Posts Tagged ‘ACMI’

Wednesday 27 July – Sunday 31 July, 2011

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) have collaborated to present Dark Rooms and Dreamscapes: the Films of Peter Tscherkassky and Eve Heller, a program of screenings and talks by two fascinating experimental filmmakers opening Wednesday 27 July. On their visit to Australia, audiences will have the opportunity to hear from these award-winning filmmakers about redefining the filmmaking process using found footage and dark room techniques.

One of the leading figures in contemporary avant-garde cinema, Peter Tscherkassky makes films featuring a potent blend of visuals, partly informed by film theory, that work the viewer into an ethereal trance state.  For over three decades, he has experimented with the technical formalities of film, from found-footage work to his masterful ‘dark room’ films.

Tscherkassky’s works will be presented in a two-part film program.

Program One comprises a stunning collection of 16mm and 35mm films including Tscherkassky’s masterful CinemaScope trilogy. The black and white trilogy begins with L’Arrivée (1997/98), a frenetic remake of the Lumière Brothers 1896 film L’Arrivee d’un train a La Ciotat using footage of Catherine Deneuve in Mayerling (1969).  Second in the trilogy is Outer Space (1999), a reworking of The Entity (1982) staring Barbara Hershey and shattered into an exhilarating cinematic maelstrom in the hands of Tscherkassky. Finally, Dream Work (2001), derived from the same source material as Outer Space but this time exploring the surreal land of dreams, serves as Tscherkassky’s homage to pioneering experimental filmmaker Man Ray and won Best Experimental Short Film at the Melbourne International Film Festival. Program One also includes key films in Tscherkassky’s oeuvre;  Freeze Frame (1983), kelimba (1986), tabula rasa (1987/89), Shot-Countershot (1987), Happy-End (1996), and Nachtstück (Mozart Minute 09) (2006).

Program Two features Coming Attractions (2010), a playful exploration of the links between early cinema, the avant-garde and advertising which was awarded Best Short Film at the prestigious Venice International Film Festival in 2010. Also a winner of multiple international film festival awards, Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine (2005) takes Sergio Leone’s classic The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966) as source material, providing Tscherkassky with a canvas on which to create a hyper-kinetic marriage of sound and vision that celebrates and deconstructs the very nature of the filmstrip. Key to this screening is Manufraktur (1985), one of the earliest of Tscherkassky’s films, crafted in his childhood dark room in just six days using footage from car tyre and women’s pantyhose advertisements. Manufraktur marked Tscherkassky’s debut using the contact copying method and awakened his interest in the ‘dark room’ process.

ProgramTwo also features Urlaubsfilm (Holiday Film) (1983), Parallel Space: Inter-View (1992) and Get Ready (1999).

During MIFF, Tscherkassky will visit Australia to introduce the film programs and present a unique masterclass. The award-winning filmmaker will analyse and explain the fascinating process behind his masterful ‘dark room’ filmmaking in an event on Sunday 31 July at ACMI, which includes a screening of Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine.

Eve Heller’s films have screened internationally at festivals and art institutions including the Anthology Film Archives, Toronto and New York Film Festivals and the Whitney Museum. Her films are lyrical, offering dreamlike glimpses into the everyday and bringing us closer to lost worlds through the reworking of found footage.

Heller will be in Australia to introduce a retrospective collection of her 16mm and 35mm films that exemplify cinema’s profound ability to catapult the viewer to a land of their own imagining.

Among the films screening are Astor Place (1997), a film that pays homage to early cinema by placing a static camera in a busy thoroughfare then asking who is watching whom, and One (1978/2009) in which Heller excavates and reworks her earliest film made as a student at the University of Buffalo, which featured Super-8 images of illuminations cast through an ornate gateway. The program also includes Last Lost (1996), Her Glacial Speed (2001), Behind This Soft Eclipse (2004), Ruby Skin (2005) and Self-Examination Remote Control (1981/2009).

In a public lecture, Reframing the Image: Found Footage Filmmaking, Heller will explore working in found footage filmmaking and the infinite possibilities for redefining the “image” through the use of hand processing and optical printing. This lecture will be held on Sunday 31 July at ACMI.

ACMI Film Programmer Kristy Matheson says this program celebrates the materiality of film itself and the possibilities for the medium through the works of two internationally renowned and distinct filmmaking artists.

“Both Peter Tscherkassky and Eve Heller make superbly crafted films that demand to be seen on the big screen.  At a time when much discussion is devoted to the death of celluloid, it is inspiring to present a series of screenings and talks from two artists that challenge the validity of this statement.”

