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2008 Revelation Film Festival: Official Lineup

The 11th annual Revelation Perth International Film Festival in Australia, held July 3-13, is the first one with Jack Sargeant at the helm as Program Director. I mainly refer to Sargeant on this site as the author of Deathtripping, but that’s probably because I reviewed it. However, he’s written several film books and he’s been programming portions of underground film festivals and special avant-garde screening events for years. He’s an excellent film authority and historian and he’s finally bringing that experience to a full festival. If you want to find out how this gig came about for him, I did a brief email interview with him that you can read here.

Revelation isn’t a strictly “underground” film festival per se. Included in the lineup are several movies that even had brief theatrical runs here in the States, including My Name Is Albert Ayler and, most famously, Brian De Palma’s Redacted. There’s also films from all over the world, including a dark Danish “kids” film called Island of Lost Souls, plus Ivan Kavanagh‘s Tin Can Man, which won the Boundary-breaking Best Feature award at last year’s Sydney Underground Film Festival.

On the U.S. underground filmmakers front, there’s much to enjoy and much for me to be jealous about since I’m not attending. Craig Baldwin‘s new film Mock Up on Mu, which has been making the festival rounds this year, is making a stop at Revelation. There’s a documentary on underground pioneer Harry Smith screening, The Old, Weird America, plus a night of Smith’s early experimental films set to a live performance by musician Lawrence English. There’s also the Darby Crash biopic What We Do Is Secret, Angelique Bosio’s Cinema of Transgression overview LLik Your Idols, the William Castle documentary Spine Tingler! and a William S. Burrough’s documentary Words of Advice. But what I’m most excited about is a retrospective on the legendary documentarian Jeff Krulik, which out of everything going on is the one that shouldn’t be missed the most.

There’s so much more going on at the festival, too, including several workshop events that I’m not listing. However, I am listing the full, extensive lineup. There’s the features I mentioned above, several more I didn’t and a couple of short film programs. Plus, many of the films are screening several times, so there’s really no excuse to miss a one:

July 3
7:00 p.m.: Island of Lost Souls, dir. Nikoloj Arcel. A young Danish boy becomes possessed by the 19th century spirit of a man who used to fight evil. Now, the kid and his older sister must battle the forces of darkness to save the Land of the Dead.

July 4
7:00 p.m.: My Name Is Albert Ayler, dir. Kasper Collin. A documentary portrait of the legendary jazz musician, who died before he could enjoy his popularity.

7:30 p.m.: “Animation Showcase”
Animal Instincts, dir. Cameron Edser
La Saint-Festin, dir. Annelaure Daffis
Rain, dir. Simon Streatfeild
A Staple in Time, dir. Geoffrey Abeshouse
Lucille, dir. Tali Gal-on
A Break in the Monotony, dir. Damien Slevin
Crooked, dir. Tali Gal-on
Mutt, dir. Glen Hunwick
Undertow, dir. Jared Rowe
Burley, dirs. Dave Edwardz & Gareth Cowen
Ephemeral, dirs. Tony Radevski & Jongsu Oh

8:45 p.m.: The Call of the Wild, dir. Ron Lamothe. The director follows the journey of Christopher McCandless, the real-life traveler who froze to death in Alaska and was the subject of the fictional film Into the Wild.

9:00 p.m.: “A Night of Horror”
The Eyes of Edward James, dir. Rodrigo Gudino
Eel Girl, dir. Paul Campion
Psycho Hillbilly Cabin Massacre, dir. Robert Cosnahan
Dara, dir. Kimo Stamboel
Peekers, dir. Mark Steensland
Kirksdale, dir. Ryan Spindell
The Lycanthrope, dir. Lucas Peltonen
The Ancient Rite of Corey McGillis, dir. Dalibor Backovic (Read the underground movie review.)

July 5
1:00 p.m.: Begging Naked, dir. Karen Gehres. A documentary profile of Elise Hill, who left an abusive home as a teenager and took up prostitution to survive on the streets. However, after successfully completing rehab and taking classes at the Art Student’s Leauge, she started supporting herself through her art. (Stream this underground  movie online)

1:30 p.m.: Spirit Stones, dir. Allan Collins. This documentary explores the strange occurrences in the ’40s and ’50s when stones fell out of the sky in the Australian outback.
Screening with Little Wings, dir. Polly Staniford.

2:30 p.m.: My Name Is Albert Ayler. See July 4, 7:00 p.m. for details.

3:00 p.m.: The Cool School, dir. Morgan Neville. A profile of the ’50s art scene in Los Angeles, particularly the group of artists associated with the Ferus Gallery, including Ed Ruscha, Ed Moses, Ed Kienholz and Wallace Berman.

