As an avid film-goer and amateur critic I wanted to offer some feedback. It is my observation that since the Lumiere cinema closed in 2005, there's been a bit of a vacuum of gritty cinema in Melbourne. Some people say that ACMI has filled it somewhat, though my perception is no-one has had the guts to screen what the Lumiere did, particularly with films like Irreversible, Audition and L'enfer.Danielle Poulos, Communications Coordinator at ACMI very kindly responded to the email and sent me three double passes, two of them for the Huppert season. While I appreciate the generosity, I must confess that my sharing my opinions was completely self-serving. I wanted to give the programmers the type of ammunition that might be required in future to get other serious events off the ground.
Now, I don’t know how commercially successful the Huppert season will be (and I hope it will be the sell-out it deserves to be), but I think that this is an excellent lineup of films that deserves to screen regardless of popularity. With art, I don't think popularity should be the prime criteria. Most French films that get a commercial release in this country are not much better than the mindless Hollywood counterparts that are distributed. Isabelle Huppert is drawn to the serious French films that serious film lovers can't get enough of, and that I usually have to seek out at the French Film Festival (like this year's Private Property and A Comedy of Power) or MIFF.
It's going to cause me some anxiety trying to get to as many of the 16 films in the season that I haven't seen, in a very short period. It's a pity it wasn't screening over a longer period with so many (19) films.
It also got me thinking that there's other actors who are drawn to gritty roles. Seeing Tim Roth in Made in Britain at the Focus on Punk reminded me of how he could make a good Focus season (especially as he has also directed a seriously good film, The War Zone) and last night I saw Harry Dean Stanton in Repo Man, also part of the Punk season. A focus on Stanton would also be great.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
A letter to ACMI
For many years I had a bin hire business (I sold it in 2000) and always appreciated frank feedback from my customers. I also make it a point to offer feedback - both positive and negative - to others when I feel the occasion warrants it. ACMI's Focus on Isabelle Huppert is, in my opinion, such an occasion, and I decided to send an email. As it encapsulates several things I wanted to post here, I shall reproduce the bulk of the email here: