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Monday, September 17, 2012

Movie Music Monday: My Mind's Own Melody

Film Flam Flummox

Prior to my screening of the utterly ridiculous, ridiculously entertaining sharks-in-a-tsunami-submerged-supermarket Ozploitation flick Bait a couple of weeks ago, the audience was treated to a wildly contrasting cinematic work also hailing from Australia: the avant garde musical short My Mind's Own Melody, written and directed by Josh Wakely and featuring an original score and songs by Daniel Johns. In terms of plot, the film is fairly simple: a factory worker (David Lyons) discovers an escape from his drab, stifling existence in an idyllic, literally melodious world of fantasy--or is it? But as with any film, the power lies in the telling, and from its first hypnotic frame to final haunting note, this is a work of fearless, committed imagination and, perhaps above all else, seamless creative synergy between two visionary artists. Wakely's startling visual sense and his engaging story and characters are lent even greater dimensions of emotional resonance by Johns's ethereal, powerfully emotive melodies, as can be seen and heard in the film's trailer.

Wakely and Johns are actively developing a full-length feature film version of My Mind's Own Melody, and indeed there's more than enough visually, musically, and conceptually to expand into a longer form. But the 25-minute version that currently exists already plays beautifully as a self-contained piece; for all its eye- and ear-catching surrealist fantasia, its protagonist and his plight are raw, real, and relatable--a most solid and affecting foundation upon which Wakely and Johns can push the boundaries even further.

Below is video of Wakely and Johns at a TED conference in 2011 prior to the production of the short, detailing and demonstrating their collaborative creative process.

(special thanks to Australians in Film)

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