Friday, July 31, 2009

Awaydays, Loved Ones and Hurt Locker

After a quick mid week beer, I made my way up to the other end of town, to the Kino for my next MIFF movie. A sold out session, I found my way in and joined the male dominated audience for Awaydays.

Set in 1975 northern England, this film follows one lad's desire to get involved in the gang of misfit boys who travel to soccer match destinations...not for the match, but for the brawl with the opposition, usually carried out right there in the train station shortly after arrival.

Great punchy Brit soundtrack, this violent look into the soccer hooligan world was an uncomfortable and frank depiction. Reminded me of Fight Club, without the reasoning! I will never look at a stanley knife the same again!

Tonight, I have had a back to back movie sessions, with two amazing, hits to the chest, films. The Loved Ones was introduced to the sold out session by the young Tasmanian director, Sean Byrne, in it's world premier. Many of the cast were in the screening, and the crowd was excited to see this fresh new film.

Opening with a uncomfortable, awkward scene, I was worried about where this was going. Neither actor in the opening scene was convincing, and it was a shaky start...luckily the only one for the film, because the rest of the movie had the audience laughing, cheering, cringing and crying out in shocked horror!

The synopsis had not eluded to the horror in this little Aussie treasure, but the graphic scenario played out as the alternate version of the end of school dance for Brent is sadistic, chilling, and sickly funny. Having stakes driven into his feet, this boy finds himself at a little party of 4 away from the actual dance A movie that has you bracing yourself for the next blow, and amused at the twists. The graphic scenes of cannibalism and use of a hand drill, and also the compound fracture in the closing scenes are ones that will stay with me for weeks....

Walking from The Forum up the hill to Greater Union, spotting Rush being filmed on the way, and running into fellow MIFFers, Jenny and Mary between sessions, I grabbed my seat at my next film, The Hurt Locker.

A film about a specialist US Army bomb squad in Iraq, the story takes us through the banter and camaraderie of the lads, to the very real mission that this group does every hour, and every day. The first shock is delivered by the demise of a strange Guy Pearce cameo, bringing to reality the life and death situation.

The differences in approach to their mission, the impact of their everyday experience, the fear and the psychological effects, and even the reverse culture shock when returning home, is captured in this film. It had the full cinema laughing along with the lads, as boys are boys, and then reeling in shock at the harsh reality of the war going on in Iraq and the danger the soliders are in, everyday. The impossible situations, the tension and horror, the real, transcended from the screen. A movie to leave you with shell shock, and the lasting feeling of waste that is occuring over there, right now.

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