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A Quack's Journey

by Foreign Objects

A scientist returns home from his journey, but his discoveries are just beginning.

Reviews

A hug, a card and a lotto ticket seem like innocuous enough ways to greet a returning scientist, but mixed with his discovering invisibility and the fact he has had a lucky streak recently means the upcoming Powerball draw becomes a whole lot more interesting than normall.

I enjoyed how the team took a genuinely practical approach to explaining how someone could work out how to make objects disappear, with rare foreign gems from overseas that had unusual properties making things at least a little bit believable.

The resolution was also cute and amusing, and certainly one of the more inventive ways I have seen a guinea pig utilised in this competition.

I hate to be critical about this, but whilst the script was quirky, it was the performance and delivery of the material that held things back a bit. This is because I felt that the line deliveries didn't have much variation, or even stressing particular words to convery emotion and weight/meaning to what was being said. Also when lines were delivered people were either sitting or standing still, whereas some use of body language would have given more gravitas to proceedings.

Story: 2.5/5
Technical: 2/5
Elements: 2.5/5
Overall: 2/5

Foreign Objects have quietly been one of my favourite 48HOURS teams for a while - not for making the best films, because they don't (and I feel like they'd happily admit that), but because they make idiosyncratically weird films only they could make, and put visibly exuberant energy into making them.

"A Quack's Journey" exhibits all the hallmarks of a Foreign Objects film: hilarious leaps in logic, theatrical acting, and a storyline so weird, and so completely driven by the compulsory elements, that it could only emerge from what must've been a wild brainstorming session. While not the best film in the heat, it got a terrific response from the audience, and it deserved every laugh it got, from the "I can't turn it back" reveal to, well, basically anything to do with the hamster. I'd also argue it had the single best final shot / punchline of the heat, in the terrific pull-out to an empty apartment that's a great button on the story and must've taken a lot of effort to achieve (and then, presumably, un-achieve after the shoot).

I almost hesitate to offer suggestions to Foreign Objects, lest their films lose some of the weird edge that makes them what they are. Audio is clearly an issue: I'm not sure what gear they're using, but the audio peaked *a lot*, so it might pay to turn down the gain if that's possible. Maybe some greater depth to the characters - beyond their interaction with the central plot device - would help, too (and it doesn't need to be anything extreme or melodramatic; just something to define the characters a bit better). But whatever you do, keep telling your imaginative stories about invisibility stones and hamster pee and the like - they're friggin' hilarious, and this one is one of the stronger ones, with fun twists and turns that were a delight to experience.

Also, well done that hamster drinking so much water over the credits - that'll provide plenty of pee.

Foreign Objects return to 48hours to breathe life into my cold, dead soul.

With absolute love and adoration, ya'll are my fav "best bad" team, and even though, as evidenced by your meta commentaries in previous films, you seem very aware of this, you haven't let knowing why your films work take away what's so special about them.

A QUACK'S JOURNEY is just as bizarrely told, woodenly performed, and deafeningly loud as ever, and it's perfect in every way.

What sets this team apart from other "low-fi" teams is how clear and concise the storytelling is. Overly simple? Sure. Contrived? At times. Nonsensical? Always! But at the end of the day, I'm very clearly told as an audience member that this scene takes place in Antarctica despite it just being a snowless Christchurch park, or that the invisibility potion has caused the lotto ticket to disappear - and both of these are examples that I could easily see a less experienced team not communicating clearly enough and leaving audiences confused.

Beyond that, I loved the story, the twists and turns, and the reveal of the ticket post-guinea pig pee - a great little practical way to achieve that effect. Fantastic ending too, a genuinely good joke.

Things you got right: A hilarious well told story which dips into the weird and strange with poise and grace.

Things to work on for next time: Honestly just keep doing what you're doing. Don't lose the magic.

Foreign Objects are usual heat buddies with Everything Sticks so it's always fun to see their latest imaginative, madcap adventure. Their line delivery is something unique to them and there are some great lines in this, delivered just ever so slightly over the edge of dead pan. "That's something I haven't discovered yet" and "Oh, my gosh your life is ruined" being my favourite. It makes for such interesting characters.

Agree with AJ - just keep doing what you are doing, making the films you want to make.

Considering it was just two of you and a phone - well done team, I applaud the effort!

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