Kind of related: one of the things I dig the most was that each episode's ending (exception: the last episode) felt kind of abrupt. I haven't gone back to look at them but it seems like each one was a direct cut to the closing credits with Tui's pic on Robin's wall (no fade to black before the credits). That may not be how they ended but that's how they are in my memory. But most importantly - whether direct cut or fade out - when the final scenes ended felt kind of abrupt. For me, this adds up, and contributes to the lack of resolution you mention.
Great point, yes, that final closing credit shot as well as the opening sequence took on more and more resonance as the show went on, and the images from both really linger. The opening sequence puzzled me at first - so almost amatuerish feeling or something, so not
slick - but I do love it now. It captures the quality of the show. So the opening and closing - just perfect bookends that don't really offer closure or "ends" at all.
That Robin and Tui are (may be?) half-sisters reminds me of the relationship in In the Cut, and both films have trauma bonding the sisters which is a part of the look at dysfunctional families....which is something that Top of the Lake shares not just with In the Cut but with A Girl's Own Story and Sweetie as well. Campion and Lee extend the reach, and here, a whole community is dysfunctional (with some corrupt people carrying out heinous acts). "Family" is also expanded/destroyed. And in the beginning, the GJ/New Age stuff was the clearest connection to Campion's past work-- Sweetie and Holy Smoke.
Yes, I've been thinking about that, too, and Campion's interest here and in so many of her films in the simultaneous closeness and dysfunction of family relationships, especially sisters and mother/daughters. The whole GJ group of women echoes those relationships, too, of course. I loved the increasing depth of the connection between Tui and Robin, and I loved the relationship between Robin and her mother, too, troubled at the root but inextricably bound to one another. I'm thinking of the roots of the tree symbolism in Sweetie
- something that both supports and destroys.
It was really great seeing Tui smiling and having fun when her friends visited her. I really hope Jacqueline Joe continues to act. Her nonverbal acting is soooooo great.
Yes, so fantastic, right? Loved her. That moment of protectiveness at the end should
be so campy, but it's not; it so perfectly captured her feral pain and passion.
But it's Campion & Lee so there's funny stuff as well. My favorite: "What are these crazy b*****s doing?" and the shot of the albino looking one laughing.
Loved that, too. Campion's definitely - even on her own - got a sense of humor that I think people tend to miss. She can be deadly serious and deadly funny - in the same moment or with the same line. The Bunny and Matt romp has something of that paradox in it, for example.