My experience of watching an Ibsen play is that in the very first scene I have the feeling that someone has fired a bullet, and then I spend the rest of the play waiting for it to hit. Inevitably, after a long, suspended trajectory, it does.
Simon Stone literalises this idea in his adaptation of Ibsen’s The Wild Duck in his stunning debut feature film The Daughter, produced by Nicole O’Donohue and Jan Chapman, and screening tonight as the first in the official competition at the 62nd Sydney Film Festival. The film begins with a bullet being fired into an evocative mist, only to claim its first victim in the form of a lame duck. Those familiar with Ibsen already know that this duck is a metaphor writ large, and that this bullet will claim another victim, all in the passage of time.
This feeling of inevitability conjures the spirit of ancient…
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