miércoles, 4 de mayo de 2011
Rats in the Ranks - Robin Anderson & Bob Connolly (1996)
Director: Robin Anderson & Bob Connolly
Ambition, courage, envy, betrayal, disaster, triumph...in other words a classic study of politics.
Politics is a bruising business. The best policies in the world mean nothing unless you've got the numbers. This film takes a behind-locked-doors look at how politicians get the numbers. Every September Sydney's Leichhardt Council elects its mayor. Incumbent Larry Hand is popular with the citizenry but they don't vote for mayor, the 12 councillors do and after three years of Larry some of them are after his job.
This is the famous account of Sydney local politics from the filmmaking partnership that made the astonishing trilogy in Papua New Guinea: First Contact, Joe Leahy's Neighbours and Black Harvest.
Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson originally proposed a different program to Film Australia. It was to be about Fiji with a working title of The Former Mayor of Ba. However after initial research did not produce the story possibilities they had anticipated, they decided to switch their gaze closer to home and the council of Leichhardt in Sydney. In an unflinching 'fly on the wall' style, they follow the mayoral election - rife with scheming and turmoil. With extraordinary access to councilors they create a real-life drama of how local politics really works.
As Connolly/Anderson commented: "Rats is a film about getting the numbers. And if you're squeamish about the way it's done, don't single out Leichhardt because this is universal behaviour. In keeping with our fundamental approach to filmmaking, we tried to shed light on how democracy functions. Not how it ought to function - how it actually functions"
Rats in the Ranks screened at many film festivals and won the Silver Plaque for Social/Political Documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival in 1996 and the Critics Choice Award for Documentary at the Sydney Film Festival that same year and took home the Logie Award for most outstanding documentary series/program in 1998.
From IMDB: “Anderson and Connolly filmed everything they could get their lenses on in the weeks leading up to a crucial Leichardt Council meeting. No doubt they were hoping for the occasional unguarded word to be caught on film - or perhaps a minor scandal might flit in front of the camera for a minute or two.
The result? Not only did they get all the juicy stuff they had hoped for, and more; they got a story so perfect and brilliantly proportioned that it could have been scripted - indeed, the `script' that resulted from Anderson and Connolly taking real events and snipping out the irrelevant bits is far more satisfying, clever and just plain entertaining than all but a handful of the scripts on which Hollywood is willing to squander millions of dollars. Anderson and Connolly's good fortune surpasses belief. I'm not saying they don't deserve this good fortune. But by gum, it IS good fortune. It's as if they'd planted a camera on the shores of Loch Ness just as the monster takes its first breath since 1450.
Their only problem must have been to fight the impulse to tap some of the councillors on the shoulder and tell them what some of the other councillors were planning to do. It's obvious they didn't, because ... oh, watch the film and find out.”
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gracias a ausmanx!