Unsound is a refreshing Australian film, brimming with tension and love.
We are introduced to Noah (played by Reece Noi), a disillusioned musician playing guitar in a typical pub lounge in the UK. While on stage backing his 90s-icon-mentor Moniqua (played by Christina Anu), it’s as if Noah sees himself 20 years into the future, playing the same chords to the same ageing crowd.
This scene is beautifully contrasted with an introduction to Finn (played by Yiana Pandelis), a young emerging trans-man who DJ’s at the pulsating house beats’ Deaf Club nightclub on the other side of the world in Sydney. It’s a narrative shot in the arm for Noah to rip out a searing chord and draw death stares from a surprised Moniqua. It’s no surprise he quits the remainder of the tour and returns home to Sydney to visit his mum, Angela (played by Paula Duncan).
It’s not the typical homecoming expected after a long absence. Mother and son’s initial exchanges are clinical. Noah’s father has been out of the scene for a good many years, for which Angela is still bitter. After the icy greeting from his mother, Noah excuses himself and goes looking for solace and companionship elsewhere.
He stumbles upon the The Deaf Club nightclub, well passed closing time. Looking for the music, Noah finds Finn instead and they immediately connect. Their friendship grows; Noah learns Auslan and his relationship with his mother also starts to mellow. When he picks up his father’s old guitar, Noah dreams of making new music which he hopes he can persuade Moniqua to perform.
Meanwhile, Finn’s father Lewis (played by Patron for Auslan Stage Left and entertainer, Todd McKenney) is struggling to find new revenue streams for the club. The loud music complaints from locals have played havoc with attendance numbers. When he learns that Moniqua is in town and Finn has the ability to get her to perform, pressure mounts on his burgeoning relationship with Noah, that could spell it only a summer fling.
Unsound has been drawing attention from esteemed awards nationally including, Best Original Screenplay at The 2020 AWGIEs and Best Australian Feature Film at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival in 2020, and has been selected for international festival competitions.
Unsound opens at the Dendy Cinema from 18 March 2021. A special Q&A screening with the cast and filmmakers is organised for 21 March 2021. Tickets available from the Dendy website.
Length: 88 mins
Directed by Ian Watson
Written by Ally Burnham
Stars Reece Noi, Yiana Pandelis, Todd McKenney, Paula Duncan, Christina Anu
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