What You Gonna Do When The World’s On Hearth?). As such, it’s doubtless an image that can play finest amongst pageant audiences and followers of the extra experimental fringes of documentary cinema.

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Just like the land to which he has returned, Cass has a weathered, wind-etched high quality to his options that appears endlessly fascinating to a digital camera. Gaunt, with a cigarette completely dangling from his mouth, his is a face that speaks of onerous events and many years of extra, even earlier than he begins to share his tales of the previous. Nevertheless it doesn’t take lengthy for Cass to open up, to a person (Brodie Poole, who additionally serves because the movie’s cinematographer) whereas taking part in guitar exterior the funds motel the place Cass makes his residence.

“Again then, you knew what you have been getting,” says Cass, as he waxes nostalgic in regards to the “little brown rocks” of amphetamine that was his drug of alternative. Prompted by the boredom of parenthood, Cass and his spouse graduated from pace to heroin, which he ruefully describes as “a silly waste of time”– including “however we had no different hobbies”.

Cass’s return to Bundaberg is tied up, we be taught, in a late-life seek for religious enlightenment. He’s drawn into the congregation of an area church and baptised. However Cass’s stressed nature leaves him open to different religious journeys – he submits to magnet-based meditation and therapeutic, and joins Andrew in lighting incense to commemorate the useless.

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This connection between Andrew, a Chnese-Australian upbeat well being nut given to posing shirtless on his YouTube channel, and the bedraggled Cass isn’t absolutely defined by the movie, however there may be s an sudden frequent floor between the 2. Andrew’s father, the proprietor of the native fish and chip store, dies through the movie’s shoot, opening up a channel of communication by which Andrew and Cass can share their respective tales of loss (Cass had a son who died as an adolescent).

Martin adopts a social realist method, however the movie’s use of music provides a poetic high quality to the image. The unaccompanied voice of Angharad Van Rijswijk, performing conventional hymns similar to ’Nearer, My God, To Thee’ and ’Treasured Lord, Take My Hand’, brings a crystalline magnificence. However maybe much more highly effective is using a music that was co-written and carried out by Cass and Brodie Poole, a bluesy quantity referred to as River Fish Leap that closes the movie and captures very successfully the uncooked, rough-edged spirituality of the place and its individuals.

Manufacturing firm: Portmanteau Photos

Worldwide gross sales: Portmanteau Photos patrick@pmpictures.com.au

Producer: Patrick McCabe, Jaydon Martin

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Cinematography: Brodie Poole

Manufacturing design: Cornelia Van Rijswijk

Enhancing: Patrick McCabe

Music: Angharad Van Rijswijk, Lachlan Harris

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That includes: Cass Cumerford, Andrew Wong, Rob Sheean, Hayden Rimmington, Kent Wong, Miguel Angel Jitale D’amico, Tim Lunnon, Adama Suviste, Jake Samaya, Venerable Lama Karma, Vajrasambhava Rinpochew

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