On Thursday, 25th August around 6:30pm, shadowy figures gravitated from Bourke Street Tram Stop 9, Parliament Railway Station and the many dark adjoining lanes, towards Meyers Place and the subdued lighting of the Loop Bar – Melbourne’s new home for amateur filmmakers.
The friendly Filmonik aficionados greeted old friends and regulars, and welcomed new visitors to a typically relaxed, fun filled night of free amateur films and leaning on the Loop Bar.
Filmonik #32 had ten new movies and a live music interval by Filmonik organizer Glyn Francis on acoustic guitar and singer Renee Bufton on guitar and violin.
After an intro by Iphigenie Frey the program was launched by a delightful film from Argentina.
“Birds of Prey”by Leandro Olgiati (Argentina)
Director Leandro Olgiati based his beautiful ‘coming of age’ film on an existing short story. It was shot on a Canon T3i, over four days outside San Juan, Argentina, with teenage actors, and the post production was completed in only seven days. The Filmonik audience was entranced by the relaxed, natural acting of the three boys (Bruno and brothers Marcos and Matias). All agreed that the cinematography was a standout with exceptional close ups of the actors’ expressive faces. It was a simple story of three friends who all come to notice the intrusion into their world of a girl from the city and are each affected in different ways. She comes and goes through their lives and at their age, she changes some forever. Leandro’s short film was perfectly realized and a great opening to the evening.
B.J. holds the record for presenting new videos at more Filmoniks than anyone and is the master of “stop motion”. We watched glasses fill and empty mysteriously, biscuits appear and disappear on rotating plates and the black hand of the director patiently animating everyday objects into a strange but ongoing narrative. We know B.J. will back next month with more dancing delicacies.
“Cailleach” by Mhairi McIntyre (Melbourne)
Filmonik regular, writer and filmmaker, Mhairi McIntyre has just returned from ten months in the UK on a writing scholarship linked to a BBC research project. She premiered her new film with us. Her film is about the little known Scottish myth of “Cailleach”, the ancient “Earth Mother” and Scottish Gaelic legend. In the Bronze Age, long before the period of the Druids, early Scottish society was matriarchal and “Cailleach” was a powerful life force. Mhairi’s short film featured stunning highland scenes with Gaelic voiceover and subtitled narrative with occasional graphic artwork overlaid to place the mythical Cailleach in the Scottish landscape, over which she cared in motherly dominion. We welcomed Mhairi’s return and look forward to her next feature.
“Bonenfant the Disruptor” by Valentin “Fritz” Mayer-Eichberger (Berlin)
Investigative photo-journalist Valentin “Fritz” Mayer-Eichberger has been tracking a dangerous infiltrator into the world-wide Kino Network, of which Filmonik is part. He presented his exposé film remotely from Berlin. With a series of interviews with traumatized victims, he was able to unmask theinfiltrator – known now as “Bonenfant”. Victims from Argentina, Turkey, Dubai and Kino Headquarters urged us to be vigilant because if Bonenfant gains our confidence he will disrupt our own precious Filmonik. Valentin’s cutting edge journalism has alerted us to all of the risks. A penetrating film by ex Melbourne Filmoniker. Be alert, but not alarmed – Valentin always gets his man.
“Musical Interlude” by Glyn Francis & Renee Bufton
While the patrons circulated in buzzing groups to the bar, Glyn and Renee filled the room with their unique music, both original and covers. Violin and guitar merged with vocals to maintain the friendly ambiance of the evening. The violin at times added a perfect ambiance to Cailleach.
