Unknown Pleasures: Australian independent cinema is a series of semi-regular screenings curated and presented by Chris Luscri & Bill Mousoulis, featuring the best of Australian indie cinema, both new and old, narrative and non-narrative, with discussions with most of the filmmakers, presented at Long Play Cinema. read more





318 St. Georges Rd, Nth. Fitzroy

Long Play is a boutique Cinema & Bar
in Melbourne that has a bar up the front,
and a small dedicated cinema at the back.




INFO FOR ALL SCREENINGS:

As seats are limited, please book by emailing
Bill Mousoulis at bill@innersense.com.au
The venue is at 318 St. Georges Rd, Nth. Fitzroy.
Do not go to St. Georges Rd, Northcote.
All sessions start at 7:30 pm.
If booked out, there may be (no guarantee)
another session at 9:30 pm.
There is a small entry charge of $5 per person.
Cash only, and try to have the right amount on you.

Listen to Chris Luscri and Bill Mousoulis (GO TO 1 hr 30 min mark)
talk about "Unknown Pleasures" with Peter Krausz
on the "Movie Metropolis" radio show,
on Sat, May 4, 2019.

Listen here to a Feb 10 interview on the same show.




Thursday, June 13, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
$5 entry. To book a seat, email bill@innersense.com.au

Aya plus Effacement
(1990, 96 mins, plus 1980, 14 mins, Solrun Hoaas)

Intro by Chris Luscri

Nominated for 6 AFI Awards, Solrus Hoaas’ moving and complex romantic drama follows the plight of a Japanese war bride and her Australian soldier husband as they struggle to adapt to the conservative demands of 1950s Australian socio-cultural life. Neglected at the time, Aya is a remarkably prescient examination of Australia’s nascent multi-culturalism lushly wrought, beautifully performed and animated from within by a deeply felt, yet unsentimental, yearning. (Chris Luscri)

AYA (1990, 96 min, Solrun Hoaas)

"A VIRTUOSO ACHIEVEMENT ... distinctive visual flair, rich and vividly composed images." Cinema Papers.

"Unlike other directors who have attempted films about bicultural couples and got only one partner really right, Hoaas knows both sides of the cultural equation. By the end of the film, we not only like Aya, with her gutsy charm, but feel that we know her. She is at once a very typical Japanese and a uniquely international individual ... Aya views a cultural chasm." Mark Schilling, The Japan Times, February 11, 1992.

"A compelling love story with complex emotional multi-layered performances, enhanced by beautiful and sensitive images." Louise Keller, Moving Pictures International, 25 July 1991.

Preceded by EFFACEMENT (1980, 14 mins, Solrun Hoaas)
Hoaas’ experiment in the cinematic possibilities of Noh mask-making, taking viewers on a journey of subtle, reverberating audiovisual delights.

Solrun Hoaas Profile on Ronin Films website

Solrun Hoaas Profile on Melbourne Independent Filmmakers


Monday, June 24, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
$5 entry. To book a seat, email bill@innersense.com.au

Johnny Ghost
(2011, 76 mins, Donna McRae)

Intro & Q&A with Donna McRae, conducted by Chris Luscri

Part of a visionary ‘micro wave’ of female Australian horror (cf. Ann Turner, Jennifer Kent), McRae’s minimalist feature debut is a resoundingly eloquent riff on the classic Poverty Row horrors of Val Lewton. Induced by ghostly textures in washed-out B&W, Johnny Ghost’s charged atmosphere yields an unnerving examination of grief, loneliness, memory and regret, while masterfully folding in a revisionist history of the Melbourne post-punk scene of the 1980s. (Chris Luscri)

“As a curious work born of the psychological horror genre (and yet it carves a place of its own), Johnny Ghost is succinct and generates pathos in understanding of that which is so distinctly human; fear and loss, love and remembrance, grief’s natural progression.” Catherine Jessica Beed, "Mourning and Secret Interiors in Donna McRae's Johnny Ghost", Desistfilm, 19 July 2013.

