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OBSERVANCE

SYNOPSIS: In the grip of grief following the death of his young son, his marriage on the rocks and nearing bankruptcy, Parker (Lindsay Farris) reluctantly returns to work as a private investigator. Embarking on an unusual assignment to observe a woman from an abandoned apartment, Parker witnesses bizarre happenings surrounding her, unaware that the derelict building that he surveys her from has birthed a dark presence which slowly threatens to consume him.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Largely incoherent, inconsistent and unauthentic, Observance offers such scant characterization in its limited number of protagonists that it becomes a challenge to pay attention. Images that suggest some meaning is being revealed remain meaningless. We are distracted by the American accents that imply an American setting, yet all the architecture, house fittings (and power points) are clearly suburban Australian in origin (where houses with even numbers are on opposite sides of the street?).

Without characters to cling to and no discernable story emerging by the half way mark, audiences will be forgiven for giving up. The expectation of chilling, eerie developments is constantly frustrated by what appear to be detours as the filmmakers give us images that flirt with surrealism but are labored.

It seems as if three different (and undeveloped) story ideas have been blended - unsuccessfully and unsatisfactorily. The one positive thing to say about the film - apart from the creative and remarkable sound design - is the dramatic footage of the sea and the sea-sculpted rocks that open the film. If they are a metaphor, I don't get it.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

OBSERVANCE (MA15+)
(Aust, 2015)

CAST: Lindsay Farris, Stephanie King, Brendan Cowell, John Jarratt, Benedict Hardie, Tom O'Sullivan, Roger Ward

PRODUCER: Joseph Sims-Dennett, Josh Zammit

DIRECTOR: Joseph Sims-Dennett

SCRIPT: Joseph Sims-Dennett, Josh Zammit, John Jarratt, Benedict Hardie, Tom O'Sullivan, Roger Ward

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Rodrigo Vidal-Dawson

EDITOR: Charles Ivory

MUSIC: Adrian Sergovich, Haydn Walker

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Mobey Zammit

RUNNING TIME: 82 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 3, 2016







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