A SINGLE LIFE
Australia, 1986, 90 minutes, Colour.
Tina Bursill, Terry Donovan, Pamela Rabe, Steve Jacobs.
Directed by John Power.
A Single Life is an Australian telemovie that had its airing on the ABC. It was directed by John Power, director of The Picture Show Man. It has a Melbourne setting and uses the city well.
The focus is on a woman who has a desire to have a child. Hers is the single life because she does not want to be involved with the father of the child. She singles him out - and, of course, there are emotional and dramatic consequences.
The film seems to be presenting the plot from the woman's viewpoint - but there seems to be a shift in the latter part of the film for audiences to appreciate the stances of both men and women.
1. Interesting telemovie drama? Australian setting and themes?
2. The use of Melbourne locations? The atmosphere of the city? Authenticity?
3. The title, its reference, viewpoint? point of view?
4. Inviting the audience to take a stance?
5. The portrait of Billie: as a dancer, wanting employment, her friend and the discussions about the possibility of having a child, his withdrawing? The visit to the gynaecologist? Lee and her friendship? Her getting a job, at work, the encounter with Richard? The beginning of the affair? Her choice of Richard for the father of bar child? The conduct of the affair - and his relationship with his wife? Billie's relationship with Maggie? The possibilities? Her becoming pregnant? Her disappearance? New home, having the baby? Establishing herself in her single life? Richard's discovery of her, the clash, his discovery of the truth? His kidnapping the baby and her reaction? The court sequences - and the verdict going against him? His visits, Billie's relenting? Their coming to an understanding? The possibilities for the future?
6. Audience response to Billie as a person, her hopes, way of life, the relationship with Richard, her deliberate choice to become pregnant and not to tell the father, her cutting herself off from Richard, his behaviour, her harshness?
7. Richard: at work, type, his relationship with his wife, the clashes, the effect of the affair, his separation from Maggie, Billie's disappearance, his losing everything, his collapse? His discussions with his lawyer friend? The visit to the creche, the kidnapping of the child? The court case - and the real threat of his going to prison? His desperation? Following Billie? His asking for understanding?
8. The sketch of Maggie, her relationship with her husband, her life, style, the clash, separation?
9. Lee, her friendship? Support of Billie? Questioning her?
10. The lawyer and his advice, help?
11. The portrait of men and women in contemporary society? Relationships? Hopes? Marriage and parenthood? Children? The portrayal of decisions and decision-making?