Last weekend at #RevFilmFest

July 16, 2012

Saw as many films as I possibly could over the last weekend of the Revelation Film Festival.

On Saturday I took it fairly easy seeing the Eames doco a second time and catching a screening of Beauty Is Embarrassing. This doco was about the life and career of Wayne White, whose work I now recognise from the cover of Nixon by Lampchop. This was a great doco and Wayne is quite a character.

Later on Saturday I caught Paul Williams: Still Alive. I know of Paul Williams but I have never really listened to him. I have a compilation of his on record that I don’t think I have ever listened to. This doco featured the film maker quite prominently interacting with his subject which had both good and bad moments. Personally what I found most interesting was all the archive footage of Paul in the 1070s where it seems he was on every television show including Johnny Carson 50 times, including one time dressed as the character Paul played in a Planet of the Apes sequel. It was quite a revelation just how funny Paul was. He still is, as the more recent footage proved. I think Revelation missed a great chance here to do a midnight screening of Phantom of the Paradise, which was a film that Paul also starred in.

Sunday was a big day. First up was The Trouble With Bliss, starring Michael C Hall. I didn’t know what to expect but this film turned out to be a funny and at times quite odd film. I rather liked it. Top marks also to the short film that preceded it; A Tale Of Obession. This rather good short film had some of the best opening credits ever.

Rampart was next. This gritty corrupt LA cop tale was involving but it took a while to get into what they were saying. It felt like all the background noise in the film was louder than the speech. Ned Beatty was present adding a touch of 70s cinema to the proceedings.

The next film in my Sunday line up was Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. This film was a blast. The producer was present for a Q&A afterwards helmed by Judith Lucy who also was a blast. The final blast for me was I ran into my friend Bookbuster who was there, as she gave to the kickstarter project for the film. Bookbuster even got asked by the producer to stand up and relate the tale of the Batgirl fan at recent comic cons. Go learn more about this film here.

The last film of the night and the Revelation film festival for 2012 was Buff. This locally made film about film buffs was great fun. I especially liked hearing David Stratton say that Transformers 3 was shit. Ha!

Well done to the Revelation festival for another great year.

 

 

 

 


a few more movies at #RevFilmFest

July 13, 2012

Caught the last screening of The Whisperer in Darkness at Revelation Perth Film Festival last night. This is essentially a fan flick as it is made by the H P Lovecraft Historical Society, but an incredibly well made fan flick done in 1930’s RKO style. It was very well done with some real moments of tension.

Earlier this week I also caught a doco called Eames: The Architect and Painter, about the life and work of Charles and Ray Eames, the husband and wife team. I confess I only knew them from the one or two chairs that I see referred to as Eames chairs so this doco was a real eye opener to just how much work they produced. Catch it if you can this weekend. I left the cinema wanting a solar powered do nothing machine, which they had designed and created for an Alcoa commercial.

Crispin Glover’s second night at the Revelation was not as well attended as the first, but he was still a hoot. Some different books were shown in his slide show, and his first film What Is It? was shown this time. I asked about a credit that I noticed in the credits and yes, Crispin’s dad dug the grave used in the film, as his dad, apart from being an actor, once also worked as a grave digger. Crispin’s parents also appear in his other film It Is Fine. Everything Is Fine. Crispin also answered my other question of has he yet written the third film It Is Mine; yes he has, but he didn’t say how close he was to making it. Thanks to Revelation for bringing Crispin out here.

Onto the last weekend of Revelation for this year. I’ll try and cram as many movies in as I can.


#Revfilmfest first weekend

July 9, 2012

I scored a gold pass to the Revelation Perth International Film Festival. This little beauty enables me to go see everything. It doesn’t give me the time to see everything however, so I am getting out to see what I can.

I went to the opening night party on Thursday 5 July. I’ve been to opening night events before, including last year’s Rev opening night. Usually all the food and drink is afterwards, but this year they had a party going before, so my partner and I got to have a few drinks and some nibbles before settling in for the film.

