4 July – 30 August 2014
Australian Cinémathèque | Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)
‘Divided Selves’ draws together works by contemporary international artists and filmmakers that explore the representation of charismatic figures and the disjunction between private and public personas. Charisma often relies on a merging of truth and fictions, as well as a reflection of constructed mythologies. What unites the complex characters profiled in these video works and feature films is the way in which seemingly incompatible details of their lives are woven into utterly compelling tales. ‘Divided Selves’ explores the illusory elements of the documentary genre, and the truth to be found in fictional accounts.
Fri 4 Jul 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 108 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: CASEY AFFLECK / PRODUCERS: CASEY AFFLECK, JOAQUIN PHOENIX, AMANDA WHITE / SCRIPT: CASEY AFFLECK, JOAQUIN PHOENIX / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: CASEY AFFLECK, MAGDALENA GÓRKA / EDITORS: CASEY AFFLECK, DODY DORN / CAST: JOAQUIN PHOENIX, ANTONY LANGDON, LARRY MCHALE, CASEY AFFLECK / MUSIC: MARTY FOGG / PRODUCTION CO: THEY ARE GOING TO KILL US PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE: PARK CIRCUS / RIGHTS: ROADSHOW FILMS / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP
The directorial debut of Oscar-nominated actor Casey Affleck, I’m still here is a striking portrayal of a tumultuous year in the life of internationally acclaimed actor Joaquin Phoenix. With remarkable access, I’m still here follows the Oscar-nominee as he announces his retirement from a successful film career in the fall of 2008 and sets off to reinvent himself as a hip hop musician. Sometimes funny, sometimes shocking, and always riveting, the film is a portrait of an artist at a crossroads. Defying expectations, it deftly explores notions of courage and creative reinvention, as well as the ramifications of a life spent in the public eye. (Magnolia Films)
Fri 11 Jul 8.15pm / Cinema A
16MM AND 35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 135 MINUTES, UNITED STATES/GERMANY/CANADA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: TODD HAYNES / PRODUCERS: CHRISTINE VACHON, JOHN GOLDWYN / SCRIPT: TODD HAYNES, OREN MOVERMAN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: EDWARD LACHMAN / EDITOR: JAY RABINOWITZ / CAST: CHRISTIAN BALE, CATE BLANCHETT, MARCUS CARL FRANKLIN, RICHARD GERE, HEATH LEDGER, BEN WHISHAW / MUSIC: BOB DYLAN / PRODUCTION CO: KILLER FILMS / PRINT SOURCE: TAMASA DISTRIBUTION / RIGHTS: ICON FILMS
‘As I started to dig deep into Dylan’s biographies, I kept confronting this theme of him being this artist who continued to unnerve his following again and again by changing who he was—sometimes to such a degree that the people around him described it as literally shape-shifting in front of their eyes.’ Director Todd Haynes
I’m not there is a film that dramatizes the life and music of Bob Dylan as a series of shifting personae, each performed by a different actor—poet, prophet, outlaw, fake, star of electricity, rock and roll, martyr born-again Christian—seven identities braided together, seven organs pumping through one life story, as dense and vibrant as the era it inspired. (The Weinstein Company)
Fri 18 Jul 8.00pm / Cinema A
16MM AND 35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 112 MINUTES, UNITED STATES/FRANCE/UNITED KINGDOM/IRELAND, ENGLISH/FRENCH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES), DIRECTOR: HARMONY KORINE / PRODUCERS: HARMONY KORINE, NADJA ROMAIN, ADAM BOHLING / SCRIPT: HARMONY KORINE, AVI KORINE / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MARCEL ZYSKIND / EDITORS: VLADĺS ÓSKARSDÓTTIR, PAUL ZUCKER / CAST: DIEGO LUNA, SAMANTHA MORTON, DENIS LAVANT, WERNER HERZOG, JAMES FOX, ANITA PALLENBERG / MUSIC: JASON SPACEMAN, THE SUN CITY GIRLS / PRODUCTION CO: FILM4, RECORDED PICTURE COMPANY, DREAMACHINE, AGNÈS B. PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: TAMASA DISTRIBUTION
