“I was going through a number of setbacks in life and it raised all sorts of big questions,” says James Ivor of the inspirations behind his self-financed short. crushing seasonwhich played at Flickerfest, and will also screen at the 2023 Melbourne International Film Festival.
“I also noticed how common it was, this feeling of loss of identity or failure,” Ivor continues. “Most people find themselves at a crossroads at some point. I wanted to dive into the psyche of a young man trying to understand himself.
Understanding it is key here, with Ivor writing, directing and producing crushing seasonand playing the low-voiced lead character Tim Cassidy.
A muscular young man, Tim returned to the Queensland region after being knocked out by the Rabbitohs in the National Rugby League competition. Leisurely walking along the sugarcane fields with her companion (played by a rifle-wielding Rahel Romahn, seen below with Ivor), the pair encountered a motley crew of bikers, with forward flashes hinting at a criminal act in front of them all.
Although Ivor has broken through as an actor on stage and screen – best known for his role in the Picnic at the hanging rock series – the Queensland native says his aspirations in the arts were initially linked to cinematography, which is telling in the striking compositions of DOP Gabriel Devereux’s short.
« The films of Terrence Malick Badlands And The thin red line are great inspirations,” says Ivor, in terms of his visual references for crushing season.
“The short is effectively the first act of the feature film script, emotionally,” he says. “The feature storyline has a lot more moving parts and additional storylines, but in summary, Tim is at the same crossroads at the end of the short. I chose this because it’s the starting point of Tim’s odyssey and I wanted everyone watching the short to want to see what he does next.
Talk about the devil? “Just keep writing, I have a more upbeat, intimate family drama and a modern western that I’m currently working on,” James Ivor replies before moving on to figure things out.