Watching Warwick Thornton’s The Sea shore is an excursion into spot and self. It made me need to inhale further and smell the salty air. It made me need to walk shoeless among the mangrove trees. What’s more, it made me need to eat. Thornton prepares food from the spot he abides in, the shack on the sea shore at Jilirr, on the Dampier Promontory in far north Western Australia, on the place that is known for the Baard individuals. You need to contact, smell and taste – and feel appreciation for how Nation can give. Wearing a glimmer dark coat and cattle rustler cap, Thornton shows up in his old Toyota jeep. From the beginning, the lively components of Nation are clear. Fire, water, earth and air are his consistent sidekicks – alongside his three chooks (the Women and Man) and the flavors and seeds he gently cleaves, granulates and sustains with his hands. Thornton’s mix of saltwater food with oils and flavors makes feast readiness formal. As he chases, gets and readies the food, he changes it – from fluid too strong to gas to fine art (now and again) very extravagant plates. He gives us a feeling of what that Nation may pose a flavor like, how it may feed your soul. The hues, sounds and scents of this fix of sea shore are alive and moving.
Vitality of Nation
The Sea shore was recorded by Thornton’s child Dylan Waterway. What’s more, it’s lovely. Each shot is a no nonsense bit of work of art. Nation itself – this little bit of liminal space among land and ocean with a one-room wood and tin shack – is as much the hero as Thornton himself. What’s more, the chooks? What’s more, Loner Crabs – who give no consideration to Thornton’s solicitations, yet continue with their own business. Close and far, with cozy close ups, wide all-encompassing perspectives and aeronautical shots, Stream catches the shades of the land, ocean and sky: their developments; the examples they make. Thornton’s collaborations with Nation are sound tracked by the hints of the sea shore and its tin shack. Tin, wood, wire, glass, steel and fabric all add to the discourse. Thornton’s ability at utilizing the sound of quiet – no place more obvious than in his amazing and lamentable film Samson and Delilah – makes layered discoursed whirling in discussion with Thornton, much like the twirling tides that, now and again, transform the shack into an island. Hints of Thornton cleaving food, honing blades, spinning the handle of the cooker, sizzling in fry pans and washing utensils are implanted in the hints of water, wind and fire. These get together with the melodic notes of his guitar, some of the time played by him, in some cases played by the breeze. The dynamic vitality made by Thornton’s utilization of devices and utensils feels like an expansion of the potential vitality showing from Nation itself. Maybe he takes advantage of the vitality of the spot, bridling this vitality and afterward broadening it from his own body over into place again as he holds his lance, his guitar or his pen.
Thornton’s quality and stories, Stream’s camera, and the sea shore each give looks into memory, time, scale and the aliveness of spot. The sea shore is ever moving and changing with its tides and winds and the development of Moon and Sun. The cloud developments are verifiable narrators. In the midst of the narratives of and from Nation that Thornton lives and Waterway’s camera focal point sees are the accounts Thornton tells. Narrating time with the Women and Man; the minutes between him, his guitar and its melodic notes; his long shadow extended above him and his track of impressions behind him over the sand constantly talk about the excursion he is on. With the tales come the examples and the scars. Examples in the sand and tides, designs in the wood that proliferates, designs in the string of the angling net, and designs he consumes into his guitar. Thornton appears to be extremely mindful of the examples that encompass him. The examples throughout his life and himself he perceives and possesses. The scars he cut into his arm; the Fibonacci-like winding fractal tracks he cuts in the sand with his vehicle. As he strips away the external layers of a coconut he strips away layers of himself to locate his inside, to recover his parity. With his last feed of clams, gave by Nation and cooked among the mangrove trees, you see the change Thornton encounters. When he’s prepared to leave, you can feel Thornton’s quiet: his vitality has traveled through the extraordinary warmth, from the fantasy to the real world, with the enormous full Moon rising. Watching Thornton get together and leave, I remember something he said in one of his accounts: “You going to follow or would you say you are going to make your own way?” These words remain with me long after I watch him drive away.