Friends and Strangers

  • 84'
  • Australia
  • 2021

A wry take on contemporary solipsism. Australian twenty-somethings Ray and Alice lack very little in life – and maybe that’s their biggest problem. Whether in terms of friendship or love, leisure time or work, nowhere does there seem to be much at stake in their lives. Once they have tacitly buried their vague ambitions, all that remains are half-hearted attempts with equally indeterminate results.

This leads to a series of particularly awkward situations, presented in the film as separate vignettes. Isolated in hyper-self-consciousness, during a camping trip in nature the protagonists are unable to connect either with one another or with their environment. When discussing a wedding video for the daughter of a rich art collector, Ray finds himself entangled in senseless misunderstandings, seemingly with no way out.

Director, screenwriter and editor James Vaughan richly spices his exploration of the culture of affluent young adults with millennial irony. Strikingly framed shots and a contrapuntal score set the tone for a succession of interactions at the intersection of the mundane and the absurd. Rudderlessly manoeuvring through a recalcitrant reality, his characters cling doggedly to attempts to arrange life according to the examples offered by social media. Friends and Strangers reveals aspects of this that normally remain hidden.

Director
James Vaughan
Premiere
World premiere
Country of production
Australia
Production Year
2021
Festival Edition
IFFR 2021
Length
84'
Medium
DCP
Language
English
Producers
Lucy Rennick, Rebecca Lamond
Production Company
Leitourgia Films
Sales
Leitourgia Films
Screenplay
James Vaughan
Cinematography
Dimitri Zaunders
Editor
James Vaughan
Production Design
Milena Stojanovska
Cast
Emma Diaz, Fergus Wilson, Victoria Maxwell, Greg Zimbulis, David Gannon, Jayden Muir, Poppy Jones
Website
https://leitourgiafilms.com/friends-and-strangers