2009 Brisbane Int. Film Festival – Day 2
One of my guilty BIFF pleasures is the up-late programme Shock Corridor coordinated by the long-haired, and awesomely tattooed long-time film-lover Daniel Haig, whose very eclectic film tastes brings us some amazing transgressive cinema. This year, there’s also some excellent Australian fare on offer, and I caught some late last night—but more of that later.
During the day, I managed to see Emily Tang’s Chinese-Hong Kong co-production “Perfect Life”, and while we were disappointed to hear that Emily and one of her producers had missed their flight and were unable to introduce the film, they are quite likely to be here on Sunday, and it looks like I’ll have a chance to run the Q&A on the night. It’ll be a good chance to actually clarify some of the aspects of a film that was fascinating and challenging.
Later, I had a chance to chat with David Bradbury about “My Asian Heart”, his compelling documentary about ex-pat Aussie photographer Philip Blenkinsop; I told him I was amazed he was even here to be able to share his experiences, given that the incredibly dangerous experiences he showed Blenkinsop confronting in countries like Nepal and Laos, were actually just as threatening for the poor bloody cameraman—Bradbury himself.
Back to the Shock Corridor programme, and at the world premiere of QUT alumnus Michael Kraft’s Brisbane-based film “Storage”, I was lucky enough to sit next his proud mother, Heather—I reckoned she should have received at least an Associate Producer’s credit, but she smiled shyly and said that wasn’t likely. The film itself was a really well-made thriller about a young man thrust into a very ugly situation, and the audience reacted quite favourably to the film, especially when most of the principal cast and crew stepped up to answer questions.
I polished off the evening with a little bit of exploitation cinema. The short before Scott Sanders’s “Black Dynamite” was Aussie director Owen Elliot’s “Soft Cop”, a hilarious noirish twist on obstreperous muppets working alongside humans. The neo-blaxploitation flick from Sanders, finished in 2009, was simply hilarious, shamelessly un-PC, and quite spectacular on several levels, notwithstanding Michael Jai White’s extraordinary physique and occasional dumbfounded double-takes.
Coming up tomorrow? I have to slip away from the festival, but one of my distractions will be Rachel Ward’s “Beautiful Kate”, a disturbing drama about one of our oldest taboos; and I’ll catch up with Steven Kastrissios’s very bloody vengeance flick, “The Horseman”.
Perfect Life (China) a film by Emily Tang My Asian Heart (Australia) a film by David Bradbury