Ivan Sen’s ‘Mystery Road’ finally makes it’s awaited, yet limited, release in Australian cinemas.
Mystery Road has finally been released in Australian cinemas this week after it’s debut at the Sydney Film Festival in early June this year. The film has since performed well, featuring at the Toronto International Film Festival, the London Film Festival and many others. Mystery Road is Sen’s fourth feature film following his very successful 2002 film, Beneath the Clouds.
Mystery Road stars Aaron Pedersen as Jay Swan, a lone aboriginal detective investigating the murder of a young girl on the side of a road, however, the investigation reveals the corrupt underbelly of the small community whilst exploring ideas of racism, drugs, violence and poverty. Starring along Pedersen are Australian favourites, Hugo Weaving, Tony Barry and David Field, with their performances described as superlative and enigmatic. Below is the trailer for Mystery Road.
The film is also very unique as Ivan Sen, the director, was also writer, editor, cinematographer and even composer. However, Sen’s ‘one man band’ has been criticised as the movie lacks a plot that David Stratton describes as unable to “always join all the dots, that important questions remain unanswered”. Nevertheless the film boasts artistic brilliance, being shot in outback Winton, Queensland. With such a gritty and sinister story line, Mystery Road contrasts this with eloquent cinematography depicting the beautiful Australian landscape.
Despite all the features of a Australian cult drama, the film has only secured a limited release in 16 theatres nationwide, expecting to hit a further 30 regional theatres. Mystery Road has thus far pulled in $60, 000, which Producer David Jowley commented as “a good result”. Jowley distributed the film through Dark Matter, which is co-owned by Sen and Michael Wrenn. The film’s US distributing rights were sold to Well Go USA at the Cannes film festival earlier this year, however, an US release date hasn’t been determined yet.
Despite such a small release, you can catch Mystery Road at the Hoyts Cinema Paris, Fox Studios and the Dendy Cinema in Newtown. For more information, you can listen to an interview with Mystery Road‘s Aaron Pedersen on Triple J at http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/media/s3874579.htm. There’s also an interview with director Ivan Sen at http://www.abc.net.au/atthemovies/txt/s3864749.htm.