The visit of Peter Tscherkassky and Eve Heller to Australia coincides with the 60th Melbourne International Film Festival. Dark Rooms and Dreamscapes is this year’s partnership event between MIFF and ACMI.

“Peter Tscherkassky’s name will be very familiar to MIFF audiences who have come to enjoy his works over the years.  Given the long history between the filmmaker and the festival we are really delighted to be able to work with our colleagues at MIFF to present a comprehensive retrospective and have the filmmaker present to discuss his films,” says Kristy.

“We are also thrilled to be showcasing the work of Eve Heller who, like Peter Tscherkassky, works with found footage and crafts films within the dark room.  Eve’s films have screened extensively overseas but this program will be an exhilarating discovery for Australian audiences when her work premieres at ACMI this festival.”

Says MIFF Artistic Director Michelle Carey; “I am thrilled we are able to present a full retrospective of Peter Tscherkassky and Eve Heller in their presence at our 60th edition this year, in conjunction with our friends at ACMI. The first time I saw his Outer Space I was stunned by its beauty and formal violence and it is a real honour to have them here to present lectures on their cinematic practice in this context.”

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the Melbourne International Film Festival presents  Dark Rooms and Dreamscapes: the Films of Peter Tscherkassky and Eve Heller, opening Wednesday 27 July to Sunday 31 July 2011 at ACMI, Federation Square. For session information and times, please visit:


From 21 June until 31 July, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) presents Julian Rosefeldt: American Night, an installation by leading German artist, Julian Rosefeldt.

A five channel installation that embraces the conventions of the Western film genre, American Night (2009) deconstructs the myths surrounding the foundation of America and offers a scathing commentary on recent US foreign policy.

Using settings that are commonly associated with Westerns – a communal campfire, the local saloon, a log cabin where a woman waits alone, a deserted main street, and a lone rider travelling across a rugged landscape – American Night offers an alternative view of freedom, one where satire and the unexpected are never far away.

Filmed in southern Spain and the Canary Islands on an original Sergio Leone film set, the title of the installation refers to the filmmaking technique of shooting ‘day-for-night’, also known as ‘American night’, a practice that was commonly employed during the making of Westerns.

On one channel, a group of cowboys huddle around a campfire discussing freedom and their right to carry a gun, with their conversation consisting entirely of quotations lifted from pop-culture figures such as film director Jean-Luc Godard, rapper 50 Cent, and former actor and National Rifle Association President, Charlton Heston.

On another channel, George W. Bush and Barack Obama appear as the characters in a puppet show being played out in a saloon. Like many Westerns, the story concludes with a violent showdown, with Obama shooting his predecessor to create a new system of government.

Featuring long and almost static scenes cut alongside bizarre action sequences and thought-provoking dialogue, American Night uses the cinematic language of the Western to undo the mythology surrounding the lone, tough, silent hero as the creator and defender of freedom. Providing behind-the-scenes glimpses of the filmmaking process, it also offers a compelling snapshot of how narrative is constructed to convey particular viewpoints.

“On one hand I wanted to show that, more than in other film genres, the Western is constructed out of specific and clearly defined components. I wanted to show what happens when you try to deconstruct that system,” says Rosefeldt. “On the other hand, I was interested in showing how the dominant American politics of today still perpetuates the myth of the frontier to uphold certain moral – and unmoral – standards.”

Julian Rosefeldt has worked across the mediums of film and photography since the 1990s. Dealing predominantly with 16mm and 35mm film, he creates absorbing, multi-screen installations that explore the human condition through themes such as daily ritual, failure, alienation and social/psychological disconnection. He is an artist known for using cinematic language to create works that complicate the standard linear narrative of popular film.

Rosefeldt’s work has been widely exhibited around the world including the Bienal de São Paolo, Athens Biennial, PS1 (New York), British Film Institute (London), Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid), Centre Pompidou (Paris), and the Hishhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington). In 2007, he was awarded the Filmstiftung NRW Award at the KunstFilmBiennale Köln for his film work, Lonely Planet, and won the Vattenfall Contemporary 2010, assigned in cooperation with the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin. He currently resides in Berlin.

Julian Rosefeldt: American Night is exhibited in Gallery 2 at ACMI in Melbourne from Tuesday 21 June until Sunday 31 July. Entry is free. For further information visit

Kids’ Flicks

Sat 2 Jul – Sun 17 Jul, 10.30am daily
Toy Story 3D GA. Fun-filled journey through the eyes of two rival toys: Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), an old-fashioned, pull-string talking cowboy, and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), a superhero space action-figure.  Running time: 81 mins.
Free > Tickets available on the day from the Tickets & Information Desk. NB: There is a non-refundable hire fee of $2 for the 3D glasses.