Your Sister’s Sister was good. It certainly played well to a full house.

They then had another party with more food and drink after the film, including the hottest steak burger I have ever had. I nearly burned my hand holding it. I had three of this delicacies and didn’t need breakfast the next day. There are not too many film festivals that you can say that about.

I came back on Saturday and Sunday to catch a few more films.

The Substance: Albert Hofmann’s LSD was an incredibly comprehensive documentary. Sure, it had the usual suspects in that multi-coloured bus with the destination of Further, but it also had Albert himself interviewed before he turned 100 (he died at 102), along with those who used the drug for psychiatry. What I found especially fascinating was the use of LSD with terminal cancer patients. The feeling of oneness that LSD can produce (oceanic boundedness, I think they called it) can help them overcome their depression.

Undefeated had me almost crying. This tale of US football in an under privileged high school was moving and mesmerising.

Archeo was interesting and certainly very well done. Do you remember that film Predators? It was sort of like that, but without the Predators.

The Imposter was incredible. Totally gripping and edge of the seat stuff. It is no spoiler to say that the imposter of the title really is an imposter. It still has some screenings, so go see it.

I also caught The 25th Reich. It was a hoot. Maybe the title could have been Time Lost GIs or something but it is a great homage to old style 50s/60s sci-fi films. The script is taut the whole way through with plenty of twists and turns, and only 5 characters the whole time. The shoe string budget enhances the feel. The Director was there ( I complemented him on the Saul Bass inspired opening credits) and he told us that his film would get a bigger release in this country later this year. Keep an eye out for it.

Also on Saturday my partner went and saw The Colour Wheel. She said it was bad. She also added that I should see it, just so I could see and experience how bad it was. She reported a few people walked out. This also happened when I saw Archeo.

On Sunday we both went to see Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present. If you know her work, you know what to expect. The main focus of this doco was her 3 month sitting at the Museum of Modern Art in 2010.  The film really brings across the challenge that this piece presented. It also has incredible footage of many of her previous works and features the reunion of Marina and Ulay. Worth seeing.

The big event of the Rev program this year, for me at least is, The George Melies Project. Ever since I studied film back in my uni days, I have heard and seen stills of his work. However, apart from a few scenes in Hugo, I have never seen any of his films, so to view them, an hours worth of them, on a big screen with a live band was incredible. Of course there was the journey to the moon one with the rocket in the moon’s face. But his work includes more than just that one scene. Some of the films we saw yesterday included journeys to the underworld, trains flying into the sun, fishing in top hats, along with numerous appearances by the Devil and his ballerinas in Hell. The carriage led by a skeletal horse through a ghostly night time sky was a highlight for me. And all of these films are now over a hundred years old; wow.

I’m looking forward to more Rev films still to come.


#Supanova Perth 2012

June 25, 2012

The organisation for the Perth Supanova event is improving.

For instance, they have taken over more of the Robertson Pavilion at the Claremont showgrounds. And they have split up the presenters to much better effect.

Last year I got to see Tom Felton and James Masters but they had sandwiched poor Batman artist and writer David Finch between them as a buffer to get the crowd out. I understand the need to clear the room for each presentation but until this year they always had the problem of the crowd waiting to get in would bump up against the crowd trying to get out (some of whom also wanted to get back in), as there was only the one way in or out of the presentation room.

This year the organisers had a designated entrance and a designated exit; you came in from outside the pavilion only once those within had left via the exit that lead to the cafeteria section. Leaving via this way was a bit of a squeeze but at least there was no one trying to go against the flow and no need to make comic book makers feel like they were being used; I’m sure they get enough of that working for a big company.

To further insure that comic book makers were not used in this manner they split up the venues; film and TV stars in one venue, comic book makers in another. Sensible I say.

