Eric Bana may be a boy from Melbourne, but his connection to regional Victoria is one of the reasons he’s been drawn to his latest venture

These landscapes of regional Victoria, the rugged shapes of the bush and the open spaces of the dry tinder fields are scattered all over the screen of Bush Noir The Dry, Bana’s latest film, based on Jane Harper’s bestselling novel

The attraction of the film lies in the lively, moody sense of place it evokes, as well as in the mysterious deaths that determine the plot of the film

Filmed in the Mallee Wimmera area of ​​northwest Victoria, it’s the replacement for the fictional hometown of Bana’s character Aaron, a Melbourne-based federal policeman who is returning home for his childhood friend’s funeral

There are questions about the deaths and tensions in the affected city – some simmering for a long time, others caused by the devastating drought – threatening to tear them apart

“There’s another version of this movie that exists 50 minutes outside of a metropolitan area where you can cheat on it and still make a great movie, but you wouldn’t see the movie you’re about to see,” Bana said opposite newscomau

“I don’t like being indoors in a studio. Places really bleed into your character, performance and energy. It’s really special”

Bana, 52, said he was partially drawn to The Dry because Harper depicted regional Australia in her book

“I recognize the regional Australia, not the outback. I really spend a lot of time with my motorcycle in the regions, so a lot of these places are places that I have spent a bit of time in and that I just love. I feel very passionate

“Then when you are nestled there [filming] you naturally get into the rhythm of country life, even though you work. You are remote and have those wonderful trips of an hour and 15 minutes from the small town you are in stop to the city where you take photos every day to see the sunrise and sunset and the beauty of it it gets under your skin

“After that, it was a big change that came back to life in Melbourne, and the lockdown was even more difficult as I had been in the region for some time. I really wanted to get back out to the regions”

He quickly added, “I behaved, I didn’t break any rules But, boy, oh boy, there were a few vanishing point moments!”

Bana had filmed The Dry in early 2019, directed by his good friend Robert Connelly, before the drought broke.If there was an advantage, it was those parched, brittle landscapes that looked amazing on the big screen

It’s a scale that is breathtaking on a movie screen, an experience that cannot be reproduced on a home television screen, let alone on your cell phone

The Dry, like so many films in 2020, was originally slated for earlier release, in its case in April.As the world closed and cinemas closed, an August date was discussed before May 1 January was traditionally a busy movie-going time of the year that was usually overflowing with Hollywood blockbusters

As coronavirus cases escalate in major markets including the US and UK and big movies continue to advance, The Dry is in an enviable position as it only competes against Wonder Woman 1984 in terms of a high profile competitor

“We now have this incredible opportunity in January to open simultaneously without 10 American blockbusters in the same week,” said Bana

As an Australian film, the decision to bring it to theaters now was not made by Los Angeles executives whose priorities are firmly centered on the US

Bana at the Sydney premiere of The Dry in mid-December (Photo by Brendon Thorne / Getty Images) Source: Getty Images

While the threat of a second wave in the greater Sydney area has made audiences reluctant to flock to a movie theater, the rest of the country is open to business and movie theater visits

Although most international tentpole films have been withheld in the past nine months, Australians have been fortunate enough to try smaller, independent dishes, but also a few local films

These local releases during the pandemic, including Rams, Babyteeth, and the upcoming Penguin Bloom, have been a reminder of why it is so important to have a robust Australian screen culture

“I think a pretty impressive number of Australian films will be released by around mid-2021 and we’re the first,” said Bana. “So for many reasons I hope our film is a huge hit, I hope it paves the way Way to help out with these other releases

“I hope the industry will look back on itself and say,” Hey, the Australian audience is very excited about these projects “These are original pieces of material of really high quality that appeal to a wide audience

“Let’s see if people flock to them and if so, hopefully there will be a reassessment [of the local industry]”

Joe Klocek plays the younger version of Eric Bana’s character Aaron in The Dry (Photo by Brendon Thorne / Getty Images) Source: Getty Images

Up-and-coming actor Joe Klocek, who plays a younger version of Bana’s character Aaron in The Dry, agreed that the pandemic has highlighted the value of the local film industry

“One thing we learned from the pandemic is that Australia can keep up. We’re doing a lot of great work,” Klocek said

“And I think the pandemic actually made it clear to the rest of the world that we were an invaluable asset. This is one thing I really look forward to when The Dry comes out I hope people get to the theaters.” and look at it because it just says, “We can do that, look at this””

Bana added that hopefully the appeal of Harper’s book will prove to be a selling point for moviegoers in support of a local production

“We always thought there would be a huge audience for Jane Harper’s book. It was our job to create the greatest version of a film to attract people to the cinema

“Every decision to make this film is made with a big screen in mind, right down to the sound and everything that we want to be part of”

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The Dry, the dry film

World news – AU – The Dry-Film: Eric Bana on his connection with the regional Victoria and filming on location