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CLIFF Programme 2013

Thursday 21st Nov 2013 – FIRST NIGHT

7pm The Canyons (USA 2013) 99mins MA15+
Controversial and divisive, director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) and writer Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho, Less Than Zero) paint an icy portrait of Generation Now. Stars Lindsay Lohan and James Deen are devastatingly realistic, as they stumble one SMS, one ‘hookup’ at a time toward their own internal oblivions.

9pm The Exam (Hungary 2012) 89mins MA15+
Iron-curtained 1957 Hungary is tense. When a government secret agent attempts to wrap up his assignments in time to celebrate Christmas with his lover, little does he know his superior is about to initiate a Party-mandated test to confirm his integrity. The Exam is an elegantly labyrinthine thriller skilfully depicting the atmosphere of paranoia and suspicion prevalent in the wake of the failed 1956 Hungarian uprising.

Postcards from a Sunburnt Country: An Anthology of Australian Perspectives

7pm Sharpies (Australia 1974) 4mins M
Introduced by the director Greg Macainsh
Skyhooks bassist Greg Macainsh presciently captured Melbourne’s Sharpie subculture on film in 1974. Tough, working-class and potentially violent, Sharpies were part Clockwork Orange, part Puberty Blues and all mullet.

7.15pm The Provocative Short Films of Richard Bell (introduced by Gary Foley)

The Dinner Party (Australia, directed by Suzanne Howard, 2013) 20mins MA15+
Here Bell uses Brisbane’s picturesque riverfront as a backdrop for a well-catered dinner party in a luxurious mansion. Over the course of the dinner a number of famous Australians will speak, as if privately, of their views on the interrelationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in this country.

Broken English (Australia, directed by Suzanne Howard, 2009) 13mins M
Bell elucidates questions of Aboriginal political empowerment through questions posed within the various contexts of a chess game, a gallery opening and an Australia Day re-enactment of Captain Cook’s landing.

Scratch An Aussie (Australia, directed by Suzanne Howard, 2008) 10mins MA15+
Scratch an Aussie takes form as a Freudian therapy session in which Bell opens up to a therapist, played by well-known activist Gary Foley, about his perceptions of race relations. The session is interspersed with Bell assuming the role of therapist for a group of young blonde-haired Australians as he urges them to frankly discuss their concerns and attitudes about Aboriginal people.

8.30pm The Last Wave (Australia 1977) 106mins PG
Rarely screened in Australia, Peter Weir’s The Last Wave is internationally recognised as a masterpiece of Australian cinema. Coming soon after the ground-breaking success of Weir’s 1975 Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Last Wave is a haunting, vivid encapsulation of the clash between white and indigenous Australia.

Saturday 23rd November 2013

1pm JFK ASSASSINATION REDUX (presented by the Mu Mesons Film Archive and the Australian JFK Research Society)

The inaugural CLIFF falls almost directly on the 50th anniversary of the 22 November 1963 assassination of US president John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
We proudly present a unique program including the Australian premiere of a rare and provocative documentary feature, expert guests and original artifacts from the scene of the crime.

2.30pm The Two Kennedys (Italy 1970) 110mins M
The Two Kennedys takes a global perspective on the rash of tragic political assassinations that ran through the 1960s. Unseen for decades, the film features otherwise unavailable  footage (e.g. alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald conducting weapons training with reported hit-man Frank Sturgis).

4pm Propaganda (North Korea 2013) 95mins M
Through an inverted looking-glass Propaganda presents ‘pariah nation’ North Korea’s take on the ‘decadent’ West. Smuggled to the ‘free world’,  the film is at times comical, and at others starkly confronting, a boiling cauldron of rampant consumerism and imperial overreach.

7pm The Recipe (South Korea 2012) 107mins M
An intrepid investigator hunts for the secret of a magical recipe, a mysterious broth that entrances all who taste it. The trail leads from a death row cell, to a quaint village restaurant, to idyllic Korea fields in full blossom and beyond. Each ingredient more surprising than the last, each step vividly etched in love and loss.

Special presentation includes guests and a serve of hearty soup.

9pm The Holy Mountain (Mexico 1973) 115mins MA15+
Financed by John Lennon and filmed in Mexico by Jewish-Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky, The Holy Mountain is a bizarre and surreal exploration of western esotericism and occult imagery. Lysergic, demented and compellingly watchable, it chronicles the spiritual journey of a mystic known as ‘The Thief’ as he encounters various trials and tests.

Sunday 24th November 2013

Build a giant cardboard robot, fly a spaceship and groove to interstellar sounds before saturating your senses with a screening of the sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet. Fun for families from any planet! Hosted by Space Commander Johnny and Galactic Empress Evie Danger.

Forbidden Planet (USA 1956) 98mins PG
Inspired by no less than Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Forbidden Planet is the thinking kid’s/adult’s sci-fi epic. Earth spaceship C57D (accompanied by Robbie the Robot) lands on the mysterious planet Altair IV to rescue a beleaguered scientific expedition, discovering an astounding ancient civilisation and battling fantastic creations of the unconscious mind.

2pm Kids Local Film Competition
Free screening of all finalists at the Theatre Royal on the big screen

3.30pm Local Film Competition
Free screening of all finalists at the Theatre Royal on the big screen

5.30pm The Wicker Man: The Final Cut (UK, 1973) 94mins M
Now considered an icon of British cinema, The Wicker Man was butchered for its original 1973 release due to commercial pressures and studio infighting. Legend holds that mythical ‘lost’ scenes were used as landfill in the M4 motorway and cineastes worldwide have mourned the loss for decades. After an extensive restoration campaign, July 2013 saw the discovery of a pristine, complete print in the Harvard University Film Archive. Completely restored with the authorisation of director Robin Hardy, The Wicker Man is more compelling than ever, a dramatic depiction of old-world paganism in conflict with Christian mores.

Stars Christopher Lee as ‘Lord Summerisle’, Edward Woodward as ‘Sergeant Howie’ and Britt Ekland as village muse ‘Willow’.