In this underseen gem of the Australian New Wave, a young man drives a 1938 Buick from Melbourne to Sydney – and towards his future.
Tony (Richard Moir, who also stars in MIFF 70 short film Not Dark Yet) has just been released from Pentridge Prison after serving a six-year sentence for robbery. He returns home to his Greek immigrant father, his dog Billy and the ‘friends’ he covered up for, who now want their cut of the loot. And then there’s Jerry Maguire (Chris Haywood), the alpha male expecting Tony to fall in line behind him. As the problems pile up, Tony just wants to get away and find Anna, an old girlfriend he thinks he might still be in love with.
Director Esben Storm (27A, MIFF 2003; The Big Wish, MIFF 1990) uses an experimental, non-linear narrative to craft this cinematic deconstruction of a man’s search for meaning in his life. Screening at Toronto in 1978 and winning the AFI Award for Best Screenplay the following year, In Search of Anna was made in direct opposition to Australian cinema’s preference at this time towards period films. Like his protagonist, Storm was determined to look to the future, and his exceptional film buzzes with both the energy of the 1970s and the moodiness of restless youth, reinforced by a memorable soft-rock score by guitar legend John Martyn.
Storm follows Antonioni in attempting to convey … character seen as an extension of environment, or vice-versa; pictures to convey a complex state of mind.
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