“Before I Go” by Ramon Luc Samson
From Kino Sydney, Ramon Luc Samson presented his moving film about precious words left unsaid between a father and son. A lesson to all parents and their children to remember to express love while they can. A beautiful film that builds realization slowly in the audience. The telephone call between father and son seemed out of sync with what we saw on the screen. Slowly we realized that death can prevent words that should pass between people ever being heard. A short but moving film, well realized well acted and drawing appreciative applause. The film can be watched on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/179866257
“Scourging at the Pulpit” by Bernard Peasley
Since the 2015 Filmonik, June “Kabaret – The Reel James Joyce” for Bloomsday in Melbourne, Bernard has attended Filmonik to learn film making by presenting short videos. He has the task of filming and shooting still photography for this theatrical group. Tonight’s film was a scene from the recent play “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” staged at 45 Downstairs in June. In this scene, a Jesuit Priest terrorises young boys on religious retreat in Ireland in the early 1900’s. James Joyce’s hyperbolic language from his novel was exaggerated by actress Christina Costigan to a full blown evangelical tirade on the horrors of hell. Filming theatre is always difficult because the camera cannot move, but such was the power of Christina’s delivery that the younger Filmonik audience discovered the emotional abuse typical of a religious education from those dark times. A serious continuity problem was detected by an astute member of the audience who will be rewarded by a free drink at Filmonik #33. The film can be watched on YouTube at:
“Memory of Dreams” & “Lego Race Day”by Tony Tralongo
Tony is predominantly a music composer and is available to other film makers to develop original scores for their films. Tonight he showed the Filmonik audience two films. The first was made using a royalty free Tropfest clip called “Memory of Dreams” and his own film score. The second, “Lego Race Day” was a short, stop-motion film made with his son. Tony told us that a video editing fault in “Memory of Dreams” that produced a very pixelated image had degraded his film, but many in the audience felt it suited his music score perfectly. His music blended with the maelstrom of oversized pixels creating a surreal sequence of half remembered images as if glimpsed from the corner of the eye but then lost – frozen in memory as after images.“Lego Race Day” reminded us of carefree play with children at carpet level – innovative camera work took us into the dreams of children travelling through Legoland.
Tony would welcome collaborations with other filmmakers and samples of his original music can be heard at his Sound Cloud address:
“Full Scale Revolt” by Guy Jukes – a Sirus music video
Guy was one of two Producers and the Assistant Director for this Cyberpunk Melbourne based music project. Sirus describes itself as ‘harmony in discord’ and has a reputation of bringing a seriously dark side to many music genres. “Full Scale Revolt” is a track from their “Satellite Empire” album. The music video was directed by Josh Rombout and was filmed in a deserted Bradmill Flour Mill in the western suburbs. Guy described the video as a transformative homage to David Cronenberg, the guru of the body horror or visceral, horror film genre. And indeed Guy’s hobby of make-up art took us to gruesome flesh/organ/conduit/meldingtransformations beyond mere steampunk, and into full blown mechano-humanoid bio-merges to match the driving, apocalyptic dystopian rhythms . The video production featured serious lighting, pyrotechnics, SFX make-up and post production lighting design. You can watch the video on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14ou0RVc5cU
“Infractions” by Olivier Bonenfant
Surely our own, beloved Olivier is not the dreaded Bonenfant referred to in Valentin’s cautionarycyber alert. Perhaps the real infiltrator has adopted Oli’s name to inveigle himself into other Kino enclaves. Our Oli could never undermine our Filmonik. He does however, know a lot about surveillance as his short film revealed to us.
Filmed at various locations around Melbourne, “Infractions” follows the life of a rogue surveillance camera network as it approaches the end of the billing month when it realizes it has not reach its full quota of social infractions. As daylight dwindles its roving eyes begin searching frantically for more misdemeanoursof normally law-abiding, human citizens unaware they are now the target of an errant algorithm buried deep in thousands of lines of computer code. As the deadline draws near smaller and smaller “infractions” are detected, photographed, processed and emailed out: minor traffic violations, noise makers, careless litterers, kerb side expectorators, people using tissues in nefarious ways… the list is endless, and frantic accounting rakes in the money.
After much applause, Olivier announced he has more work to do on his humorous film and no doubt it will appear as a final cut for our enjoyment in the months to come. It may appear on Olivier’s Vimeo Channel soon:
After our last film, around 10:00pm, the room reverted to an exchange of plans for new films for the September Filmonik to be held on Saturday, 24th at the Loop Bar. Patrons should note it will start 30 minutes earlier than usual – come at 6:00pm for a 6:30pm start.