In addition to better organisation of the talks the entrance to the event was better. For all the years I have been going (3 times now out of the 4 times they have held this in Perth) they had two queues outside to get in. There was a prepaid line and a buy on the day line all leading to the one way in. One line would stretch north, the other south. Last year I bought a ticket at the door and I got in sooner than a lot of prepaid people. It was strange how I got in that year.  I reached just inside the front of the venue where I used eftpos to buy a ticket and then had to go back outside with this ticket to see one of the wristband distributors who then took my ticket in exchange for one of the wristbands and with this now in I could go back inside, this time past the ticket sellers and all the way in. strange like I said but this line moved faster than the pre-sold line which also was strange.

This year, those buying tickets on the day were lining up to visit ticket booths set up separate from the venue so once they had paid and had been given a wristband they could walk straight inside. The other line also ended at a location away from the main doors. Here too they were given armbands and then could stroll inside. No bottle neck at the door resulted as in previous years, which is much better. Top marks for this.

Lines at Supanova

Form an orderly line here, here and here

The cosplayers always make the event. I love their dedication to their craft. I saw one young lady dressed up as I don’t know what – her friends were all recognisably manga inspired so maybe she was too; she sort of looked like an older version of Charlie Chaplin but as part of her outfit she was carrying an afternoon tea tray laden with a tea set and treats. I heard her say that the tray weighed little but she was getting cramps in her shoulders from holding it for so long.

Mystique and Emma Frost

Mystique and Emma Frost; marvel at these ladies

I wished I had got a shot of the cosplayer dressed as She-Ra; she looked too young to have ever seen it the first time it was on TV but it was great to see someone in such gear.

cosplayers outside

Sights outside at Supanova

In addition to cosplayers and looking at the many stalls I went to a few seminars.  

At the first seminar I went to the compeer instructed us not to make marriage offers or anything similar to the guests, and we didn’t. Actually it was last year when we had James and Tom that a lot of ladies asked for hugs. James explained at the time why not; could lead to orgies.

compeer

“No one is to pop the question, okay?”

I caught Mercedes McNab. I got in early and got a pretty good seat. She talked a lot about Buffy and Angel and just a little of what she was doing now which involved Geek Nation. I asked if she saw what happened to her character in the comics Buffy Season 8 to which she responded yes and thought it was rather good the idea of Harmony becoming famous and having her own reality show. Mercedes even has such a little dog like Harmony does in the comics which is either life or art imitating one or the other.

Mercedes McNab 1

“No need to pop the question” said Mercedes, “I got married on May 12”

In response to the question about what is the strangest question ever asked Mercedes mentioned how just in Sydney she was asked would she prefer to be attacked by a horse sized duck or a flock of duck sized horses, or something like that.

Mercedes McNab 2

“A lot of guys in Sydney had practical questions for my husband about the marriage, which was strange, but not the strangest question”

I also caught Christopher Lloyd and this was one of the most amusing seminars; and I also got great seats, having lined up for them for over half an hour. The line to get in to see Christopher was huge.  

long line

Backs to the front of the line

Hobbit

I lined up next to a Hobbit. Only at Supanova

Hobbit feet

She even had Hobbit feet

I got seats in the second row in the far right block of seats (please don’t read anything political in that; it was just where seats were not filling up at the point when I came in). The whole auditorium filled up and people were standing at the back when Christopher came in. The seats for him were right in front of the two rows of VIP seats in the middle block of chairs. Unlike the Mercedes session where a microphone was passed around by a compeer, this time they went for a stand up mike, so you had to line up on the right hand side to ask a question. The microphone was right in my line of sight where I was seated.

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd takes to the stage

It must have been the second question when it happened. The young lady asked if Christopher and the cast of Back To The Future had anything planned for the date of October 21, 2015. Christopher either didn’t hear or understand the question; maybe both. So he came closer. And closer. In the end he was right in front of her and my block of chairs. The poor girl, embarrassed, repeated the question as best she could for Christopher to understand. He gave a simple one word answer; no.

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd gets close

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd gets closer

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd gets even closer

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd says no

But having travelled all this way across the stage with a hand held microphone he then stayed right there directly in front of my block of chairs. Best seats in the house (take that those of you in the VIP chairs – which incidentally were not full and never were in all of the sessions that I attended).

