Monday, May 30, 2011

Short Film: Harvey (Australia, 2002)



No 6-foot-tall invisible white rabbit here. Harvey is the name of the man down the hall, peeking through his mail slot...

This obscure short Australian student film, entitled Harvey, was written and directed by Peter McDonald, who seems never to have done anything else since this brief excursion into the deeper backwaters of Lynchville. Clocking in at a little less than ten minutes, the surreal and disturbing film is less a full narrative than a series of related vignettes telling a disquieting tale of loneliness, desire, obsession, love, hate and loss.
Nudity and blood abound in shadow-drenched B&W when the lonely Harvey (Nicholas Hope of the equally odd Bad Boy Bubby [1993 / trailer] and, somewhere, the turkey Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid [2004 / trailer]), who is seriously less than a full man, decides he needs his female neighbor (Lisa Angove) to make him a complete person. Director McDonald took full advantage digital compositing technologies when he made his film, and the effects hold up remarkably well even today.

Harvey
isn't exactly a film you want to show your kids, and while some of the visuals could even be disturbing for adults I figure that if you're here at A Wasted Life you should know what to expect. Virtually silent with an oddly creepy background melody, Harvey is an intensely symbolic film – enough so to be labeled an art horror film.

So whatever happened to Peter McDonald? Hard to believe that someone who creates a film so weird, so one-of-a-kind, so unique has never gone on to do something else...

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