4:00 p.m.: Lost Holiday, dir. Lucie Kralova. The filmmakers try to find a Chinese family who lost their vacation photographs in Sweden, which were found by a Czech woman and turned into an art project.

5:00 p.m.: Island of Lost Souls. See July 3, 7:00 p.m. for details.

5:45 p.m.: Hair: Let The Sun Shine In, dirs. Wolfgang Held & Pola Rapaport. This documentary looks back at the birth of the popular 1967 musical Hair and the raging counterculture that inspired it.

7:00 p.m.: Gonzo: The Life & Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, dir. Alex Gibney. Oscar-winning documentarian Gibney profiles the life of the father of gonzo journalism. See July 5, 7:00 p.m. for details.

7:15 p.m.: Flow: For Love of Water, dir. Irena Salina. An exploration of the modern politicization of water, from the gross toxins that pollute much of the world’s supply and how many populations lack access to clean water.

9:00 p.m.: Mock Up on Mu, dir. Craig Baldwin. The legendary collage filmmaker is back with his latest feature, a surrealistic blend of spy, sci-fi, Western and horror genres. Fiction and non-fiction archival material blend together to tell the rich history of the militarization of space from the viewpoint of three diverse individuals: Jet Propulsion Laboratory founder Jack Parsons, artist Marjorie Cameron and author L. Ron Hubbard. (Read the underground movie review.)

9:10 p.m.: Eat for This Is My Body, dir. Michelange Quay. A surreal and allegorical meditation on the modern practice of Vaudou, i.e. voodoo, on the island of Haiti.

11:00 p.m.: Tin Can Man, dir. Ivan Kavanagh. A loser gets fired from his job and dumped by his girlfriend. To make matters worse, one night he’s tormented by a strange man in his apartment.

July 6
1:00 p.m.: “Short Film Showcase”
Ascension, dir. Stephen Irwin
Rubberheart, dir. Brian Crano
The Man and the Albatross, dir. Daniel Borgman
DJ Jazz, dir. Tom Jackson
Last Night, dir. Ed Park

1:15 p.m.: Hell on Wheels, dir. Bob Ray. A documentary about the roller derby gangs of Texas.

2:45 p.m.: Llik Your Idols, dir. Angelique Bosio. A documentary about the Cinema of Transgression movement of NYC, which included filmmakers like Richard Kern, Lydia Lunch, Joe Coleman and Nick Zedd.
Screening with There Is No Authority But Yourself, dir. Alexander Oey.

3:00 p.m.: Gonzo: The Life & Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. See July 5, 7:00 p.m. for details.

5:10 p.m.: Milk in the Land, dirs. Ariana Gerstein & Monteith McCollum. Everything you ever wanted to know about moo juice (and probably some icky things you don’t).

5:30 p.m.: Words of Advice, dirs. Lars Movin & Steen Moller Rasmussen. A documentary look at the later years of cult author William S. Burroughs when he toured the world doing speaking/reading engagements.
Screening with Pandrogeny Manifesto, dirs. Dionysos Andronis and Aldo Lee. (Read the underground short film review)

7:00 p.m.: Eat for This Is My Body. See July 5, 9:10 p.m. for details.

7:30 p.m.: Spirit Stones + Little Wings. See July 5, 1:30 p.m. for details.

9:00 p.m.: The Call of the Wild. See July 4, 8:45 p.m. for details.

9:30 p.m.: My Name Is Albert Ayler. See July 4, 7:00 p.m. for details.

July 7
7:00 p.m.: Mock Up on Mu. See July 5, 9:00 p.m. for details.

7:15 p.m.: Shotgun Stories, dir. Jeff Nichols. Two sets of half-brothers go to war in the American south after their father passes away.

9:00 p.m.: Gonzo: The Life & Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. See July 5, 7:00 p.m. for details.

9:15 p.m.: Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story, dir. Jeffrey Schwarz. This documentary finally gives cinema pioneer William Castle his due. He’s the guy who “invented” innovative movie gimmicks putting electric shocks in seats, selling life insurance policies before horror movie screenings, passing an inflatable skeleton over moviegoers’ heads, seeing “ghosts” in a film via special cellophane viewers and installing a “Coward’s Corner” in theaters. Great stuff. The documentary features interviews with Castle fans such as John Waters, Joe Dante, John Landis, Leonard Maltin and Roger Corman.

July 8
7:10 p.m.: “Animation Showcase”
See July 4, 7:30 p.m. for lineup.

7:30 p.m.: Redacted, dir. Brian De Palma. This fictional film dramatizes the story of American soldiers stationed in Iraq as seen through modern media-gathering techniques.

9:00 p.m.: The Old, Weird America: Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, dir. Rani Singh. A look at the impact Smith’s box set of albums had on the folk music scene back in the ’50s.

