It's a sweltering summer before the final year of school and Billie and Laura share every secret except for Billie's biggest secret - she's crazy in love with Laura's boyfriend, Danny. When...
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It's a sweltering summer before the final year of school and Billie and Laura share every secret except for Billie's biggest secret - she's crazy in love with Laura's boyfriend, Danny. When Billie's social worker mum takes in Isaac, a troubled teenager looking to get his life straight, the delicate balance of the three friends' lives is disrupted. As bushfires threaten the edge of their suburbs and they immerse themselves in the swirl of parties, possible love and the intensity of sex and desire, the world of the four teenagers is changed forever as their secrets are revealed and their lives, friendships and loves are thrown into chaos.Written by
Blue Light Disco
Written by Wheeler, Holmes and Bucholtz
Performed by Kompany See more »
A striking, inspired and soulful feature.
Galore is a feature perpetuating life in its real form. It is a masterful, controlled piece of cinema which throws you in unexpected ways. You, as an audience member, delve so deep and convincingly into the lives of the characters that you feel somewhat affected by the swift turn of events - from sweet freedom to recluse circumstance. The careful and virtuoso craftsmanship of every character can truly be appreciated. You can actually feel their presence. The film is patient; it lets the light dance in front of the lens, it gives time for us to become familiar with places, season, routine and patterns, and it introduces us to every character as they come.
Galore tells the story of youth: that derelict, reckless time where in a narrow and singular vision, you are invincible. Billie (Ashleigh Cummings) is an indignant spirit who exists in a delicate balance, the prospect of eventual havoc looming quietly over her head. She loves and lives fiercely. Her summer days in the lazy town are spent working shifts at a local store, swimming and sunbathing by the river, long nights spent partying - all with the company of her best friend, Laura (Lily Sullivan). But the dynamics of the relationships Billie holds are far more complex. Billie and Laura's boyfriend, Danny (Toby Wallace), hide away for hours on end together, madly and indisputably crazy for each other.
Many of the hallmarks of the standard Australian film are no doubt present but the distinction here is that there is a significant lack of exploitation and unnecessary gloss. The film harbours some beautiful script-work - there's an easy, graceful coherence between the words spoken and the way in which we hear them. During the Q&A session, Lily Sullivan spoke about the naturalistic passage of shaping the script to fit the screen. Each element of the film, from the powerhouse performances, to the stirring score (slow- strumming, patient perfection) and the rather natural introduction to the local landscape, correlates beautifully. Everything is in sync.
Ashleigh Cummings supplies a performance which is endlessly compelling; her prepossessing mannerisms and electric execution of the script is a wonder to watch, her narrations: serene and stimulating. I was also truly taken by Lily Sullivan's representation of one suppressed by the shock of betrayal. As an audience member, I was reassured that these two startling actresses will feature on the silver screen for years to come. There's a consistency and fearlessness to their execution. Toby Wallace charms in his role - his steady performance throughout is not to be overlooked. Finally, newcomer Aliki Mantagi's emotionally charged and confidence is striking - not a single misstep was taken by the young actor.
What makes for some distinctive cinematography by Stefan Duscio is the haunting backdrop of the fast-approaching bushfires - establishing something of an apocalyptic tone to the feature. The ever-present smoke climbing above that hill or the next, the stifling, smouldering heat as the situation escalated. Living, of course, took place in the meantime. Another merit of the film which must be recognised is the unflinching portrayal of grief. I can really appreciate the subtle intensity of painful moments. Graham showed us all that the first moment you laugh after it happens is not the moment that you stop crying.
Often teen-orientated films choose to sensationalise their content which seems hardly necessary. Being young is crazy enough as it is. Decent films, not necessarily for teens but about teens, are hard to come by. The fleshy, convoluted material of youth is often left to lay waste to the world. Rhys Graham has ventured strong and wilful into a dangerous territory and emerged with strong representation and a truthful love letter to the essential insanity of adolescence.
Galore captures the intensity of great moments. It's an exhilarating experience, a masterpiece, a courageous film which has made and will make an unparalleled contribution to the Australian film industry. Inspired and spirited, one of my favourite features of the film are the many stolen glances between Billie and Danny. This is young love at its best, a dangerous and all-consuming infatuation. The scenes that they share when the two are alone are ones that many can relate to: we can all picture the way the sun wandered when there was nothing but the heat and the wide of expanse of nobody but the somebody next to you. Freedom may be an illusion but we're never more alive than when we're young and ignorant.
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