Canopy (Aaron Wilson, 2013) Khan Chittenden, Robert Menzies, Edwina Wren, Tzu-yi Mo; Singapore, WW2; Toronto IFF 8 Sept 2013
... assured outing that takes a simple premise and turns it into a unique cinematic experience…. The film is stunningly and gorgeously shot by Stefan Duscio, who makes the surroundings almost otherworldly. Kevin Jagernauth, IndieWire.
Canopy is a short feature but it delivers authentic suspense and a powerful conclusion” and he predicted it will be a strong contender for international festival exposure. Frank Hatherley, Screen Daily.
... this ravishingly shot first feature from rural Australian-born filmmaker Aaron Wilson … will spread among fests and find shelter with distribs eager to parlay the genre’s buzz into art house success. ... The expressive, sweat-stained faces of Chittenden, who bears a striking resemblance to Matt Damon, and Mo, discovered by the filmmaker in the 2009 Taiwanese episodic drama A Place of One’s Own, sell the sense of fear and confusion. ... Every bit their equal behind the scenes are sound designers Nic Buchanan and Rodney Lowe, who have created a rich, complex and terrifying soundscape in which nature and war comingle in cacophonous symphony. The film was photographed in a remarkable eight days by Stefan Duscio, whose affiliations with Andrew Lesnie (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Greig Fraser (Zero Dark Thirty) have influenced his serene tracking shots and striking angles. Eddie Cockrell, Variety.
From an early POV shot through cracked goggles to the insistent squelch of mud beneath combat boots, writer-director Aaron Wilson maintains a remarkable realism throughout as he builds a lean and focused meditation on the bewildering nature of war. It’s a plucky and promising feature debut from the young Australian, who should find his carefully calibrated art house film in demand on the festival circuit following its premiere in the Discovery program in Toronto. Megan Lehmann, The Hollywood Reporter.
Canopy is a film that sets out to be an immersive experience and ends up settling for being an interesting experiment instead. That's not an entirely bad place to be, really, but it is less than what it could have been in surer hands. Todd Brown, Twitch Film.
All notices as quoted by Don Groves, 'Australian WWII drama wows the critics', IF: many thanks.
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