A Michael Jackson impersonator (Diego Luna) lives alone in Paris and performs on the streets to make ends meet. At a performance in a retirement home, Michael falls for a beautiful Marilyn Monroe look-alike (Samantha Morton), who suggests he move to a commune of impersonators in the Scottish Highlands. At the seaside castle, Michael discovers everyone preparing for the commune's first-ever gala - Abe Lincoln, Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Stooges, the Queen, the Pope, Madonna, Buckwheat, Sammy Davis Jr… And also Marilyn's daughter Shirley Temple and her possessive husband Charlie Chaplin (Denis Lavant). (Cannes International Film Festival)
Fri 25 Jul 8.00pm / Cinema A
HD VIDEO TRANSFERRED TO 35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 87 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: HENRY JOOST, ARIEL SCHULMAN / PRODUCER: ANDREW JARECKI, MARC SMERLING, HENRY JOOST, ARIEL SCHULMAN, BRETT RATNER / CINEMATOGRAPHERS/CAST: HENRY JOOST, ARIEL SCHULMAN, YAVIN SCHULMAN / EDITOR: ZACHARY STUART-PONTIER / MUSIC: MARK MOTHERSBAUGH / PRODUCTION CO: SUPERMARCHÉ, HIT THE GROUND RUNNING FILMS / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE AUSTRALIA / RIGHTS: eONE FILMS AUSTRALIA
Nev, a 24-year-old New York–based photographer, has no idea what he’s in for when Abby, an eight-year-old girl from rural Michigan, contacts him on MySpace, seeking permission to paint one of his photographs. When he receives her remarkable painting, Nev begins a friendship and correspondence with Abby’s family. But things really get interesting when he develops a cyber-romance with Abby’s attractive older sister, Megan, a musician and model. Prompted by some startling revelations about Megan, Nev and his buddies embark on a road trip in search of the truth.
Catfish centers on a riveting mystery that is completely a product of our times, where social networking, mobile devices, and electronic communication so often replace face-to-face personal contact. Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s grounded documentary is a remarkable and powerful story of grace within a labyrinth of online intrigue. (Kim Yutani, Sundance Film Festival)
The archival 35mm print for this screening is courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive Australia.
Fri 1 Aug 8.00pm / Cinema A
16MM AND HD VIDEO TRANSFERRED TO 35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 103 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: WERNER HERZOG / PRODUCER: ERIK NELSON, KEVIN BEGGS, BILLY CAMPBELL, PHIL FAIRCLOUGH, ANDREA MEDITCH, TOM ORTENBERG, JEWEL PALOVAK / CINEMATOGRAPHER: PETER ZEITLINGER / EDITOR: JOE BINI / CAST: TIMOTHY TREADWELL, WERNER HERZOG / MUSIC: RICHARD THOMPSON / PRODUCTION CO: LIONS GATE FILMS, DISCOVERY DOCS, REAL BIG PRODUCTION / PRINT SOURCE /RIGHTS: ATRIUM FILMS INTERNATIONAL
Timothy Treadwell's death was as sensational as his life: Having presumed he could live safely among the grizzly bears of the Alaskan wilderness, the outdoorsman and author (Among Grizzlies)—along with his partner, Amie Huguenard—was eventually killed and devoured by one of the very animals to whom he had devoted years of study.
In telling this story, Werner Herzog relies considerably on Treadwell's own video footage, shot during his time in the wild. The famed German director takes Treadwell's story into unexpected emotional frontiers and startling landscapes of the mind. Where he doesn't go is equally as fascinating, but if Herzog is consistent about anything, it is the defiance of the ordinary, the rejection of the obvious, and the relentlessly searching eye he turns on whatever subject attracts his attention. Treadwell is an intriguing, infuriating, perhaps even tragic figure. But Herzog himself is equally compelling, and this brilliant film is just one reason why. (Diane Weyermann, Sundance Film Festival)
Sat 2 Aug 3.00pm / Cinema A
HD VIDEO, COLOUR, 5.1 SURROUND SOUND, 82 MINUTES, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: EMILY WARDILL / PRODUCERS: GRAHAM CLAYTON-CHANCE, DAN KIDNER, KATE PARKER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: TAINA GALIS / EDITOR: MAYA MAFFIOLI / MUSIC: MARC SHEARER / PRODUCTION CO: FLAMIN PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: LUX, LONDON
‘Based on the life of Sarah Winchester and the Winchester Mystery House, Fulll Firearms presents the story of Imelda, a woman haunted by the victims of the guns sold in her father’s company. She uses her inheritance to work with an architect who builds a house for these ghosts. When a group of people squat her half finished building Imelda is convinced that they are the ghosts that she expected.
