June 19 - 20, 2001

American Cinematheque Presents...

Down Under Wonders: New Films From Australia

 

Program compiled by Andrew P. Crane

Special Thanks: Leslie Rabb/RPM INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRADE, SHOWFILM, SOUTHCORP WINES NORTH AMERICA,SAGA PRODUCTIONS/ENT-MKTNG, LA Outback, Betsy Cramer/SANTA BARBARA FILM FESTIVAL CATALOG

Tickets available 30 days in advance.

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Each year new talents emerge in Australia. With this third, annual showcase of short films and features from "Down Under," we bring you a glimpse at some of the latest talent to be creating on film, both in front of and behind the camera. Returning with new work are series alumni, short film directors Jo Kennedy and Jaime Browne. Two excellent new documentary features about music, TOSCA and BURIED COUNTRY will screen on the second night. An opening night reception, with several of the filmmakers in attendance & didgeridoo players will follow the shorts program. We’ll see you there mate!

 

Tuesday, June 19 – 7:30 PM

DOWN UNDER WONDERS: THE SHORTS

Rachel Ward’s "The Big House" (24 min.) In this very original and powerful drama, one man finds a renewed capacity for love within the walls of prison. Jaime Browne’s "Kicking On" (13 min.) Winner of numerous awards at the "big three" queer film festivals in Australia, this surprising and excellent short shows a side of "footie" teams we never knew! From the director of "Industrial Relations" (DUW 2000). David McKay’s "Hoppin’ Mad" (7 min.) Tourists find more than they bargained for as one of the cliché symbols of Australia takes revenge. Peter Carstair’s "Gate" (16 min.) This subtle comedy, set in a ranch in the outback, is a sly look at masculine power struggles and hierarchy. Nash Edgerton’s "The Pitch" (3 min.) The Hollywood kind of "pitch". Funny trailer for the Tropfest Film Festival. Jo Kennedy’s "The Bridge" (18 min.) A three-time alumni of DUW, Jo returns with this intense drama concerning a teenage girl’s maneuvers through a minefield of males; alternately raging, hormone-driven and passive. Patrick Hughes’s "The Lighter" (3.30 min.) One man’s triumphant struggle to get that ciggie lit. Anthony Mullins "Rubber Gloves" (13 min.) In this riotous short, all is not what it seems in this tranquil suburban setting. Reception in the Egyptian courtyard after the screening.

Join Jaime Browne (‘Kicking On") & Nash Edgerton ("The Pitch") for a Q & A after the screening. Check 323/466-FILM or www.egyptiantheatre.com for added films and filmmakers in attendances.

 

Wednesday, June 20 – 7:00 PM

TOSCA

2000, Film Australia, 85 min. Dir. Trevor Graham. A backstage, "warts and all" documentary set just three weeks before the first performance of one of classical music’s most beloved and well-known operas. Love and tragedy, political betrayal and intrigue, Puccini’s luscious Tosca, is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser – but, only if, it is beautifully performed. A huge challenge for cash-strapped Opera Australia. Here, veteran Joan Carden performs Floria Tosca, which was written for a young diva. Opposite Ms. Carden is Greg Tomlinson (in a career make-or-break debut), who plays her lover, artist Mario Cavaradossi. Ian Vayne plays the evil villain, Baron Scarpia. He has sung the part only once before-in German! Director Graham noted that "the performers trusted the filmmakers with truly amazing behind-the-scenes access for 110 hours of tape." The drama behind the scenes at times equaled the drama onstage. By the time of the first nerve-wracked performance, we care about everyone from the stars to the stagehands.

 

Wednesday, June – 9:15 PM

BURIED COUNTRY

2000, Film Australia, 75 min. Dir. Andy Nehl. "Voted Best Documentary by the Audience at the Hawaii International Film Festival". This is a fascinating documentary on the connection between Aboriginal Australians and country and western music. Aboriginal people have used country music to tell their stories of life and the struggle for justice. Featuring rare recordings, archival images and first-hand interviews with the singers and songwriters, BURIED COUNTRY traces six decades of this rich tradition. What emerges is not only a poignant record of indigenous Australia, but also a celebration of how music can lift the human spirit.