We’re proud to say that Adrian Martin is a friend of QFF. This year festival-goers have many more films to choose from so Martin has offered his top 5 picks to help you find your way to the best of the fest!
Martin is the former film critic for The Age, editor of journals Rouge, LOLA and Screening the Past, and is a contributor to publications including Cineaste, Sight and Sound, and Film Comment. His books include Phantasms (1994), The Mad Max Movies (2003), and Mise en Scene and Film Style (2014). With his partner Cristina Álvarez López he makes video essays exploring a wide range of film art. You can find a selection of these at MUBI.
Eugène Green’s frankly spiritual but also richly comical cinema is based on the energy of presence – not only human presence, but also places and objects. His films trace a formal geometry between characters, creating a shared space for encounter and illumination. See the introductory video essay on this film by Cristina Álvarez López and I.
Philippe Grandrieux (Sombre, 1998) is among the great innovators of contemporary world cinema, tirelessly pursuing his deeply felt vision through film, writing, performance and art installation. His latest feature explores the dark, complex emotions and sensations that attach themselves to a mysterious network of characters involved with extreme sex and violence. Surrender yourself to it.
Margot Nash (Vacant Possession, 1995) is an unsung treasure in Australian cinema. The Silences could be tagged a documentary about a troubled family history, but it is more like a personal essay. Its elements are very few and simple, elegantly and eloquently arranged. The Silences is heartbreaking, soulful – and finally, in a measured, richly earned way, uplifting. Don’t miss it. See my review here.
Nowadays, with digital cameras, any fool can embark on ‘real time’ filmmaking, capturing the entire action in one, unbroken shot. Back in 1962, Agnès Varda had already trumped all such conceits: using many shots, and a very elastic sense of emotional time, she traces the agonising, second-by-second progression of a young woman facing the spectre of death. A true classic.
Fifty years ago at the inaugural Brisbane Film Festival, two short, black-and-white portraits of the artist Robert Klippel and his work were screened. Their maker was a young man who already had some TV experience, but was destined to form half of a revolutionary couple in Australian avant-garde cinema: Arthur Cantrill. See where the revolution began!