Author, musician and filmmaker, Adam Morris has followed up his debut feature EDWARD AND ISABELLA (2022). The film won Best Film at the WA Screen Culture Awards, Best Feature Film at the Prague International Film Festival and Best Director at the Tokyo Film Awards.
He has completed his second feature FRANK AND FRANK (or The Valley and The Walrus: Ruminations on the Mystery from Soup to Nuts). The story begins with Frank (Myles Pollard), a faith and financial influencer who faces divorce. A man who is used to having answers and giving them to others is faced by his utter inadequacy as the potential of divorce looms. He’s an individual used to moving forward and is now stopped in his tracks with a serious mid-life crisis.
The property Frank has retreated to, has a caravan at the back, which is being lived in by Frank (Trevor Jamieson), a happily separated carpenter and artist who enjoys life. Through confusion and happenstance, the two middle-aged men begin an unusual friendship as they start sharing stories. In this process, Frank (Pollard) must face up to his uncertain future.
What we’re offered are intimate scenes of conversation where the new friends discuss everything, form the small to the great. Pollard’s Frank is searching for signs and solutions. Jamieson’s Frank isn’t motivated like this. His way of looking at things seems, at first, more practical. However, there is an element of the story that points at the fantastical and dreamlike. Music, pop culture and literature are referenced. There is no idea or moment personal or communal that cannot be shared or felt. In this way, the audience explores the world of the protagonists and by association the universe beyond. Strap in for a journey through philosophy, the spirit and working out how to get on with your potential ex-lover.
This film, like Morris’ first feature, was also shot in Albany. The film was made on a micro budget and was further supported by the local community. The port city in the south of Western Australia has an important physical presence that contrasts and complements the friendship of Frank and Frank. The small interiors chosen make it a relief when we step into the large natural exteriors.
Jamieson and Pollard are excellent co-leads and foils for each other. Pollard perfectly embodies a lost, disappointed man. He is down and surprised and yet, the very successful man beneath can be glimpsed. Jamieson’s Frank is man of many stories, who is sometimes bemused by his new friend. His various takes and angles on life are delivered with nuance and charisma. The duo creates a convincing and unexpected view into male friendship.
FRANK AND FRANK is for audiences that want humour and human observation from an unusual perspective. Morris, Jamieson and Pollard have created a personal tale that reaches for the stars. (6.5/10)
NOTE: FRANK AND FRANK has its world premiere on July 15-16 at Luna Palace Leederville and Luna on SX as part of REV 23.