August 3, 2013
A humble Tim Winton insists he is just a spectator in a film adaption of his book, The Turning.
Mia Wasikowska, Hugo Weaving and Susie Porter are among talent to walk the red carpet at the movie’s world premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Seventeen directors were each given a chapter of The Turning to adapt, with different actors playing the same recurring characters in each.
“I’m just impressed by the talent and commitment and courage that they’ve brought to it,” Winton says.
“I’m in a position where I can’t take any credit, I’m sort of an interested party but I’m not a player, I’m a watcher like everybody else.”
Winton narrated some of the chapter Big World, which follows teenagers Lenny and Biggie fleeing up the Western Australian coast after failing their high school exams.
“That was a novel experience and when they asked me I thought they were crazy but it was an interesting thing to do – I guess I did know the words.”
Wasikowska makes her directorial debut in Long Clear View that is a portrait of one of the main characters, Vic Lang, as a young boy in a small town.
“I was really attracted to it (the chapter) just because it gave me the opportunity to explore that time in your life when you’re on the cusp of becoming a young adult,” she said.
Weaving plays Vic Lang’s father, Bob Lang, in Commission, directed by David Wenham. In Commission, Vic searches for his father to tell him that Carol, Vic’s mother, is dying.
“Bob has been a cop, he’s been an alcoholic, he’s abandoned his family, he’s gone bush, he has been away from them for 15 years,” Weaving says.
It is the first time Weaving has worked with Wenham as a director.
“He was completely chilled about the camera, he was on top of everything, but he was more concerned what he had to say to us.”
Robert Connolly curated the film and says none of the directors knew what the others were doing.
“There was a sense of just seeing what happened about it, like having an idea and just running with it,” he says.
Rose Byrne, Cate Blanchett and Miranda Otto are among other Australian stars with roles in The Turning.