Claire McCarthy interview

Ophelia is one of the most maligned characters in literary history. It’s not entirely her fault — the tragic heroine of Hamlet suffers from being not much of a heroine, but rather a cipher for the purity and virtue of women and all that will befall them when that innocence is corrupted by the world. She’s best known for her descent into madness, culminating in a suicide whose tragic beauty has been enshrined in many an oil painting. But Australian filmmaker Claire McCarthy’s (The Turning, The Waiting City) upcoming Shakespeare retelling Ophelia asks, what if Ophelia was more? More active, more assured, more than just a laundry list of perfect virtues.

Ophelia is a revisionist retelling of Hamlet that imagines the classic Shakespeare tragedy from the point of view of the doomed heroine. But McCarthy wanted to do more than simply depict a straightforward adaptation of Hamlet based only on Ophelia’s brief interactions with the story.

Read More »

The Turning

Omnibus films are tricky beasts. Their very structure tends to make them wildly uneven, particularly if the director and stars change between each segment. But even if the occasional dud is all but unavoidable, a couple of really great pieces can make the whole thing worth watching.

The Turning consists of seventeen interconnected shorts, each based on the short story collection of the same title by Aussie author Tim Winton. It’s too early to tell if any of them are any good, but the ambition on display, at least, is admirable. The director and star lineup is intriguing as well. Mia Wasikowska and David Wenham are among those behind the camera, and Cate Blanchett, shows up as the lead of one chapter, with Rose Byrne, Hugo Weaving, Richard Roxburgh, and Miranda Otto also playing roles. Check out the first trailer after the jump.

Read More »