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WASTE

SYNOPSIS:
Max (John Halpin) and Joel (Paul Denny) waste their days away, smoking dope in front of the box and contemplating at great length the intricacies of their shared obsession, science fiction. Max is shaken from his daze by the news that his girlfriend, Bahja (Caroline Dunphy) is pregnant. He knows that it is time to grow up and take some responsibility. He even decides to sell the one thing which ties him so strongly to his childhood—his amazing collection of rare television memorabillia. But the coming of parenthood is not as easy as Max thinks. He is plagued by Bahja’s mother, who does everything in her power to get her daughter to ditch him. Max’s loopy father, a Vietnam vet prone to flashbacks, doesn’t seem to be much help either. His buddy Joel, a luscious seductress and an insane drug dealer are yet further anchors in Max’s efforts to swim towards maturity.

"There is a gentleness in the humour of Waste which makes it easy to like. It is simple and unpretentious, but at the same time well-crafted. Halpin at first seems unlikely as a male lead, but he grows on you. Max’s frustrated affection for Bahja and his dedication to overcoming the situation they find themselves in is finely played by Halpin. Denny also makes a good fist of the equally-likable Joel, who seems to know just when, and how, to encourage Max. Denny handles with ease the sometimes biting and occasionally juvenile humour, without being too obvious about it. With such good performances from Halpin and Denny, Max and Joel make a great duo. Some of the best scenes come with their conversations about life, the future and Star Trek. The story also hangs on the relationship between Max and Bahja—thankfully, the pairing of Halpin and Dunphy also works well. He is at his best when playing the uncertain father-to-be, and she sustains the film through her careful and thoughtful portrayal. There is more than enough in the relatively simple story to maintain interest levels—the script is genuine and, in parts, very witty. Waste is all-the-more remarkable given that it is the first film by writer Tony de Pasquale and brothers Jeff and Greg Afiouni. It was shot in just 18 days, though it doesn’t show. It comes across as a clean, well-produced film and avoids many of the problems of some similar low-budget efforts. While Waste joins a long line of modern relationship movies, it stakes out its own position, thanks to an honest, sometimes quirky, comedic approach."
Anthony Mason

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

WASTE (M15+)
(AUS)

CAST: Jon Halpin, Paul Denny, Caroline Dunphy, Rachel Forsyth, Liddy Clark, Luke Robertson, Andy McDonell and Wayne Pygram

DIRECTOR: Tony De Pasquale

PRODUCER: Tony De Pasquale

SCRIPT: Jeff Afiouni, Greg Afiouni and Tony De Pasquale

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ben Nott

EDITOR: Jen Fineran, Bill Murphy

MUSIC: Damien Garvey, Jamie Clark

ART DIRECTOR: Adam Head

RUNNING TIME: 80 minutes

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Tribe

VIDEO RELEASE: October 1999







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