March 6th (Mark it in your calendars)

Tracks November 30

The Sydney Morning Herald published this wonderful piece in this morning’s Spectrum. 

“The long journey of Robyn Davidson’s 1980 book Tracks to the screen has been worth the wait. Watching a preview of the film, which opens on March 6, it was easy to believe Mia Wasikowska was Davidson as she trekked across the Australian desert for six months with four camels, a dog and occasionally the American photographer Rick Smolan (convincingly played by Adam Driver). Tracks is beautifully written and filmed in a low-key style that emphasises the lonely landscape and avoids what might have been a Hollywood debacle if Julia Roberts’ earlier version had gone ahead. Of course a film’s physicality can’t fully communicate the inner life of a solitary traveller and there are many small changes and omissions, so I recommend going back to Davidson’s intelligent account, which Bloomsbury has republished in a movie tie-in edition with a postcript by Davidson. Next year Smolan (best known for From Alice to Ocean and A Day in the Life of Australia) will produce a new photographic book about the journey and the film, using state-of-the-art technology to connect the two. Davidson worked on Tracks at the home of Doris Lessing, who died last week, and quotes from The Golden Notebook for her epigraph (”Anna knew she had to cross the desert …”).”

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