The narrative touches upon themes of displacement and storytelling, and stands in the tradition of melodrama. The characters find themselves constantly having to adjust their expectations of each other so that they might be able to communicate within each other’s logic.’ (Jacob Korczynski)
Fri 8 Aug 8.00pm / Cinema A
HD VIDEO, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 159 MINUTES, NORWAY/DENMARK/UNITED KINGDOM/INDONESIA, INDONESIAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTORS: JOSHUA OPPENHEIMER, CHRISTINE CYNN / PRODUCER: SIGNE BYRGE SØRENSON / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: CARLOS ARANGO DE MONTIS, LARS SKREE / EDITORS: NIELS PAGH ANDERSON, ERIK ANDERSSON, CHARLOTTE MUNCH BENGSTEN, JANUS BILLESKOV JANSEN, ARIADNA FATJÓ-VILAS MESTRE, MARIKO MONTPETIT / CAST: ANWAR CONGO, HERMAN KOTO, SYAMSUL ARIFIN, IBRAHIM SINIK / MUSIC: KARSTEN FUNDAL, ELIN ØYEN VISTER / PRODUCTION CO: FINAL CUT FOR REAL, PIRAYA FILM A/S, NOVAYA ZEMLYA, SPRING FILMS / PRINT SOURCE /RIGHTS: MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP
‘‘I know a good location for a torture scene,’ says an aging movie buff early in The Act of Killing. Like a demonic location scout, this self-professed gangster and notorious death-squad chief leads the way to a site of atrocity haunted by the ghosts of his victims. At once a horrifying history lesson, a riveting portrait of unrepentant evil, and a shocking treatise on the widespread influence and malleable meanings of American cinema, Joshua Oppenheimer’s flabbergasting documentary recounts the Indonesian genocide of the mid-1960s, when paramilitary forces obliterated millions of suspected communists, left-wing intellectuals, and other enemies of the fascist state. A handful of perpetrators, never brought to justice, recall the good old days of moviegoing and murder, claiming to have modeled their sadistic behavior on the violent American gangster flicks they watched at local theaters. Hoping to rewrite their corruption-riddled country’s past while glorifying their own psychopathy, the men brazenly reenact their heinous crimes in a film-within-the-film, donning costumes and starring in flamboyant productions in which fact and fantasy queasily merge. Oppenheimer and his crew—many of whom must remain anonymous to ensure their safety—have created an astonishing work.’ (Steven Jenkins, San Francisco International Film Festival)
Sat 9 Aug 2.00pm (with Never My Soul) / Cinema A
HD VIDEO (SINGLE SCREEN VERSION), COLOUR, SOUND, 4:24 MINUTES, ENGLISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: MING WONG / CINEMATOGRAPHER: DANNY GOH / EDITOR: KENT CHAN / MUSIC: HEATHCLIFF BLAIR / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: THE ARTIST, VITAMIN CREATIVE SPACE, GUANGZHOU AND CARLIER|GEBAUER, BERLIN.
‘Sirk’s 1959 film Imitation of Life provides the basis for Ming Wong’s Life of Imitation (2009), which reworks the pivotal scene in which the character Sarah Jane, who has abandoned her mixed-race background to pass as white, is visited for the last time by her black mother. The tearful reunion/farewell is a typically heart-wrenching Sirk moment, with Sarah Jane at first rejecting her mother and then holding her tight and weeping as her feelings take over. Ming replaces Sarah Jane and her mother with Chinese, Malay and Indian male actors from Singapore (representing the dominant racial groups in the country), who change from shot to shot so that the interpersonal dynamics continually shift, blurring what are often rigid delineations in real life.