“…McRae is consciously conjuring up the theme of nihilism, an ideological principle held by the post-punk culture Johnny Ghost invokes. It is this balance between knowing and not knowing, seeing and not seeing, defining and not defining, that makes Johnny Ghost a true thriller.” Rebecca Zantjer, Johnny Ghost review, agnès films, 9 January 2014.

“McRae herself has said in a Director’s Statement that Johnny Ghost is based on the concept of “cryptic incorporation”, which “occurs when grieving is incomplete and neither the mourner nor the mourned can move on.” Lindsay Hallam, Profile of Donna McRae on Cutthroat Women website, 1 February 2019.


McRae’s PHD thesis —

“Projecting phantasy: the spectre in cinema”, McRae, Donna Leanne, 17 February, 2017





Tuesday, July 16, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
$5 entry. To book a seat, email bill@innersense.com.au

The Refracting Glasses
(1992, 96 mins, David Perry)

Intro (and short video interview) by Kriszta Doczy

David Perry was one of Australia’s most important and unclassifiable avant-gardists. The Refracting Glasses is a dizzyingly hybridised essay-fiction cum detective tale that self-reflexively follows the strange obsessions of one Constant Malernik artist film-maker and Perry avatar as his absorption in radical 20th century art gradually feeds into a growing fascination for Soviet-era revolutionary politics. Flat-out splendid, this is Perry’s magnum opus. (Chris Luscri)


Monday, July 22, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
$5 entry. To book a seat, email bill@innersense.com.au

Throbbin' 84
(2017, 95 mins, Timothy Spanos)

Intro & Q&A with Timothy Spanos, conducted by Jake Wilson

Jake Wilson, who will be helping us present this screening, has called the profilic filmmaker Timothy Spanos "the unsung hero of Australian independent cinema" in The Age newspaper. Throbbin' 84 is Spanos' 8th and most recent feature, a B-grade '80s pastiche action-comedy, informed by TV shows, music and fashion from the 1980s. Multiple-awarded at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival in 2017, it's a little cheesy and a little sleazy, but a whole lot of fun. (Bill Mousoulis)




SUBSEQUENT DATES (mark in your calendar!)

Thu Sep 5 / Tue Sep 10 / Thu Oct 17 / Mon Oct 21 / Mon Nov 4 / Sun Nov 10



PAST SCREENINGS (in 2019)


Monday, May 6, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
$5 entry. To book a seat, email bill@innersense.com.au

Kissing Paris
(2008, 90 mins, Anna Kannava)

Intro & Q&A with Natalie Vella (actress & co-producer)

The last film from the fiercely independent Anna Kannava, who died before her time in 2011, Kissing Paris is a unique entry in the annals of Australian indie cinema. Shot in Paris by just Kannava and actress/co-producer Natalie Vella for only $20,000 (including plane flights), it is an exquisite and often-jazzy exploration of love and romance. Vella's performance is fresh and raw, as she veers from one emotion to the other, grappling wih the meaning of love and life. (Bill Mousoulis)

KISSING PARIS is the result of the magic and grace of the cities of Paris and Melbourne. A friend has commented that KISSING PARIS is my love letter to Paris. Marc Chagall said, 'My art needs Paris just as a tree needs water and I believe that in my paintings I have always remained true to my art.'

I strive to remain truthful to the art of filmmaking. - Anna Kannava

 
 
Anna Kannava, shooting in Paris

"This is a very beautiful and unhurried minimalist production tracing a romantic story or two between Melbourne and Paris. Lovers of Paris will see it anew through writer-director Anna Kannava's distinctive vision even the Eiffel Tower montage overcomes cliché - but who would have imagined Melbourne's Flinders Street Station as a romantic icon?" Frances Bonner (Brisbane International Film Festival, 2008)

"KISSING PARIS is really beautiful. The story is so achingly romantic, but nicely undercut by the daughter's experiences, that whole play on the holiday romance, and that Aussie accent amidst it all." Anne Demy-Geroe (Artistic Director, Brisbane International Film Festival 2008)

