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by Underwater Dreams


First of all, congrats to your director Kathleen for your WIFT award, the directing in this film was probably the strongest part about it (and there were many strong aspects) as you were able to drum up very convincing performances from all of your performers in this tale of freedom and following your dreams.

The film was rhythmic, with fantastic breathing to the pacing of proceedings, as a therapy session turned into a revealing self assessment for both patient, doctor and any audience watching with a sensational fourth wall break. You have to have a lot of confidence and ability to be able to build your film like this in 5 minutes, but colour me impressed at how you handled your structure.

What I particularly liked was how the film started grounded in reality and moved into a slightly surreal tone, with the collective movement of people feeling particularly hypnotic. Yes, "fucking the wind" is arguable a farcical message but if you look past that and truly listened to the script its impressive how Underwater Dreams used their film as a platform for the truly powerful message that being yourself is freeing.

Also, far out does this film play well with a crowd, absolutely slaying the audience with induced laughter at both the heat I saw it at and Wellington final.

Technically I was a little bewildered by the choice to shoot in Academy ratio, however the focus pulling was top notch with every speaking part being given fantastic depth whenever they were centred on camera. In many ways it helped a lot as well, because the tight framing felt reflective of the tightness/constriction the lead actress felt until the freedom and personal choice was embraced in the second half of the film.

Story: 4/5
Technical: 4/5
Elements: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

One of the best things about this is how insanely brave the form is and yet it's also technically masterful.

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