The Turning Featurette: Directors on Tim Winton’s Work

Reported by Douglas Whyte.

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The Turning is a unique cinema event. Seventeen talented Australian directors from diverse artistic disciplines each create a chapter of the hauntingly beautiful novel by multi award-winning author Tim Winton. In this featurette a selection of them discuss working with the source material.

Tim Winton’s prose is instantly relatable. His writing is complexly restrained, detailing the lives of ordinary people struggling to live within and beyond their own values. The Turning is a book of 17 loosely connected short stories set in the fictional coastal town of Angelus. Characters slip in and out of each chapter, moving through the motions of regret, longing, disconnection, and reconnection. You can almost smell Winton’s landscape, the salty gusts of ocean breeze, the entanglement of seaweed, the itchiness of twilight, and the bitter sadness of alcohol. His landscapes are grounded in the familiar, yet the way Winton fills them with meaning is both mystical and poetic. The intimacy achieved through the bond of character and landscape is what makes Winton’s style so readable.

Producer Robert Connelly has brought The Turning to screen through a collaboration with 17 new and established Australian filmmakers. Through this approach, Connelly hopes to showcase not only Winton’s varied thematic concerns, but also the multidisciplinary efforts of Australia’s creative talents. Notable directors include Tony Ayres (The Home Song Stories), Warwick Thornton (Samson & Delilah), and debut filmmakers Mia Wasikowska (Stoker, In Treatment), and Stephen Page, artistic director of Indigenous dance company, Bangarra. Actors portraying Winton’s characters include Rose Byrne, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, and Richard Roxburgh, among others.

At three hours in length, The Turning is set to be an epic and unique translation of Winton’s much loved stories.

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Take a look at the official trailer, along with movie stills, right HERE.

ETA: AUS – 26 September, 2013.

– D.W.