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Venue Flicks 1 (#39b, Str 95) & Flicks 2 (#34, Str 130)
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(110 mins, comedy, drama, romance)

Australian director Jonathan Teplitzky's third feature, which follows his success with Better than Sex and Getting Square. It opens with a kaleidoscope of jumbled images from the movie we're about to see, images that gradually make sense as the film proceeds. British actor Matthew Goode plays Tom, the owner-chef of a Sydney restaurant; he meets and marries beautiful Sarah, and they have a son, Oscar; but tragedy overtakes this family and Tom finds it difficult to cope with it.
A very personal film for Teplitsky, Burning Man is made rather in the style of early Alain Resnais; for a while it's a bit of a challenge to work out what's going on, as scenes unfold out of sequence and are abruptly terminated before they've run their course. But this only reflects the state of mind of a bereaved man who uses sex to overcome his grief.

This is a stunningly well-made film, which challenges us with its intricate structure and which will probably demand more than one viewing from sympathetic audiences. Matthew Goode is really fine as Tom but the revelation is Bojana Novakovic, who is simply amazing as Sarah.

Beautifully shot by Garry Phillips, intricately edited by Martin Connor, Burning Man is a film that will shock you with its honesty and its bravery. I can't wait to see it again.

Burning Man is possibly the shiniest wildest and most dazzling new Australian film this year. Absolutely modern in tone and emphatically heartless this is the jigsaw-puzzle depiction of one very confident handsome man imploding and emotionally fracturing.



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