"The film has an immediacy, freshness and documentary flavour to it that is wonderful. Kannava sees the Seine, grand old buildings and the cafes with a distinctive eye and the film swims in many playful French songs. Editor of the film, Natalya Beloborodova has taken the raw footage and created jazzy montages producing a satisfying film overall." Bill Mousoulis (Neos Kosmos Newspaper)

"In Anna Kannava's lovely, ultra-low-budget digital Australian feature, KISSING PARIS, we see a humorous version of the phenomenon of sudden tears: from the spectacle of the central character, Claire (Natalie Vella), alone in a small Parisian chamber, far from her male partner, making purring sounds down the telephone to get the attention of her cat back home, the film cuts to her still on the bed, but now sobbing helplessly." Adrian Martin, FIPRESCI notes.

KISSING PARIS website

KISSING PARIS blog, by Natalie Vella

Natalie Vella writes about Anna Kannava

Kannava Essence: A Tribute to Anna Kannava

Anna Kannava Profile on Melbourne Independent Filmmakers




Video of the Q&A discussion at the end:




Thursday, May 9, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
$5 entry. To book a seat, email bill@innersense.com.au

Fox-Tales: short films by Chris Windmill
(total duration: 94 mins)

Intro & Q&A with Chris Windmill, conducted by Dirk de Bruyn

One of the most beloved of Melbourne's Super-8 (and 16mm) filmmakers of the '80s and '90s, Chris Windmill created a body of work like no other: wry humour, everyday pathos, absurdist story-telling, all with Tati-esque music and Kaurismaki-like acting. A number of his shorts will be shown, including Queen's Birthday (1979, 5 mins), The Miracles of Hilda (1984, 13 mins), The Foxicle (1986, 6 mins), and The Birds do a Magnificent Tune (1996, 26 mins). (Bill Mousoulis)

LIST OF FILMS TO BE SCREENED (in screening order) -

Queen's Birthday (1979, 5 mins, 16mm) 
Beards of Evil (1984, 10 mins, 16mm)
The Miracles of Hilda (1984, 13 mins, Super 8)
Mystery Love (1985, 5 mins, 16mm)
The Foxicle (1986, 6 mins, Super 8)
The Bowel-Houndromat (1986, 5 mins, Super 8)
The New Shoes (1990, 8 mins, 16mm/Video) 
The Cuttock-Heads (1990, 6 mins, Super 8)
O Elusive Sparrow (1992, 10 mins, Super 8)
The Birds do a Magnificent Tune
(1996, 26 mins, 16mm)

TOTAL DURATION: 94 mins

"Quietly mad, his films begin from the charming, irritating minutiae of everyday experience - shopping, cleaning shoes, hanging out the washing, going for a picnic in the park - and enlarge them into magnificent, terrifying obsessions. Windmill's ever-modest heroes and heroines live for no higher purpose than to fill out the days and minutes of their ordinary lives. As a consequence, every imaginable flight of poetry is concentrated in these little activities." Adrian Martin, The Windmill of my Mind.

"Chris Windmill is surely Australia’s most original comic filmmaker. Though comedy is often equated with playing to a crowd, Windmill plainly has no interest in trying to second-guess audience responses, or in anything that might impede his sober and absolute dedication to whimsy. Practical yet skittish women and good-looking, barely articulate young men abound in his universe, as do handwritten messages, ritualised housekeeping tasks, and maudlin surprise endings." Jake Wilson, The Mousoulis vision of independence.

Chris Windmill Profile on Melbourne Independent Filmmakers




Photo gallery of the screening (on Facebook)

Video of the Q&A discussion at the end:



Thursday, April 11, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
$5 entry. To book a seat, email bill@innersense.com.au

55 PHASES OF LOOKING
(2018, 53 mins, James Clayden)

Intro & Q&A with James Clayden

Recently, James Clayden has been experimenting with web-based video forms, consciously refining his practice through a unique methodology that makes extensive use of prior film and video works. The culmination of this is 55 PHASES OF LOOKING comprised of re-filmed and digitally altered fragments (some originally shot on Super 8) from almost a half-century of film-making, “chopped and screwed” to profoundly personal effect, tremulous with anxiety and deep melancholy. (Chris Luscri)

55 PHASES OF LOOKING

The project began about eight years ago with the working title LOOKING FOR CÉZANNE (Perception & Illusion). After shooting material in France, I thought I knew what I was doing but I struggled to find my way to put it together.

