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2.4.06

Brad McGann, In My Father's Den

Pacing is the major subset of plot that drives the cinema experience. Now if you can rearrange and massage the plot in service of pace with plenty of flashes backward and forward, there's a good chance your film stands outside predictable plot patterns and expectation. At times a fine mix of Janet Frame novel and a film like The Boys (not in terms of suspense, but in terms of scene/pace-driven narrative), this is one of the better dramas available to rent recently. The peculiarly NZ mix of small-town isolation and mountain-ringed enclosure drive this prodigal son returned / old wounds narrative. Yet not for a single second is the film predictable or familiar in its movements. Maurice Gee wrote the source novel; the film retains sufficient novelistic breadth of perspective. The dialogue lacks clarity at times (I missed whole chunks due to the rapid flurry-mumble of NZ accents) but it's extremely handsomely shot. And that pacing is superb: part mystery and analysis, generously clued yet always unexpected — balancing character with audience-minded development. The strength of misinterpetation and incomplete knowledge, long-standing enmity and ideas of worldliness. As well as a grizzly metal party teabagging scene. It feels like I'm writing a review entirely using review-cliches, so I will end there. Four stars.

By the way, Ads, on a completely unrelated note, did you like that Roots track Water?

posted by rino breebaart  # 9:50 pm
Comments:
Absolutely - funk with depth (real instruments)! Felt like it could have gone on for longer, they had a nice pattern and flow going on. Interesting fade out / sound effects though. Made me want to hear more of their music. Any suggestions about where I should start?
 
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