Monday, June 7, 2010

Home By Christmas, a film by Gaylene Preston

This is a documentary style film, and features the director's own father, who speaks directly to the camera. He talks about his experience of World War 2, having enlisted after just getting married. This is interlaced with real life World War 2 footage, which works nicely. There is some back story about Ed Preston's wife and first child, who have to endure three years without him, wondering all the time if he's alright. The handling of the direction is very deft and I like the fact that the director lets herself be in some shots as well. A beautifully lit film, with the cinemaphotographer being Alun Bollinger (of the sublime Heavenly Creatures) fame, so I would expect no less. Well worth a second serve, Home By Christmas makes for insightful fare creamy, unstodgy fare. Other films I've enjoyed by Gaylene Preston have been Bread and Roses and Mr Wrong, both somewhat forgotten, but gems all the same. Mr Wrong is based on a delghtfully spooky short story by the talented writer, Elizabeth Jane Howard. The setting for the film is moved from London to Wellington, with the haunted car being a used Jaguar, rather than an used MG (as in the short story), giviing Preston's take on Elizabeth Jane Howard's story a lovely Kiwi flavour. The overall feel of the film is darkly humorous as well as enticingly spooky, and the quirkiness is a nice touch.

1 comment:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.It is reasonably fast moving and not at all stagey.It reminds me of my own father's attitude to WWII.He was in the long Range Desert Group 27th machine gun battalion.He never really talked about the war to us his family in depth.He never went to dawn parades and felt he'd done what he had to do and wouldn't recommend it.The authentic old footage was absolutely fascinating.Gaylene Preston is clearly a very talented film maker.

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