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Burning Man

Year: 2011
Production Co: Archer Street Productions
Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Producer: Jonathan Teplitzky
Writer: Jonathan Teplitzky
Cast: Matthew Goode, Bojana Navakovic, Rachel Griffiths, Kerry Fox, Anthony Hayes, Kate Beahan, Gia Carides, Garry McDonald, Dan Wyllie

If you want to get to the end of this movie you have to stick with it. There's a straight narrative in there, but it's very hard to grasp because Teplitzky and his editor have thrown scenes, sequences and even images into a blender and then shaken them out onto the bench to assemble however they fall.

For the longest time you'll be asking yourself things like 'who's that woman?', 'who died?', 'is she his wife?' and 'what's the kid upset about?'. The film answers them all, but takes its sweet time doing so.

One of the reasons it's so hard to get to the end is because there hasn't been as unlikable a protagonist as Tom (Goode, last seen as Ozymandias in Watchmen) on screens in ages. Whether he's attacking picnickers in the park, throwing their food and belongings all over the place in a fit of temper, he's abusing everyone else on the road because he's always late or mistreating the women who surround him.

He's actually coming undone after a terrible event in his life that deals with one of the women in his story (whom isn't even introduced for a good half hour and who's the mother to his son). To reveal it would blow an important plot turn and a good part of the reason Tom is the way he is, but there's not much else you can talk about in describing the movie.

Throughout it all there's a curious motif of things bursting into flames that gives the movie it's title, steering it perilously close to David Lynch territory. It's very artful and langourously paced but so esoteric in the telling it's going to lose a lot of viewers before it's over – even as crammed as it is with topless and sex scenes.

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