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  1. The Turning (2013)

    (Link to the the book.) The Guardian: In the midst of an off-season for Australian cinema comes a bold and audacious crazy quilt of a film that resembles its own mini-Aussie New Wave. Tim Winton's The Turning, which premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival on Saturday, is being marketed as "a unique cinema event." That it is to say the least. The passion project of creator Robert Connolly, this three-hour epic is a wholesale adaptation of Winton's short-story collection. Each of the book's 18 stories is interpreted on film by a different team of filmmakers, including collaborators from the worlds of theatre, photography, visual art and dance ... The idea of such a curated project is noble, but it wouldn't be worth much if The Turning didn't work as feature-length entertainment. Omnibus films often feel like the cinematic equivalent of a meal of cocktail hors d'oeuvres; one of the achievements of The Turning is how well-crafted, cohesive and satisfying it is as a film. Despite its sprawling ambition and daunting runtime, it's surprisingly light on its feet – engaging, entertaining and frequently mesmerising throughout, with only a few missteps along the way. It also effectively recreates the experience of being sucked into a top-notch short-story cycle by a gifted author. While most episodes here would stand alone, it's hard to recall another omnibus film with such narrative unity. Characters re-appear in different episodes at different stages of their lives, fleshed out in snapshots that explore recurring themes from different angles. In that sense it works a bit like a TV series, where different creative teams adhere to one master vision (with Connolly as showrunner, perhaps). The different disciplinary approaches and mixed media generally keep things fresh and interesting ...