Rev Film Fest: "Bugs" is an exceptional depiction of modern Australian school life
As a debut feature film, BUGS is a world-class observation of the lives of Australian high school students, past and present. The film follows the unremarkable school days of students, with the background of an investigation into the murder of a classmate. What we learn is that technology may advance, i.e. the Nokia 6210 becomes the iPhone but teenagers will always be their ego-centric selves.
The film delivered perspectives on the essential stereotypes - the suburban derelict, the overweight cat-lady, the pill-popping plastic, the outcast, the jock. The clear message was that all of the teens were too absorbed in their apathetic, social-hierarchical lives to care about the murder.
The astonishing piece of trivia learned via Revelation Film festivities was that most of the young cast had not acted before. Elizabeta and Jack Moxey wanted to 'cast real people who were as similar as their characters as possible so their roles didn’t become too forced.'
Shot in various locations throughout western Sydney, perspectives were delivered with a quintessentially Australian, independent spirit. The simple full-shot of the protagonists playing netball in P.E spoke volumes about the key personalities that would later develop throughout the course of the film. The other popular device used by Jack Moxey was split screening that created thoughtful interludes during car rides or ballet practice by the river.
The slow motion shots capturing the purity and virtue of teens pillow-fighting in lieu of fornication was another powerful moment in the film. It is no surprise that parallels are already being drawn between this film and Harmony Korine’s Kids. Generation to generation, the film commands eerie feeling that hits close to home but at the same time has audiences laughing about the awkwardness of being a teenager. This universal feeling of apathy and excitement about the most basic, relatable things in life has been perfectly captured by this promising director.