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BURKE AND WILLS

SYNOPSIS:
Unemployed Wills (Matthew Zeremes) is kicked out of home and finds a share accommodation with Burke (Oliver Torr), who is likewise unemployed. Listless and aimless, Wills applies for a job in a mobile phone shop, breaks up with his girlfriend Eleanor (Libby Richmond) and meets another girl who has just into the neighbourhood, Lisa (Hanna Durrack). As time passes, Burke grows increasingly withdrawn and his behaviour begins to change - and not for the better.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
This micro budget, black and white urban drama attempts to speak about issues that some young people face, and to portray a sense of isolation (hence the gimmicky title) and alienation. The filmmakers reference early Jim Jarmusch films but without the unique Jarmusch essentials: Jarmusch makes it look like anyone can just point a camera and capture the pathos and comedy and drama of the everyday. It ain't that easy. Nevertheless, Burke and Wills has been favourably received at several festivals and by some critics.

I can't say my response to the film is as favourable; while I appreciate the naturalist performances, and how the filmmakers sandwich these performances between cinematic devices like time cutting, the film doesn't engage me. The characters are too thinly presented and the situation in which the action takes place seems to pass for a story.

What character development there is happens at the end and has the feel of a very short story that could do with a script doctor. The tension generated by the music is quite disturbing at times and this gives the film a bit of traction, but the ambition of creating honesty on screen is just not enough to propel the film or make it seem a fully formed work.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

BURKE AND WILLS (MA)
(Aust, 2005)

CAST: Oliver Torr, Matthew Zeremes, Ashley Lyons, Hannah Durrack, Libby Richmond, Bianca Biassi, Winston Cooper, Celeste Barber, Jacobie Gray, Rouna Daly

PRODUCER: Matthew Zeremes, Oliver Torr

DIRECTOR: Matthew Zeremes, Oliver Torr

SCRIPT: Matthew Zeremes, Oliver Torr

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Callan Green

EDITOR: Jolyon Zentner

MUSIC: Humansixbillion/ Peter Head

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Matt Sheeky, Justine Miller

RUNNING TIME: 74 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Leni Media

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 12, 2007







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