Melbourne Readers: Help Send HAIL To Venice!
Australian filmmaker Amiel Courtin-Wilson has made the leap from brilliant documentarian to visionary dramatic filmmaker, first with his short drama Cicada screening in competition at Cannes 2009 and now with his first dramatic feature Hail selected for Venice 2011.
I've long thought of Amiel as the Werner Herzog of Australia, in the way he manages to extract deeply personal accounts or performances from his subjects, while enmeshing himself in the films themselves, not just as a behind-the-scenes auteur.
Hail is no different, and sees Amiel collaborating again with ex-prison inmate turned actor Daniel Jones, who was the subject of and storyteller in the intense short Cicada, a dramatised monologue delivered direct to camera recounting Jones' first brutal memory as a child.
Hail opens up the canvas, using Jones' life with his real life partner Leanne Letch as a basis for its story, and both Jones and Letch star as themselves. Hail marks the first Australian dramatic feature in almost 10 years to be selected for the Venice competition.
To celebrate the film's acceptance into the festival, and to raise some monies to send the cast to Venice, the filmmakers are having a massive shindig TONIGHT (Friday 19 August) in Melbourne featuring:
- A selection of photography by acclaimed cinematographer Germain McMicking and multi-award winning director Glendyn Ivin (director of Last Ride)
- Original artwork by Hail actor Gerard Hall and Age Cartoonist John Spooner.
- Limited edition hand printed fabric posters by Marina Breit.
- Hail original score soundtrack CD's.
- Signed posters by cast & crew
- A live performance by Hail composer Steve Benwell and lead actor Daniel Jones (7.30pm)
- DJ guests: The Midnight Juggernauts
Friday, August 19 · 6:00pm - 10:30pm
Basement, 746 Swantson Street, Carlton