Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Silence

The Silence - 5:45 pm - Varsity 8 - 9/8

This movie reminded me of some of the great British crime TV series of the late 90s, early 2000s such as Wire in the Blood and Touching Evil. The biggest difference being that the film was Australian, not British, but it had the same type of atmosphere and look to it.

The film tells the story of a police officer, Richard Roxburgh, who has been taken of active duty following a "situation" and reassigned to work for the police museum. As he is setting up the latest display, he notices a similiarity between several photographs, a woman. When he finds another photograph, this time of the woman's murder, his investigative skills turn back on. He become obsessed with finding out who this woman was and who killed her. As he proceeds, the case takes a personal turn and becomes increasingly dangerous.

I enjoyed the film. It was originally broadcast on Australian TV in two parts and that is how I enjoyed the film, more as TV, than as an actual movie. I got into the characters and would be interested in seeing more about them. The film looked as if it were shot with a digital camera with the different styles, reminding me a little of "Collateral". I did guess the big "secret" before the reveal, but it the main focus of the story was to heal Roxburgh character from his "embarassment" that got him kicked off the active force. There was great chemistry between Roxburgh and his young assistant, Emily Barclay.

The film was shown on Christie Digital and looked very good. I've now seen four films on Digital and they've all looked very solid, great sound and clear picture.

  • Co-screenwriter Mary Walsh talked about how she got the idea for the story in the Q&A. She was researching a story on horse racing when she discovered that there was a police museum. Someone before had given her a book of old crime scene photos "Evidence". She became fascinating with the photos and the stories that were happening just outside the frame. She then got notes on a Sydney display of photos where the researcher talked about how after spending months and months of looking at these photos, the streets of Sydney came alive with the "ghosts" of the past. So that's where the idea began.
  • The producer said that there were two versions of the film made. The two part TV version and the film. "Cate Shortland is a wonderful director at establishing atmosphere, we were fortunate that she agreed to come on board. I was also interested in this story as it delved into the male psyche. His inability to talk about violent things from the past.
  • Only three or four of the photographs were real crime scene photographs, the rest were recreated in a big shoot before the film began.

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