It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Revelation Film Festival is back! What’s most notable about the festival – now in its nineteenth year – is just how massive the selection of films is on offer. At 104 pages long, this is the first Rev Program that has a spine! Within those 104 pages are about 140 titles spread over almost 200 sessions. There’s a lot of variety available. For those playing at home, I highly recommend downloading the pdf version right here.
So, with that in mind, where do you start with the variety of films on offer this year? Well, let’s take a look and see what’s on offer.
Each year there are some stunning special events on offer, and this year is no different. From opening film Demolition through to the yearly support of the Super-8 film format with the tenth Revel8 Super 8 Film Competition there’s some familiar events – Experimental Showcase, Get Your Shorts On, Magnolia’s Revelation Special and more. This year, the minds behind Revelation have decided to bring everybody back to their childhood by shining a light on the great revolutionary work of Jim Henson.
Alongside screenings of Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, there are looks at Henson’s commercials and experimental work through to a look at Henson’s work with the Muppets. Really, there’s no excuse to not get involved with this as screenings of some of Henson’s work will be shown every day at the State Library with other films being shown at Luna Leederville and SX. Check the website for details.
One of the sessions of short films that I’m most excited for is the Indigenous Community Stories showcase. While Australia has had a few films that highlight indigenous stories, there’s just not enough. This showcase of short films is designed to archive ‘100 stories for 100 years and beyond’. This screens on July 12th at 7pm at Luna Leederville.
With all the feature films and documentaries on offer, it’s hard to make a decision as to what to recommend. My favourite film of 2015 – Tehran Taxi – was a Revelation Film Festival film which wasn’t even on my radar when the program was released. The power and quality of the cinema on offer has always provided a few unexpected gems rise to the top. With that in mind, here’s my initial suggestion list of films to keep an eye on and try and catch while the festival is on.
Revelation is no stranger to the work of Ben Wheatley having showcased his previous works. This time sees the adaptation of JG Ballard’s dark assessment of the class structure in a British tenement with Tom Hiddleston in the lead.
If anyone saw director Sion Sono’s previous work Tokyo Tribe, you’ll know that he is a director who pushes the boundaries of what is usually accepted in cinema. His unique vision is challenging, while often being very exciting. Where he’s previously put his stamp on musicals and horror, it looks like The Whispering Star is his vision of science fiction. I’m excited.
Described by Revelation as one of the most gleefully twisted films that the festival has ever screen, Atmo Horrox looks superbly insane. Every years there’s a few unique horror films that get shown at the applicable horror film time slot and it looks like this is going to be one of the picks of the bunch.
At the launch of the festival, we were treated to the extremely enjoyable documentary Art of the Prank. This is a wonderful look at Joey Skaggs – a great prankster and superb manipulator of the media. There’s a joy about going into a film without knowing what it is that you will be seeing, and sure enough, Art of the Prank proved to be a blast. A highly recommend film from the festival.
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Weiner is the documentary about Anthony Weiner – a US Congressman who’s career was embroiled in various scandals. This looks to be entertaining, enlightening and very very interesting.
Coming from the Ukranian protests in 2013-2014, All Things Ablaze is a documentary about the front lines of the warfare between protesters and police. This documentary looks to visually deliver images of protests that we’ve never seen before – a lot of the footage was captured from people on the front lines of protests. This looks to be as relevant as the recent Chasing Asylum.
And that’s it for the films that I’ve already noted to catch at this years Revelation Film Festival. One of the new features implemented is the Rev Rewind – for the three days after the festival (July 18-20), the hottest films of the festival will get a short re-run, just in case you’ve missed a session.
So, what films are you looking forward to from this years lineup? Drag someone along to a film that they wouldn’t usually see (heck, I’m sure you might be able to trick someone into seeing ‘that new Daniel Radcliffe film‘) – there’s always something to excite at Revelation.
Tickets and schedule are all available here.