Two nights ago I submerged myself in a 2-hour film called ‘Breath.’ Based on the novel of the same name by Tim Winton, with his contributions to the screenplay, and voice-over narration, it washed through me so deeply that I didn’t even want to keep talking over coffee afterwards, but went home to float through the ongoing swell of watery images and sensations.
My movie buddy asked me to articulate what I got from it, and I tried to sum it up in 3 main ways:
- An immersion in the uniquely-Australian, beachside surf culture of the 1970s (which I didn’t live), but which ’17’s’ Dad did, and to an extent ’17’ still does
- A reflection in the capacity to ‘lose oneself’ in one’s passion, as I feel when I dance, and yet also being more at one with yourself than at any other time. Also, seeing the stunning natural landscape- it’s set in Western Australia- and hearing the torrential downpours of a typical summer
- The crafting of the characters, where a simple sentence showed so much of each personality. Or the lack of a sentence, as Australian men do tend towards monosyllabic grunts in times of trouble
It made me want to get surfing lessons. It made me want to ride a dragster bike down a dirt lane without a care in the world. It made me want to rent a beachside shack with a lover, and sit reading beside the fire while it poured with rain outside, then make love under a mosquito net. It made me want to be 15 again. It made me want to smoke a joint and tell tall stories!
But here’s a much more articulate and mature professional review of the book in the New York Times.
Go see it. If you love the beach, surfing, swimming, fishing, nature, the 1970s, Australia, or coming-of-age movies, go see it. If you love Tim Winton, or actor/director Simon Baker, go see it. Dive in, and you’ll come up for air so glad that you did.
Let me know what you think of it if you go.
Now what’s the best movie you’ve seen lately and why?
In gratitude for the evocative smell of popcorn, G xO