Alexandra's Project

Alexandra's Project (Rolf de Heer, 2003) wr. Rolf de Heer; Helen Buday, Gary Sweet; wife hatches an unconventional form of revenge against her husband; Metro, 136: 20-25

... it is not particularly profound or illuminating. Alexandra's Project hardly warrants the serious debate some are giving it. But it is kind of a fun film in a warped way, and a well-made (and rare) Australian exercise in genre filmmaking. This is a film that makes the most of its dark atmospheres and honest performances, while observing power shifts between a suburban husband and wife.
And after all the plaudits heaped upon Rolf De Heer's previous film The Tracker, ironically enough this disposable little flick could be his most consistently watchable film to date. Megan Spencer, JJJ.

Labelled both a 'psycho-sexual thriller' and a 'domestic drama', the complicated web of classification spun in Alexandra's Project probably operates somewhere in between. The film follows familiar thriller narratives of opening serenity followed by lengthened suspense and confusion, ultimately climaxing in shocking revelations and desperate confusion. However the thematic progression of the film also enlists dramatic and sometimes melodramatic moments that reinforce the domestic direction of the film and ultimately remind the viewer of the suburban setting and characters. The ambivalence of generic classification within this film removes the guidance of the expected narrative and instead attains distinction in a cinematic field of experimentation and reinvention. Made on a minimal budget, Alexandra's Project is an amazing cinematic achievement. When released, it certainly did cause mixed reactions: the subject matter is highly confronting and socially relevant. The film has continued to arouse debate and remains a prominent figure upon the landscape of modern Australian cinema. Felicity Poole.


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