Sat 2 Jul – Sun 17 Jul, 1pm daily (no screening on Mon 11 Jul)
Toy Story 2 3D G When a toy collector kidnaps Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the gang – Mr Potato Head, Slinky Dog, Rex the Dinosaur and Hamm the Piggy Bank – spring into action to rescue their pal from becoming a museum piece. Running time: 92 mins.
Full/Concession $6 ACMI Members $5
Note: there is a non-refundable hire fee of $2 for the 3D glasses

Sun 3 Jul – Fri 8 Jul, 3pm daily, Sun 10 Jul 3pm
Tue 12 Jul – Fri 15 Jul, 3pm daily, Sun 17 Jul 3pm

Toy Story 3 3D G Some scary scenes. Andy prepares to leave for college but his treasured toys including Woody and Buzz won’t be joining him. Instead, they end up at the seemingly idyllic ‘Sunnyside Daycare Center’ where things are not what they seem. Running time: 108 mins.
Full/Concession $6 ACMI Members $5
Note: there is a non-refundable hire fee of $2 for the 3D glasses

Sun 24 Jul 1pm, Sun 31 Jul 1pm
Cinderella G. Almost everyone knows the story of a downtrodden heroine, her evil stepsisters, a Prince Charming, a fairy godmother and a glass slipper. But it’s this adaptation’s style and sensibility that set the benchmark for future Disney classics. Running time: 74 mins.
Full/Concession $6 ACMI Members $5

Kids in the Studio
These school holidays, ACMI invites kids and families to unleash their inner architect! Working with local artists Rachel Feery and Lisa Stewart, who will lay the ‘foundations’ of the city, participants will use cardboard and everyday materials to create a new world. Build your own piece of ‘utopia’ and watch as the cardboard city grows bigger each day in the ACMI Lightwell. Recommended for families and kids aged 3 years and up.

Note: first in best dressed – no phone or online bookings are taken in Utopia.
Dates: Mon 4 Jul – Fri 15 Jul 2011, 11am-3pm
Location: The Lightwell
Admission Free > Drop in anytime between 11am and 3pm

Make a Movie: 3 Day Filmmaking Workshop
Get ready for your close up! In this hands-on workshop for budding movie-makers, you’ll work in small groups to learn how to create a short live-action film. Under the guidance of ACMI staff, you’ll pitch your ideas, script, storyboard, act, direct and operate a camera, filming in ACMI and ‘on location’ around Federation Square. Then, step into Studio 2 to cut together your film and add a soundtrack. On Friday, invite two special guests to your red carpet film premiere in The Cube from 3pm.

The cost of the workshop includes a take-home USB flash drive containing your finished film.
Suitable for 10-14 year olds.
Dates: Wed 13 Jul – Fri 15 Jul 2011, 10am-4pm
Location Studio 2
Admission Full $270 Concession $220 (includes USB flash drive)
For information or bookings please call (03) 8663 2583

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) will feature Melbourne author Kate Holden in the popular Desert Island Flicks program this July.

Kate’s stories have captured the beauty and the ugliness of humanity, close to and far from home. Her two bestselling books (In My Skin: A Memoir and The Romantic: Italian Nights and Days) capture the realities of heroin use, sex work and homelessness and the challenges of modern love.

Kate is also a popular columnist for The Age and has published essays, short stories and literary criticism. Having spent time in Rome, Shanghai and London, she now lives in Melbourne and teaches creative writing at RMIT.
So which films would this celebrated writer, columnist and world traveller take to her desert island?

Castaway with Kate Holden will be hosted by film critic, writer and broadcaster, Thomas Caldwell.

Desert Island Flicks presents a who’s who of cinema, television, literature, sport, politics, art, science and culture, revealing and personal stories into the films that moved them and why.

Presented in ACMI’s intimate Studio 1 each month, the event presents key clips from the subject’s top 5 films, dispersed with chat led by an in-step host. This filmic snapshot results in fascinating revelations of life experiences, career influences and philosophical insights of the guest of the moment.

Join Kate on her celluloid journey when she features in Desert Island Flicks at ACMI on Thursday 21 July.

Date Thurday 21 Jul, 7pm
Location ACMI, Studio 1
Tickets Admission Full $14 Concession $11 ACMI Member $10

For more info visit ACMI’s website here

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) will present the world premiere of Star Voyager: Exploring Space on Screen, a major exhibition charting the history and future of space exploration as experienced through the moving image, opening 22 September, 2011.

