TL;DR – A transcendent exploration of music, youth, and the times in our lives where the two powerfully intersect.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Paramount+ service that viewed this film.
Warning – contains scenes that may cause distress.
6 Festivals Review –
When people write stories about young people, they often look back to their own lives as inspiration. But there becomes a disconnect between setting something in the now based on a feeling from the past. This issue can lead to outdated films before they even make it to the screen. Well, today, we look at a movie that avoids those pitfalls by focusing on the very real and now.
So to set the scene, we open on a small rowboat in the middle of the river as three friends, James (Rory Potter), Maxie (Rasmus King), and Summer (Yasmin Honeychurch), drink wine out of a box and sing Powderfinger’s My Happiness. They are using the boat to sneak into the Utopia Valley music festival on the central coast of Australia’s New South Wales. But they are soon rumbled by the cops and have to do a quick fence jump to get in. The festival is a riot, right up until the cops catch up with them, and James is forced to reveal that he has cancer. Knowing that he can use his cancer as a good excuse, the three convince James’s mum Sue (Briony Williams), to take them to the Big Pineapple festival and more, as they try to hit six festivals in a row.
One of the areas where this film shines is its depiction of the music festivals that make up the narrative lynchpins of the story. The noise. The people. The music. The lights. That thumping sound that rolls through your body. There is a swirl of excitement around every corner, as well as running into a lot of the significant Australian musical talent working in those festivals. However, when you have a film visiting many different music festivals, you are tempted to enjoy the festivals and do the bare minimum of a plot to get from one festival to the next. But thankfully, this is not the case here. Every character has motivations to go from one to the next with all the agency you need in a film like this.
This film rests entirely on the shoulders of its three young leads, who all bring their a-game to the proceeding. Rory Potter has the unenviable job of exploring the emotional core of someone living with a timer counting down. There are moments in this film where a whole range of emotions and conversations are conveyed with just a look. Yasmin Honeychurch plays the character most connected with the music, and if you don’t believe that, then a lot of the film falls apart. Finally, what a year it has been for Rasmus King. This is the second film in a month, after Bosch & Rockit, where he has excelled as someone trying to find their place in the world.
From a visual perspective, the film excels at capturing the joys and hardships of youth. There are a lot of neon entranced landscapes but also use of country and place to locate the action. I will say it is dreamlike not only seeing the inside of the Big Pineapple, which brought back some visceral memories of the film, but also a surreal moment when you recognise an overpass that they drove under. While I enjoyed most of this film, even some of the more challenging emotional moments. There were some narrative beats in this movie that needed more work because they landed more awkwardly than I think the filmmakers intended.
In the end, do we recommend 6 Festivals? Yes, we would. There are some confronting moments in the film, and I am sure their language will be a barrier for people. However, I feel they captured a moment in time here, which is always praiseworthy. If you liked 6 Festivals, we would also recommend to you Babyteeth.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of 6 Festivals
Directed by – Macario De Souza
Written by – Macario De Souza & Sean Nash
Story by – Macario De Souza
Music by – Blessed
Cinematography by – Hugh Miller
Edited by – Ahmad Halimi
Production/Distribution Companies – Bonsai Films, Screen Australia, Screen Canberra, Screen Queensland, Helium, Superlative Pictures, Hype Republic & Parramount+
Starring – Rory Potter, Rasmus King, Yasmin Honeychurch, Guyala Bayles, Briony Williams, Kyuss King, Phil Jamieson, Tommy Ropati, Damiela Thompson, Matty Woo, Blessed, Jessica Barnes & Simon Roborgh with Dune Rats, Bliss N Eso, G Flip. Hockey Dad, B Wise, Phil Jamieson, Stace Cadet, Kobie Dee, Lime Cordiale, Running Touch, Peking Duck, Jess B, Hooligan Hefs, Kwame, Jerome Farrah, Dope Lemon, Anna Therese, Charbel, Champion The Boy, Kid Pharaoh. East AV3, Ruby Fields, Day 1, Timmy Trumpet, & Myth of Her.
Rating – Australia: MA15+;