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Wasted on the Young

Wasted on the Young (Ben C. Lucas, 2010) wr. Ben C. Lucas; Oliver Ackland, Adelaide Clemens, Alex Russell; made in WA; general Australian release 3 March 2011

Ben C. Lucas' Wasted on the Young is every bit as vapid, venal and venomous as the characters that populate its landscape. With no discernible quality on show in any of the skills that one would normally associate with a major film festival entrant, it's [sic] inclusion as an early evening programme choice in Sydney is particularly odd. Its post-production pretension and undercooked script is far better suited to a late-night screening at one of the underground film events, where a crowd more forgiving of genre clichés and film school posing may draw some pleasure from its underlying nastiness. ... Simon Foster, SBS movies.

... Lucas imagines a hyper real world close to our own, where the constructs of cyber land have created a different plateau of existence. With cinematographer Dan Freene and editor Leanne Cole the trailblazing first-timer cranks the bling and bravado to 11. There are flashbacks, a non-linear plot structure, breakouts into snippets of fantasy and imagination, freeze frames and bursts into convulsions of video game style aesthetics.
Rising star Oliver Ackland (watch this face) is a powerhouse as Darren, able to internalise and project a hotbed of conflicting emotions. The chemistry between him and the bright-eyed Adelaide Clemens needed to work, and it does.
Wasted on the Young is Lord of the Flies for the iPad generation: a fiery parable about abused freedom and corrupted power in a lawless techno-land where every room has a screen, every thought has a status update, every emotion has a social media impulse. Where vengeance can be shared, streamlined, emailed, MMSed. Where a human life – in one extraordinary and disturbing scene that may eventually prove eerily prophetic – can be completely disconnected. ... Luke Buckmaster, Crikey.

... Ben C. Lucas shows his natural cinematic talents from the start, using ingredients to establish the world of social networking as a key element in the film (and in its resolution) along with some stylish cinematography, such as the inventively shot swimming scenes. The fine cinematography is complemented by a full and intense score. Once hooked, we go with the flow as the story and characters are established. Andrew L. Urban, urbancinefile.

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