April 19, 2014

Edge of 17

The Turning (various directors, 2013). Of the 17 Australian directors making 17 short films from the 17 linked stories in Tim Winton’s The Turning, Snowtown director Justin Kurzel makes the most innovative contribution with his version of “Boner McPharlin’s Moll” – he gets a suburban mood both desolate and nostalgic, presented as faux-documentary. Others are more literal-minded (“Big World”, “Reunion”) and others are too … well, pretentious is the best word (“Immunity”, “Abbreviation”). This is a disappointment overall, not least because the high concept – different actors play the same characters – means that we can miss the connections that are such a vital part of Winton’s book. But as a novel attempt at adaptation, it’s a noble failure.