Erik Jensen was an ambitious nineteen-year-old journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald when Archibald Prize-Winning painter, Adam Cullen, with a career retrospective at the Art Gallery of NSW, invited him to write his biography. The new film Acute Misfortune follows of the four-and-a-half years leading to Cullen’s death at the age of forty-six. It is the story of their increasingly claustrophobic relationship.
Based on the award-winning biography Cullen, the Jensen did eventually publish, co-writer-director Thomas M. Wright’s film is about biographer and subject, an iconic artist and lauded author, theft and the commerce of theft, the instability of lies and of coming through an abusive relationship to find meaning in its wake.
These true events, told using almost entirely real dialogue are brought to life by award-winning actors Daniel Henshall (The Snowtown Murders, The Babadook), and Toby Wallace (Romper Stomper, The Turning). Acute Misfortune marks the feature-length debut of Wright, an actor known for Sweet Country and Top of the Lake.
Meticulously researched, the film that was named one of the best films of the year in The Monthly Awards in Australia and by Screen Daily. It also received The Age Critics Prize at Melbourne International Film Festival.