April 1st, 2008 DVD Reviews, Film, Filmink

The Film: ***
The Disc: *** 1/2

The first film out of the gate of the Tropfest Feature program, September can be summed up in one word; languorous. Don’t hire it on the same night you watch Transformers because one of them will leave you seriously wanting. The story of two boys — one white and one aboriginal — on a WA wheat farm in the late 60s is peppered with slow, wide shots, long silences and flickers of expression that stand in for reams of dialogue.

The story doesn’t judge or take a political standpoint (considering some of the overt influences of political action on the characters). It simply peers at a cluster of relationships over time and watches how changes can cause them to shatter or crumble. There’s a little redemption to be had, but nothing approximating a happy ending.

The disc is packed with enough extras to make you happy if you fell as much in love with the film as many did. Co-writer/director Peter Carstairs shares a commentary with editor Martin Connor and cinematographer Jules O’Loughlin where they discuss the artistic basis for the film’s visual tone and languid pacing.

As the best commentaries do, it prompts you to think about and notice things that otherwise slid straight to your subconscious. For instance, Carstairs and co. talk about how the visual subtlety and onscreen mood came from the script, which was full of the same sort of sparse emptiness where space and silence can be filled up by both the characterisations and the expectations of the audience.

Interviews with Carstairs, O’Loughlin, Connor and producer John (Tropfest) Polson give more background on the genesis and execution of the film like casting and location scouting, and Polson gives a good insight into how the Tropfest Feature Program worked and his reasons for starting it.

Full client and publication list:

  • 3D Artist
  • APC
  • Auscam
  • Australian Creative
  • Australian Macworld
  • Australian Way (Qantas)
  • Big Issue
  • Black Velvet Seductions
  • Black+White
  • Bookseller & Publisher
  • Box Magazine
  • Brain World
  • Business News
  • Business NSW
  • Campaign Brief
  • Capture
  • Cleo
  • Cosmos
  • Cream
  • Curve
  • Daily Telegraph
  • Dark Horizons
  • Dazed and Confused
  • Desktop
  • DG
  • Digital Media
  • Disney Magazine
  • DNA Magazine
  • Empire
  • Empty Magazine
  • Famous Monsters of Filmland
  • Fast Thinking
  • FHM UK
  • Film Stories
  • Filmink
  • Follow Gentlemen
  • Geek Magazine
  • Good Reading
  • Good Weekend
  • GQ
  • How It Works
  • Hydrapinion
  • Inside Film
  • Loaded
  • M2 Magazine
  • Marie Claire Australia
  • Marketing
  • Maxim Australia
  • Men's Style
  • Metro
  • Moviehole
  • MSN
  • Nine To Five
  • Paranormal
  • PC Authority
  • PC Powerplay
  • PC Update
  • PC User
  • PC World
  • Penthouse
  • People
  • Pixelmag
  • Popular Science
  • Post Magazine
  • Ralph
  • Reader's Digest
  • ScienceNetwork WA
  • SciFiNow
  • Scoop
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  • Seaside Observer
  • SFX
  • Sydney Morning Herald
  • The Australian
  • The Retiree
  • The Sun Herald
  • The West Australian
  • TimeOut
  • Total Film
  • Video Camera
  • Video&Filmmaker
  • Writing Magazine
  • Xpress
  • Zoo