“Wish You Were Here” An Australian psychological-thriller filmed in Cambodia opens Friday, June 7 at the Landmark Lagoon Cinema in Uptown Minneapolis.
The film stars Joel Edgerton, FelicityPrice, and Antony Starr. Is is written by Kieran Darcy-Smith and Felicity Price, directed by Kieran Darcy Smith and produced by Angie Fielder. They are recognized as one of the most promising creative teams to emerge in the Australian film industry in recent years.
The film was shot on location in several areas of Cambodia and had several roles with several non actors in addition to a local production crew.
“The entire experience was challenging in the extreme and I absolutely loved it,” said director Kieran Darcy-Smith. “I’ve never felt more alive. As a bonus, the material we shot was beyond expectations. I’d love to do it all again.”
The film secured cinematic locations with interesting sources of available light, so that acclaimed cinematographer Jules O’Loughlin could achieve a low key, atmospheric lighting quality. The camerawork is predominantly hand-held, though steady, with only a small handful of judiciously considered tracks or precision camera moves to underline key dramatic moments. The focus was on capturing truthful performances, and so the camera remained free and spontaneous.
The story is about four friends that indulge in a carefree Cambodian holiday, but their sun-soaked retreat quickly takes a horrific turn when one of the travelers disappears. As the search ensues, the others return home, racked with guilt and struggling to return to their daily lives. Does one of them hold the answer to the fate of their lost companion? Tightly-held secrets from their life-altering trip are brought to light, revealing clues to the whereabouts of their missing friend.
Kieran Darcy-Smith said that she is fascinated by the idea of unexplained disappearance and the notion of truth. “Wish You Were Here” is her opportunity to step into the shoes of others – but always with a clear mirror held up to myself. Her characters are written to have the audience feel that could have just as easily happened to them.
“The film opens with color, energy and music; life, love, travel, smiles, sunshine and abandon,” she said. “It kicks us immediately into a world we want to be in, and with people we like. People just like us. But there’s a problem. Something has happened… And we stay with these people as they navigate a very complicated crisis… The narrative plays out from shifting points of view as we track concurrently the story of a likeable young family under pressure, a marriage tested, a disappearance, one man’s suppression of the truth, the repercussions of his decision and the necessity, for everyone, for the truth to come out into the open. And so ‘truth’(as well as being our key theme) has become a directorial by-word. My absolute priority, from script to screen, is truth.Truth of performance, of character, and of story.”