Melbourne Cinematheque 23rd of March: Urban(e) Visions @ACMI

22 Mar

By Eleanor Colla

Melbourne’s Cinematheque has been around for since 1948 and in existed in various forms, shifting through numerous names and venue changes. Currently, it is a volunteer- run event held weekly (Wednesdays, 7pm) at the Australian Centre for the Movie Image. Determined to bring viewers a mix of the classic and contemporary, the popular and the near-unheard of, Cinematheque also provides some fabulously dated Looney Tunes cartoons in between features.

This week is a look at ‘Urban(e) Visions’ with the usual double-feature format being scrapped and instead viewers will be treated to three films; two feature documentaries and one documentary consisting of seven short films. The first is John Smith’s documentary Hotel Diaries which charts the Bush and Blair administrations dealing with the “War On Terror” from 2001 to 2007. Filmed in various hotel rooms across Europe, the Middle East and the UK, each of these single-take entries turn the hotel room into a make-shift set: mise-en-scene, lighting and characters already provided. Whilst they can be viewed as single entities, these snippets come together to highlight the cumulative effect that this ‘War’ has had on individuals and countries as well as the geographical displacement it has imposed across the world.

The collection of shorts showing, billed under ‘Formal Environmentalism’, are by Steven Ball. Ball is a long-time fixture on both the London and Melbourne film scene (think the Super 8 Film Group) and here presents seven films ranging from under two minutes to nearly thirty. All were shot in England between 2003 and 2010 and beautifully exhibit the urban/suburban relationship. Traffic going across the London Bridge, cordoned-off streets and the pedestrians who have to navigate around them, stilted television broadcasts and numerous transitory environments found in everyday life join together to create a montage of public and private space and the freedom and constraint these suffer in the wake of technology.

To end the evening is Terence DaviesOf Time and the City. Continuing on the autobiographical theme found throughout most of his work, Davies’ latest is an extremely personal documentary consisting of archival footage, television clips, music videos and homemade movies of Davies’ experience with his hometown of Liverpool in the 1940s-60s. A visual dance through suburbia, as a woman cleans a window, a man shaves, children sing in the school playground; all of these images influencing Davies leading to the creation of this collage of his childhood.

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One Response to “Melbourne Cinematheque 23rd of March: Urban(e) Visions @ACMI”

  1. post production melbourne March 24, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    Melbourne Cinematheque is providing some fabulously dated Looney Tunes cartoons which are really famous.

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