Last week saw the launch of the 2018 program for the Revelation Perth International Film Festival. From July 5-18 various venues around the Perth and Fremantle area become the home of some of the best indie cinema released in the last year (and a few much-loved classics). NATALIE GILES, DAVID MORGAN-BROWN, and DAVID O’CONNELL take a look at this year’s offering, and select some of the best to keep an eye on.
Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex, Fashion and Disco
NG – The title alone is titillating enough, but it offers up so much more in a seemingly endless parade of decadence, eleganza and glamour. Icons such as Grace Jones, Karl Lagerfeld, Bill Cunningham, Jerry Hall and Grace Coddington appear within Antonio Lopez’s hedonistic, comic book–inspired world. One of the great fashion innovators of the ’60s and ’70s, this promises to be an indulgence for the pop culture and fashion aficionado.
You Were Never Really Here
DMB – Anything with Joaquin Phoenix is worth watching (who also stars in the festival’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot) and his performance in this intense vigilante-revenge thriller is sure to be one of his finest—which is saying something. Writer-director Lynn Ramsay is a visionary in modern cinema and whenever she releases a film (unfortunately, not often), it’s so special it feels like an event.
DO – Based on the historical incident back in 1985, this film follows in the tradition of Apollo 13 and Gravity to combine a tense storyline (in this case true) and jaw-dropping special effects. Russian sci-fi has a long and illustrious heritage, and it’s one of those genres that we don’t often get a chance to see in Australia, so I’ve got to jump on this one.
Sickies Making Film
DMB – The theme of this year’s Revelation documentaries may be censorship. Along with [censored] and The Cleaners, Sickies Making Films is another exposé on the authorities making cuts to the world’s art and media before it’s made public to an audience. Given censorship in cinema is as long as cinema’s history itself, it’s sure to be a documentary for all lovers of film.
Let The Corpse Tan
NG – Lauded by many as a new age cult classic, this sensory feast has received plaudits aplenty and recommendations by some of the most respected minds in the local film business. What begins as a post-bank heist hideout film rapidly turns to all the fun things—sex, violence and surrealism. Apparently there is also a particularly pleasing nipple dispensing champagne, so that’s something to eagerly anticipate.
DO – A chance to see one of the great Ozploitation films on the big screen, something that I was too young to do the first time around. Director Russell Mulcahy’s (Highlander) rampaging giant pig film is a wonderful balance of schlock horror and visual art, demonstrating the director’s cinematic eye and pulp sensibilities. An Australian classic, and a rare chance to catch it with fans and first timers alike.
NG – Soda_Jerk return to Rev this year with a one-night-only screening of a film which has been condemned as inherently un-Australian. It will inevitably challenge, subvert and delight those predisposed to political and cultural irreverence. Cannot wait.
DMB – The great hippy director of the New Hollywood Movement, Hal Ashby, gets his own retrospective documentary, exploring his quality output that made up some of the most brilliantly idiosyncratic American films of the ‘70s. His seminal films The Last Detail, Shampoo, and Being There will also be screening at this year’s festival.
NG – A play on the most overplayed, unimaginative, sexist joke about women belonging in the kitchen, the title belies what promises beneath in this coming of age tale of female identifying friendships, and the empowerment of women through skateboarding. Nina Moran stars in Crystal Moselle’s narrative feature about girls skateboarding, co-starring Jaden Smith. Moran is a founding member of New York City-based skateboard collective, The Skate Kitchen, where she actively encourages and supports women by throwing all-girl skate sessions with the goal of changing the stigma around gender in skating and beyond.
Revelation Music Days
DO – Okay, this is a bit of a cheat, but also a valid reminder that Rev has more than just film on offer. Taking place on six nights of the festival, this is a showcase of local and international musicians, across a variety of forms. This year’s line-up includes German multi-media sound artists Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten) and Danielle de Picciotto (Crime and the City Solution) direct from Dark Mofo, Eastern States headliners Amyl and the Sniffers (Melb) on a shredding double bill with the all-girl rockers Rackett (Syd) alongside Tape/Off (Bris), Shoeb Ahmad (ACT) and 12 local outfits including favourites FOAM, Hussy, Candy Guts, Pat Chow and more. But if you really must bathe in celluloid’s pale glow, there is always an excellent selection of music docos—covering punk, disco, rock, and everything in between.