Saturday, May 10

Tracks - The Book

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had seen the movie "Tracks" based on the extra ordinary tale of the journey by Robyn Davidson in 1977 with her camels from Alice Springs to near Carnarvon in WA.  Even someone doing it in 2014 would be amazing, but she did it at a time when there was no mobile phone, GPS, air support (Flying Doctor) or whatever in the event that there was an emergency.  Indeed Robyn would not be able to hide like she did way back then.

Robyn didn't like journalists visiting her and asking questions - and was easily able to put them "off the track" in those days, but with aerial surveillance facilities available to most media teams, she would have been "tracked"  (sorry, had to use that work), easily from the air.

I have had the book in my collection, but had not read it.  Perhaps I read a few of the early chapters, but I had not finished it, that's for sure.  After seeing the moving I found it in my library and read it.  It did take a while, and I finished it on the train to Brisbane yesterday.

It was interesting to read her comments about the film.

Robyn says she was always very clear that the film wouldn't and couldn't be the same as her book.
"I think a lot of writers are unrealistic about having their books translated into film," she says.
"You can't expect the film to be exactly the same as the book."
The author appreciates that the Tracks film-makers tried to be faithful to the spirit and essence of her book.

(from the ABC interview of her - click here.)

As a writer myself I am grappling with the idea of an American movie maker doing a film on something I have written. A real Australian story.  I know of course that the whole 80 years of the man's life would never make it to the screen - for there is only around 2 hours of screen time.  The story I am working on is essentially an Irish/Australian story - for the man lived most of his life in Australia, but I have seldom been happy with American's working on an "Australian" story.

Did you notice on "Saving Mr Banks" that the "Australian" scenery didn't look Australian?  The man leading a kangaroo on a lead supposedly at the Allora Show?  How laughable and embarrassing!!!

There's another great article about her achievement here.

It is interesting to note that several attempts were made to tell her story before with Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman as likely leading ladies, but I have no doubt that the very best person to play Robyn was none other than Mia Wasikowska who did look very much like Robyn.

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