Then by chance, I read a book THE ENTANGLED EYE by James Krasner which inspired me to abandon my original idea, out of which came 55 PHASES OF LOOKING. My approach was to treat the everyday things that took my fancy in the same manner that I treated my dreams and memories in my previous works, more or less like an improvisational visual essay, with Darwin’s “entangled bank” in the back of my mind, as if making improvised music, where the way it feels is everything.

The idea of making the piece for a small screen appealed to me a lot, as it does to have no protagonist or victim nor obvious narrative, as in painting the mystery is an essential thing.

-- James Clayden


This presentation of 55 PHASES OF LOOKING is something of an experiment borne of curiosity but innately animated by something more mysterious. A way of testing the limits, both audience and artist? Of parsing over, imbibing, 'turning' the object, glint by glint against the light? Of plumbing hidden depths, of image blown all out of proportion? All of these things, for sure but this list is not exhaustive. No other Australian artist works with texture quite like James, so definitive and violent are his interventions. To suggest a canonical presentation gestures toward an inert deadness, a sense of composure and containment that I suspect James would instinctively react against: tools in hand dissolved, awash in the interstitial sensations that arise from the practice of looking, perceiving and reacting. For all the dizzying and rhizomatic formal complexities at play, the motivation is as simple as this an Impressionism borne of deep personal truths (as in the inaugurably canonical GHOST PAINTINGS series) and passionate devotion to his vocation, complete with its own iconography of wonders, terrors and trancendents. James Clayden is an extraordinary human being.

-- Chris Luscri (curator)


if life is meaningless then what does that mean.

Photo gallery of the screening (on Facebook)



Monday, April 15, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
$5 entry. To book a seat, email bill@innersense.com.au

Sono Matteo: short films by Matthew Rooke
(total duration: 77 mins)

Intro & Q&A with Matthew Rooke

Super 8 filmmaker in the late 1980s, and VCA graduate in the early '90s, Rooke has had a varied career as a teacher, writer, and film industry crew member. In the '10s he has spent a lot of time in South Korea, making some great little films there. His work is inventive, punky and inquisitive. A number of his shorts will be shown, including Warholed (1990, 8 mins), Step Off (1991, 8 mins), AntarcticArt (2006, 26 mins), Where Am I? (2015, 7 mins), and Best Driver (2016, 5 mins). (Bill Mousoulis)

LIST OF FILMS TO BE SCREENED (in screening order) -

Warholed (1990, Super 8, 8 mins 10 sec)  
Step Off  (1991, Super 8, 8 mins 14 sec)  
Anyone for Haggis?  (1993, Super 8, 4 mins)  
Angel Cake  (2012, HDV, 6 mins 46 sec) 
The Way He Arrived (2013, HDV, 2 mins 39 sec)   
Where Am I?  (2015, HDV, 7 mins 18 sec)
Next Stop Seoulywood (2014, HDV, 4 mins 29 sec)    
Best Driver  (2016, HDV, 4 mins 44 sec) 
AntarcticArt  (2006, DVCam, 24 mins ABC Doco)  

plus some short little "breakers" between these titles

TOTAL DURATION: 77 mins

"A desire to present stories that are stranger than fiction or that are in some way off beat or outside the mainstream has always been a driving force in my short films, experimental works, and documentaries.

A play on language. Post synced dialogue, foreign dialogue or characters that speak in strange ways are present in a lot of the films, especially the most recent."

Matthew Rooke, February 2019.



