The Orange in love
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A story too, of longing and courage, which unveils some of the different faces of love.
A teenage daughter, a single mother, a caring Ofange, a romantic girl, an abusive father, a young rebel, a dreamy farmhand and a tough farmer - their stories connect, affecting each other and the challenges they face in their rural lives. All brave love and loss, together weaving a story - a country love story - in a place called Orange.
Selected hTe Melbourne International Film Festival, Wearing its heart and intentions very much on its sleeve, this raw and utterly unique new Australian film is a labour of love for cinematographer and director Tom Cowan. In the NSW town of Orange, Cowan held open 'auditions' for local people to tell stories of love - their own experiences, rumours they had heard.
From that basis, Cowan, and writer Adam Bowen, fashioned a series of rough stories, from which the actors would improvise during filming. The non-professional actors played versions of themselves, achieving a level of Thr that is testament to Cowan's vision. Unpolished and often clumsy - just like real life - Orange Love Story is peppered with moments of such poignancy that it makes you draw breath at its frank depiction of love.
Stripped of the 'artificial' highs and lows of the conventional romantic film. Cowan's 'local emotion picture' is quietly hopeful.
The film's idiosyncratic ambience the very human awkwardness of the central performances is ultimately very seductive. Ellen Rossi, 17, stars in Orange Love Story, a film written around the romantic experiences of the city's locals.
So has Trevor Dawe while fixing water pipes on an outlying farm. Around Orange, others are waiting to see how they scrub up at the local cinema tomorrow night.
Ravelry: Orange Love Poncho pattern by Gaye Glasspie
For an under-the-radar feature film called Orange Love Story, Cowan has mined the district for talent and stories. He calls his effort to get real people and their stories on screen an "emotion picture".
Develop a story from a group rather than trying to fit them into a script that's already been perfected through many drafts and approved by all sorts of people like sales agents and bureaucrats. The device used to audition locals who wanted to be involved - getting them to tell real-life love stories - turned into the film after shaping by Cowan and fellow scriptwriter Adam Bowen. With dramaturg Nico Lathouris, who worked on Blue Murder and Wildside, Cowan used workshops to turn locals with limited theatre experience into actors.
One of the five interweaving strands in Orange Love Story is about a strong willed year-old, played by Rossi, 17, who elopes with a year-old mobile phone salesman. Another centres on a dreamy farmer's son, played by Dawe, with a secret infatuation.
And Nico was fantastic at getting people to confront their deepest desires. He thinks the locals are intrigued and tickled that someone has made a film about the city.