Not quite sure how, but yesterday I stumbled upon this great casting clip (major eyeroll at 47 seconds!) of Isabelle Adjani for La sauveur (she didn’t get the role) and, as youtube tends to do, it started me in on watching a lot of French screen tests from around the same period, noting their similarities: clapper board – hair up, hair down, monologue – full body shot – dialogue with a male actor. My French isn’t good enough to tell me if Delpy, Seignier and Pascal were all going for the same role?
We’ve got a hand drawn map to a cabin sitting on 9 acres of Blue Mountains bushland. The owner’s diagram includes the disclaimer “If you want to ‘Google’ a map…” Happy to say I will be doing no ‘Googling’ for a few days.
Got a horse, got a sheep, gonna get me a good night’s sleep.
I kind of miss the days I could attend the film festival as a flexi pass holder, booking tickets months in advance and turning up to everything except all the 10am ones that I had, at the time, fully intended to wake up for. I’d structure my month around it, take leave, and drink more coffee in three weeks than I’d previously thought possible. I’d swap extensive calendars with friends but often go alone, sometimes with the vain hope that I’d meet someone there. While milling around the lobby of the State Theatre on a cold weekday afternoon, I’d fall in love by the marble staircase. Never did happen.
And now, the festival is something I juggle with all my millions of jobs and generally end up seeing the films that I am doing an interview for, or a story about. It takes some of the fun away, as nice as it is to get to ask the behind-the-scenes business. Sometimes it is just SUCH a pleasure to see something and know that when I come out of it, I’m free to think about it as much as I’d like without committing any kind of commentary. I saw just a handful of films in that way, the best being those below (which will get a commentary as they are released nationally, but for now, nup) and the worst (?) being Black Venus, which I was so excited for and then so harshed by it that I went home at 7pm after the screening and promptly went to bed, destroyed.
The first Saturday of the festival, having filed a few interviews for radio, I went to see my first non-work film, Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams in 3D, rushing from the studio. As the line snaked to the front, an attendant gave me a bummer blow: the ticket I’d been given had accidentally been assigned to the next week’s session while I was on air. I ran to the press room and rifled through the other films starting soon and settled on Tomboy, which had been on my maybe list for the following week. I ran back to the cinema which was now full and I sat up the front, catching my breath. And you know what?
Tomboy was the best film I saw during the festival. I adored it.
If you can, see it! See it!
That’s her, the tomboy, above, aged 10. Not to be confused with this one:
And then there was Meek’s Cutoff. How I’d waited! How I loved it!
How I can’t wait to see it again!
Lastly, Attenberg which I’m still in two minds about, but it’s stuck with me, that’s for sure. For the record, I saw The Tree of Life in non-festival digs so I’m not counting it. And if you’re feeling for me that I never met anyone to love, lingering between screenings, fear not. I took my babe to the closing night at the State Theatre which was the really wonderful Beginners. Fitting.
Digital remnants of something I made. Leftover stars & black holes.
how to party,
Deep in film festival programme highlighter mode at the moment, with the Sydney Film Festival opening in less than a month (Attenberg! The Arbor! Meek’s Cutoff!), followed by Melbourne’s in late July. Not to mention the indigenous film festival that was just held at the Sydney Opera House, the Spanish Film Festival on right now and the upcoming Italian Film Festival + my regular screenings every week (Bridesmaids tonight!), my current popcorn intake is a little OTT.
It’s easy to burn out and opt to stay home and watch cosmic 70′s British kids shows, so I’m taking breathers where possible, like looking through the online gallery of MIFF posters, complete with catalogue information. Here are 12 of my favourites below. Gotta say (I’m a designer when I’m not ranting about movies on radio), the designs really make a grim turn in the late 80′s, with last year’s MIFF poster being the worst of the lot. But these? So nice.
The new film adaptation of Brighton Rock which repositions Graham Greene’s classic novel in the mods vs rockers clash of 1964 inspired a mod film special on my radio show Too Much today. While digging up old newsreels about the brawls (“the threat of long haired youngsters with knives indulging in an orgy of hooliganism”) and exploring mods on screen then (Quadrophenia) and now (We Are The Mods), I became way way waylaid by the more commercial, late 60s mod aesthetic (when the subculture lost its prefix). Hard not to get carried away revisiting tongue-in-cheek fave raves like Smashing Time.
The images above are from Tonite Let’s All Make Love In London, a particularly pervy sequence with Alan Aldridge where the camera lingers just . . . a little longer than it really needed to. Reminds me of the ant-climbing-breast sequence in Saul Bass’ Phase IV but that’s another post entirely.
The best new (to me) clip I came across online, however, was a 1967 episode of the excellent Look at Life series, this one: IN gear narrated by Michael Ingrams.
“Conforming to the non-conformist image of the in, what they used to call way out, and before that with it, and before that groovy, and before that hep, and what granny herself would have called the very latest thing, my dear.”
These thinkers photographed in the Lincoln Coffee Lounge & Café by Brian Bird between 1948-1951. Before most of Rowe Street became the MLC Centre, the Lincoln was the unkempt, unofficial quarters of the Sydney Push and smokers alike. “I was a Lincolnite…it was scruffy down-at-heel bohemia. Edie, the red haired woman who ran the Lincoln Musicians there, said you went down 20 steps physically and socially when you went [there]” (Kenn Barta – Remembering Rowe St)