RAW: BAFF – Mrs Carey’s Concert – 3K

The glamour opening night of the Big Pond Adelaide Film Festival featured Bob Connolly and Sophie Raymond’s return to the world of the documentary with Mrs Carey’s Concert. The film covers the 18 months of preparations of girls from Sydney’s MLC for their concert each two years at the Opera House.

The interactions between the teachers, of which Mrs Carey is just one of four, and their students aged 15-17, particularly their lead violinist Emily and major recalcitrant Iris, are well handled. However, as a documentary, Mrs Carey’s Concert lacks the usual documentary techniques of one on one interviews that explore players’ motivations away from the gaze of the others. Also, we never much got to know Mrs Carey, her history and motivations and the history too of the concert itself which by the film’s conclusion had grown to epic proportions.

While the outcomes of teacher coercion and training were obvious at the finish, it was not obvious from some of the banal exchanges as to how that all happened.

Anybody who has find memories of school concerts or who has had children (boys or girls) at this age will find much to enjoy but at the end for the proclaimed unfettered access of the production team, Mrs Carey’s Concert comes up short of being great.

Kryztof Rating  3K

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