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Head South – Film Newspaper

Head South – Film Newspaper

It says New Zealand on paper South direction A fairly straightforward coming-of-age story, but director Jonathan Ogilvy adds a tasty sauce to his shot of post-punk. Oddly enough.

‘Boxed In’ is the title of a single from a compilation by recently formed student group the Daleks. A song about teenage frustration, but the title is a meta-reference to the sad imagery. South direction opens. Almost square, with broad black edges. As if we were looking through a viewing box.

We meet Angus (Ed Oxenbold), a New Zealand teenager in distress. A dull, but sympathetic boy trying to make something of his life in Christchurch in 1979. There’s not much to do in this remote part of the world, but luckily there’s music. Post-punk has reached New Zealand. When Angus hears a Public Image Limited recording for the first time, his world opens up – like the film itself, switching to widescreen format.

This stylistic intervention had previously been done with great audacity by Xavier Dolan mother (2014) Breaking the statue provided a truly liberating experience, but… South direction The irony is that life quickly gets messy again. After all, what is there to riot about in Christchurch?

But Angus now has one goal in mind: he wants to be in a post-punk band. A person who doesn’t play an instrument and doesn’t seem to have much talent for it shouldn’t stand in the way. Together with a musically talented neighbor, Kirsten (Benny), Angus forms a band and blusters his way to the stage.

Said on paper South direction (which had its world premiere as the opening film at IFFR earlier this year) is a fairly straightforward coming-of-age story, but director Jonathan Ogilvy adds a tasty sauce to his ode to post-punk. Oddly enough, which makes for a slightly alien viewing experience. In a convincing visual style, Ogilvy creates a world in which no character seems to quite belong. Especially in the warm but strange relationship between Angus and his father Gordon (Marton Csokas), something unstable develops that you can never quite put your finger on.

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Knowing that this is a partially autobiographical film, this alienation is explained towards the end. In his fourth film, Ogilvy relies heavily on visual language to convey the story, and the final scene requires a few words to deliver the emotional punch: South direction Something turns out to be an image that needs to be processed. A deep layer of shimmer comes to the surface throughout the film.