Australia, 1984, 74 minutes, Colour.
Julieanne Newbold, John Ewart, Patricia Kennedy, Nicholas Eadie.
Directed by Peter Fisk.
Kindred Spirits was one of several telemovies produced by the ABC in 1983-84. It is a ghost story - but set in sunlight and, especially, on Bondi Beach.
Julieanne Newbould in an excellent performance portrays a young dancer who has a psychic experience on Bondi Beach. She experiences Black Sunday when many people were dragged out by freak waves in the late 1930s. The young man who dies in her experience begins to haunt her. The film explores the experience of the heroine and draws us into a mystery which has a surprise ending, especially those who live in Sydney and are familiar with the Granville train crash of 1977.
There is a very strong cast including John Ewart and Patricia Kennedy. Direction is by Peter Fisk, an ABC director of television specials moving into feature work.
1. An entertaining telemovie? Emotional response? Thoughtful? The Australian Broadcasting Corporation and its style?
2. Impact: brevity, ghost story and romance?
3. The use of Sydney locations: the city. Bondi Beach (day and night, past and present)? The western suburbs? King's Cross? Nightclubs? Authentic atmosphere? The background score?
4. Julie as the focus of the film: her work, the dancing rehearsals, sequences? Her friends? Her relationship with Tommy and her disillusionment, trying to stay with him, his humiliating her, telling her to go? Billy and his support? Sustaining her, helping her in her investigation? The encounter with Ben, attracted to him, falling in love, his support? on the beach with Billy and her premonitions. going into the water. knowing that it would rain, going back into the past, the waves. the lifesavers, the resuscitation of the young man. his death? The importance of the event in the '30s? The puzzle for Julie, the effect on her? The discovery of Andrew's name? His reappearances in her life. in her dreams? Her growing more disturbed? The investigation with Ben? Billy's discovery of the incident, going to the library and looking at the newspapers, the visit to Miss Morris and her unwillingness to give information? The discussions with Charlie about Black Sunday and Julie knowing she had seen him? The quest growing into an obsession? Her wandering to Parramatta, Miss Morris' rejection? Her going to the train, Andrew's appearance on the train, the crash and her leaving with him?
5. How well portrayed the themes of obsession and haunting? In both daylight and night? The visions of Andrew - the eyes in the taxi mirror, the dreams? Her emotional response. falling in love? His drawing her? Sharing with him? The significance of the Tarot cards and the interpretation of her life and her expectations?
6. Billy as a friend, dancing partner, homosexuality and tenderness, his listening, sharing, concern? His advertisement in the paper, his looking at the headlines in past papers with Julie? Comparisons with Ben, his work. engineering study. dropping out. work, relationship to Julie, exasperation? The two men coming to her rescue?
7. Tommy as comedian, his drinking, pushing himself, his public face, the interview, the party, his performance? Lack of self-confidence, pushiness, rudeness? Sexuality, drinking? His kicking Julie out? His phone calls?
8. The background of dancing, rehearsals, shows and choreography?
9. Miss Morris and her response to the advertisement, Billy and Julie's visit, wanting to see the photos, Miss Morris' memories, hesitations, regrets - her looking at the albums herself? Julie's premonition about the lemon tree? The mystery surrounding Miss Morris?
10. Bondi Beach, swimming, the ethos of Sydney and the beaches? The '30s disaster and its memories? Charlie's memories?
11. The impact of the Granville crash? Audience knowledge of the reality or not?
12. An attractive romance with psychic and ghostly backgrounds? A Sydney fantasy?