Photo gallery of the screening (on Facebook)

Video of the Q&A discussion at the end:




Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
$5 entry. To book a seat, email bill@innersense.com.au

Maggie Fooke in St.Kilda
Pleasure Domes
(1987, 8 mins) &
Mandalay
(1994, 114 mins)
Intro & Q&A with Maggie Fooke

A long-time resident of St. Kilda, Maggie Fooke has made a number of films that explore the intersections of place and identity, sometimes literally from her balcony window (Pleasure Domes). Her epic, 7 year diary film Mandalay centres on the fight for the titular art-deco apartment block from demolition and re-development. Shot on Video-8, the film unfolds a rich panoply of events, textures, incidents and encounters that take on a choral and eventually incandescent quality. (Chris Luscri)

SOLD OUT SESSION

One of my favourite Australian films is Maggie Fooke's compact, lyrical animation short Pleasure Domes (1987). An indescribable, associative mosaic of colour, sound, line and ellipsis, the film was a resounding critical and festival success at the time, noted for its richly textured evocation of the liminal states between place-making and memory, moving across a potted history of one small patch of land - the St. Kilda foreshore - where Maggie was resident at the time. A sublime film. - Chris Luscri, curator.

Read about Pleasure Domes on Australian Screen website.


photo: Roger Cummins

"Culled from over 100 hours of footage shot over a 7 year period (1987-94), Mandalay is Maggie Fooke's already legendary diary film chronicling the campaign to save the ageing art-deco apartment block of the same name. The building, in which the filmmaker was a long-term resident, became the centre of a storm of debate concerning the future of St. Kilda and the nature of re-development suitable for the faded but still grand bayside suburb. Shooting on Video-8 without any additional crew, Maggie Fooke has captured the unfolding of events over such a long time with remarkable economy, a never-in-doubt authenticity, and a startlingly candid style." - taken from Melbourne International Film Festival program notes.

"Maggie's Mad about Mandalay!" by Mandy Bella, WIFT Profile

Mandalay building history

Mandalay film synopsis and credits



Photo gallery of the screening (on Facebook)

Audio (with clips from MANDALAY) of the Q&A discussion at the end:



Thursday, March 14, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
$5 entry. To book a seat, email bill@innersense.com.au

The Irreal: short films by Iain Bonner
(total duration: 68 mins)

Intro & Q&A with Iain Bonner

VCA graduate Bonner is building a nice body of work (a dozen shorts so far), veering from absurdist comedies to essayistic collages (with documentary footage, in Asia) to more abstract experiments, sometime combining all these forms. Fantasy is never far away, in this "irreal" world Bonner creates. A number of his shorts will be shown, including Hot Chicken (2013, 14 mins), The Comedian (2014, 16 mins), Taxi Ride (2010, 10 mins) and Arigato Gozai-Mas (2009, 6 mins). (Bill Mousoulis)

LIST OF FILMS TO BE SCREENED (in screening order) -

Hot Chicken (2013, 14 mins)
The Comedian (2014, 16 mins)
Hum (2008, 4 mins)
Taxi Ride (2010, 10 mins)
I am dancin where you can see me (2006, 4 mins)
The Purpose of the Suburbs (2012, 5 mins)
Untitled (2012, 3 mins)
The Distance (2008, 6 mins)
Arigato Gozai-mas (2009, 6 mins)
TOTAL DURATION: 68 mins

"My work so far has been eclectic. Spanning short film, experimental, and essay film/travel doco. I was initially inspired by magic-realism literature, wanting to play with some of these ideas on the screen. They were always more about inner worlds and feelings than the reality I saw around me, but that always seemed more real to me. " - Iain Bonner, from Melbourne Indie Filmmakers profile.

"Hot Chicken began as a tediously ‘quirky’ portrait of a lonely man and happily descended into a deliriously garish take on a cult for spiritual betterment." Sight and Sound magazine (from review of Aesthetica Film Fest).

Best Achievement in Direction at VCA Graduation awards (for The Comedian).



Photo gallery of the screening (on Facebook)

Video of the Q&A discussion at the end:




Monday, February 11, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

BUTTERFLY FLOWER: Please Wait To Be Seated
(2017, 70 mins, Matthew Victor Pastor & Lisac Pham)

AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE
Intro & Q&A with Matthew Victor Pastor

Prior to Pastor's 2018 features Melodrama/Random/Melbourne! and Maganda: Pinoy Boy vs Milk Man, both of which had festival screenings in 2018, Pastor (together with Lisac Pham, who is also the film's lead actress) made this minimalist art film, in Tsai Ming-liang style, about a prostitute-turned-Madam. An intriguing, bold experiment, with striking visuals, set mainly in the neon night. (Bill Mousoulis)

It's Valentine's Day, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. A Vietnamese prostitute named Pisces is confined to her cocoon. She searches for true love, and the search which will define her.

