Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Transcription: Walkabout

I watched Walkabout straight after sitting through Apocalypse Now, so I was a little bit frazzled when watching it. Doing such a mammoth film viewing session didn’t negatively impact the experience that is Nick Roeg’s Walkabout. The first time I saw the film, the way the film portrayed the intensely baron and scorched landscape and the way the film captured the flora and fauna of the Australian outback certainly left an impact on me. When looking at it for ways to possibly inspire me for this project, I was focusing on the way the outback through the things that exist within it and the way it functions becomes an entirely separate character in the film and not just a backdrop. Roeg throughout manages to give the outback life through use of expansive and varied shots of the landscapes, that highlight the magnitude and variation of the expanse but also the personality with close-ups of textures etc that give the world a tangible quality. Life is also shown to exist, when by all means no life should exist. Though interestingly this ‘life’ is mostly highlighted by rotting food and rotting animals (mammals mostly) and the subsequent life that thrives off of this, maggots and ants etc. Through this imagery the outback is represented as both a thing of untouched natural beauty, and a thing of nightmares that eats away at the flesh should you fall foul of its trappings.

1 comments:

tutorphil said...

As you know I love this movie; I think the opening sequence is just so ambiguous and it always winds me up when people ask dumb-ass questions about 'why' the dad drives his family out into the wilderness...

Yes, I think one of the key things about Roeg's approach is how he pays with scale - the ants on the tablecloth - then the ariel views etc. It's something worth exploring; it may be a dead end regarding your project's intentions, but maybe there's something in the idea of wabi-sabi - the world as contained in the textures and decay; peeling paint, parched earth...

Also worth considering in light of this movie is the highly expressionistic use of sound - to convey heat and dehydration etc - but also all the sex imagery; not sure how 'sexed up' Under the Volcano is, but from what you wrote previously, it does sound as if Lowry suscribed to the 'any hole's a goal' school of thought... (Can't believe I just wrote that!)