Film Society Selection
First of two showings this month
book a ticket for this and forthcoming BFS screenings please contact the
SHP Box Office on 01344 484123 or click the logo below to book via the
Tickets £8.60, SHP members £7.00.
BFS members (BFS shows only) £6.60. You may have to show a BFS membership card. Concessions £7.60. SHP make an additional £0.70 charge when paying by credit card. Reserving a ticket by phone, expect to pay by cash at the box office 30 minutes prior to show time.
Tuesday 12th April. 7.45pm
FILM DESERVEDLY RECEIVED SEVENTEEN WINS AND NOMINATIONS
Director: Sophie Hyde, Australia, 2013, 112 minutes.
Cast: Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Del Herbert-Jane, Mario Späte
girl's path to independence is accelerated when her mother starts the
process of gender transitioning. A distinctly original Australian indie
with a dark and knowing Antipodean humour that adroitly expresses issues
around gender, identity and family.
Told with ingenuity, compassion and an impressive fearlessness GUARDIAN
(Contains some plot info)
Imogen Archer, Tilda
Cobham-Hervey and Sam Althuizen in "52 Tuesdays"
Sixteen-year-old Billie (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) has always enjoyed a close relationship with her mother (Del Herbert-Jane), which is why shes particularly shocked to come home from school one day and discover Mom locked in the bathroom, dressed as a man. The transition is about to become permanent, and during the yearlong adjustment period, Billies mother who now asks to be called James sends Billie to live with her father, Tom (Beau Travis Williams). James promises theyll spend every Tuesday evening after school together, and Billie reluctantly agrees.
So begins a year of major changes for both Billie and James, recorded not just by the film were watching but also by their own video journals. Billie finds herself drawn to a couple at her school Josh (Sam Althuizen) and Jasmin (Imogen Archer) and slowly establishes a friendship that turns into sexual experimentation with both of them, most of which she films for an ethically dubious art project. Meanwhile, James begins testosterone shots and takes up with a co-worker, Lisa (Danica Moors), while keeping the relationship secret from his daughter.
Hyde and screenwriter Matthew Cormack favor Billies fairly conventional arc over James less explored experiences, but throughout the pic theres a welcome emphasis on the parent-child relationship something that perhaps surprisingly changes very little despite James physical transformation. James remains fiercely protective of Billie, never more so than when Billies racy videotapes surface. And Billie goes through the typical mood swings of a teenage girl, some weeks refusing to visit James but also demonstrating how much she cares when he suffers a setback that sends him spiraling into depression.
The non-pro cast received their scenes one week at a time, and the choice lends their performances a compelling blend of discovery and authenticity. A thoroughly beguiling newcomer blessed with offbeat beauty and natural charm, Cobham-Hervey makes a potentially irritating character a pleasure to spend a year with, even when shes at her most selfish. Althuizen and Archer similarly leave vivid impressions that suggest greater opportunities ahead, while Herbert-Jane (who identifies as non-gender-conforming offscreen) is entirely credible in a nuanced role that still leaves the audience wanting more.
After a few initial questions from Billie (Do I call you dad now? If youre with [a woman] are they lesbian or are they straight?), James transition becomes a secondary concern and feels strangely underdeveloped considering the film spans such a lengthy period of time. 52 Tuesdays instead attempts to explore the fluidity of gender identity in more delicate, less penetrating ways, from Billies own experimentation to a whimsical scene of her family donning pirate garb and facial hair for more farcical role play. That may also be the reasoning behind the effeminate affectations of James obnoxious brother, Nick (Mario Spate), who lives with him and encourages Billies worst behavior. More compelling are the short, docu-style segments of James interviewing other trans individuals during a brief vacation to San Francisco, and Billie watching a YouTube confessional of the daughter of a transgender woman.
Nevertheless, the pic serves as a promising calling card for Hyde and close collaborators Cormack, producer Rebecca Summerton and d.p.-editor Bryan Mason, all part of the South Australian creative collective Closer Prods. (also behind the 2011 Sundance competition documentary Shut Up Little Man!). Their shared vision is evident in the films intimacy and tonal consistency. While the unique achievement of filming once a week for an entire year may have been overshadowed at Sundance by Richard Linklaters even more ambitious Boyhood, 52 Tuesdays still demonstrates a willingness to experiment that bodes well for future endeavors.