Please Wait To Be Seated..."I was here first."

The longest epilogue: The city of Melbourne has changed, the buildings now taller reaching the clouds. Pisces is now a Madam. She navigates through the morals of a land of opportunity.

Directed by Matthew Victor Pastor & Lisac Pham Poetry by Khavn Australia / Vietnam / 70 minutes / 2017



Photo gallery of the screening (on Facebook)

 


Thursday, February 14, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

What I Have Written
(1996, 102 mins, John Hughes)

Intro & Q&A with John Hughes and writer John A. Scott

An erotic and dazzling intermingling of labyrinthine realities centred on a loveless marriage, Hughes’ 1996 meta-textual melodrama now looks from a distance of some 20 years like one of the great anomalies of '90s Australian cinema, an art mystery (with shades of Chris Marker and Raul Ruiz) that won great acclaim at home and abroad, before going on to be nominated for two AFI awards, for cinematographer Dion Beebe and screenwriter John A. Scott. (Chris Luscri)

SOLD OUT SESSION

Special note:
there will be no repeat session of this film at 9:30, so book early for the 7:30 session.

NOTE FROM THE FILMMAKERS: We are looking forward to the Valentine’s Day ‘Unknown Pleasures’ screening at Long Play. Twenty-three years have passed since What I Have Written was released in Competition in Berlin. The film is a dark little valentine that keeps on giving. A screening for ’New Directions in Screen Studies' (Monash June 2015) noted the Deleuzeian moment, ’slow cinema’, the film’s time, memory and movement, but for Long Play we can host the Q&A more on story and writing, as John A. Scott, who wrote the novel and the screenplay, will also be present. John Hughes & John A. Scott, February 2019

SYNOPSIS: She knows this much. Her husband is lying in a coma. He is not expected to recover. She is reeling from the shock of reading his unpublished novella. The text reveals to her a life betrayed. A startling revelation. The story of a man at the end of a loveless marriage. His intensely erotic association with another woman. Fiction and reality have become indistinguishable, and yet she determines to somehow unravel this mystery. Her husband’s colleague gave her the manuscript…can he shed any light on the affair?

REVIEWS: “An intriguing, intelligent study in erotic obsession ... a rewarding foray into territory previously charted by the likes of Resnais, Roeg and Kieslowski.” – Time Out magazine

“An exceptional film in the annals of Australian cinema.” –  Cinephilia.net.au

See Lesley Stern, 1996, "Severed Intensities - Conjuring John Hughes' What I Have Written", Cinema Papers (February 1996 pp. 12-13). The same edition of Cinema Papers has a number of articles on the film including interviews with cinematographer Dion Beebe.

See also Anna Dzenis, 1996,  "What I Have Written"Metro Magazine, #107 and Barbra Luby, 1996, "How What I Have Written is written about" Metro Magazine #107.

Also: John Cumming (2014) The Films of John Hughes: a history of independent screen production in Australia, ATOM pp. 155-167  

The SBS Movie Show review of What I Have Written, July 10, 1996

Adrian Martin's review of What I Have Written, from 1996, published online Feb 2019.

John Hughes' website notes the films’ award citations and under ’stacks’ has links to these reviews.

The DVD includes as extras broadcast reviews (see video below, on Channel 9's Sunday show) and commentary, including a interview with John Scott by Phillip Adams (LNL RN 1996)

CREDITS: Director John Hughes, Writer John A. Scott, Producers Peter Sainsbury and John Hughes.
An Early Works film produced in association with the Australian Film Commission.
John Hughes, 1996, 102 mins



Photo gallery of the screening (on Facebook)

Video of the Q&A discussion at the end: