Film review – Further We Search (2009)

Age (Xavier Samuel) and Damien (Mark Leonard Winter)
Age (Xavier Samuel) and Damien (Mark Leonard Winter)

Age (Xavier Samuel from September and Newcastle) has just hitchhiked into Melbourne with one suitcase, a book full of poems and the phone number of a girl he has never met. Over the next 48 hours Age awkwardly immerses himself in the hip counter-culture world of inner city Melbourne but his shyness and passivity prevent him from ever connecting with anybody.

Shot over three years on a budget of AU$8,000, Further We Search captures the true spirit of independent filmmaking. Its loose narrative, naturalistic dialogue and cast of mostly unknown actors evoke the films of John Cassavetes, although writer/director/producer Darius Devas opts for a more impressionistic cinematography style making Further We Search a beautiful film to look at. Filled with atmospheric scenes depicting Melbourne’s alleyways, share-houses and nightspots, Further We Search depicts Melbourne’s young bohemian lifestyle from the point-of-view of Age, an outsider. Devas successfully captures the appeal of this world while also subtly exposing the insecurities behind it. Everybody in Further We Searched seems to be so intent on living in the moment that they’ve not given any thought to what happens next and this is something that deep down worries them all. All this is expressed simply through silences, glances and nervous conversation.

Further We Search is a breath of fresh air in the independent Australian filmmaking scene and establishes Devas as talent to look out for in the future.

© Thomas Caldwell, 2009

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