Experiencing Interruptions?

City Crush

A lavish thug poaches an exotic young trophy-boy and smuggles him into City Crush. When our would be ivory concubine escapes during his own sale he must navigate the desolation, boredom, and deviant lust of the locals. City Crush is a visually rich film that experiments with the conventions of slow cinema - an opportunity for the audience to enjoy a slower paced film.

  • Mia Forrest
  • Mia Forrest
  • Mia Forrest
  • Harry Piaggio
    Key Cast
  • John Stefulj
    Key Cast
  • Gene Von Banyad
    Key Cast
  • Yukon Snakes
    Key Cast
  • Patricia Petersen
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 24 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Short Waves Festival
    March 1, 2017
  • 8th Cairo Video Festival
    February 2, 2017
  • Aesthetica Short Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    November 3, 2016
  • Byron Bay International Film Festival
    Byron Bay
    October 18, 2016
    Australian Premiere
  • Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival
    Hawick, Scotland
    April 16, 2016
    UK Premiere
  • Atlanta Underground Film Festival
    United States
    August 9, 2016
  • Cannes Court Métrage – Festival de Cannes
  • AVIFF-Art Film Festival
  • Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival
    Hong Kong
    Hong Kong
    Best Experimental Film
  • Speechless Film Festival
    Minnesota, USA
    March 16, 2016
    North American Premiere
  • WorldFest-Houston International Film & Video Festival
    United States
    Bronze REMI Award
  • BLOW-UP · Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival
    United States
    October 15, 2016
Director Biography - Mia Forrest

Mia Forrest is a filmmaker and photographer from Brisbane, Australia.

Stylistically, she is experimental in her filmmaking, in that she is interested in limiting her filmic framework to certain devices, in order to see how far she can take them to present alternative modes of storytelling.

Her short films have been officially selected and screened at international film festivals, including the forthcoming BAFTA recognized Aesthetica Short Film Festival. Her films have been honoured with awards and a number of accolades. In addition to her experimental films, Mia has had commercial success as a music video director; her music videos have been broadcast on Australia's national broadcaster (ABC), and nominated for a 2016 "Queensland Music Award".

Mia is a soon-to-be-graduate of Griffith Film School, with a postgraduate degree in film specializing in directing. She was recently awarded Most Outstanding Director. Mia also studied Jazz Flute at the Queensland Conservatorium.

Mia’s work traverses a variety of genres and platforms, and is known for her visually evocative directorial style and bold approach to storytelling.

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Director Statement

“the ordinary is not ordinary; it is extra-ordinary, uncanny"
- Martin Heidegger

City Crush aims to subvert the ordinarity and mundane that historically defines suburban culture, in an attempt to uncover the extraordinary and uncanny, and re-evaluate the once idyllic suburban dream. In effect, this expose’ has the power to undermine the social and cultural prohibitions that create order and stability of everyday life. In blatantly presenting the ordinary, there is a magic window to discover an absurd and gritting humour that exists under the veil of the Ordinary.

After driving through the outskirts of my home city, Brisbane, I found myself time-and-time-again to be intrigued by the desolate forgotten areas: abandoned factories; empty car yards; brutalist cement structures underneath disused train bridges with layers of graffiti. In these seemingly dead spaces, there was a detail that wrote itself into the film; I saw the devious thug waiting in his car at the speedway racetrack dust bowl in Archerfield, the half inflated flailing plastic tubes in the corner of an empty sale yards that once had a job to command the attention of drivers passing through Moorooka. I heard the yelling advertising television from the white-picket-fence-brick-home with an ordinary front fence in Brendale - all of these observations make an appearance in some way City Crush. This is extra-ordinary, the uncanny, beneath a seemingly banal and ordinary environment.

As a film without dialogue, City Crush relies on suggestive character behaviours, bodies, and mise en scene to tell the unusual tale of suburban living. Gregory Crewdson’s photography partially inspired this approach, as I felt his conceptual photographs transmitted rich and mysterious narratives. I therefore envisioned the film to be composed exclusively in wide, static, long shots. By composing shots this way, I felt it was unobtrusive and would position the audience as an voyeuristic observer to the slow action, a state of mind that I find to be a rewarding experience when watching films.

Director’s such as Ulrich Seidl (Paradise Liebe), Lars Von Trier (Gerry), Todd Solondz (Happiness, Welcome to the Dollhouse), and Harmony Korine (Gummo, Trash Humpers) often depict marginalized societies, with bold and complex character behaviours, which greatly inspired my character taste and tone. In casting for the City Crush, I wanted to steer away from overt drama actors and attract regular people who are blesse’d with strangeness.

The film depicts a simple narrative; it’s meaning is open to interpretation.