“Three Summers” Written And Directed By Ben Elton

October 3, 2017

Image: The Reel Bit

Ben Elton is clever. International English author, playwright, director, actor, comedian, he has it all. You only need to Google him to see what he has been up to during his creative life.

He is renowned for his work and his latest ensemble comedy explains why as his moving, witty, satirical story, “Three Summers”, embraces the diversity of modern contemporary Australia.

The audience attends the same summer music festivals for three years in a row. Before you know it, you have embraced the characters in their annual environment, one in which they evolve. We are entwined in their development. Members of an indigenous dance troupe, wine loving empty nesters, a power tripping security guard, wannabe girl rock band and musical asylum seekers.

They all have their individual stories and Ben Elton has managed to highlight the anguish everyone faces as individuals interlinked with their unique inherited cultures. What begins with ignorance develops into empathy, respect, kinship and love, as the characters search their inner self, soon to discover the narrowness of their ways.

We were entertained by talented actors young and old. They made the story happen. Gifted Rebecca Breeds plays a feisty lead singer in her father’s Irish folk band, played by John Waters. I had forgotten how touching an actor he is. We girls wiped the tears from our eyes as he sang a tribute song to his dead wife.

Michael Caton never disappoints. His characters always seem to consolidate any Aussie film as does Madga Szubanski who plays the community radio super star and Deborah Mailman an AA counsellor.

Not to mention Roberts Sheehan’s character as a hating-folk- music Theremin (i) player, plus Jacqueline McKenzie, Peter Rowsthorn, Kate Box and the Bondi Hipsters, Christiaan Van Vuuren & Nick Boshier, all important threads that added colour to the tapestry.

Distributed by Transmission Films this movie made us, laugh, cry, emotionally dance to the engaging music, and laugh again. Look out for a brilliant Aussie movie and include on your mandatory list. The Australian movie industry is one to be proud of, we are alive and kicking!!

(i) Note:
Theremin instrument was invented in 1920 by a young Russian physicist named Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon
Theremin. He later moved to the US and patented his invention. It is a proximity sensor that emits an
electromagnetic field able to detect the presence of nearby objects without any physical contact.

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