Christopher Lloyd

“I like it over here”

Christopher liked to ramble with his answers, which was rather amusing and two of his questioners looked familiar. One was dressed up like Marty, and this had Christopher saying Marty in that Doc Brown voice. And then when someone came in up in Doc Brown fashion complete with the shirt Christopher gave us more lines in his Doc Brown voice. He even shook hands with this Doc Brown look alike who even had the right shirt on under the lab coat. Christopher told us that he had kept a copy of that shirt.

 

Christopher Lloyd and "Marty"

“Marty?”

Christopher Lloyd and "Doc Brown"

Christopher Lloyd reaches out and touches himself, sorta

Christopher touched on all of his major significant roles including his first film One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and Star Trek 3 and Addams Family and even the recent Piranha films.  

This was a great seminar and did I mention how I had great seats? I just took photo after photo of Christopher since I was so close.

Christopher Lloyd shakes hands with Doc Brown

Look out; future Doc Brown is interacting with past Doc Brown; rupture in time stream imminent

I went all the way to the other side of the Robertson Pavilion, pushing through the throng, to catch Ashley Wood. I remember buying a few issues of Automatic Kafka and Popbot way back when. He was interesting and encouraged us all to follow our dreams. He had positive things to say about Todd McFarlane. The attendance was small however.

Ashley Wood

Ashley Wood, unplugged.

I then journeyed back to the big auditorium to catch Tricia Helfer a few minutes into her slot. I could have sat closer but I wanted to be able to exit fast to come back for Yvonne Craig. However, looking out the window I never saw a line forming like it did for Christopher Lloyd.

Crowd

“I have to get through all of these people?”

Tricia rattled off an impressive list of voice over work she has done, a lot of it attributable to her having done Battlestar Galactica. Plus she has appeared in Chuck, 2 and a Half Men and Burn Notice and recently appeared in a clip for the Black Keys. Somehow she finds the time to do stuff online over at http://www.actingoutlaws.org/

Tricia Helfer

Look; 6 is here. This must mean the Ceylons have found Earth. That can’t be good.

Tricia spoke about a recent pilot she did about rescue dogs. Sadly this has not been picked up but she nominated it as one of her favourite roles and shared some humorous anecdotes about filming with dogs. Also mentioned a time when modelling and with all the hair spray her nostrils stuck together; glamorous.

Winged helmut

“No, you ask the Thunder God to remove his helmet because you can’t see”

Unusual fact; when on Two and a Half Men, she met Jon Cryer, who revealed that he was asked to audition for Gaius Baltar. I wonder how that might have turned out?

I raced back and around to get back in for Yvonne Craig, which I thought would have been better attended but maybe it was the time of day. It was after 4pm. Since attendance was so small and no VIP seats were being used the compeer asked us all to move closer and so I ended up in the second row of the main block of chairs.

Yvonne was wonderful and spoke about her involvement in Star Trek, Man from Uncle and of course her time as Batgirl.

Yvonne Craig 1

“and then I met (insert famous name)”

Star Trek she did not enjoy being on; “get in line to hate him” was what she said William Shatner. Also the green body make up that she wore was fraught with difficulties including having the make up artists shave her eyebrows. And then her improvised 2 minute alien dance was not recorded.

On Man from Uncle she fell in love with David McCallum; he even picked the lock on her trailer when she locked herself out which just increased her infatuation.

I didn’t know that she had starred in two movies with Elvis Presley. She even went round to his place to place and had dinner with him; he fell asleep while watching TV with her. Yvonne then turned off all the lights and went to leave but accidentally hit the panic button. The police promptly turned up as she tried to leave.

We all wanted longer to hear more about her Batgirl experience. Fun fact: Adam West had to have his armpits constantly dried with a hair dryer. Her own outfit had to be reshaped to take advantage of one, or rather two of the reasons she was hired.

