The 2009 Opening Night of the St Kilda Film Festival
May 28, 2009
Back in Oz, first calender event of my film year Opening Night of the St Kilda Film Festival.
Credit where credit’s due, this was my favourite opening night in all my years attending the fest. I have found some of the films on Opening Night a bit too PC and safe for my liking, but this year, spurred on by writing the book (literally) on Not Quite Hollywood, Paul Harris opened a transgressive bag of treats and tricks on an unsuspecting audience. He started safe, Neon Skin, a film about a nice guy and his blind gay mate coming on to him. Then came Tin Can Heart that was a tasty little animation ala Wall E, but made before it came out, the zeitgeist never lies. Then there was Bombshell, a bit like a gay The Combination about a Greek dad, who likes it Greek, i.e. up the arse, who comes out of the fag closet by accident to his two butch sons. Bombshell was pretty good, and kind of funny. Multiple Choice was next, it was punchy and really cool. A great little short – short, hilarious and well made. Excellent UK thespian Paddy Considine’s directorial effort Dog Altogether was next, and probably the best flick of the night, about a down and out Scottish drunk reaching rock bottom, Dix (Ten) by Bif was a funny short about walking on the cracks in the pavement, with terrifying consequences and featured lots of gratuitous gore, Miracle Fish by Luke Doolen was the best Oz short of the night, a great film about a young kid caught up in a school shooting, a kind of Aussie Gothic. It was EP’d by Nash Edgerton, and Aussie Gothic is a good description of Edgerton’s style actually. Garble Arch rounded things out nicely and humourlessly. A punchy selection from Harris, that had the audience really cheering, which I think will encourage people to see other sessions at the fest…
Then the after party mayhem ensued with free Jamesons and light spirits. I downed about four Jameson in ten minutes, so the rest of the night seemed fairly jolly. Caught up with John Brumpton, Pieter Bourke, Frank Howson, Ross Ditcham, Headley, Simon Ford, Paul Harris and of course the irrepressible Kristen Condon.
Happy snap of the usual suspects, below. Get along to the rest of the fest it looks to be a goody. I like the way they are having country themed shorts selections in 2009 on France and Germany. Harris looks to be rocking it in his 11th year on board. Good on him!