seventeen stories from page to screen

Nearly a decade ago, Tim Winton published a collection of 17 short stories under the banner title, The Turning. Some of the stories feature the same character or characters. Each one has its own story arc.

Film director Robert Connolly came to Winton with the audacious idea of making a film of The Turning. Seventeen short stories. Seventeen different directors, and a different cast for each of the stories.

Watching the film draws you in and asks you to unpick a puzzle that does not place the characters in any chronological order. It is a beautiful film (or series of films), showcasing talented actors, stunning light and landscapes, dancers (yes dancers) and Winton’s words. Each allocated story is a fresh interpretation.

It’s three hours long. I decided early not to work too hard in the watching. Afterwards, I remembered we had a paperback copy somewhere in the house and scrambled to find it. Now that I’ve dipped into the stories again, I want to revisit the film.

Tim Winton - The Turning

The thing that I like best about the story of making the film is that Tim Winton said yes and then, stepped away from what he thought was a bold idea. And I’m wondering about the sensation that artists and writers get when they inspire others to create new visions from something they birthed.

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