Friday, July 5, 2013

The Revelation Film Festival is Here to Consume Your life for 10 Days

The 16th Annual Revelation Perth International Film Festival officially opened last night to the thrill of lovers of the independent film scene. The festival is bigger and better this year with over 50 films, documentaries and shorts coming our way spread across three wonderful venues.

Having out grown their old home at The Astor Theatre the festival is now taking over Luna Leederville, Luna Fremantle and Cinema Paradiso in Northbridge. While I'll miss the convenience of having just the one venue, spreading it across a few places gives it a real festival feel. Plus there's a plethora of amazing food around their main hub in Leederville.

This festival has consumed my existence for ten days the last few years. It's great to immerse yourself in independent film and see the world through some very talented film maker's lenses. I love going in blind to a film and seeing something you'd never typically see. Confronting documentaries, live score performances, mind boggling experimental films, hilarious shorts and late night horror flicks are amongst the delights you can catch.

I was lucky enough to attend the Program Launch last month and Opening Night last night so I've seen two fantastic films already; Icelandic survival film The Deep and Burn, a documentary about the embattled firefighters of Detroit.

Join me after the jump for my thoughts on both!

The Deep is beautiful tale of sea survival set in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Based on a true story it tells the story of a man lost at sea following the sinking of a fishing trawler. It's a breath taking tale of man versus nature and the will to survive against all odds.

It's not all doom and gloom as it sounds, however. The third act shows our survivor the subject of media and scientific curiosity as they try to understand just how he survived where other didn't. This portion is both poignant and hilarious in parts.

The cinematography is top notch and really deserves to be seen on the big screen. The vastness of the dark ocean is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Director Baltasar Kormakur weaves together a stunning film that mainstream directors with their massive budgets could only dream about.

The Deep is playing again on Saturday the 6th at Luna Leederville, the 9th and 10th at Cinema Paradiso and Saturday the 13th at SX Fremantle.

Burn is a compelling, thought provoking and emotionally engaging documentary about the brave men of the Detroit Fire Department. With over 80,000 abandoned homes in this once heavily populated city, the men of the DFD must deal with over 30 fires per day. Underfunded, underpaid and with equipment in bad need of repair they will risk their lives for their community against all odds.

The film holds no punches as we go head first into fires with the men of Engine Company 50 and follow their lives. The shots of the half abandoned Detroit are haunting. "It's like Katrina without the Hurricane" as one of the team aptly states. Your heart would have to be made of stone not to feel something following the life of one of their own who was crippled in a horrible accident or the old veteran heading towards retirement with nothing else left after the death of his wife. The film has stayed with me every moment since

The doco is wonderfully shot by film makers Brenna Sanchez and Tom Putman. Not content to film from outside the blazes, we, the viewer, are strapped to the helmets of Detroit's bravest in the one town where they fight fires from the inside out and not the outside in. This doesn't feel like a small, independent film as the production values are top notch. The outstanding visuals are matched by a soundtrack of classic Detroit rock,

Burn is playing again at Luna Leederville tonight, SX on Saturday the 6th and one last time at Leederville on the 8th. Do yourself a favour and catch it while you can.

I'll try and post some more short reviews as Rev continues. I'll be there tonight catching Pictures of Super Heroes, Pieta and Cheap Thrill. Come and say hello!

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