Film Blog: "The Turning"

Aug 20, 2014 12:11AM

From Forrest Gump (1994) to Hugo (2011), countless novels have been adapted as screenplays, ending up as successful movies adored by millions. The Turning (2013), one of the films shown at the 38th Hong Kong International Film Festival earlier this year, belongs in this category—the original book, written by Australian author Tim Winton and published in 2005, is a collection of linked short stories illustrating the lives of people along the coast of Western Australia. But, at times, the experimental yet mesmerizing film interpretation that resulted seems closer to a piece of video art.

Eighteen individual directors directed a separate chapter for the anthology, which each express their interpretation of Winton’s text by re-imagining and re-creating the story. The filmmakers were given the freedom to embed their own styles in their chosen segment, yet the various stories and themes are all intertwined. All of the characters are somehow related to a recurring figure named Vic Lang, played by eight different actors (sharing few physical similarities) in eight different chapters. The complete work indirectly documents his life across 30 years.