All About E is the first feature-length film of Australian writer and director, Louise Wadley, and doesn’t so much disregard the conventions of recent middling movie fodder as blast through it with a double-barrelled shotgun.
At the story’s core is the title character, E: a beautiful Lebanese-Australian lesbian DJ on the run with a bag of stolen cash with her gay best friend/husband of convenience in tow. The film follows E in a mad trek into the Australian outback, running from and into her past on a hunt for self-discovery. Exploring the themes of identity and belonging, All About E could just as easily be All About You.
We caught up with Louise to throw lines about this latest venture; what it was like to make, and the significance of E’s story to Australian cinema.
All About E has been described as a female version of Priscilla Queen of the Desert; does this mean we have some extravagant headwear and musical sequences to look forward to?
Indeed you do but I couldn't possibly compete with Priscilla and the music of Abba! However E does wear a rather amazing matador costume in the club and we have some fabulously fierce drag queens too.
Music is so integral to this movie and it is so varied. We have so many brilliant musicians who worked on this. The uber-talented Sameer Sengupta, who produces for people like Paul Mac and Ministry of Sound, wrote and mixed our club tracks. I wanted the music to reflect E’s journey so there is a fusion of musical styles. We go from classical to club to pop to world music.
Did the story change through the different phases of scripting, shooting and editing?
This was always a story of a young woman’s quest for identity and love. But during the writing I would find myself so fascinated by the other characters that I would go off on tangents. Suddenly I would be following Matt, E’s GBF (Gay Best Friend) and husband of convenience, how he came to Sydney to be with his online boyfriend Jason only to arrive in Sydney and find that Jason was no longer interested.
Or Trish, E’s ex, who is running a huge sheep property on her own in the outback. I wrote a lot of material about her life, being gay in the country, her parents, especially her dad. I had already cut a lot of this stuff from the final script but when it came to shooting, some very painful decisions had to be made. Filmmaking, it’s brutal!
What is All About E’s point of difference?
We know that there is a really underserved and hungry audience for films with female characters at present. Yet less than 25% of all films that are made are about women or have female protagonists. Multiple facepalm! So making a film like All About E with a kick ass female protagonist already makes it different. Making it about a young gay Lebanese Australian women where the focus is on her own journey and not just about her sexual or cultural identity is even more different!
What was most enjoyable about writing a comedy?
I love the way comedy gets a wider audience to consider material they might not normally be open to. We just had our National Cinema Release Launch in the small Country town of Trundle in central NSW and I am pretty sure that they have never seen a film like this before. But it was wonderful to hear laughter and cheers in the same moments that we heard them in San Francisco or LA.
What do you hope your audiences will take away from All About E?
One of the reasons I love movies like Priscilla: Queen of the Desert or Muriel’s Wedding is that everyone remembers them with a huge smile on their face. They are comedies but like the best comedies they deal with serious issues in a wonderfully funny and absurd way. I want people to come away remembering that in Australia we are many different kinds of people - both in the country and the city. All About E is a universal tale of finding yourself, acceptance and love.... and it's a bloody good ride along the way.
Hit up Louise Wadley’s website for more info.
All About E Capital City Screenings
Brisbane Premiere: New Farm Cinemas WITH Q&A – Mon Nov 23rd 7pm
Brisbane: Event Cinemas, Indooroopilly WITH Q&A – Tues Nov 24th 6:45pm
Brisbane: Palace Centro, Fortitude Valley WITH Q&A – Wed Nov 25th 7pm
Perth: Luna Leederville – Mon, Dec 7th, 6:40pm
Darwin: Event Cinema Darwin - Mon, Dec 7th, 6:30pm