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Strap on Olympia (1995)

Directed by: Cate Shortland
Starring: Loene Carmen, Brael Mathews
Genre: Short

This movie gets: 4.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Strap on Olympia (1995) is also mentioned in pearly's review of pentuphouse (1998).

"Strap on Filmmaking" - a review by pearly

Strap on Olympia is Cate Shortland's first film. It is a film which originated from an idea based on the painting entitled Olympia, by Edouard Manet, which is a painting of a courtesan who is reputed to gaze directly into the eyes of those looking at it. Taking this as a starting point, Shortland has created a short film in which a young girl discusses her life as a prostitute, a job in which she goes by the name of Olympia.

The film is mainly in black and white, with brief sections in colour. These colour scenes are a kind of fantasy or dream world, I'm not sure which. Shortland spoke, at the screening I attended, about the way in which she shot the film. Before beginning work on the film, Shortland had never even visited a film set before. She filmed it entirely mute, and all the sound, including the voiceover, was added later. Shortland cited Todd Haynes's Poison (1991) as an influence.

The lead character of Olympia is played by Brael Mathews, but is actually voiced by Loene Carmen. As there is no discussion in the film, and it's purely voice over, this isn't even noticeable until you see the final credits. As for my opinion of the film, I think that it comes across very much as a first film. There's a fair bit of experimentation in there, and it seems more about capturing images than telling a story. The voiceover ties it all together, giving it a storyline, but I wasn't really all that interested, actually.

pearly gives this movie 4 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 2 Aug 2004

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Reader comments

  1. I saw a fine piece of 'Strap on Filmmaking' once, but I'm not reviewing it on nofreelist.

    A comment from nofreelist's own mino on Mon 02 Aug 2004 16:56 #

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