The scene takes place in a hotel room, in the town where Sarah Jane is working as a chorus girl, under the assumed name of ‘Linda’. Despite her protestations to the contrary, she can’t pretend to her mother that she is the white woman she has been passing herself off to be. Facing a mirror (a recurrent motif in melodrama), she proclaims her whiteness, but she can’t quite look at herself. In Ming’s version, none of the men are white either (nor black for that matter) and furthermore, are in drag: ‘passing’ as women, imitating a gender not prescribed as their own. Yet, as Judith Butler has argued, we can think of drag not as an imperfect copy, but rather a performance that ‘implies that all gendering is a kind of impersonation and approximation. If this is true, it seems, there is no original or primary gender that drag imitates, but gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original’.’ (Russell Storer)
‘“Never my soul” is a phrase taken from the cliche sentence the good-Turkish-girl character says to her rapist in many old Turkish movies – “You can have my body but never my soul!”.
The film has at its centre a transsexual who is pretending to be Türkan Şoray, the real-life super diva of the Turkish Cinema. The transsexual's true life is similar to the melodramatic plot of a Türkan Şoray movie. She was born a boy, beaten up by her military father throughout her childhood for exhibiting ‘effeminate’ behaviour, taken to psychiatrists at the age of thirteen to cure her of her sexual ‘deviance’, and later beaten and tortured by a notorious Istanbul police chief. Now living in Lausanne, her kidneys have failed and she is on dialysis. She has to make her living through prostitution.
Never My Soul imitates both documentary and fiction, but it is neither of these. All roles and positions involved in filmmaking are shifted and parallaxed on purpose to such a degree that the work itself becomes a transvestite. The story is told in a very stark and in-your-face manner, and mimics some of the style of a classical Turkish melodrama.’ (Kutluğ Ataman)
Fri 15 Aug 8.00pm / Cinema A
HD VIDEO, COLOUR, 103 MINUTES, THE PHILIPPINES, TAGALOG/FILIPINO/ENGLISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/ PRODUCER: RAMONA S DIAZ / CINEMATOGRAPHER: FERNE PEARLSTEIN / EDITOR: LEAH MARINO / CAST: IMELDA MARCOS, IMEE MARCOS, FERDINAND MARCOS JR / MUSIC: BOB AVES, GRACE NONO / PRODUCTION CO: CINEDIAZ / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: RAMONA S DIAZ
‘Imelda Marcos likes to talk. With a pained expression on his face, a Jesuit priest explains how she once lectured him for hours and then put on a videotape about herself when she got tired. This trait is invaluable in the hands of documentary filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz. As wife of the former Philippine dictator, Mrs. Marcos hardly seems to weigh her words, unwittingly divulging far more than she would probably want to. She does not seem to realise that the untruths she sometimes peddles can easily be refuted by witnesses or archive footage – which happens here in this film. Imelda is the centre of her own universe and feels utterly invulnerable there. The filmmaker introduces opponents, relatives, friends, Imelda’s couturier and American diplomats. In the Philippines, an Imelda myth has arisen. She is clearly not the only one who believes in it. Even an American member of the jury that acquitted her of fraud proudly shows us an autographed picture of her. It is distressing to watch how this undoubtedly gifted woman lives in a make-believe world. She still has the audacity to speak about beauty and art, while her people live in dire poverty. She just closes her eyes to trash and hideousness. Why the Philippines allows Imelda to live in the lap of luxury or elects her son and daughter as state governors remains a mystery. A fascinating mystery.’ (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam)
Screams of death open Resonating Surfaces on a whitened and scratched film. It is upon that bearer of images where no image is to be found that the two female voices – opera parts of Alban Berg’s Lulu and Wojzzeck – act out a bodily vibration, a pure vibration which manifests life and which is succeeded by silence and a dark screen. The darkness slowly gives way to takes of São Paulo, searchingly gliding over the surface of the elusive city and skirting around the rhythmic bodies and portraits of some individuals. All the while there is a song-like voice, voices loosely uttering words and memories, making the sound have its own mental room which never derives from the one that is occupied by the image. A voice of an individual starts telling a story and becomes language as well as text while, in a punctuated off-beat rhythm, the image moves to the portrait of that individual. As Suely Rolnik’s personal story grows, the voice comes to the foreground and the image vanishes into dark takes of her and bright takes of Paris, into under and overexposure so as to give room to that voice, its physical presence and the images it summons.
