Witness The Transformative Power Of Art In These Films And Events

24 September 2018

Why does art make us feel the way it does? The answer might be impossible to find, but exploring the question is too intriguing to resist. These films and events on Adelaide Film Festival’s program take us into the heart of the artists, writers, painters and the price paid for the whole damn lot.

Acute Misfortune

Daniel Henshall (Snowtown) delivers a superb performance as Adam Cullen in this portrait of the short, brilliant, controversial and deeply troubled life of the Archibald-winning artist (1965-2012). Centred on Cullen’s volatile relationship with biographer Erik Jensen (Toby Wallace, also outstanding), Acute Misfortuneis not a standard-issue biography. The stunning feature directing debut of actor Thomas M. Wright is as intense, idiosyncratic and compelling as Cullen’s work.

Tuesday 16 October, 5:45pm, GU Film House Adelaide. Tickets.
Friday 19 October, 9pm, GU Film House Adelaide. Tickets.

The Price of Everything

How did the art world become a frenzied money market with works selling for 10 times what they cost just a decade ago? Who decides what’s worth millions (like Jeff Koons’ inflatable silver bunny, now valued at $US 65 million), and who’s buying it? The dazzling new documenatry by Nathaniel Kahn (My Architect) gets illuminatiing, intelligent and hugely entertaining anwers from auctioneers, critics, curators, buyers and artists involved in this astonomically-priced madness. When asked about her suddenly-hot status at the age of 69 artist Marilyn Minter says ‘it’s too dangerous to even learn about it, I don’t want to know.’ After watching Kahn’s coverage of jaw-dropping auctions at Sotheby’s and listening to analysts describing how artists attain and lose popularity we understand exactly what Minter’s talking about.

Sunday 14 October, 4:15pm, GU Film House Adelaide. Tickets.
Wednesday 17 October, 3pm, GU Film House Adelaide. Tickets.

The Man Who Stole Banksy

In 2007 Banksy and 14 other street artists went to Palestine to paint on the West Bank Barrier. Banksy’s work depicted an Israeli soldier checking a donkey’s ID. Local taxi driver Walid “The Beast” then cut it off the wall and helped a local businessman sell it on eBay for $100,000. This film follows Banksy’s artwork as it circles the globe from Bethlehem to a Western auction house, attracting vast amounts of money and no small measure controversy whenever it changes hands. As the still-unidentified Banksy himself has noted, “A wall is a very big weapon. It’s one of the nastiest thing you can hit someone with.” This is a story of clashing cultures, and widely varying views of the way art can be valued. And it’s narrated by Iggy Pop!

Saturday 13 October, 12pm, GU Film House Adelaide. Tickets.
Wednesday 17 October, 5:15pm, GU Film House Adelaide. Tickets.

The Summer (Leto)

Leningrad in the summer of 1983. Marx has been replaced by Bowie. The cold war is almost done but the battle to be cool is only beginning in the underground rock scene. Its Dogs in Space time for the country that really put dogs in space. Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov (currently under house arrest on dubious charges) retells the true story of Mike Naumenko and Viktor Tsoy, two of the major musical figures of a time one describes as “not quite Soviet, not quite western.” Followers of punk and T-Rex, they struggle for a form of music that is their own, and a way of playing it in a society that isn’t quite ready for them yet. Indeed, you can fool the children of the revolution. Leto is shot in gloriously grungy black and white, with long moving camera takes and utopian musical moments that channel Talking Heads and Iggy Pop. And then there is Natacha, who stands between Mike and Viktor in a way that suggests love might tear them apart.

Monday 15 October, 5:45pm, GU Film House Adelaide. Tickets.
Friday 19 October, 8:10pm, GU Film House Adelaide. Tickets.

Reactive Wall

Since 2013, Adelaide Film Festival has showcased the work of artists as they respond to premieres of the festival. In 2018 we welcome Alex Beckinsale, Cameron Smith, Cassie Thring, Christina Peek and Sarah Tickle who cover everything from mixed media and digital art to painting. Joining these artists is local legend Roy Ananda, known for his work inspired by film and pop culture. Roy will be working with these artists, all graduates of the Adelaide Central School of Art, to realise the most ambitious iteration of the Reactive Wall to date. Come and explore the Reactive Wall projects in the GU Film House Courtyard on your way to the box office as these works come to life in response to the festival’s biggest films.

Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits

A collaborative project between the National Film and Sound Archive and the National Portrait Gallery, Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits reveals never-before-seen stories of Australian cinema. Through photographic portraits, candid behind-the-scenes shots, rare film posters, casting books and original costumes. Starstruck celebrates the past and present of Australian filmincluding watershed moments in cinema and iconic visions of Australian lifeand also offers a glimpse into the experiences of the actors and crew. The exhibition explores how cinema portraiture can create a bridge between the magic of a movie’s fictional worlds and the realities of filmmaking.

14 September to 30 November, Samstag Museum. Free entry.