Sometimes I have the good fortune of stumbling across free tickets for films that are being promoted: sometimes through the Queen St Studio newsletter.. sometimes through work… sometimes through If Magazine, AWG Newsletter or all fantastic sources of promos, givaways and free ticket comps. Sometimes, I think I should only go to what I win, as opposed to what I choose: perhaps then the karmic influence of the universe will put it in perspective…

In 2006, fresh back from a Canadian life and steeped in the newly acquired job at the NSW Film and Television Office… I thought it was time to find out more about film , since I had been a devoted theatre-phile: focusing solely on theatre, theatre practice and practitioners: completely neglecting the industry that I had found myself working in. So for months each lunch time I would lock myself away in the screening room at NSW FTO, with soup and toast and watch what I could in installments on my lunch break. The Big Steal, The Money Movers, My Brilliant Career, Somersault, Little Fish, The Magic Pudding, Gallipoli, Mad Max, Breaker Morant, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Rabbit Proof Fence, Cosi, Careful he Might Hear You, The Year my Voice Broke…. As you can see I had a lot of catching up to do. And a part of my education was a flexipass 10 to sydney film Festival… and so I asked my colleagues what they thought woudl be good to see at the Sydney Film Festival That year…. and one colleague, the now published poet (and emancipated worker) Aden Rolfe recommended “La Moustache” (The moustache, yes, I know)… and ceasing the day, I took my French speaking Canadian partner to an afternoon session at The State Theatre, Bioche and coffee in hand. A film that I recall is about identity in relationship, in life: a deep search for meaning in one’s life and asking the question of “what defines you”… with a touch of “if only we had the ability to see ourselves the way that others see us”…. fantastic, transportative… engaging: not bad for a film called The Moustache!

Now in 2009, a pass for 2 free tickets landed on my desk, to a film called “My Friends, My Loves”… discarded by a colleague.. and for use during a preview. Ten in the morning on a saturday, we walked to Leichhardt, stopped by Pain de quodient on Norton for a coffee… and made our way to what we thought would be a partially deserted cinema. Not so. probably three quarters full of people – some I recognized from the Quebec Oz club- in their winter morning coats.

After a moment: we whispered simultaneously to each other “la Moustache!”as we recognised the protagonist. A delight. Now I am not going to really talk about the film, because I think many reviews/blogs can ruin the best of the play through spotting the laughs, or re-telling the story… so thats not what I am interested in. In this instance I will talk about what i believe to be the furture of decent storytelling: the casting of character as authentic people.

No plastic surgery. No psuedo youthful “pillow face”, no collogen, airbrushing, no lipo-suction, no unidentifiably aging people with ageless appearances… not that… but instead authentic bodies, sex scenes with women in their 40s, a desired 60 year old who flirts with a young construction worker: a portayal of people as they are: not as taut versions, charactures of what they remember themselves to be at that age. And the refreshing relief.. to see. Why are we obsessed with the suspension of time in the faces and bodies of actors? Why is there a preference for the glossy over the the grainy, the even over the inconsistent… what is this obsession we have: where everyone appears hyper real? At what age will Madonna hang up her roller skates and her leotard? 60? 70?

And it shocked me. I was shocked to see the faces of naturally aged/aging French actors: who looked authentic, attractive and surprisingly real. Youth is wasted on the young, and clearly, being obsessed with being a good impersonation of “young” is the indication of an older person who has not learnt that yet: what a sad place to be.