Thursday, July 26, 2007

MIFF Day 1 - Opening Night pt.1

Surprise local short opens the festival
There was a surprise short documentary prior to the screening of the official opening night film, Sicko. Remember My Name is a subversive project that was conceived, written, produced and co-directed (with two others) by local film-maker Bowen (Bo) Duffy. I have met Bo several times with another of the film's participant's at a certain inner city cafe.

The film took much planning, six weeks of rehearsals by a team of thirty and resulted in taking over the Bourke St. Mall for all of four minutes one day last December. Without any official permission, a ute fully laiden with equipment set up opposite Myers, trams were prevented from entering the Mall at all costs and the participants – with no form of identification on their bodies – mingled into the shopping crowd. About ten others armed with video cameras posed as tourists, but whose actual aim was to document the about-to-unfold subversion.

I won’t spoil the surprise by revealling what took place. Much of the film’s twelve minutes contained interviews with participants talking elusively about what was to transpire, the significance of it and why they chose to be involved. There was a couple of characters whose ad lib dialogues were absolute gems. This was an excellent programming choice for opening the festival – it’s local, subversive, good fun to watch and complemented the official opening night film. Check it out when it has its only other MIFF screening on Tuesday 31 July at 7pm at Greater Union.

"A group of ordinary people, disaffected by the way things are, see a different way forward and put their bodies on the line for change."

(To be continued with Sicko)

Links: Index of MIFF films reviewed to date / MIFF website

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