I went into The Turning in the dark and in some ways I wish I hadn’t and in others I’m glad I did. I’ll see if I can explain.
The film is a collection of related shorts, each based on a single story from Tim Winton’s acclaimed collection of the same name. That much I knew. As story after story rolled through, each produced by a different Australian creative team, each taking a unique and original approach to storytelling, I started to see connections between them. Many of these connections were visual – the recurrence of rusty abandoned cars, people living in caravans. Some were geographic – a Western Australian mining community surrounded on one side by red dirt and on the other by the ocean. Damaged, corroded and corrupted masculinity. Redheads. The name “Vic”.
Afterwards I read a copy of the glossy souvenir booklet that viewers get to take away with them when they buy a ticket for this “special cinematic event” and those connections became clearer. In Winton’s book all of the stories inter-connect – characters re-occur (often at different stages of their lives) and events we see in one story might be referred to obliquely in another.