Revelatory documentaries!

Revelation - 16th Perth International Film Festival July 4 – 14th


Interior. Leather Bar.

Hollywood heartthrob and agent provocateur James Franco and fellow filmmaker Travis Matthews put themselves out on a limb and create a re-imagining of something precious few have ever seen: the notorious and legendary - amongst cinephiles – missing forty odd minutes that director William Friedkin was forced to cut from his controversial movie Cruising in order to secure an R-rating from the MPAA, and not get slapped with the kiss-of-death X cert. Just what were in those forty minutes? Al Pacino deep undercover as a NYC homosexual prowling an underground gay club in search of a vicious serial killer. As perversely fascinating as that sounds Interior. Leather Bar. is far more interesting as a documentary on the organisation, auditions, and rehearsals during the making of this maverick indie exploration of desire and identity on film. What is ultimately exposed and studied is the creative process stripped back.

 Friday 11th, 10pm, C1 Luna


London – The Modern Babylon

Director Julien Temple takes the viewer on a kaleidoscopic journey through the annals of London’s development from the turn of the century right through into the new millennium. It’s a paen and a lament wrapped up in greasy fish’n’chip paper and thrown into the gutter of Trafalgar Square. Temple’s perspective is a very personal one, deeply entrenched in socio-politics. This is not a travelogue to entice tourism, but it does celebrate the city in a contemptuous fashion. This is a richly archived, darkly fascinating history of a city plagued by problems; poverty and social disease, racism and classism, but also a city that has continued to pick itself up from its knees and blossom once again, if only until the next thrashing. The montage of extraordinary archival footage is intercut with Londoners, both ordinary folk and celebrities, recounting their love/hate relationship with the metropolis. Temple punctuates with a selection of gritty songs of (mostly) yesteryear, no doubt plucked straight from his own collection.

 Saturday 6th, 1.45pm, C2 Luna, Saturday 13th, 8.30pm, SX, Sunday 14th, 3pm, C1 Luna


The Act of Killing

An utterly original take on the inhumanity of humankind, this lengthy documentary follows a clutch of former Indonesian death squad leaders as they recount and, more curiously, reenact (and film) the killings they did on thousands of innocent men, women, and children in the mid-60s. It’s a hard pill to swallow, as the appalling nature of their acts is strangely and disturbingly lightened in tone as the central figure is of a charming disposition. It’s not surprising Werner Herzog and Errol Morris are the executive producers, as this kind of provocative documentary filmmaking is right up their alley. At times surreal and beautiful, at times heartbreaking, at times utterly grotesque, the violence of truth is exposed and laid bare. But time is a beast unto itself. Forty years have passed and these sanctioned murders have been buried. Now they have been exhumed and the repercussions have a resonant edge all of their own.

 Sunday 7th, 2pm, C4 Luna, Saturday 13th, 11.30am, C1 Luna



“There is freedom in vulgarity,” says Bunny Love, an American burlesque performer. And in this frightfully endearing exposé on the risqué side of cutting edge burlesque – New Burlesque, if you will – a bunch of performers from the US and the UK talk candidly about the trials and tribulations of this confrontational stage art, but more importantly, the passion they share for its unabashed exhibitionism and stalwart individualism. Some of these people are damaged souls that have found solace behind the nakedness, some are considered freaks by the conservative norm, but in the realm of the burlesque they are normal. It is this portrait that filmmaker Beth B. brushes with broad strokes, coaxing deeper ideals from within the sexual mind. Exposed isn’t designed to titillate, despite the inherent nature of burlesque’s leftfield eroticism. There are many insights into the nuts and cracks of the burlesque revival of the past twenty years, with a vibrant and sly sense of humour, and plenty of nudity whipped up into a frenzy of political drag. 

Tuesday 9th, 9pm, C1 Luna, Sunday 14th, 7pm, C4 Luna