November 2010

Corroboree

by Ben Hackworth, Release date: 20.01.2011

Conor, a young actor, leaves for an acting job in the countryside. Following precise instructions, he and his fellow actresses are supposed to re-enact scenes from the life of Joe, a terminally ill director. Yet the setting is more spring-like than morbid and Conor makes himself familiar not only with Joe's life but with the place, a sort of spiritual hotel.

The film's title refers to an Australian Aboriginal dance ritual, and Conor comes across as an invited guest at a ritual who initially has only a vague idea of its meaning. It is the strict emphasis on form that is immanent to both, ritual and film. Hackworth fortunately refrains from conventional narrative tricks and psychologically one-dimensional and predictable characters. His narrative movements are circular instead of following a straight line. And the gap that is layed out in the constant double role play offers to deliberate narrative story-telling as such. The excellent ensemble makes sure that this is not a mere intellectual pleasure. Insofar as Friedrich Schiller's concept of the "Spieltrieb" (the play drive) defines playing as a link between sensual and intellectual perception, Corroboree displays a very playful director. Let's hope, he'll never grow up.

CORROBOREE

Country / Year: Australia 2007
Running time: 96 minutes, Format: HDCam, DigiBeta, Language: English with German subtitles; Release date: 20.01.2011

Script: Ben Hackworth, Peter Savieri, Cinematography: Katie Milwright, Cast: Conor O'Hanlon, Rebecca Frith, Natasha Herbert, Susan Lyons, Jane McArthur, Margaret Mills, Ian Scott, Jethro Cave