Rolf De Heer

Rolf De Heer

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The Tracker Review


OK
Men will go to great lengths to pursue justice. The quest for it in this film raises the question... whose justice? Is this the justice of the white man of Australia when a black is accused of murdering a white woman? Does rage over the offense translate to immediate conviction? While doubts hover over the expedition of 1922 across the dry miles of the Australian outback on the trail of the accused, other forms of guilt develop, and justice is applied in an unexpected way.

The four characters of the expedition are identified by their function in the story. Leading the pursuit of the runaway native is the stiff-backed "Fanatic" (Gary Sweet), a complex, intelligent man full of racial hatred, self-righteous zeal and self-justifying cruelty. However deep his contempt for anyone not of his color or calling, he has the wisdom to employ the services of the "Tracker" (David Gulpilil), although without much trust from the man. His own recognition of subtle marks on the ground suggest the subtlety of his mind.

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Alexandra's Project Review


Excellent
It's his birthday, and a husband returns home from work expecting a not-so-surprising surprise party. But the house is deserted, and all that's left of his wife is a videotape where she and the kids wish him a happy one. The children are sent off to a relative's house and the wife engages in a vivid striptease seduction. But she cuts her act short, beginning instead a one-way monologue to her husband, sifting through the complex issues of their troubled marriage. Clearly, Alexandra's Project is entrenched in the realm of dysfunctional relations and comes up with a novel way of handling it: a psychological thriller told in monologue form, where a husband cannot interact with his wife's "battle of the sexes" speechifying.

Directed by Rolf de Heer, Alexandra's Project is minimalistic and very formal. The actors, after a brief introductory section, have almost no interaction together, and it's basically a one man show as husband Steve (Gary Sweet) attempts to figure out exactly what his wife is going on about, and ultimately where she is. The wife, Alexandra (Helen Buday, whom some may recognize from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome), starts out simply, discussing their basic problems, but eventually it gets into issues of sexism, fidelity, and ultimately compassion. She does, ultimately, take off her clothes for him, but the effect is strangely unnerving after she's brought up her mastectomy, and the possibility that another person (and not her husband) may be behind the camera watching her undress.

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Rolf De Heer

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