9:15 p.m.: A Very British Gangster, dir. Donal MacIntryre. A documentary portrait of Dominic Noonan, the leader of a legendary Manchester organized crime family.

July 9
7:00 p.m.: The Last American Freak Show, dir. Richard Butchins. Go on the road with a real-life traveling freak show, which hosts such oddities as Low Rent the Clown, Lobster Girl, the Half Woman, Dame Demure, the Elephant Man and more.

7:10 p.m.: Lost Holiday. See July 5, 4:00 p.m. for details.

8:50 p.m.: Words of Advice. See July 6, 5:30 p.m. for details.

9:00 p.m.: Flow: For Love of Water. See July 5, 9:00 p.m. for details.

July 10
6:15 p.m.: Hair: Let The Sunshine In. See. July 5, 5:45 p.m. for details.

7:30 p.m: “Animation Showcase.” See July 4, 7:30 p.m for details.

7:45 p.m.: “Get Your Shorts On”
Before Closing, dir. Zak Hilditch
Edgar and Elizabeth, dir. Renee Webster
Dogs Run Loose Around Here, dir. Michael Hoath
Karla, dir. Karrie-Ann Kearing
Legacy, dir. Grant Sputore
The Music Box, dir. Luke Hardman

9:20 p.m.: Redacted. See July 8, 7:30 p.m. for details.

9:30 p.m.: The Old, Weird America: Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, dir. Rani Singh. See July 8, 9:00 p.m. for details.

July 11
6:20 p.m.: Hell on Wheels. See July 6, 1:15 p.m. for details.

8:00 p.m.: “Revel-8 Super 8 Film Festival”
Presented by Keith Smith, a group of filmmakers have all shot one roll of Super-8 film, which have been combined and will be shown in one big edited piece. None of the filmmakers have seen what they have shot.

9:30 p.m.: Cthulhu, dir. Daniel Gildark. A history professor goes back home to deal with his dead mother’s estate and ends up getting involved with an ancient cult with apocalyptic aspirations.

9:30 p.m.: Island of Lost Souls. See July 3, 7:00 p.m. for details.

July 12
1:00 p.m.: A Very British Gangster. See July 8, 9:15 p.m. for details.

1:15 p.m.: What We Do Is Secret, dir. Rodger Grossman. A biopic on Darby Crash, the lead singer of L.A. punk band The Germs, who committed suicide in 1980. Shane West stars as the doomed rock star.

3:00 p.m.:Jeff Krulik Retrospective”
A selection of short films by the greatest documentary filmmaker of all time (according to the Underground Film Journal). Films screening are King of Porn, Obsessed With Jews and many, many other pieces of brilliance.

3:00 p.m.: The Last American Freak Show. See July 9, 7:00 p.m. for details.

4:30 p.m.: “Animation Showcase”
See July 4, 7:30 p.m. for lineup.

5:10 p.m.: Shotgun Stories. See July 7, 7:15 p.m. for details.

5:40 p.m.: Redacted. See July 8, 7:30 p.m. for details.

9:45 p.m.:Harry Smith‘s Early Abstractions”
Several of the short films from underground pioneer Harry Smith — produced between 1941 and 1957 — will be screened accompanied by a live soundtrack by experimental musician Lawrence English.
Screening with The Old, Weird America: Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, which will also have live musical accompaniment.

9:30 p.m.: La France, dir. Serge Bozon. During WWI, a young woman poses as a teenage boy so she can join the French army and find her husband who is fighting on the front lines.

11:30 p.m.: Road to Nod, dir. M A Littler. An ex-con goes back to his old neighborhood in Frankfurt as soon as he’s released from prison and, of course, he hooks up with exactly the unsavory elements he should be avoiding.

July 13
1:00 p.m.: Island of Lost Souls. See July 3, 7:00 p.m. for details.

1:10 p.m.: Milk in the Land. See July 6, 5:10 p.m. for details.

2:50 p.m.: Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story. See July 7, 9:15 p.m. for details.

3:30 p.m.: La France. See July 12, 9:30 p.m. for details.

4:30 p.m.: “Experimental Works From Britain”
Films by Ian Helliwell, Ben River and the group Semiconductor.

5:30 p.m.: What We Do Is Secret. See July 12, 1:15 p.m. for details.

7:30 p.m.: The Tumbler, dir. Marc Gracie. Two Australian crooks travel to a joint Aussie-American military base to dig up a stash of hidden gold.

9:00 p.m.: Mock Up on Mu. See July 5, 9:00 p.m. for details.

9:30 p.m.: Hair: Let The Sun Shine In. See. July 5, 5:45 p.m. for details.

For more info, please visit Revelation’s official site.