Jon Hewitt talks about X

21 November, 2011 by Chris Dame

Jon Hewitt's latest film X, filmed and set in King’s Cross, creates a world of sleaze and danger that isn’t too far from the truth.

“We’re at Kings Cross ground zero, and I'm looking out my window and there are two prostitutes standing down there soliciting on the street," the director says. "So, life in the Cross is perhaps a lot more confronting than other peoples.”


X is the second film in the Red Light Trilogy and tells of that very subject: the life of working girls in the heart of King’s Cross.

“Belinda McClory and I, we live in King's Cross, and we've lived here since 2000 and there was sort of a life and a story that we felt with us every day for 12 years. We felt that we wanted to make a drama set in that world of working girls and that sort of thing… Living an edgy life on the streets of Kings Cross.”

The film follows Holly (Viva Bianca) and Shay (Hanna Mangan Lawrence), two prostitutes in different stages of their careers. Holly is about to quit the business and plans to start anew in France. Shay has just arrived in the Cross and is trying to get through her first night on the job. When an accident brings them together for a job, they witness a gangland shooting, prompting a dangerous chase.

“As a filmmaker, I wanted to make a fast-moving thriller, with elements of eroticism and violence. You know, the sorts of things that audiences are interested in seeing, but also telling a relatively truthful tale of the sort of things that go on in that venue.”

Hewitt’s previous work has been just as uncompromising and influential in Australian cinema. Redball defined his cinematic aesthetic, as did his first mainstream feature Acolytes in 2008.

He is now working to finish his Red Light Trilogy, which are all set in Kings Cross, creating a broad story about the area. The first in the trilogy, darklovestory, is not yet finished, but screened as a work-in-progress at a number of festivals. The upcoming 5 Hits will finish the trilogy.

Darklovestory, X and 5 Hits are all directly influenced by living in the Cross, but the effect that living in the Cross is visible in all of Hewitt’s films.

“You can't help but have that shit influence stuff… I think in all the films that I've made, a lot of the things that go on in them are influenced by this part of my life.”

X is released this Thursday. Check out the offical website for more information.