When I saw the trailer online for Older n Last Time, I thought the film looked a bit silly, a bit amateurish. When I saw the movie today, I was absolutely convinced otherwise. It’s a really great little film. Watching the trailer back again tonight after seeing the film today, it all makes sense as a great “highlights package”. But before seeing the film, I was completely confused about what kind of film it was going to be.
As it turns out, it’s a really nice film that tells a great story, with honesty and heart. At the centre of the film is an older gay male couple who, throughout their lives, have had a number of foster children. In this film, their foster sons have “grown up”, with one embarking on a gay relationship, the other on a straight relationship. Associated with this, there are plot-lines about the desire to have children. There’s also a plot-line about one of the son’s meeting his birth mother, played beautifully by Cat Martin, who has endured a fairly tough life, but who is getting back on track. The film explores the notion of identity and how important it may be for people to know where they came from (presumably to help them better understand the life journey they’re undertaking).
The film is part of the Mardi Gras Film Festival, and after the film there was a brief Q&A session with the cast. The film’s director explained how he works in “theatre in education”, taking drama to schools, and how this was a labour of love. He also explained he had three films in mind, with today’s film being the second. He said he has a third in mind, and without disclosing anything about the film, he offered the third wouldn’t be a follow up, as this was to last year’s film, Damaged Goods.
I didn’t see last year’s film, though I’m now curious to do so. The director explained that it had only one screening at last year’s Film Festival. He also explained he’d had difficulty, so far, in getting the film screened which disappointed the largely supportive audience at today’s screening. “They desperately need to re-cut the trailer”, Graeme observed as we walked out of the screening. Both Grant and I agreed instantly and emphatically with his assessment.
And as we walked along Oxford Street, and went into the Oxford Hotel for our “free drink” (you present your festival ticket), we continued to chat about the film (which is surely a sign of a good film). As we had a drink, I also noted how good it was to see a film shot in my neighbourhood. I loved seeing my ‘hood up there on the big screen.
The guy who runs the restaurant I remember meeting years ago, though I don’t recall his name. And the doctor who makes a brief appearance is a bloke I’ve seen on the streets of Surry Hills over many years. And the baker in the film, played by Kim Diep, is from my local bakery. He’s been serving me for fifteen years, including from the time he was just a child. Now he’s probably in his early 20s and I can remember him as a kid behind the counter of the family-run bakery. Now I’m feeling old.