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REVELATION PERTH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2016

RevelationFor 10 days, starting on July 7th, this city becomes the venue for the Revelation Perth International Film Festival. This year’s promises to be the biggest one so far. In fact there are so many events, that for the first time ever, the program actually required a spine to bind it together. The result is more like a novella than a pamphlet, jam-packed with films. With such a wealth of options, X-Press thought it might offer a few suggestions.

Rev brings us a wonderful selection of off-kilter genre films each year. It acts as the perfect pallet cleanser from tent-pole blockbusters, and offers us a unique vision of what sci-fi and horror can be. This year is no exception. There’s The Whispering Star, a minimalist sci fi film about an android postie trying to understand the human condition as she travels the galaxy on her rounds. For a dose of JG Ballard retro-futurism set in brutalist architecture there’s cryptic auteur Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise. Having actors the calibre of Tom Hiddleston (Marvel’s Loki) and Jeremy Irons certainly doesn’t hurt, however it is the strength of those visuals that looks truly breath-taking. Then there’s The Love Witch, which offers a throw back to 60s Satanic exploitation flicks. It perfectly captures the pulp of the genre, with a crisp, clear and colourful take by director Anna Biller.

Legendary puppeteer Jim Henson is a special focus for this year’s Rev. Not only do they have screenings of Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, but collections of his experimental and earlier works, as well as documentaries covering his life.

It’s also a time when documentaries get to see the spotlight. From Hip Hop fashion to Furries, Zappa to Mapplethorpe, there is a wide range here. Dead Slow Ahead is a Spanish documentary looking at the daily workings of the grain tanker The Fair Lady. The mammoth ship becomes a character itself in this meditative piece. At the other end we have the fiery spectacle of All Things Ablaze, covering the Ukrainian protests of 2013-14. For something lighter there is The Art Of The Prank, celebrating the life and work of prankster Joey Skaggs. It is a film that will have you questioning the believability of everything.

All this, plus the Revel 8 Super 8 film competition, new films starring Jake Gyllenhall (Demolition) or Daniel Radcliffe (in Swiss Army Man – as a corpse no less), professional film workshops, and the Iranian Film Festival. Finally, for the first time ever, there will also be a Rev Rewind, offering another chance to see popular films from this year’s program. For a comprehensive list visit www.revelationfilmfest.org for details.

DAVID O’CONNELL