CLIFF 2014 Programme

Thursday 27th Nov 2014 – FIRST NIGHT

7pm Human Capital/Il Capitale Umano (Italy 2014) 111mins MA15+
Stylish and intelligent, Human Capital starts as a class critique wrapped around a whodunnit. A tragic accident just before Christmas is related from the very different perspectives of those involved – a wealthy investment banker, his spirited but repressed wife, an aspirational real estate agent and the bright and intuitive girlfriend of the accused. A sizeable commercial and critical hit (31 awards and counting!) in its native Italy, this film is simply unmissable.

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Friday 28th Nov 2014 – OPENING NIGHT GALA
7.00pm Saltwater Dreamings: Indigenous Animations from the Yanyuwa. (Australia – 2010/2014)

The Dreamings from the Saltwater Country (Narnu-Yuwa ki Anthaa) (2010) 4mins
The Groper (a-Kuridi) (2012) 22mins
Purdiwan (Pretty One) (2014) 1min
The Sea Turtle and the Osprey (Wundanyuka kulu Jujuju) (2011) 11mins

A unique and enthralling series of animated songlines brought to the big screen for the first time. The Yanyuwa people of the Northern Territory present their encyclopaedic knowledge of Australia’s eco-biology, history and traditions in these vital and engaging animated films. Captivating tales beautifully told.

8.30pm Mars at Sunrise (Israel/Palestine 2014) 75mins MA15+
Addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through stylised compositions, non-traditional narrative and a stripped-down aesthetic, Jessica Habie’s stunning Mars at Sunrise distills a war among many to a single, devastating duel. This at-times surreal feature (partly based on the life of the exiled artist Hani Zurob) uses spare, play-like scenes to illustrate the power of art to restore the spirit.

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Saturday 29th November 2014

UTOPIA/DYSTOPIA: CELLULOID VISIONS OF A FUTURE NOW
Since its very inception cinema has presented the future, the near-future and the now through the lens of today turned upside down. Was Metropolis (Germany, 1927) a fable of a dark future or an impressionistic portrait of an existing stratified society? Does Brazil (UK, 1985) present a darkly humourous tableau of human mores or a stark warning of a state/bureaucracy gone mad?
If artists use lies to tell the truth, do filmmakers use fictions to paint today?

1pm: MuMeson FILM ARCHIVES SESSION

1984 (1956) + Big Brother Redux 2014
Sydney’s illustrious MuMeson Film Archives present an exclusive programme of excerpts from a rare print of the original film of Orwell’s 1984 combined with bemusing/frightening clips of the ever-encroaching surveillance state, vanishing privacies and microchipped pets and teenagers. Culled from their internationally renowned collection of tens of thousands of rare film prints and ephemera. Never before has the approaching dystopia been so salacious and so hilarious.  

3.30pm: Il Nudo Rosa/The Naked Rose (Italy, 2014) 70mins MA15+
Among the millions of victims of the Nazi madness during the Second World War, Pierre Seel was charged with homosexuality and imprisoned in the Schirmeck concentration camp.
Il Rosa Nudo (The Naked Rose), inspired by the true story of Seel, depicts in a theatrical and evocative way the Homocaust, focusing on the scientific theories of SS Physician Carl Peter Værnet for the treatment of homosexuality, which paved the way for the Nazi persecution of gays, lesbians and persons of transgender. A stark, artistically engaging and compelling film.

5.00pm: A Woman In Berlin /Eine Frau in Berlin (Germany, 2010) 131mins M
Rarely screened outside of Germany, this controversial film depicts the seldom considered role of women in wartime. Based upon an equally controversial memoir (denounced as an ‘affront to German womanhood’ upon release) that was withdrawn soon after publication, it chronicles the life of its anonymous protagonist (superbly played by Nina Hoss) as she endures the collapse of 1945 Berlin to the advancing Red Army. At what price comes the many compromises and ultimate survival? Beautifully filmed and compellingly told – a masterpiece of cinema.

7.30pm: Nineteen Eighty-Four (UK, 1984) 110mins M
30th Anniversary screening
Intro + Q&A with Producer Al Clark
Michael Radford’s superlative film of Orwell’s famed novel may well be the greatest cinematic adaptation of a major literary work ever. John Hurt, Richard Burton and Suzanna Hamilton star in a film made more relevant every day with each passing headline, Snowden revelation and shadowy gesture from the military-entertainment-complex. A masterpiece of acting, production design and foreboding, this very special 30th anniversary screening of Nineteen Eighty-Four will be introduced by original producer Al Clark (Nineteen Eighty-Four, Chopper, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) and followed by a Q&A session.

MIDNIGHT MOVIE
10pm: Themroc (France, 1973) 106mins M
Marginalised and forgotten, Themroc is truly a revolutionary film.
Themroc (Michel Piccoli) junks his lot as a disgruntled factory worker and turns his back on the rat-race by evolving into an urban caveman. Much to the horror of his neighbours, his apartment soon starts to in fact resemble a cave as he indulges his guttural groans and many primitive lusts.
CLIFF is proud to present this scandalous, sharply satirical and laugh-out-loud funny film, otherwise unavailable on the big screen. Essential viewing for malcontents and lovers of dark, socially-aware comedy.

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Sunday 30th November 2014
SUNDAY MORNING FAMILY FLICK

11am: Planet Of The Apes (US, 1968) 112mins PG
Forget the bogus remakes and reboots, this is the real deal and the best example of that very rare breed – an intelligent, provocative blockbuster.
Once deemed to be un-filmable, Pierre Boulle’s literate satire La Planète des singes, or Monkey Planet was retooled by Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling into a big screen/family-friendly meditation on the innate pitfalls of human nature.
Dopey Hollywood producer Dick Zanuck thankfully thought he was making ‘just a kid’s movie with apes in it’ – otherwise it’s doubtful the film would actually ever have been made.
Thoughtful, exciting and with perhaps the most iconic finale in cinema – Planet Of The Apes looks magnificent on the big screen for kids and adults alike.

2pm Local Film Competitions
Screening of all nominated films in the local adults and childrens film competitions. Winners and prizes announced at the end of screening. Enter your locally/locals-made film for a chance to win impressive prizes and main-street kudos. More details on the CLIFF website www.cliff.net.au.

5pm: The Swimmer (US, 1968) 95mins PG
Misunderstood and underrated, The Swimmer is the great forgotten film of the 1960s.
Burt Lancaster (in perhaps his finest performance) attempts to undo the twisted tangle of his life by swimming from one neighbour’s pool to another on his way ‘home’. But the home awaiting him is not what it seems. A tortured psychological landscape painted in watery hues and unforgiving sunlight. Essential viewing.

8pm: Brazil (UK, 1985) 131mins M
Monty Python does 1984.
Terry Gilliam’s brilliant, sprawling epic was originally entitled ‘1984 1/2’, and is a dark comedic tale of a suffocating, malevolent state and a humble mandarin who dreams, battles and escapes … maybe. Christened by studio MCA as ‘unreleasable’, the film sat in the can as MCA and Gilliam squabbled acrimoniously, until Gilliam stole a print and showed it on the sly to reviewers, who subsequently lauded it as ‘the film of the year’.
A surreal, jaunty nightmare and truly one of the defining moments of cinema.

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