Sunday, August 25, 2013

Spaces Between

Our first public screenings of Galore happened these past weeks as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival.

Of course it was bizarre and beautiful to be letting it loose on the screen. Of course it was overwhelming to hear people's thoughts. We can't imagine it could have gone better.

We got to meet and dine and drink with heroes (in the form of Jia Zhangke) and new filmmaking friends (who were also doing the walk of shame around the festival with their films rendering them nude and vulnerable). We got to bliss out to 30 or so new films and remember how many voices are yelling out from the screens. We got to eat endless dumplings, huge vats of chili and to roll around in tequila bars and rock clubs and destroy endless dance floors with bad moves and drunken mauling. We got to share in the celebration of Tim Winton's The Turning (one part of which, Small Mercies, we had made and was hidden amid the 17 diverse treasures in the film). We got to talk shit in front of crowds, present talks, struggle to articulate through hangovers, play heart DJ at the end of emotional nights and hang out with with friends we hadn't seen for far too long.

It is a kind of impossible reflection, thinking back on this first, final letting loose of a film. We were all there pushing it out kicking and screaming and, between the moment of release and the inevitable come down as life comes crashing back into your mind and senses, there is the blissful abyss of all of the sublime conversations where you discover the secrets of your film. People tell you the stories the film brought up in them, or the images that they responded to, or what moved them or outraged them and left them cold. This is the good stuff. The things you can't control or direct. The slippery, elusive space of dream and emotion between the film itself and the audience.

We got some amazing words back in the form of reviews. We also got some clumsy, angry inarticulate words of criticism. None of those words, glowing or disparaging can change the film as it exists in the world. So, it's time to return to the unfinished scripts, the begging and scrimping, the refuelling and reforming of forces to get onto the next thing.

Now, looking at the pile of scripts at various stages of completion, wondering in which direction back to swing the pendulum.

Oh, and PS, I designed this poster for the festival. I'm not sure if it will end up being anything like the release artwork when Hopscotch release the film, but I figured I should share it.

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