Sunday, January 28, 2024

FLATHEAD (2024) IFFR Rotterdam

Cass Cumerford, a man in his 70’s, returns to his home town and contemplates his life.

This is one hell of a calling card for a first  film. It’s a hybrid mix of documentary and narrative that creates a wonderful look at life in small town Australia. If you can click with the films rhythms it’s going to move you deeply.

And you will have to click with the rhythm of the film because this film moves at the pace of life. Things unfold in a slowed down way. It takes time for things to happen. People talk about life. Stuff happens and over the course of the film, as Cass contemplates and revisits his old haunts, emotions build up and we are moved. Moments that didn’t seem like much early on take a resonance later on. Conversations gain more and more weight as we come to understand the whole weight of Cass‘s life. It took me a little while but somewhere along the way I suddenly found myself connected and invested in the best possible way. (I do want to warn anyone who doesn’t like “slow” films this isn’t for you. While this isn’t the slow for slow's sake that many filmmakers take, it is, as I said, moving at the speed of life.)

I really loved this film, so much so that I emailed several friends to have them put this on their list of films to see.

This is an absolute gem of a film. It’s a wonderful look at life, both that of Cass and of the place he is in. It is the sort of film that I started Unseen Films to highlight

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