Slamdance 2012: High School Rituals Are Exposed AT THE FORMAL

Simon de Bruyn, Contributing Writer
I've only seen two of his short films, but clearly Melbourne filmmaker Andrew Kavanagh -- and by extension his producer Ramona Telecican -- is talent to watch.

The two shorts I've seen, At the Formal and Kavanagh's latest one, Men of the Earth, employ long observational takes to explore seemingly innocuous settings like a high school formal or construction site, but the longer his camera lingers the stranger and more sinister things become.

I saw At the Formal in all its tribal drumming glory again this week and as it's also screening in the Anarchy Shorts program at Slamdance later this month I thought I'd post the little seen trailer for the short below. Plus here's the synopsis courtesy of Slamdance:

Graduating year 12 students in formal attire, their parents and teachers, mill around the grounds and car park of a hall in the twilight. At first glance, it looks like the normal proceedings of a school formal. Parents get photos with their children, clusters of 18-year-olds chat excitedly and one boy is hoisted on the shoulders of his friends. But as time goes on, the observation of uncanny moments hint that things may not be exactly as they seem.

The thematic similarities between this and Sean Byrne's debut feature The Loved Ones are striking, and I'd go as far as to liken Kavanagh's shorts to Byrne's excellent short films like Advantage, in terms of quality and style. Let's hope Andrew Kavanagh's feature plans are just as striking.
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