There is no witty and appropriate title for the topic of “Killing”

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While I typically focus on news about my own work here, it is after all the main page of my website about…ahem…myself, I’ve lately been backsliding into the Media History student mindset while consuming media work around me.

I would like to draw your attention to a theatre production/documentary involving an Australian Company in the Phillipines starring grade 9 actors, Kids Killing Kids.

A student is on his knees, begging the noisy crowd gathered on all sides for his life. If they vote for him to die, then the privilege of execution is given over to a competition winner, a lucky patron drawn from the audience earlier that evening. Night after night the scene is repeated, and each night the crowd is bigger, rowdier, and the contest for his life ever more grotesque.

It’s a scene from the stage version of Battle Royale, the infamous blood-soaked pulp novel by Japanese author Koushun Takami…The stage version was adapted for young Filipino theatre company Sipat Lawin by four Australian writers ‑ Sam Burns-Warr, Jordan Prosser, Georgie McAuley and David Finnigan.” – Read the entire article bu Andrew Furhman, AU Timeout, HERE

And then further to and a more widely known documentary film, The Act of Killing, Executive Produced by venerable director, Werner Herzog.

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The Act of Killing is about killers who have won, and the sort of society they have built. Unlike ageing Nazis or Rwandan génocidaires, Anwar and his friends have not been forced by history to admit they participated in crimes against humanity. Instead, they have written their own triumphant history, becoming role models for millions of young paramilitaries. The Act of Killing is a journey into the memories and imaginations of the perpetrators, offering insight into the minds of mass killers. And The Act oKilling is a nightmarish vision of a frighteningly banal culture of impunity in which killers can joke about crimes against humanity on television chat shows, and celebrate moral disaster with the ease and grace of a soft shoe dance number.” – Read the full synopsis HERE

I have yet to watch either of these production and I will likely only see The Art of Killing unless by some miracle Kids Killing Kids goes on tour or I find myself back in Australia in the immediate future, but I have a feeling these works are very similar in a discussion and dissection of human nature, and human behaviour given certain circumstances. I’m excited yet also fearful of what might be uncovered.

I wanted to share these two pieces because two of the Australian writers behind Kids Killing Kids, Jordan Prosser & Sam Burns-Warr, happened to be classmates and/or good friends of mine while I studied film in Melbourne in 2008 – and both crewed and had small cameos in my short film, Why I Fired My Secretary. The 13 other people in that class are some of the most dedicated and talented filmmakers I have had the pleasure to meet, and working with them on dozens of films in the 10 months I was there was a major influence on the quality and confidence I have in my own work.

I highly encourage everyone to follow the theatre and film work of both Jordan and Sam who collaborate more often than not. They are writers, directors actors and well, annoyingly talented. They have a number of hilarious comedic videos you can tickle your fancy with as well so follow them on Facebook.com/jordanandsam as they are freaking intelligent, extremely entertaining, and if nothing else, “really really good looking.”

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