Hot on the heels of last week’s UK release of Julius Avery’s heist thriller Son of a Gun, comes another Western Australian tinged cinematic delight of a wholly different flavour. Produced by Robert Connolly and adapted from the best-selling short story collection by internationally renowned author Tim Winton, The Turning is a portmanteau film that subtly weaves a sparse narrative surrounding members of the Lang family, exploring the impact of the past and how futures are sometimes shaped in the smallest moments.
Five fiction features, four documentaries, four shorts and one omnibus film, exploring life and death – from the outback to the city – with detours into sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll – Australian cinema is set to make a significant contribution to the 58th BFI London Film Festival, which takes place in cinemas across London, 8-19 October 2014.
Coming to BBC Four tonight is the first episode of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s mini-series adaptation of Christos Tsolikas’ controversial bestseller The Slap, which traces the aftermath of a tense incident at a barbeque from varying perspectives.
Although it may sit slightly out of The Far Paradise‘s ‘Australian cinema’ remit, this eight-part drama has plenty of filmic pedigree, starring an ensemble cast which includes Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda, Dirty Pretty Things), Melissa George (Triangle, 30 Days of Night), Alex Dimitriades (The Heartbreak Kid, Head On – which was based on Tsolikas’ novel Loaded), Sophie Lowe (Beautiful Kate, Blame) and Anthony Hayes (The Square, The Boys). There’s plenty of talent behind the camera too, with four directors – Tony Ayres (Walking on Water, The Home Song Stories), Robert Connolly (The Bank, Balibo), Jessica Hobbs (So Close to Home) and Matthew Saville (Noise) – each taking the lead on two episodes.
If you’ve ever read one of Tsolikas’ books, you’ll know how uncompromising a figure he can be, but if you need more proof just listen to his controversial, yet apt assessment of Australia’s ‘society of selfishness’, expressed in an interview for BBC Hardtalk when promoting The Slap. All reports from Australia suggest this vivid, compelling series is one to watch (and to stick with until the end), so make sure you tune in to BBC Four at 10pm tonight (October 27) for the first episode. Directed by Jessica Hobbs, it focuses on Hector (Jonathan LaPaglia) whose birthday party is ruined when a man slaps the child of another couple.