Occupying a territory somewhere between ironic essay film and reverie, Gabriel White’s elegantly assembled Oracle Drive roves the well-mown desolation of the North Shore’s light-industrial urban fringe.
Occupying a territory somewhere between faux essay film and reverie, Gabriel White’s Oracle Drive roves the well-mown desolation of the light-industrial urban fringe. Although the voice we hear on the soundtrack is distinctly Kiwi, it speaks with the casual expertise of an inter-planetary visitor, one seriously misled by his own rich stock of earthly classical studies. He marvels at the literal and metaphorical significance of signage and street names. Atlantis, Romulus and Remus, Isis, The Nile, The Tiber, Oracle Drive, Sexyland: you’ll find them all on the North Shore. Only cars inhabit this road-ribboned environment – and strange dancers who pass across the landscape with mysterious purpose, oblivious to its mundane uses. Meanwhile, elegant camerawork, an ominous music track and surprising visual effects collude to shift the flâneur’s provocation into something else again: there’s beauty and eerie immanence lurking in the guarded blandness of Albany.