Resonating Surfaces is triple portrait, of a city, a woman and an attitude to life. For the personal story of Rolnik, who is a Brazilian psychoanalyst currently living in São Paulo, involves the Brazilian dictatorship of the sixties as well as the Parisian intellectual climate surrounding Deleuze and Guattari in the seventies. The film is woven through by different themes: the other and the relation to otherness, the connection between body and power, the voice and, ultimately, the micropolitics of desire and of resistance. (Auguste Orts)
‘When does a recording become a portrait? When we find something unique in it? Or when we recognise it somehow? Ten years ago, Manon de Boer started to make radically sober recordings of reading faces. Since then she had continued to explore the impact of a face, registered by a camera. Or she has created a portrait by explicitly leaving the face out of the picture, by describing a person with text. In her latest film she combines both approaches. Sylvia Kristel - Paris is a portrait of the Dutch actress who appeared in the erotic 1970s film series Emmanuelle. After a couple of minutes of blank film, the actress appears on screen, smoking. As soon as she starts reminiscing about the early days of her career in Paris, recent 8mm film images of this city slide past. The images contrast sharply with her personal report. At the end we see the actress again, smoking another cigarette, after which she gives the previous account all over again, again with images of contemporary Paris. By juxtaposing two interviews, actually recorded with an interval of several months, Manon de Boer visualises the relationship between the individual recollections of a time period (the 1970s) and a location (Paris).’ (International Film Festival Rotterdam)
Fri 22 Aug 8.00pm / Cinema A
16MM AND SD VIDEO TRANSFERRED TO HD VIDEO, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, 83 MINUTES, MEXICO/UNITED STATES/ARGENTINA, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES), DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/EDITOR: NATALIA ALMANDA / PRODUCERS: NATALIA ALMANDA, DANIELA ALTORRE / CINEMATOGRAPHER: CHUY CHÁVEZ / CAST: PLUTARCO ELIAS CALLES / MUSIC: JOHN ZORN, MARC RIBOT, SHAZAHD ISMAILI / PRODUCTION CO: ALTAMURA FILMS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: WOMEN MAKE MOVIES
‘“How do we reconcile the contradictions between our personal family memories and our country’s collective memory?” When filmmaker Natalia Almada asks this question, the answer is El general, a tour de force of cinematic imagination bristling with beauty, contradiction, and the epic scope of Mexico’s last 100 years of history.
Stunningly realized, Almada’s filmic meditation is framed as a search through the memory of her grandmother, whose reminiscences revolve around her father, Plutarco Elías Calles, one of Mexico’s most prominent and controversial presidents. A general during the Mexican Revolution and then president from 1924 to 1928, Calles was known both for his deeds as a revolutionary hero and the brutal tactics he employed during his presidency. His life and legacy embody both the promise and betrayal of Mexico’s poignant history.
For Almada, the exploration of her extraordinary personal link to Mexico’s past becomes a lens through which she explores the qualities of cinema that have formed the fulcrum of her artistic practice over her career. Archival and original footage, Hollywood films, and still photographs are woven with original music and meticulously edited audio archives to reveal a hypnotic and deeply compassionate portrait of the Mexican people and the forces that have shaped their country.’ (Cara Mertes, Sundance Film Festival)
Sat 23 Aug 3.00pm (with The Day That You’ll Love Me) / Cinema A
16MM TRANSFERRED TO SD VIDEO, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, STEREO, 37 MINUTES UNITED KINGDOM, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/EDITOR: DUNCAN CAMPBELL / MUSIC: SEAMUS HARAHAN / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: LUX, LONDON / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITIAL BETACAM
Bernadette presents an unravelling, open-ended story of the female Irish dissident and political activist, Bernadette Devlin. Duncan Campbell is interested in fusing documentary and fiction in order to assess both the subject matter and the mode of communicating it.