Yvonn Craig 2

“No, I didn’t keep the Batcycle”

She regaled us with quite a few tales of Vincent Price and being the Price fan that I am I listened quite attentively to these. She described him as erudite and wonderful to talk to and he was her favourite villain guest star. I loved the tale of how she ran over his feet with her bat cycle.

One last obervation; Matt Smith has caused a major resurgence in the Fez. I saw so many people wearing them. I’ll post some more pictures of some cosplayers tomorrow.

Fez

A fez, and something with a gun


Toussaint

October 10, 2011

Wow! I almost missed this concert. I just happened to look in the West Australian and saw a notice that the Dirty Dozen Brass Band were unable to play in Perth but Allen Toussaint would still be. I nearly dropped the paper in shock.

The one and only Allen Toussaint was coming to Perth?

I bought tickets as soon as I could.

The concert was Friday 7 October and it was brilliant. Fantastic. Out of this world. Oh, I am so glad I went and so glad Allen came to town.

I am now trying to assemble a Toussaint inspired vinyl display but in all my collecting and hunting I have never come across a Toussaint album but I do have a few produced by him and a few New Orleans music related albums so I will try and put something together using those.

For now, here are some photos and a clip of what was a fantastic concert.

 

Stage for Legends of New Orleans concert at Freo Arts Centre

Stage for Legends of New Orleans concert at Freo Arts Centre - the piano is in position for Allen

 

 

Allen Toussaint walks on stage

Allen Toussaint walks on stage

 

Allen Toussaint almost at the piano

Allen Toussaint almost at the piano

 

 

Allen Toussaint strikes the keys

Allen Toussaint strikes the keys

 

 

Zoom in shot

Zoomed in too much - crazy colours

 
Toussaint plays on

Toussaint plays on

 

 

Allen Toussaint hands out his set list

At the end of the show Allen Toussaint handed out his set list

 

 

Aro and LP waiting for the show to start

Aro and LP waiting for the show to start

 


Giving up food for funk? Not me!

October 7, 2011

Spring Feast was on last night here at UWA. This food festival, part of multicultural week, is one of the annual highlights here at the Uni. However, it was not the only thing taking place last night. There was also a fascinating lecture on DNA evidence by Dr Christine Funk. That’s right; Dr Funk.

So, I was faced with a dilemma; do I give up food for funk or pass up funk for food?

Food won!

The night started with the gathering. Joining me amongst the throng of people waiting to go in was Bookbuster and HelenKitty plus AusPolTragic and HipiKat.

There was a printed programme this year, which we read while we waited. Sadly the organisers have yet to bring back the showbag which was a very popular feature a few years back.

Reading the program too quickly it seemed like a food stall was offering Sushi Popcorn Chicken. It must have been our hunger causing illusions.

When the gate opened we first visited the Red Bull Girls and went through the ordeal of having to say to them “yes we want our wings please” in order to get our free drink.

Red Bull can

Hey, it was free. All it cost me was my dignity to say "I want my wings"

From there onto the food.

Food stall

"I'll have one of everything"

Yes, I too wondered about the fried oreos and so I just had to have them, along with the curry puff and the pork. All good; especially the oreos. Three of them fried in a light batter served on a stick and dusted with icing sugar. This was the first thing I had after my Red Bull. The crash after this sugar powered flight was not going to be pretty.

Fried oreo in a bag

Peeking into the bag, you can see a fried oreo on a stick

 Other delights sampled included giant popcorn chicken that were very crunchy, fried potato twirls on a stick that were just as good as last year, a few octopus balls and some sort of folded fried pancake with meat inside which was very tasty.

My thanks goes out to the organisers for this UWA event.

Since I could not give up food for funk, for the Friday song here are some people who can! The JB’s!


UWA Booksale 2011

August 23, 2011

Yes, I waited in line, and yes it was worth it.

For this year’s Save the Children booksale at UWA I rocked up just after 12.30pm to stake a place in line. I was 6th at this point and with only one extra person joining someone in front of me I got to be 7th inside the sale and certainly I was first to the boxes of records. Read the rest of this entry »