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Festivale December 1997

Diana and Me

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Remember the synchronicity of The China Syndrome and Three Mile Island? Diana and Me is subject to the same tricks of fate.

Diana Spencer of Woolongong wins a trip to meet Princess Di. She falls foul of the paparazzi, and is drawn into their world -- traffic accident bulletins at the Cafe Diana, photographers hawking their wares -- it's a world where hard currency, ego and rudeness are the only law. Do anything, say anything, break anything -- just get the best shot.

Our Diana is a chorus to the photographers, she is their audience, the hand that feeds them, but her everyperson conscience aches.

Diana and Me has the Australian broadness that we frequently encounter. Is this how we see ourselves? Or how the self-proclaimed artistes of film see the average mundane. Remember the ocker larrikin of Mr Reliable? His brother-under-the-skin is engaged to Diana.

In some ways, the death of Princess Diana has weakened the movie, rather than giving it resonance. With only a few extra shots the film encompasses Princess Diana's death. Perhaps because the real-life ending was a life-and-death chase and a broken dream, the film's voice is dulled by our awareness of just what cost we all paid for those blurry, grainy, oft-out-of-focus thefts of the days and minutes of Diana's life.

Diana and Me, if it were made in Hollywood would end with a character steeped in charity work, made in Australia before her death, it is a story about venality and people, and the choices we make.

Ali Kayn
December, 1997
see also: Tim's review

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Title: Diana and Me (1997)
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The Players:Toni Collette, Dominic West, Malcolm Kennard
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