Filmmakers’ and artists’ imaginings of space travel, from Georges Méliès’s A Trip to the Moon (1902), the first footage of a human on the moon in 1969, and recent films such as Duncan Jones’ Moon (2009) and James Cameron’s Avatar (2009), have allowed us to experience through the moving image what most of us can only dream of. Star Voyager celebrates this imagination and exploration through over 100 years of the moving image.

Combining scientific and documentary footage together with feature films and video artworks, the exhibition blurs the distinction between fact and fiction to examine how the creative imagination and a desire for discovery have inspired artists, filmmakers and scientists through generations. Inspiration shared between these disciplines has encouraged new visions and technologies which allow us to continually venture into the unknown in the attempt to understand more about our universe and about humanity itself.

Star Voyager includes rare feature film and documentary footage, video artworks, television clips, animations, as well as film ephemera such as models, costumes and production materials, to reveal the relationship between the moving image and space – fact and fiction. The exhibition features a space-flown camera aboard NASA’s Apollo 12 mission and other space-flown objects, costumes and models from 2001:A Space Odyssey (1968), Sunshine (2007) and Star Trek (1979), as well references of space in popular culture such as music video clips.

Visitors to Star Voyager will see the world premiere of an exciting new work, developed here in Melbourne by the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing at Swinburne University of Technology. The (currently untitled) work, created with data gathered by Mars Rovers ‘Spirit’ and ‘Opportunity’, allows visitors to explore the surface of Mars in 3D.

Melbourne-based artist Peter Hennessey has been commissioned to create a new space-themed interactive installation. In addition, Hennessey’s My Lunar Rover (2005) and My Voyager (2004), an actual-size model of the Voyager 2 spacecraft, will be on show. Thirty-four years after the Voyager mission was launched it remains the vehicle for humanity’s furthest exploration of the Universe.

Announcing the exhibition today, ACMI Director, Tony Sweeney, says that the human experience and knowledge of space travel has been profoundly affected by the moving image.

“Yuri Gagarin’s mission launched on April 12th 1961 marked an extraordinary transition in one of mankind’s oldest aspirations – to be able not just to look into space and imagine what was there, but actually to voyage there and experience it directly,” said Tony. “From the first images of a human journeying into space in 1961, to the groundbreaking television broadcast of the first steps on the moon by Neil Armstrong on 20 July 1969, recorded footage of human space exploration quickly became as significant as the missions themselves. Images beamed around the world since the 1960s have captured the public imagination and inspired artists, scientists and travellers in unforeseeable ways.” 

ACMI celebrates humankind’s enduring fascination with space in the year that marks the 50th anniversary of the first manned flight into space by Yuri Gagarin in his Vostok spacecraft , as well as the 50th anniversary of the completion of Australia’s Parkes Radio Telescope in New South Wales, which was used to transmit the television signals that allowed 600 million people to watch the Apollo 11 moon walk live.

ACMI Curators Emma McRae and Sarah Tutton have worked closely with a number of collaborators to realise this exhibition, including the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing at Swinburne University of Technology, and the Stanley Kubrick Archive, among others.

A series of film programs, public talks, tours, workshops and education programs for all ages will be developed to coincide with the exhibition.

Star Voyager: Exploring Space on Screen will have its world premiere at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square, Melbourne, on 22 September 2011 and will run until 29 January 2012.

For more information

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) strands the effervescent Julia Zemiro on a metaphorical desert island this June – until such time as she reveals which five films she has taken with her – in the popular monthly program Desert Island Flicks.

Julia Zemiro is arguably best known for her work as host of the SBS hit TV program RocKwiz. Her work as an all-round entertainer spans theatre, film and television across drama, comedy, improvised performance, hosting and more. Julia’s most recent television appearances include; host of the 2010 APRA Awards, RocKwiz (now in its eighth season), Lowdown, the Eurovision Song Contest, So Frenchy, So Chic and the SBS Documentary series Sex: An Unnatural History. As an actress, Julia has performed in productions by the Bell Shakespeare Company, the Melbourne Theatre Company, and the Malthouse Theatre.

Desert Island Flicks presents a ‘who’s who’ of cinema, television, literature, sport, politics, art, science and culture, revealing their insights and personal stories into the films that moved them and why. Presented in ACMI’s intimate Studio 1 space each month, the event is a mix of key clips from the subject’s top 5 films indispersed with chat, led by an in-step host. By journeying through the films in this way, the event often reveals fascinating biographical information, career influences and the philosophical insights of the guest of the moment.

