Friday, 9 October 2009
First Look: Julia
"Ms. Swinton demands to be seen even when her character is on a self-annihilating bender so real that you can almost smell the stink rising off her." New York Times
"Tilda Swinton hasn't often been more fascinating than in Julia, a nerve-wracking thriller with a twisty plot and startling realism." Chicago Sun-Times
This November, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) will be screening French filmmaker Erick Zonca's English language debut, Julia (2008), starring Tilda Swinton in one of her most superb lead performances to date.
Erick Zonca, the acclaimed director of The Dreamlife of Angels (1998) and The Little Thief (1999) has spent the last seven years making Julia, his first American film project. Shot in California and Mexico with American and British actors, with Swinton as the lead, Julia plays as a true American indie film, paying homage to independent American filmmaker John Cassavetes' Gloria (1980).
Evoking the independent cinema of the 1970's, Zonca's imperfect and intimate aesthetic fits perfectly with Julia's alcoholism and haphazard behaviour. Down on her luck and desperate, this tough, self destructive character heads rapidly into a downward spiral where the action is moving faster than she can keep up with, but yet somehow she does.
Increasingly lonely, the only support she receives comes from her friend, and sometimes lover, Mitch (Saul Rubinek), who recommends she go to AA. When the young vulnerable Elena (Kate del Castillo) approaches Julia in an AA meeting to help kidnap her son, Julia's life takes a dramatic turn. The film shifts from being a character study of an alcoholic woman living without purpose, to an intense and fast paced thriller about a woman on the run.
Tilda Swinton says of Julia, "she's got her foot on the accelerator so hard and it's all going in the wrong direction, and the further she goes the more helpless she is."
Film Programmer Kristy Matheson describes Julia as a tour de force: "Tilda Swinton is a performer who is always extending herself - daring in each role, Julia is no exception. She throws herself into challenging non-vanity roles and it's hard not to be drawn in by her."
"Together Swinton and Zonca have managed to create a very believable world out of what is an almost extraordinary story. It's impossible not to get sucked in by the drama and tension as it overtakes the film and runs off the screen."
See Swinton in yet another astounding performance in this twisted thriller about a woman living on the brink of a meltdown this November in Erick Zonca's Julia.
Screening details are available here
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