February 23, 2014
Seventeen talented Australian directors from diverse artistic disciplines each create a chapter of the hauntingly beautiful collection of short stories The Turning by multi-award winning author Tim Winton. The linking and overlapping stories explore the extraordinary turning points in ordinary people’s lives in a stunning portrait of a small coastal community. Characters face second thoughts and regret, relationships irretrievably alter, resolves are made or broken, and lives change direction forever.
Online viewing 23 Feb 11:00pm – 9 March 11:00pm | * denotes films available exclusively online
The Turning will be broadcast on ABC1 as a single piece, with another nine chapters premiering the same evening on the ABC Arts Online. Additional content exclusive to the ABC Arts Online includes interviews with the filmmakers and Tim Winton. The entire adaptation will be available for viewing on the ABC Arts Online over the following weeks.The adaptation received seven nominations at the 2014 AACTA Awards, including Best Film, Best Director (the ensemble), Best Actress (Rose Byrne, The Turning), Best Actor (Hugo Weaving, Commission) and Best Supporting Actress (Mirrah Foulkes,
Small Mercies), with Rose Byrne winning the award for Best Actress.
The Turningis a unique book amongst Tim’s wonderfully diverse body of work, a collection of individual stories that combine in a rich and complex portrait of a familiar and confronting world. It is an adrenalin rush of a read, a cryptic narrative puzzle that continues to reveal its heartbreaking secrets with each read. Embarking upon this creative adventure posed a unique challenge as we explored ways to adapt
The Turningfor the screen. We began by extending a personal invitation to various artists whose work we admired, to interpret one of the interlinking chapters in their own style and form. Choosing to focus on these original interpretations and responses to each chapter, we extended the invitation not only to established filmmakers, but to choreographers, photographers, actors, animators and video artists. Like all great works of literature, Tim Winton’s
The Turningoffers up so many permutations, interpretations and points of entry for the reader. The screen responses to the novel are testament to this, with each person finding something very different in
The Turning. We chose not to enforce any style choices across the chapters, avoided linking characters with common cast, allowing different location choices that spoke more specifically to each director. The filmmakers were subsequently liberated from any of the usual expectations of both the short and feature film form and the creative limitations imposed by traditional production methodologies. As a collaboration between filmmakers, producers, writers, cinematographers, designers and more,
The Turninghas brought together a huge number of inspiring creative minds to interpret Tim’s exceptional work.
The Turningis a strange and wonderful creation. It’s daring, even reckless, in the passionate, headlong manner of youth. And yet there’s ruefulness in it, too, a tenderness and melancholy that comes only from hard experience. It’s a privilege to have such gifted people collaborate in the service of such a distinctive and eccentric project. Here they are, having dragged my snarl of troublesome bikes out into the open again in their own time, in their own way, without fear or favour, defying all convention in a time when filmmakers might be forgiven for simply conforming. Hats off, comrades. THE FILMS