Director and writer Sarah Watt's debut feature film, 'Look Both Ways' is a strange, but very likable, Australian romantic comedy about untimely death and disaster. By following a group of interconnected people over the course of an eventful weekend, Watt examines how a tragedy - a man run over by a freight train - touches and affects their lives.
The characters at the centre of the film are oddball watercolourist Meryl (Clarke) and a man who has just been diagnosed with testicular cancer, newspaper photographer Nick (McInnes), who meet at the scene of the train accident. As Nick struggles to understand his new reality, he keeps bumping into Meryl and they tentatively embark on a relationship.
Meryl's doom-ridden internal life is represented by a series of wonderfully animated sequences of casual catastrophe - killer whales grabbing her from a beach, a murderer in the bushes as she walks home, the ground opening up under her as she sits in her kitchen. Nick is no better, seeing death everywhere in the form of rapid-fire photomontage. They're a match made in a very obscure, but definitely visual, area of heaven.
The focus is on Meryl and Nick but the other characters that are part of their weekend include a divorced, cynical journalist that's just got his ex-girlfriend pregnant, the bereaved wife of the man killed by the train, a married newspaper editor who starts to reconnect with his family and the traumatised train driver.
Not, you might think, the stuff of comedy but 'Look Both Ways' manages to combine both the humorous and the horrible in an oddly engaging way due, in no small part, to a pair of very true performances from Justine Clarke and William McInnes. Although it never achieves full lift-off, this Aussie take on love, life and death is curiously appealing.