Jindabyne 

As it turns out, Australia terrifies me. For years, I attributed my slight gnawing dread of the continent to emotional remnants left from Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock, for my money the creepiest movie ever made. But now Jindabyne has come skulking into American theaters. It crawled up my spine with eerie familiarity, tickling every last jangling nerve end on the way.

Jindabyne is based on the Raymond Carver short story "So Much Water So Close to Home." The Carver tale previously got the big-screen treatment in Robert Altman's ensemble story-overlapper Short Cuts. Jindabyne, which adapts the story for an Australian setting, proves it worthy of stand-alone exposure.

Set (and filmed) in and around the town of Jindabyne, the film focuses on Stewart (Gabriel Byrne), who goes on an angling expedition with three mates, and his wife Claire (Laura Linney), whose has daily-life struggles with her friends, her in-laws, her son, and her past.

What happens is not for me to tell, but the result tastes like a stew of Hanging Rock, In the Bedroom, A River Runs Through It, A Cry in the Dark, and The Silence of the Lambs.

Ray Lawrence, who made the fine 2001 thriller Lantana, directs. Pivotally, the screenplay decentralizes the point of view — away from Claire, as Carver has it — turning the tale omniscient. In his depiction of a land that seems to have eyes everywhere, Lawrence shifts the perspective further, to one of all of nature.

Perhaps it's just Down Under auteur madness that I'm responding to with fear. Lawrence and Weir both have created a land that is seemingly alive and perilously dangerous. Death has rarely seemed so at hand. Is the real Australia the same? I'll not be finding out. The silver screen's close enough for me, thanks.

Jindabyne opens Friday, August 3rd, at Ridgeway Four.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Five Feet Apart

      The Romance Isn’t The Only Thing That’s Doomed

Blogs

Tiger Blue

NIT: Creighton 79, Tigers 67

News Blog

U of M Announces New Tuition Structure

We Saw You

A Great Day for the Irish - and Beale Street. And more!

Intermission Impossible

Farce Meets Horror in a Top Notch Radiant Vermin

News Blog

State: Keto, Paleo Diets Boon to Tennessee Farmers

News Blog

Memphis Ranked on Dog Parks

Politics Beat Blog

If It's a Thursday Night in March, There Must Be Candidate Events

Hungry Memphis

Barbarossa Brothers Opening Downtown

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Us

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Greg Akers

Readers also liked…

  • Death Grip

    Memphis filmmaker Sam Bahre talks about his 11-year struggle to create I Filmed Your Death.
    • Apr 19, 2018
  • Fifty Shades Freed

    Feature length commercial for luxury goods or chilling glimpse into the post-human future?
    • Feb 16, 2018
  • Logan Lucky

    Steven Soderbergh Roars Out Of Retirement With A Star Studded Heist Film
    • Aug 24, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2019

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation