CLIFF Programme 2015

FRIDAY 20TH NOVEMBER: OPENING NIGHT

7pm: The Yes Men are Revolting (US, 2015) 91mins PG
The Yes Men travel the globe highlighting and satirising environmental degradation and government malfeasance. Professional activists Mike and Andy dress in polar bear outfits (left over from a Radiohead video shoot) to taunt arctic drilling, pose as counterfeit corporates and prank the pillars of society – all in a good day’s work. CLIFF is proud to present the third (and best) Yes Men film – an exceptional exploration of activism and the people behind it.
*Introduced by Neil Barrett and sponsored by the Hub Foundation.

9.30pm: The Green Inferno (US, 2015) 100mins R
A well-meaning yet painful group of US college students/activists set out to save the Amazon. The Amazon does not appreciate it one bit. No prizes for guessing what happens next in horror-auteur Eli Roth’s latest fright-fest. Darkly funny and genuinely horrific, The Green Inferno delivers equal and excessive amounts of uncomfortable laughs and breathless gore. Remember, no good deed goes unpunished.
Best not to bring Gran.

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SATURDAY 21ST NOVEMBER

11am: Germany Year Zero (Italy/Germany, 1948) 78mins M
*German language with English subtitles.
Described as ‘perhaps the greatest film ever made’, Germany Year Zero is a little known neo-realist masterpiece. Renowned Italian director Roberto Rossellini filmed a cast of non-actors amidst the ruins of war-devastated Berlin just two years after the end of WWII. Young Edmund (Edmund Moeschke) attempts to provide for his family against multiple privations and threats, but the desperate situation eventually brings him closer to tragedy. A deeply affecting, rarely seen and timeless portrait of conflict and collapse.

1pm: F for Fake (France, 1973) 89mins PG
Orphan child in the Orson Welles canon, F For Fake posits itself as a documentary about fakery and forgery. Welles is the consummate magician; everything onscreen a bold and mesmeric concoction from the master’s hand. Filmed largely in France and Spain, the narrative follows the career of notorious art forger Elmyr De Hory (a genuine Holocaust survivor who sold counterfeit Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani and other works into respected galleries and collections worldwide), as exposed by the notorious chronicler Clifford Irving. It is never clear until the very final moments just who might be deceiving whom.

3pm: Best of Enemies (US, 2015) 88mins MA15+
Tumultuous and fascinating, this compelling documentary examines two great orators and thinkers, progressive Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley Jr, at the height of their most slanderous powers. The televised 1968 US Republican and Democratic party debates saw Buckley and Gore wield their considerable intellects in a series of jousts, tirades and poisonous barbs – unwittingly burnishing the template for today’s vitriolic but hollow political discourse. The film paints vivid portraits of both, their times and the currents that ultimately shaped our times.

5pm: Wind and Sky – Indigenous Short Films (Australia 2014/2015) 70mins PG
Local filmmakers Wind and Sky Productions (Lucinda Horrocks and Jary Nemo), alongside news cameraman and Greens candidate Tony Goodfellow, screen their short works. The content is utterly Indigenous, touching on the traditional and the contemporary, plus different takes on substance and technique, with stories from the local Dja Dja Wurrung and the Wadeye community in the top end.
Screenings followed by Q&A and discussion with filmmakers and local Dja Dja Wurrung man Rick Nelson.

7pm: Long Weekend (Australia, 1978) 97mins M
Peter and Marcia are Sydney sophisticates juggling dinner parties, business and infidelity, with a marriage in terminal decline. Determined to give it one last try, they head bush for the long weekend. Cruel and self-absorbed, they inflict themselves on their beautiful surroundings …until nature begins to fight back. An eerie, thought-provoking triumph rarely seen on the big screen since its original release, Long Weekend ponders humanity, ecology and our turbulent place in the nature of things. CLIFF is proud to present a fully restored version of this under-appreciated masterpiece.

