In the industry, September is known as a ‘“dump month.” A release window both too early for, and too late from, awards season. For NSW, it’s an opportunity to sit back, relax, and maybe go through that list of films you’ve always meant to watch. This month is an excellent time to imagine the outside world, so here are three recommendations of road trip films.
The new Wes Anderson film The French Dispatch has been delayed for longer than it was in production. While we can’t hold our breath for the November release (we’ve been hurt before), it gives us time to binge a retrospective of his work – like the charming The Darjeeling Limited (Disney+). It’s about three brothers trying to reconnect on a trip through India after the death of their father. In classic Anderson, tradition is a feast of colourful quirkiness.
Tracks (Netflix, Stan, Binge, SBS On Demand) is the most earnest Australian film made in the past 10 years. Based on the true story of Robyn Davidson, who travelled from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean with four dromedaries and a dog, it manages to escape the tempting claws of romanticised corniness. It’s far from perfect, but if you’re sharing your dwelling with a loud family, the desert feels like an oasis right now.
If there is one film you should watch though, I recommend Agnés Varda’s beautiful last film, Faces Places (SBS On Demand). At the ripe age of 89, Varda goes on an unplanned trip with artist and photographer JR to listen to stories of people, photograph them, and immortalised them as art installations in their buildings. Not many films are this unassuming and gentle.