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MODERN LOVE

SYNOPSIS:
After his uncle's shotgun death - said to be suicide - John (Mark Constable) takes his wife Emily (Victoria Hill) and 8 year old son Edward (William Traeger) to the South Australian seaside town where he was brought up, to settle his uncle's estate. But John's personality begins to change, and he hears voices from the radio. Some of these are saying that uncle Tom met with foul play and he should stay and sort things out. But John believes Tom (Don Barker) is alive, hiding in the reeds where he was shot. Angry and confused, Emily takes Edward to a cheap hotel as John settles in at Tom's old farmhouse. It seems that a family curse might be at work, and young Edward could be its next target.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Atmospheric, enigmatic and intriguing, Modern Love is a dark psychodrama that makes good use of the language of cinema to explore the unstable mind of its central character, John (Mark Constable). Alex Frayne's creatively ambitious work deserves encouragement, even though it isn't entirely successful. While the gloomy look suits the film, the structure sometimes gets in its own way, labouring the visual language at the expense of focus.

While clarity in a film like this is not necessarily the prime objective, each shot becomes important once it's established that the camera is an important story telling tool. Hence some shots seem meaningless and take away from the otherwise inventive approach.

Mark Constable gives a muted performance as John, which helps the filmmaker's intention, and Victoria Hill is excellent as Emily in what is basically a thankless role. Young William Traeger gives a remarkable performance as young Edward and the locations are wonderful. Sound and music work well, though sometimes intrude on the images, and production design is seamless.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

MODERN LOVE (M)
(Aust, 2007)

CAST: Mark Constable, Victoria Hill, Will Traeger, Craig Behenna, Don Barker, Edwin Hodgeman, Barbara West, Kym McKenzie

PRODUCER: Alex Frayne

DIRECTOR: Alex Frayne

SCRIPT: Nick Matthews

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Nick Matthews

EDITOR: Alex Frayne

MUSIC: Tom Heuzenroeder

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Robert Webb

RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sputnik Films

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Melbourne: December 6, 2007; other cities to follow







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