Australian experimental, observational comedy about young people in Sydney struggling to get ahead in love and their careers.
Chocolate Oyster follows twenty-somethings Ellie and Taylor, who live in Bondi apartments they can't really afford, and pursue their dreams in a city that seems intent on thwarting them. Taylor chases a dance career by day and works as a waitress at night, while supporting her new boyfriend Henry, an aspiring playwright. Tired of being with a dependent and juvenile boyfriend, Ellie ends her relationship and begins to see Craig, a chef who dreams of creating a signature dish that will make his name. With the story workshopped between actors and director, and a great deal of improvisation, the monochrome Chocolate Oyster has a breezy quality that reflects both the beauty and difficulty of life in Sydney.
Chocolate Oyster is an experimental film, shot in black & white in the Cinéma vérité style and inspired by the works of John Cassavettes’, the Duplass Brothers and Ken Loach.
Fascinated by the human condition, I aim to explore universal themes in a contemporary setting. Chocolate Oyster is an observational piece which details a number of decisive moments, best described as ‘forks in the road’ which we all face in our mid 20’s.
Products of an ever changing post 9/11 landscape still reeling from the financial crisis, Ellie and Taylor face numerous challenges, often self inflicted, ranging from rapidly changing definitions of work to sexual dysmorphia.
It is through their interactions with beau’s Henry and Craig that the girls are afforded an opportunity to self reflect.
Chocolate Oyster is a ‘mumble-core’ film. Retro-scripted, the filmmaking process is truly collaborative: director and actor workshop and develop the character and backstory, the director then places the actor in a scenario which each actor adapts and interprets in their own way. Further underscoring the artistic ethos is the photographic style – where possible each scene is shot in one take. In this fashion the audience is not distracted by the technical aspects of the filmmaking process.
The final result is both unexpected and revealing.
Director, Chocolate Oyster