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9.30pm: Liquid Sky (Soviet Union/US, 1983) 112mins R
Invisible aliens in a tiny flying saucer come to Earth looking for heroin. They land on top of a New York apartment inhabited by a drug dealer and her female, androgynous, bisexual nymphomaniac lover – a fashion model. The aliens soon find human pheromones created in the brain during orgasm preferable to heroin, and the model’s casual sex partners begin to disappear mysteriously. Soviet emigre Slava Tsukerman crafted a thoroughly unique, neon distillate of New Wave/Post-Punk excess, sly humour, ferocious fashion and a truly remarkable primitive electronic music score. A personal favourite of Mikhail Gorbachev, Liquid Sky must be seen to be believed.
Screens with an exclusive introduction from the director.
‘Every housewife, deep in her heart, wants to be a punk.’


SUNDAY 22ND NOVEMBER

Sunday Morning Family Flick

11am: The 5000 Fingers of Dr T (US, 1953) 89mins G
A wild, surreal quasi-musical written by Dr Suess and scored by Friedrich Hollaender. Buried upon first release and rarely seen since, the whimsical world of Dr Seuss first saw expression in a Hollywood feature film in this fast-paced fantasy which examines a child’s early musical travails. Dr Seuss wrote the original story, co-authored the script and penned the lyrics in his own inimitable style. The action plays itself out over vast, curvaceous sets which will immediately seem familiar to readers of his books, while the brightly coloured costumes make the players look like characters from the good Dr’s stories come to life. Hans Conried stars in this astounding, little-known technicolor amalgam of The Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka.

1pm: 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 CLIFFtop film comps page.

3.30pm: Seconds (US, 1966) 103mins M
Rock Hudson gives perhaps his finest-ever performance in this taut, hallucinogenic and criminally unknown 1966 thriller. Director John Frakenheimer (Seven Days in May, The Manchurian Candidate) crafts the spellbinding tale of Arthur Hamilton, a successful banker who decides he wants a new life – literally. He undergoes a bizarre procedure to gain a full life ‘transplant’ – which is precisely when things begin to go completely haywire. The ultimate midlife-crisis film, a Faustian tragedy delivered with a stylish Kafka-esque approach. Not to be missed.

7pm: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Italy, 1970) 112mins M
*Italian language with English subtitles.
Elio Petri’s masterful tale of power, corruption and intrigue won best foreign film Oscar in 1970, and then promptly disappeared for decades. A police commissioner (Gian Maria Volontè) and his mistress (Florinda Bolkan) play by night at kinky re-enactments of murder scenes until Gian tires of the games and blithely murders Florinda, simply to test his own seemingly unquestionable authority. The resultant labyrinthine investigation surprises even him. The superb cinematography, compelling narrative and jarring yet joyful score by Ennio Morricone mark a truly welcome return to the big screen for Indagine su un Cittadino al di Sopra di Ogni Sospetto.

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9.30pm: American Psycho (US, 2000) 131mins R
Controversial and deeply misunderstood, Mary Harron’s big-screen adaption of Bret Easton Ellis’ satire of 1980s fetishism, avarice and olympic-level narcissism is unapologetically brutal and laugh-out-loud funny (often at the same time). Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is the ultimate ‘winner’, drowning in all the money and possessions Wall Street can provide. He is also, unfortunately, a psychopath. As the bodies pile up around him, Patrick’s cool charm and the dazzle of his success blind all (including girlfriend Evelyn – Reese Witherspoon) except a bemused and dogged detective (Willem Dafoe). This is a desperate and dark comedy, a triumph of social critique and dysfunctional, bloody slapstick – unless of course you are a Phil Collins or Huey Lewis and the News fan – in which case, it is just plain offensive.

Hard copies of this programme are available at the Theatre Royal plus at many fine establishments in Castlemaine and her surrounds.

To download a PDF (771KB) of the programme, click here.

*Please note that the hard-copy programme incorrectly has the rating for Best of Enemies as M, when in fact it should be MA15+.