New Zealand International Film Festival

Stray

22 JUL - 24 JUL 2018 — Film

About.

Company

New Zealand International Film Festival

Venue

ASB Waterfront Theatre

Duration

104 minutes

Restrictions

M Adult themes

One of the most strikingly photographed New Zealand films in recent memory, Stray is the statement-making feature debut of writer/director Dustin Feneley. Set in the wintry south, this bracingly spare character drama frames Aotearoa’s oft-filmed landscapes in a clear and startling new light.

Jack (Kieran Charnock, The Rehearsal), a taciturn young man on parole, holes up in a cabin somewhere in Central Otago. One evening he encounters Grace (Arta Dobroshi, Lorna’s Silence), very far from home and seeking refuge from her own private struggles. These lonely, enigmatic strangers drift into a relationship that promises to either heal or hurt.

There’s a deliberate – in the context of the short history of our national cinema even daring – aesthetic discipline to this film, whose suppressed emotions lend greater power to its visuals. Ari Wegner, the talented DP behind Lady Macbeth’s intense painterly compositions, does astonishing things with darkness and diffused natural light. Within these stunning images, the Man Alone tradition is alive and well, but it’s also crisply refocused through Feneley’s commitment to stark silences and bold cinematic spaces into a kind of hard-edged New Zealand poetry. — Tim Wong

Credits

Dustin Feneley

Director/Screenplay

Desray Armstrong

Producer

Dustin Feneley

Producer

Ari Wegner

Photography

Dione Chard

Editor

With

Arta Dobroshi

Kieran Charnock

Joel Fili

Mia Blake

Sean Crawford

Ross Harper

Festivals

Moscow 2018