Oyster Farmer (Anna Reeves, 2004) Anthony Buckley Films, prod. Anthony Buckley, Piers Tempest, wr. Anna Reeves, dp Alun Bollinger; Alex O'Lachlan, Kerry Armstrong, David Field, Diana Glenn, Jack Thompson, David Kelly, Jim Norton, Claudia Harrison, Alan Cinis; romantic comedy set in Australia-style frontier country (shot on NSW Central Coast, around Brooklyn) with eighth-generation oyster farmers: Vietnam Vets with shotguns; Toronto FF September 2004; Aust release 30 June 2005; 90 min.
A quirky and charming little film; fine cinematography from Kiwi Bollinger: shot on the Hawkesbury.
The little river communities, the oyster farmers with their long-held traditions, and the Vietnam vets who have formed a kind of isolated commune are beautifully evoked in an affectionate examination of unusual lifestyles and the film benefits a lot from Alun Bollinger's widescreen camerawork. David Stratton, At the Movies.
Perhaps the most impressive and haunting element of Oyster Farmer is its perfectly captured mood of an Australian ethos no longer found in any city. From the economically written but complex characters who live and work on the Hawksbury River, physically up the road from Sydney but socially in a different world, to Alun Bollinger's wonderful cinematography, the film reminds us of how the Australian character is forged by circumstance and attitude. Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile.
There's a robbery, a dog race, an oyster show and a dog-napping. And that's just for starters. There's sex on a rickety pier, and the rekindling of a relationship that's foundering involving an old bathtub and a bundle of marbles. Renovations and relatives are the two reasons for marriage breakdowns, says Trish. And there's a new definition for love - 'it's a wretched business: like pissing against an electric fence.'
Oyster Farmer is the best Australian film of the year. Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile.
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