Apr 9, 2013

Ruby Reds. Top of the Lake.

Oh happy days!

Ruby red grapefruit is back at the supermarket. Topped with a little sugar, they're my favourite breakfast fruit. Their colour and tart citrus taste are the perfect way to kick start a wintry day.

I've had New Zealand on my mind a fair bit in the last few weeks. Mr SSG and I have been toying with the idea of a week in the snow sometime this winter. We were thinking of Queenstown with its excellent skiing and range of other things to see and do. I'm not exactly the greatest or most confident skier but I love escaping to ski resorts. It's so pristine and peaceful which rubs off on both locals and tourists alike. Time runs at a different speed in the snow. It's not the languidness of beach time but rather a sense that the day just plays itself out in relation to the amount of sunlight up above.

Image from wikipedia
My other South Island obsession is 'Top of the Lake'. It's the new seven part mini series from the brilliant mind of Jane Campion and her team. It's currently screening on Foxtel's UKTV.  It was very well received at both the Sundance Film Festival (where the entire series was shown) and at the Berlin International Film Festival.

I can't think how to describe what it's actually about but I'm hooked. It's dark. Darkly humorous and just plain dark. I take care to only watch my taped episodes in broad daylight and in the company of other adults. The themes explored in 'Top of the Lake' play on innocence lost in the most devastating manner. Your mind as a viewer is taken to the worst aspects of human attraction and dominance.

Central to the plot is the disappearance of Tui Mitcham (Jaqueline Jo) the pregnant teenage daughter of Matt Mitcham (Peter Mullan) one of the town's rougher patriarchs whose daily dealings have a vaguely criminal flavour.


Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss) a police detective normally based in Sydney is called onto the case. She was coincidentally visiting her ill mother in the area at the time. Robin has a tragic history in the town that at times threatens her objectivity as she works on Tui's disappearance. Robin works closely with Al Parker (David Wenham) the in charge of the local police department. The two have some history of a non romantic kind but their current relationship is tantalisingly unclear, Robin is in a long engagement with another man back home.


Another focal point of the unfolding drama is Paradise a property sprawling under jagged mountain ranges and piercing blue skies. Some new people have just moved in - GJ (Holly Hunter in a fabulous Cousin It inspired wig) and her adoring female students of life along with the spartan steel shopping containers they now call home. The irony of their choosing to find themselves by retreating to the outskirts of a xenophobic, misogynistic small town is the impetus for some humour in an otherwise bleak human landscape.

Needless to say, the performances of the entire cast are gripping. Would you expect anything less from the likes of David Wenham and Elisabeth Moss? Moss nearly gets the Kiwi/Australian hybrid accent but the rest of her performance is flawless. We're halfway through the series here in Australia and none the wiser with regard to Tui's fate but we're slowly getting to know the hidden depths of those who are now looking for her.

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