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The Five Provocations

Five Provocations, The (Angie Black, 2018) wr. Angie Black, prod. Angie Black; Tony Moclair, Sapidah Kian, Blake Osborn, Rebecca Bower

Synopsis: Marlena is secretly dealing with the loss of her married lover, Rosie. Rosie’s husband Paul is also going through his own grief. Meanwhile Marlena takes on a housemate, the timid and a little bit aimless Bridget. Handyman Clinton grapples with parenting a teenage daughter and his own developing gender identity. The lives of these four very different people intertwine as they fall apart, come together and change each other’s lives. Amongst all of this are the mysterious five provocations, played with mischievous charm by the stars of Australia’s cabaret scene.

In some sense, there are really three levels at work in the film. Because – and without giving too much away here – there was an extra element of surprise at work for the actors themselves, an improvisatory factor in their confrontation with each provocative insertion. This adds another, conceptual aspect to the production: its style has to shake itself loose, each time, to cope with the veritable screen-event that unfolds. At these moments, the film transcends tele-naturalism and resonates with, on the one hand, Jacques Rivette’s film experiments of the 1960s and ‘70s and, on another hand, the post-1990s artworld inclinations of Miranda July, Josephine Decker or Lena Dunham. Adrian Martin.

Garry Gillard | New: 15 August, 2018 | Now: 5 April, 2020