Director: Brad McGann
What makes a good film? Well according to most Director’s a good film must have at least a few elements that allow the viewer to ‘look into’ the Directors mind - to see the ‘point’ of the film. Brad McGann’s drama “Possum” is the story of a broken family living in the wilderness of New Zealand in the 1890’s. It focuses on a young boy, Little Man, trying to make sense of his dysfunctional family. A family who moved to the wilderness to hide the fact that Little Man’s younger sister, Kid, is autistic. This movie was intended to be highly emotive and make the viewer feel the pain and suffering within the strange and broken family central to the story from Little Man’s perspective. However, McGann’s long winded and contrived style, poor character development, camera shots that leave the audience wondering whether they are seeing the movie through the eyes of a magical flying leprechaun and a storyline that, without hours spent pondering, simply does not make sense, means the film is ultimately confusing and irritating.
As a Director, McGann has used a range of storytelling techniques to build on the contrast between the world of the Father and the world of Little Man’s younger sister, Kid. McGann uses the Father’s occupation as a trapper to symbolize both the father’s control and treatment of Kid who is ‘trapped’ by her autism and also his sense of being ‘trapped’ away from the rest of the world as a consequence of Kid’s disease. A disease that was not understood nor accepted at the time. Unfortunately, the characters of the Father and Kid are not well developed as McGann spent most of his time exploring the internal world of Little Man. The character development feels contrived and as if the Director is trying too hard for artistic merit.
McGann uses an incredibly diverse range of camera angles throughout the film, a ploy that is extremely confusing. Unlike most films, Possum has a different camera angle for nearly...