Film Review: Embedded

Cinematography by Rhiannon Bannenberg.

Reviewed by James Cunningham at the 2016 Sydney Film Festival.

Playwright and screenwriter Stephen Sewell (The Boys) is no stranger to cagey, dark characters, and this is certainly true of Embedded, his directorial feature debut. 

Frank (Nick Barkla) meets Madaline (Laura Gordon) at a cocktail party held at a World Bank conference. He’s a foreign correspondent whose recent work in Mali has left him traumatised. As the erotic connection between Frank and Madaline deepens, each gradually reveal secrets from their past that could have deadly consequences. 

Illawarra-based Cinematographer Rhiannon Bannenberg (Chocolate Oyster), a Director in her own right with last year’s highly successful Ambrosia, took up the duties of DOP on Embedded.

Shot in Sydney, mostly in a suite at a five-star hotel, the film stars Los Angeles-based Australian actors and real-life couple Nick Barkla (Blind Company) and Laura Gordon (Winners and Losers). Embedded is a celebration of sex and sensuality within a political context;

It pushes aesthetic boundaries. Focused on character, narrative and story that is inspired both by politics and by eroticism. The sensual, politically charged Embedded is an exciting anomaly in Australian cinema from Sewell and Bannenberg.

James Cunningham is the Editor of Australian Cinematographer Magazine.

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