“Documentary is a peculiar form of fiction. It has the appearance of verity grounded in many of the same formal conventions of fiction--narrative drive, linear plot, and closure. Yet, the relationship between author/subject/audience is rarely investigated in the same way as it is in meta-fiction. I want to faithfully represent Devlin, to do justice to her legacy. Yet what I am working with, are already mediated images and writings about her. What I produce can only ever be a selection of these representations, via my own obsessions and my desire to make engaging art of her. My film is an admission of limitation, but I have too much respect for Devlin for it to be an expression of nihilism or irony. I am striving for what Samuel Beckett terms, ‘a form that accommodates the mess’. I want to broaden the scope of the film to include this space and tension, which is typically excluded or concealed, and that is the reason for the overlapping strands in the film...”’ Duncan Campbell (Lux Artists' Moving Image)
Sat 23 Aug 3.00pm (with Bernadette) / Cinema A
16MM TRANSFERRED TO SD VIDEO, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, STEREO, 30 MINUTES / DIRECTOR/EDITOR: LEANDO KATZ / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MARK DANIELS / MUSIC: DAVID DARLING / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: LEANDO KATZ / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITIAL BETACAM
When Che Guevara was captured and killed, a wire photograph of his body was transmitted worldwide. It depicted the corpse in a room full of gleeful military men. The photograph, by Freddy Alborta, has been compared by John Berger to Mantegna’s Dead Christ and to Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Professor Tulp. The film centers on an interview with Freddy Alborta, his recollections from October 10, 1967, the dramatic photographs taken by him on that day, the intricate sets of international headlines found during our research, as well as the rare newsreel footage of this disturbing event
El Día Que Me Quieras takes its title from a song by Carlos Gardel, an Argentine singer who disappeared at the height of his career in a plane crash in Medellín, Colombia in 1936. The song, which has remained popular in Latin America since the 1930s, tells of a love fantasy that comes true bringing about an almost biblical transformation. The words of this song and the brief voice-over text based on ‘The Witness’ by Jorge Luis Borges, suggest a mood of eulogy to the documentary material.
Thirty years after Guevara’s disappearance, El Día Que Me Quieras attempts to heal the open wound of his absence. In July, 1997, after more than a year of excavations, Guevara’s remains were found by an international team of forensic archaeologists in Vallegrande, Bolivia, where he had been secretly buried. Three months later, Cuba finally buried the legendary Che Guevara in the town of Santa Clara where, in 1959, he had fought the decisive battle that made him a national hero. (Leando Katz)
Fri 29 Aug 8.30pm / Cinema A
70MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 144 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON / PRODUCERS: PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON, MEGAN ELIISON, DANIEL LUPI, JOANNE SELLAR / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MIHAI MĂLAIMARE / EDITORS: LESLIE JONES, PETER MCNULTY / CAST: JOAQUIN PHOENIX, PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN, AMY ADAMS, LAURA DERN / MUSIC: JONNY GREENWOOD / PRODUCTION CO: THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY, ANNAPURNA PICTURES, GHOULARDI FILM COMPANY / PRINT SOURCE: ROADSHOW FILMS / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP
The Master by director, writer and producer Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, Magnolia) won the Silver Lion for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival and both the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix won the award for Best Actor. The film takes place after the Second World War as charismatic Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman) founds a new religious organisation. Phoenix plays the role of the traumatised marine Freddie Sutton, who returns home shell shocked after the war and quickly becomes Lancaster's right-hand man. However, the more the organisation's popularity increases, the bigger the doubts Sutton has about it and his master's motives. (The Weinstein Company)
‘The social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s were spearheaded by the charismatic, guru-like figure of Glasgow born Psychiatrist R.D. Laing. In his now classic text The Politics of Experience 1967 Laing argued that normality entailed adjusting ourselves to the mystification of an alienating and depersonalizing world. Thus, those society labels as 'mentally ill' are in fact 'hyper-sane' travelers, conducting an inner voyage through aeonic time. The film concentrates on archival representations of Laing and his colleagues as they struggled to acknowledge the importance of considering social environment and disturbed interaction in institutions as significant factors in the aetiology of human distress and suffering. All Divided Selves reprises the vacillating responses to these radical views and the less forgiving responses to Laing's latter career shift; from eminent psychiatrist to enterprising celebrity. A dense, engaging and lyrical collage—Fowler weaves archival material with his own filmic observations—marrying a dynamic soundtrack of field recordings with recorded music by Éric La Casa, Jean-Luc Guionnet and Alasdair Roberts.’ (Lux Artists' Moving Image)