Lost Things (2003)
By: J.R. McNamara on August 15, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Accent (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1, English DD 2.0. 80 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Martin Murphy
Starring: Leon Ford, Charlie Garber, Lenka Kripac, Steve Le Marquand,
Alex Vaughan
Screenplay: Stephen Sewell
Music: Carlo Giacco
Country: Australia
Film Company Accent has a penchant for releasing an eclectic range of independent and art house product. From Matthew Barney's bizarre Cremaster 3 – The Order to the uncompromising brutality of Irreversible and High Tension, they tend to put their name only to the cutting edge of innovative cinema.

This release, Lost Things, was written by Australian Playwright/screenwriter Stephen Sewell who won an AFI for his 1998 film The Boys, and directed by fellow Australian Martin Murphy, who has been a regular director on Australian TV, and has also been responsible for a few shorts, one of which, Nightride, can be seen here as an extra. This film was an official selection for several film festivals, including The Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2004.

Lost Things starts in the way many horror films begin. Four friends, Gary (Leon Ford), Brad (Charlie Garber), Emily (Lenka Kripac) and Tracey (Alex Vaughan) decide to forget their studies and get away for a weekend of surfing, drinking, and, if things go the boys way, a little bit of the old rumpy pumpy. Deciding on an out of the way, secluded surfing spot they start to enjoy themselves, but as time wears on, something starts to make them feel uneasy, which the appearance of the eccentric Zippo (Steve Le Marquand) does not help to abate, especially as they themselves all start to act strangely, and friendships start to fray…

Clearly a film written for actors, it easily could have fallen apart if the cast weren't skilled at their craft, but luckily all involved were excellent. The four players depicting the teenagers held their own incredibly competently, especially considering two of them were fairly inexperienced, and Steve Le Marquand's portrayal of the weirdo Zippo was understated and realistic, only rarely sinking into 'local nutcase' territory. Sewell's script is low key, and the fragmented storyline make for an unsettling mood that never lets up. Murphy's direction really shines as well, and makes for an effective horror movie considering the fact the majority of the piece takes place on a bright sunny day at the beach. The combination of all this talent is held together nicely by a spooky score, written by Carlo Giacco and some amazing cinematography that really shows off the 'Australian beach' by Justine Kerrigan. This unusual independent (and maybe a little art house) film, which will bring about comparisons to Memento and Carnival of Souls without ever seeming derivative, is a slow moving story that puts you on edge and keeps you there.
Video
A stunning clear picture in 16x9 widescreen transfer that pulled me into the picture to the point I could almost smell the sunscreen; both the Director and the Director of Photography should be proud of the amazing shots used in this film.
Audio
You can choose to listen to this film in either Dolby Stereo or 5.1; having only listened to the 5.1 track I can say for a film that doesn't have chainsaws running or guns blazing, the effect is impressive. The subtlety of the sound mix and the understated score by Carlo Giacco make for a breathy, chilling day at the beach.
Extra Features
The commentary is by director Michael Murphy and producer Ian Iveson. This is a decent commentary about the joys (or lack thereof) of independent filmmaking, and also confirms or in some cases clears up any ideas the viewer may have about the film. This film is definitely worth watching with the commentary on.

Lost Things Trailer (1 minute 27 seconds), which is just that.

Interviews (10 minutes 36 seconds ) is a series of interviews with director Michael Murphy, writer Stephen Sewell, producer Ian Iveson, costume designer Theresa Jackson, production designer Karla Uriza, co-editors Benita Carey and Karen Johnson, cinematographer Justine Kerrigan, continuity Julia Boros and actors Lenka Kripac, Leon Ford, Charlie Garber and Alex Vaughan. This is an interesting look into the joys and problems of making an independent feature, and discusses the storyline as well.

Short Film (10 minutes 58 seconds) is a film from 1997, written and directed by Martin Murphy called Nightride. It tells of a young man caught in unfortunate circumstances upon a nightride bus.

This DVD features trailers for other Accent titles: Heavy, Bus 174, Birthday Boy, The Tasty Bust, Criminal Lover, Persona Non Grata, My Flesh and Blood and the aforementioned Cremaster 3 – The Order.
The Verdict
Lost Things is an understated cerebral film that burns slowly into your mind. This is not a bloody rampage of carnage, but one of those psychotically gentle movies that at times seems obvious…almost too obvious, but still keeps you guessing until the very last frame, and even then will sit in your brain and simmer for a few more hours, as you try to maintain your understanding of it. A real nice film by an Australian crew.
Movie Score
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