Join Julia on her celluloid journey when she features in Desert Island Flicks at ACMI on Tuesday 28 June.

  • Date: Tue 28 Jun, 7pm
  • Location: ACMI, Studio 1
  • Admission: Full $14 Concession $11 ACMI Member $10

For more information about this and other events and venues visit Acmi’s official site here

Friday 3 and Saturday 4 June 2011

“An impressive cinematic achievement” – The Guardian
“Works of heretical brilliance” – Sight&Sound
“Audacious and distinctive” – Empire

Civic Life, a unique series of films exploring communities and public space, made by Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor (UK), will screen at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) on Friday 3 June followed by a live Q&A with Lawlor. On this Melbourne visit local artists and filmmakers will also have the opportunity to attend a workshop with the acclaimed UK director.

Over the last 7 years, the Lawlor-Molloy artistic partnership known as Desperate Optimists, has co-directed the Civic Life series of beautiful, critically acclaimed 35mm widescreen films which explore the relationship between community, belonging and sense of place. The narratives of the films are developed through a process of consultation with communities about the places that matter to them.  All of the Civic Life films are shot on 35mm cinemascope making extensive use of the long take and involving largely amateur casts made up of volunteers from the local communities.

Each film has its own distinct qualities, but their real emotional power is perhaps only fully realised when seen as a whole. For this screening, the films have been edited together without titles or credits and the resulting uncertainty as to when one films ends and another begins, drawing out and intensifying the overlapping themes of identity and place, belonging, hope, loss and new beginnings.

The result is a meditative and visually arresting body of work. The films are richly cinematic and experimental, yet highly accessible.

ACMI will screen a compendium of the short films created across the UK, Ireland and most recently, Singapore.  The screening will include the award winning films, Who Killed Brown Owl and Joy , as well as a preview of Tiong Bahru, shot in Singapore last year with cast of 150 volunteers, Tiong Bahru residents. The screening will be accompanied by a question and answer session with Lawlor.

Lawlor says the challenges of his chosen filmmaking process delivers engaging and truthful results. “We feel this tension between the slickness of 35mm production values and the rawness in the performances allows for something admittedly flawed but ultimately human and honest to come through.”

ACMI Screen Events Manager Helen Simondson believes the program will touch ACMI audiences. “Similar in philosophy to ACMI’s own Digital Storytelling and ACMI in the Regions projects, Joe and Christine’s exploration of identity, place and belonging unlocks beautiful stories of humanity everyone will enjoy.”

In addition to the screening session, Joe Lawlor will host the Our Civic Lives workshop at ACMI on Saturday 4 June. In a four hour intensive masterclass suited to artists and filmmakers, Joe will share his experience of and processes for working with communities and the challenges this type of filmmaking presents. Lawlor will speak about sourcing funding from non-screen agencies, working with amateur performers, transitioning from shorts to features, festival circuit opportunities and international co-productions. Lawlor will also workshop ideas for micro-short films inspired by ideas of place, community and identity, and participants will have the opportunity to have their own film featured on the website of the latest Civic Life film, Tiong Bahru.

While in Melbourne, Lawlor will be researching for future Civic Life projects with the intention of a Melbourne-based film in 2012.

After seven years working in theatre as proponents of community storytelling, Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor decided to move their artistic practice to the moving image. Since 2003 they have directed ten short films as part of their Civic Life project, which have toured to critical acclaim. Their debut feature film, Helen (2008), premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival before screening at over 50 film festivals worldwide, garnering several international film awards along the way.

The Civic Life screening with Q&A and the artist/filmmaker workshop will be held at ACMI on 3 and 4 June respectively. Places in the workshop are limited to 15 practitioners. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Desperate Optimists are in Australia as part of a Melbourne and Sydney tour supported by the British Council. For more information on Desperate Optimists and the Civic Life tour:

ACMI event details summary:

Civic Life: Screening and Q&A Unclassified 15+

Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor, 73 mins, UK, 2003-2010, 35mm

Date                        Fri 3 Jun, 6.30pm

Location                 ACMI Cinemas

Admission              Full $14 Concession $11 ACMI Members $10

Our Civic Lives (Artist/Filmmaker Workshop) Unclassified 15+

Date                        Sat 4 Jun, 12pm – 4pm

Location                 ACMI Studio 1

Admission              Full $20 Concession $15 ACMI Members $12

Limit of 15 participants

Via. Acmi