Monday, February 16, 2009
Age of Consent, 1969
Dir: Michael Powell
February 14, 2009; Netflix Wakefield MA
Michael Powell's Age of Consent is a telling story of the obsession of the artist, keen to rekindle his talent that made him famous by going home, wrapped around a bizarre yet satisfying relationship between the artist and a "wild child" girl whom he meets on a sparsely populated island off the coast of Queensland, Australia.
Going into watching this, I had only ever seen of Powell's Peeping Tom (1960), a film which was banned in many places for its risque subject matter. So when I saw the title of this, I was expecting something a little more dark than this turned out to be. The movie is well acted, and with greats like James Mason and the debut of Helen Mirren, I don't think you could expect anything less. The photography is great, and made me wish I could vacation to the Great Barrier Reef all the time. Watching the striking Mirren swim naked through the blue crystals of coral is breathtaking. The music, however, is almost to kitschy and "happenin" 60s for me and it almost made me laugh, and it reminded me of how the weird jazz music in Roman Polanski's Knife in the Water almost intruded upon an interesting film, as did some of the comedy, which was a little too much at times and made the film uneven.
This film definitely is interesting though, when looking at the way an artist rediscovers his passion for art through a muse, whom he finds in an unlikely place, and through the girl, who, while longing to leave the island and her childhood behind, discovers art and romance.