Alexandra's Project ★★★★½

Australian cinema has many impressive dark psychological thrillers to offer that fly under the radar due to the minuscule nature of its film industry. Films like 1998's The Interview uses confined space to it's tense and claustrophobic advantage and 2003's Alexandra's Project from revered film-maker Rolf de Heer (Bad Boy Bubby, The Tracker, Ten Canoes) is another film that uses this technique and narrative device effectively with the film being mostly set in one room.

The premise is way too delicious and shocking to spoil, but all I will mention of the plot is; imagine yourself as a husband and father coming home to a dark empty home on your birthday, and finding a video tape that says 'Play me'. Thematically this film explores the dynamic of male and female roles in a marriage, the things taken for granted, the miscommunication or total lack of it. Both the major roles of Steve (Gary Sweet) and Alexandra (Helen Buday) are played with total bravery and commitment, the score is moody and effective which adds to the palpable tension of the piece. Upon this viewing I was keenly aware of the incredible cinematography which called for some really unique angles and lighting.

Rolf de Heer is an incredibly talented and diverse Film-maker, rarely staying in the same genre and with Alexandra's Project has created what I believe to be a near perfect psychological thriller, one that Mr. Hitchcock would be proud of and one that will leave you stunned as the credits roll.

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