Jamie Houge, Virginia Kay, Liz Kearney, Thomas M. Wright, Robert Connolly (executive) for Arenamedia, Plot Media, Blackheath Film
directed by Thomas M. Wright
starring Daniel Henshall, Toby Wallace, Geneviève Lemon, Max Cullen, Gillian Jones, Steve Mouzakis, Henry Beckett, James Bell, Daniel Aguiar, Rowland Holmes, Joanne Samuel
screenplay by Erik Jensen, Thomas M. Wright, based on the book Acute Misfortune: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen by Erik Jensen, music by Evelyn Ida Morris
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Not yet 20, journalist Erik (Toby Wallace) is given the opportunity to
interview Adam Cullen (Daniel Henshall), one of Australia's more prominent
contemporary artists. And he seems to have gone a good job, as Adam calls
him back to write his biography. This involves Eric spending his weekends
at Cullen's home with the intention of getting to know Cullen - but it
really seems that Cullen more wants someone to play with, as he just likes
to shock Erik, teaching him how to fire guns, taking him on surprise
hunting trips and the like. But Cullen's behaviour gets more and more
dangerous, which includes heavy drinking and drug use, and illegally
collecting guns. And he makes Erik a part of this aspect of his life. On
the other hand, he doesn't want Erik to talk to others about him,
including his parents (Geneviève Lemon, Max Cullen), fearing that they
might distort the image of himself he wants Erik to portray. Needless to
say, their relationship becomes more and more abusive, until Cullen pushes
things too far, causing a split between the two men, soon after which Erik
finds out there never was a book deal for Cullen's bio that Cullen has
always promised him.
Eventually, the two reconcile, and while Cullen
still tries to play the same mindgames with Erik, it becomes clearer and
clearer that he's just a lonely man with failing health ...
rather fascinating bio pic that doesn't focus too much on Adam Cullen's
actual art (which is shown more as a side note in this film) or really his
process of creating, but concentrates on the dramatic aspects of his life
during his times with his biographer (also the co-screenwriter), and
manages to span a narrative arc that gives its characters plenty of space
to evolve by not just leading the audience from one plot point to the next
but often only hinting at things and hiding much of its subtext between
the lines - which makes this one a rather unique ride.