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December 1st 2005
Oyster Farmer: Saturday night at MI Film Society

Oyster Farmer A desperate young man hides away amongst a wonderful community of eccentrics in the remote but spectacular Hawkesbury River region. He steals, he lies, he falls in love. Along the way, a battle is fought over a bathtub and a marriage is saved but nothing will ever be the same again.

This is how movie guru, David Stratton, begins his review of Magnetic Island Film Society's last film for 2005 - Oyster Farmer. David gave the film a 4 out of 5 star rating.

This Australian film will be screened on Saturday 3rd December at the RSL Hall (Hayles Avenue, Arcadia) at the usual time of 8pm. Following is more of David 's review from the ABC show At The Movies (click here for the link).

Anna Reeves' first feature film, OYSTER FARMER, unfolds amid a series of small
communities along the Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney.

Jack, (Alex O'Lachlan), moves into the area to be close to his sister, who is in a local hospital recovering from severe injuries she sustained in a car accident. Jack finds work with Brownie, (David Field), and his cantankerous Dad, Mumbles, (Jim Norton), who are oyster farmers.

Brownie's wife, Trish, (Kerry Armstrong), has left him to work for rival oyster farmers. Desperate for money, Jack robs an armoured car at the Sydney fish markets and posts the money to himself; but with unexpected results.

Meanwhile, Jack is attracted to Pearl, (Diana Glenn), a local girl whose father is suspected of polluting the river. Jack also befriends Skippy, (Jack Thompson), who lives in a small riverside community of Vietnam Vets.

Despite one or two minor narrative glitches (the robbery is rather perfunctorily staged), this is a film of considerable qualities.

The little river communities, the oyster farmers with their long-held traditions, and the Vietnam vets who have formed a kind of isolated commune are beautifully evoked in an affectionate examination of unusual lifestyles and the film benefits a lot from Alun Bollinger's widescreen camerawork.

Diana Glenn as Pearl

The central relationships are convincing and very well acted, the passionate affair between Jack and Pearl is neatly contrasted with the waning marriage of Brownie and Trish which is falling apart mainly because Brownie is too self-absorbed to understand what his wife really wants from life.

Anna Reeves handles this material with sensitivity and insight, and with a clear eye for the somewhat eccentric denizens of this backwater.

Screening Date: Saturday 3 December 2005
Where: RSL Hall, Arcadia (Hayles Avenue)
Time: 8pm
Refreshments: Bar open from 7.30pm - 8pm
Tickets: $8 / $10 (Non members)
Members of the Magnetic Island Film Society are Free to attend
Film Made: Australia
When: 2005
Genre: Romantic Comedy Drama
Length: 91 mins
Rated: MA
Writer & Director: Anna Reeves
Official website: click here

All photos courtesy of The Cinema Guild

What do you think? Send us your comments.

Readers comments
Syl Hayes In reply to Fair raises $15,000 for school
What a wonderful outcome for the school! I had a great time face-painting with Luke and Sasha, met lots of kids and parents,scored some great books at the Trash n Treasure stall, and even remembered to vote. Everywhere you looked people were enjoying themselves...such a tribute to the organisers. Well done!
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