Topless Women Talk About
their Lives - Rated - TEPID
This film is so different from most other feature films that it is
difficult to review. It is amazing that the film was made at all. It
was made on a shoestring, at weekends, using a cast of friends of the
writer/ director/ producer Harry Sinclair, doing it for love, not
money. It had no proper screenplay (I think they worked thing out as
they went along). It all came from the a group of people doing a
micro-mini-series about a group of friends in Auckland. Each episode
was 4 minutes long. One of the actors (Danielle Cormack) got pregnant,
and the film is an improvisation on that theme. It is amazing that the
film is as good as it is.
Not very good, mind you. It is just amazing that it all holds together
There are some good performances (and some bad ones - notably from
Harry Sinclair himself as an over-the-top nutcase), and there are some
funny scenes and some touching ones, but the 4-minute experience of the
director shows. Things are too episodic and some scenes are just there
for the jokes. Some of the jokes are wasted, like the opening scenes -
potentially hilarious, but just thrown away. Also, the German
film-within-the-film was just not clever enough. It could have been
very witty indeed. And some of the most interesting characters (such as
Mike, Mike's Islander housemates and Ant's mother) are neglected in
favour of these self-absorbed and immature young people.
Still, the film is pretty amusing and cute in parts - helped enormously
by the charismatic and talented Danielle Cormack. And there's a great
soundtrack of New Zealand rock and heavy metal - though it was a tad
loud (maybe - you feel so old when you think things like that!).
All in all, even if it is just for his ability to work under enormous
restrictions, I think Harry Sinclair could be a good filmmaker -
especially if he works on next script for more than just 4 minutes.