Sunday, August 06, 2017

MIFF- Faces Places and The Go-Betweens: Right Here

Today's Melbourne International Film Festival films were both documentaries. I began my afternoon with the French film Faces Places, which featured the pairing of French New Wave artist Agnes Varda with the much younger street artist JR. The film follows them as they drive around rural France in a mobile photo lab van photographing people and doing large scale paste ups of images both past and present. They meet some interesting people along the way and hear about their personal stories and the history of the villages they visit. The pair also develops a sweet relationship and rapport with each other, and bring together their artistic talents to create some amazing large scale pieces. I absolutely loved this film and cannot recommended it highly enough.

Next I saw The Go-Betweens: Right Here, a film that chronicles the life and times of the Brisbane band and the relationship between its founders Robert Forster and Grant McLennan. The film is organised chronologically from the mid-1970s to mid-2000s, and intersperses archival photos, audio and video footage with present day interviews with each band member as well as the people around them in the scene at the time. I really liked the device used by Director Kriv Stenders of having a rural Queensland property as the base where each band member came and went from the house to document their time in the band as they experienced it. There were many turbulent times, including line-up changes, their break-up in 1989 and Grant's untimely passing of a heart attack in 2006, which is where the film ends. We were fortunate to have both Kriv Stenders and Robert Forster do a Q&A after the screening, in which Robert joked that he felt he came across too serious and would be more funny in a future film. It's a very well done documentary done by someone who intimately knew the band and its importance to Australian musical history.

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