The narrator of "Ten Canoes" tells you that its story is unlike other movie stories. You will find the acting not only unlike the acting with which you are familiar, it is not like acting. There is much in the cinematography and other evident film art features of "Ten Canoes" to engage you.
If you are familiar with the independent film spirit that the Nevada Theatre film series provides, you bring a ready appreciation for films that don't flow down the mainstream of big stars and big dynamics and big budgets for TV commercials.
Winner of several film awards in Australia, "Ten Canoes" is an exotic film. It is meant to feel very far away in place and time. Set in aboriginal Australia, it invites you to venture there without hooking it onto any modern context. Nonetheless, human beings here and now exhibit characteristics entirely recognizable in human beings there and then.
"Ten Canoes," in two intermingled tales across its clockless, calendarless time, includes a couple of killings, wife-coveting and some sly humor - all pretty low key. Its world is strikingly primitive, but you would be hard pressed to insist that our world is anywhere near as civilized.
If you want to be sure to be entertained, rent "The Gods Must Be Crazy" (1980). It is a second cousin to this film. If you want to see what you think about a film that occupies its own room in a cross-cultural museum, head for the Nevada Theatre on Aug. 31 or Sept. 1 or 2.