Chewing the fat with Jack: A preview of the Perth Revelations International Film Festival.
Perth Monsterfiends listen up! From the 4th to the 14th of July the Revelation Perth International Film Festival will be rocking the very foundations of our westernmost outpost and if you happen to be in the neighborhood, and you’ve got a friggin’ pulse – YOU’LL BE THERE!
Revelation is chocked full of big screen goodies for just about every species of cinema freak, but for Monsterfreaks specifically, the gems are PLENTY!
To moisten your drooly bits here’s an exclusive interview with festival director Jack Sargeant. Read on as Jack fills us in on titles ripe for the Monster pickin’!
Sit back, relax and chew the fat with Jack!
For those not in the know, can you tell us a bit about the Revelations Film Festival? How long has it been going?
The Revelation Film Festival started in 1997 it was founded by Richard Sowada and he ran the first eight or nine installments and he remains the festival chair and deeply involved with the event. Anyhow he moved to ACMI, so, a couple of years later, the opportunity arose for me to do the programming and obviously I jumped at it, and now this is my sixth year. The event has continued to grow since I started programming and now this year we’re running at three different cinemas across Perth and Fremantle, as well as having a conference at the Rydges Hotel and an exhibition at the Buratti Gallery.
There are a number of films showing, what titles stand out as being perfect for the Monster audience and fanbase?
In total we have maybe one-hundred odd films per-year, including the dedicated animation and experimental programs, super-8 films, local filmmakers sessions, short films and so on, as well as around thirty features and feature-length documentaries, plus special events. In terms of specific movies for Monster fans – I’d say CHEAP THRILLS was pretty essential viewing. It’s a film that mixes nightmarish desperation, compulsive manipulation, cruelty, escalating violence and utter mayhem. The dark, dark side of human nature, and black humour makes it essential. It has a great tense brooding atmosphere that just gets increasingly dark, but simultaneously funny, darkly funny… which I love obviously.
We’re also screening A FIELD IN ENGLAND which has been described as a horror movie, but really it’s so much more. In part it’s a war movie that’s set in a field during the English Civil War, with these soldiers being dragged into a strange world. It’s directed by Ben Wheatley who has a really great storytelling, cinematic aesthetic, I think Monster fans should be familiar with his movies KILL LIST and Down Terrace, and this is very much like those, a film that looks on one level like a genre movie that eventually totally negates the narrative conventions and follows its own unique trajectory. We’ve also got I AM DIVINE, about Divine who of course acted in two of my favourite movies PINK FLAMINGOS and FEMALE TROUBLE. It’s a great a documentary about a true star whose work pretty much defined cult and midnight movies. We also have world premiere of THE LAST DAYS OF JOE BLOW, which tells the story of the porn actor Joe Blow, which is a fascinating look at pornography and tells a broadly unfamiliar story, i.e about men in porn.
Then, and I guess possibly the most exciting thing for Monster fans, we have SUSPIRIA with the live soundtrack.
How did you manage to score Goblin for the Festival?
I have to say that wasn’t my score, basically the opportunity arose following their performance in Melbourne which was part of Melbourne Music Week I believe, Richard brought it to the table early on and I immediately said “yes.” To me, to many fans of genre film and avant-garde movie soundtracks, Goblin’s work is incredible, really visionary and atmospheric, and SUSPIRIA is one of my – maybe one of everyone’s – favourite films. Of course to see it on the big screen with a live soundtrack will be perfect, I’m really looking forward to seeing it.
Take us behind the scenes of a film festival, whats involved in getting it set up and what criteria do you based the films you show on?
Primarily my role is program or artistic director: I select many of the movies, ostensibly I hunt down anything that I think is interesting, as well watching features and feature documentaries from the call for entries. I also select guest programmers who program some sidebars or some special events. Likewise I select most of the guests and I organize the workshops and the academic conference. About 90% of the feature and documentary content comes from my programming, the rest comes either from input from the team or from the guest curators. The team and I then put the whole thing together…it’s a mammoth task that seems to just grow every year, which is great, but exhausting as you can imagine. As to selection criteria, primarily I chose what I like and what interests me, what I think best reflects contemporary international films and what I think indicates what’s going to happen in film, I program films that I think people will enjoy and films that I think they need to see.
What are you most excited about as part of the festival?
The live SUSPIRIA soundtrack is going to be pretty special I think.
Revelation sounds like a cracker of a festival, who wouldn’t want to get in on that action? The Monster’s Eye would like to extend a huge thank you to Jack for taking the time out to chat, folks be sure to hit up the festival if you are in town.
Visit the official website www.revelationfilmfest.org for all the info, session times and tickets!