A Journey through 1990s Australia.
Tim Barretto's debut feature film, Bassendream, shot on 16mm film, takes us on a nostalgic journey through 1990s Australia, specifically the suburb of Bassendean in Perth, Western Australia. The film has already made waves, earning its spot in the SXSW Sydney Lineup.
A coming-of-age drama that unfolds over 24 hours on the final day of the summer school holidays in 1990s Australia. The film paints a vivid picture of suburban life, exploring themes of youth, friendship, and family. Using the unique tone and freewheeling rhythm of 16mm film, the movie delves into the tender interactions, eccentric escapades, and extreme independence that define growing up in a time when the internet had not yet saturated our lives with answers.
The project was conceived over a decade ago when Barretto and his friends reminisced about their childhoods, discussing the unbridled freedom that shaped their characters. He portrays a time when children were left to their own devices, exploring the world during the day and returning home to the adults at night.
The visual beauty of Bassendream is owed in large part to the remarkable cinematography by Oliver Hay. His skillful use of the 16mm film format captures the essence of the 1990s, immersing viewers in the time and place with each frame. Hay's work behind the camera adds a layer of authenticity and magic to the film.
With roughly half of the cast and crew hailing from Bassendream itself, the production exudes a sense of community and authenticity. Auditions took place in the local community hall, and the process of casting involved playing games and identifying those who could embark on this cinematic journey. The collaborative spirit extended to the residents of Bassendean, who readily offered their homes and support for the film's production.
Director Tim Barretto's inclusive approach allowed him to immerse himself in the community, giving him unprecedented access to the suburb's resources. He engaged with the locals, even enlisting passersby to participate in the film's creation. This inclusive style of filmmaking not only made the production a shared experience but also lent a genuine, lived-in quality to the final product.
Emerging as a beautifully crafted slice of life, transporting audiences back to 1990s Australia. The film's universal themes of friendship, family, community, and belonging, set against the backdrop of a scorching Western Australian summer, is a reminder that sometimes, the most extraordinary stories are the ones that unfold in our own backyards.