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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated December 18, 2014 - Editions No 928, 929, 930, 931 

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TOGETHER

SYNOPSIS:
When Elisabeth (Lisa Lindgren) walks out on her drinking, abusive husband, Rolf (Michael Nyqvist) with her two children (Sam Kessel, Emma Samuelsson) and sets off to share a communal house with her brother Goran (Gustaf Hammarsten), she sets in train a mini version of the butterfly effect on those around her. The vibrant and chaotic household becomes a constantly moving kaleidoscope as alliances and relationships change, regroup, shatter and resolve.


Review by Andrew L. Urban:
It's not too hyper to say that in young Lukas Moodysson's Together, Altman meets Bergman: with its multi-thread, multi character scenario and its socially, culturally focused setting, the film develops a cumulative effect that is engrossing, moving and satisfying. But it's not a quick take away, and you have to invest in it. The rewards are solid. His characters collide and bounce off each other, sometimes in harmony, often not. The structure of a communal house as a tool to bring diverse characters together is used with great innovation and we are never sure of how life will develop for each of them, but we make a connection with them all. He explores how notions of communal versus individual entangle with each other, from intimate angles. The writing is honed and observant, and that includes the 'writing' he does with the camera, when words are either superfluous or insufficient. I especially appreciate the dialogue he's written for the children in the film, who make up a significant part of the emotional journey. The lines are brief and natural, totally credible - and beautifully delivered by a young cast that deserves a special award. Songs - from Love Hurts to Abba's SOS - are used throughout to prick the surface of a scene, or to knowingly underline some aspect of one. We come away with a confirmation that people are more complex than we sometimes allow for, and that they can discover aspects of themselves as they grow. Intensely humane and energetically humorous, Together is a film for film lovers and for anyone interested in human nature.

Review by Louise Keller:
Multi-layered, complex and surprising, Together is a slice of life view of a group of people trying to live together and their relationships. Life is like an enormous bowl of porridge, we are told - first the flakes are on their own, and once melded together in a pot, end up as one interwoven mass. But it would be flippant to suggest that life's relationships are so simple. Far from it. Lukas Moodysson has created a wonderfully spontaneous film that perceptively gleans the ups and downs, exposes the conflicts and discovers the surprises that evolve from the human condition. A marriage breakdown results in a journey of discovery for all those concerned: the wife searches for her own identity, the husband drowns his woes in a bottle of vodka, and the two children, who need reassurance and love. Living together is never easy, but when a group of hippies get together in a commune-like environment, it is definitely not dull. An open relationship, a newly turned lesbian mother, a couple exploring their sexuality and teenagers in the flurry of their first crush… Friendship seems to be a good basis to begin a relationship. Performances are wonderful and when the climax suddenly impacts, the emotional force is as unexpected and powerful as life itself. Compelling and invigorating, Together is a tapestry of colours, textures and senses. I especially like the use of music - songs like ABBA's SOS are played twice in very different circumstances, allowing the lyric to impact in a totally different way.



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

TOGETHER (M)
(Sweden)

Tillsammans

CAST: Lisa Lindgren, Michael Nyqvist, Gustav Hammarsten, Anja Lundqvist, Jessica Liedberg, Ola Norell, Olle Sarri, Sam Kessel, Emma Samuelsson

PRODUCER: Lars Jönsson

DIRECTOR: Lukas Moodysson

SCRIPT: Lukas Moodysson

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ulf Brantås

EDITOR: Fredrik Abrahamsen, Michal Leszczylowski

MUSIC: not credited

PRODUCTION DESIGN: not credited

OTHER:
ART DIRECTOR: Carl Johan De Geer

RUNNING TIME: 106 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Dendy

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 27, 2002

UPCOMING EVENT
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre, Parramatta, Sydney.

Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.







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