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REVELATION PERTH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2019 Our top picks


With the Revelation Perth International Film Festival 2019 program having just been launched, X-Press takes a look at the unique range of films, documentaries, and events on offer between July 4th and 17th. DAVID O’CONNELL, NATALIE GILES, DAVID MORGAN BROWN and Q take a deep dive into the thick tome of films and see what are the top picks for Rev.

Maybe It’s Luck

NG: Fresh as f***, and straight out of Perth, this film was only completed recently but promises to be a whole lot of chaotic Perth nostalgia. Local legend and all-round good guy Steve Browne goes beyond his renowned street artworks to deliver a documentary with so much fun it brings its own booze but leaves far too late.

Way back in the 90s, everyone knew Kerb. Perth loved the dirty little punk band wholeheartedly, but never counted on a comeback. But Steve Browne is an irritatingly rabid beast when he gets an idea into him, so Maybe Its Luck was born. Steve is overly exuberant about reuniting a 20-year dead band and will go to any lengths to get them together, no matter the obstacles. Running for one night only, this will be a damn good time and will very likely sell out. Because Perth rocks.

The Wind

DOC: A female-centric western frontier slow burn horror, trading on that sense of isolation to create tension. It looks like director Emma Tammi is bringing a strong sense of Gothic into play here as a new homesteader, Lizzy (Caitlin Gerard), is confronted not merely by the remoteness of her new surroundings, but the growing dread that something otherworldly is stalking her.

Dragged Across Concrete

DMB: The merging of arthouse and grindhouse seems likely to occur yet again in the third feature from the widely influenced S. Craig Zahler, who now sets his sights on two suspended cops who take to the streets for their own badge-less vigilantism to take down a crew of bank-robbers. It’s received huge praise for the grittiness in its on-screen content and hard-boiled dialogue, this may be the film for serious cinema-goers of the festival.

A Dog Called Money

Q:  Through a poetic narrative, A Dog Called Money unveils the creative process and inspiration behind PJ Harvey’s controversial 2016 album, The Hope Six Demolition Project, which polarised fans and angered politicians for its journalistic commentary, following her travels to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington D.C. This documentary has further divided critics, arguing whether it is meta social commentary or self-indulgent art.

Hail Satan?

NG: In its Australian premiere, this documentary promises to bring laughs, levity and educational promotion of the virtues of freedom and empathy. Not what you expected from Satanists, right? Director Penny Lane delves deep into The Satanic Temple and discovers a lot of unexpected sass and hilarity in these unique activists’ work. While rallying against the takeover of Christians with the state in America, they redefine stereotypes in what looks to be a damn fine time.

Other Suns exhibition (and screening)

DOC: An exhibition that focuses on visual and screen-based artists that embraces the science fiction imagination. This exhibit at the Fremantle Arts Centre will look at the forbidden underbelly of the sci-fi, the detritus of the future, and the polymorphic technologies of tomorrow. Screening in conjunction to this will be four science fiction classics – Alien (1979), The Andromeda Strain (1971), Things to Come (1936), and The Quiet Earth (1985).

Memory: The Origins of Alien

DMB: There’s a handful of documentaries this year about classic films and filmmakers, this one of which will even screen along with the classic film itself – Alien. Not merely a behind-the-scenes featurette, Memory explores the vast mythology that has inspired, and been inspired by, this horror-sci-fi behemoth. If you liked the attention to detail from documentarian Alexandre O. Philippe’s previous film 78/52 (which played at Rev two years ago), then Memory may be an equal delight for the cinephiles out there.

Stuffed

NG: Director Erin Derham explores modern taxidermy and the celebration of life and the wonders within. Doing away with dark notions, Derham focuses on the exquisite allure of sustaining life through art and explores the hidden beauty within. The July 5 session will even feature a live taxidermy demonstration by Fringe World award winning local artist, Death and Delicacy. Don’t miss this one – it’s not as icky as you imagine, but so fascinating and fun that you’ll leave wanting to attend her workshops.

Tumbbad

DOC: Beneath a rural temple lies the trapped god Hastar. Punished to lie eternally forgotten due to an ancient crime, the deity lures the unwary to his domain with promises of wealth. This Indian co-production combines myth, folklore and horror into a darkly atmospheric tale, shot with an incredible eye for horrific beauty.

Gay Chorus of the Deep South

NG: If you’re queer identifying and you don’t know about San Francisco’s Gay Men’s Chorus, you should probably lose your rainbow license. If you don’t know about them, you’re about to because these queers are not to be trifled with. With America as it is right now, and the southern states still vigilant in their religious views, it takes a lot of courage to openly tout your gayness through song. This offers a lot of spiritual healing and warmth on a cold winters day.

Love Express: The Disappearance of Walerian Borowczyk

DMB: What is likely to be the sexiest entry for Rev this year, this documentary explores the sexuality, sensuality, and utter bizarreness of the films from this Polish mastermind, who treaded the lines between film and porno, though was instrumental in bringing unabashed nudity and sex to the big screen throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s. His legacy, that took sex seriously, has finally received the documentary treatment it deserves.

Blind Date

DOC: See what emerging WA film makers have to offer, when they’re paired with local bands to produce film clips. The screening and judging at Freo.Social, promises a night of surprises and cool activities.

The Juniper Tree

NG: Vintage Björk nostalgia, this Icelandic folk tale of witchcraft and love is something to behold, and will either captivate audiences or leave them fighting over it. We’re good either way for the sheer drama of it all. BYO swan costumes. Newly restored and in its Australian premiere, this is not just a film, but an experience and an event to add to your winter calendar.

Long Shorts

DOC: Rev’s unique collection of shorts, that are not long enough to be a feature film, but just a little too long to be added to another screening. This collection of short films has a fair few things of interest, especially for the horror and sci-fi fan, but the real treasure has to be Troll Bridge. 15 years in the making, and based on the works of Terry Pratchett, this is a Discworld fantasy tale involving the geriatric adventurer Cohen the Barbarian.

Extra Ordinary

NG: Gorgeously dark Irish comedy/horror your thing? It should be. Irish darkness and sense of comedy combines perfectly in this take on the genre/s. Rose (Maeve Higgins) is a real life Ghostbuster, and is on the case with her supernatural abilities with haunted widower Martin (Barry Ward) to help him get through. It looks to be hilarious and supernaturally brilliant.

XR:WA

DOC: Running in parallel to the Revelation Film Festival, virtual reality fest within a fest XR:WA will allow a space to explore and experience stunning immersive realities and technology. Offering a range of engagements from professional panels, 360 degree cinema, artspaces, to games, it gives us a glimpse of the new ways to experience media, that are opening to us.

The Great Buster

DMB: One of the kings of silent cinema comedy is given a vast portrait in this documentary dedicated to the slapstick comedian’s craft, life, and legacy. Directed by Peter Bogdanovich, he doesn’t shy away from Buster’s personal life, from his very early days in his family’s vaudeville act to the career stagnation and alcoholism of his later years. This is an unmissable event for all lovers of comedy, especially a master like Buster.

Leto

Q: When some of the biggest films of the year are biopics about the world’s biggest musicians (We Will Rock You; Rocketman), along comes Leto.  It has all the trials and tribulations, love and anger, of a young struggling rock band, but set against the backdrop of Cold War Russia in the 1980s. Presented in black and white, this film promises to be a unique take on the “rise to fame” story, without the flashy lights, but still with a killer soundtrack (including Talking Heads and Iggy Pop). Rock on!

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