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:: Roy Hollsdotter Live / Harvie Krumpet

Two brilliant Australian short films get together for one worthwhile screening. Roy Hollsdotter Live and Harvie Krumpet are acclaimed dramatisations that have gained substantial overseas recognition. The independently released award winning flicks deal with very real emotions, portraying complex humans to miserable souls in search of the significance of life’s unfoldings. The protagonists in both films share the common feelings of hurt and pain, yet resulting from very diverse circumstances.

Roy Hollsdotter Live is centred on a successful stand up comedian in his late thirties, played by Darren Casey. Whilst he manages to woo his enthused pub audiences, Roy is simultaneously experiencing heartbreak after a split with girlfriend Cate (Asher Keddie).

The moody Roy embarks on a mission to stalk Cate, which includes waiting for her to drive past every night while he sits in a take-away outlet with his best friend Andrew (Simmo) Simpson. Simmo (Luke Elliot) is far from impressed with Roy’s new-found hobby and attempts to keep him busy by providing him company. However, as time goes by, Roy’s state deteriorates and it becomes noticeable to Simmo through his self-abuse, negativity and bizarre comedy performances. He becomes increasingly violent and this predicament places stress on Simmo.

The themes of friendship, support and neurosis are highlighted in this 52 minute feature which also delivers outstanding acting performances.

Harvie Krumpet is a clever 22 minute production that examines the life of its main character of the same name. Intelligent, humorous and engaging, the animated, claymation film is narrated by Geoffrey Rush and features the voice of Kamahl. Harvie is a ‘victim’; an unlucky being who is constantly struggling with life and cannot make sense of it.

As an average person, he seems to have more misfortune than most people. Perhaps Harvie is cursed. From being born with Tourette’s Syndrome and consequently experiencing a painful childhood to becoming an orphan at eighteen, bad luck is never too far away. A string of distressing events follows, including being struck by lightning, having his testicle removed, being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease later in life and eventual depression and suicidal tendencies.

However, in between all the misery, there are few moments of joy and the journey has quite an enlightening ending.

Harvie’s story is one of humanity. Audiences will be able to identify with some aspects of his life. A viewer cannot help become involved with Harvie’s quests and share his emotions.

This double bill of fine drama is indeed an entertaining combination and makes recommendable viewing.

Screening exclusively at The Dendy Newtown in Sydney and Cinema Nova in Melbourne