Revelation Film Festival – Day Nine

Bomb It / The Loved Ones

Rev 13 may be speeding towards its (sadly inevitable) conclusion, but it’ll be damned if it finishes without a bang. After eight days of tremendous screenings and wonderful guest appearances, the Revelation crew decided to kick it up a notch for its final weekend. Friday night saw three massive screenings take place in the Astor Theatre’s main cinema.

First up was Jon Reiss’ street art doco Bomb It. It was proceeded by two challenging, experimental shorts (Loop Loop and After the Rainbow); a perfect precursor to the discussion of art in Reiss’ film. The director had promised in his pre-screening introduction a film that would discuss the social value of graffiti, and ponder the question: “Who owns public space?” The film, unfortunately, doesn’t really get to the heart of the argument. It’s a sprawling, ambitious picture – Reiss interviews taggers from all over the world, as well as a number of academics, anti-graffiti activists and regular people on the street. The seemingly-infinite number of opinions spewed forth fails to inform the argument, merely leading to information overload of a near-incomprehensible degree. It’s over-long, over-stimulating, and a tad boring, despite its fascinating subject matter. It doesn’t help that we were treated to Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop earlier this year. Although it may not exactly be a documentary (you know, on account of all the fakeness), that film is a genius satire that examines the exact same themes with far greater success.

Escaping the screening of Bomb It was no easy task, with the foyer filled to the brim with comedy fans eager to check out American: The Bill Hicks Story. Despite my love of Hicks, I couldn’t deny my belly rumblings, and rushed out of the Astor’s emergency exit to grab a bite before the late screening of Sean Byrne’s The Loved Ones. One of the only films playing at Revelation with a guaranteed release (it debuts nationwide in September), The Loved Ones has been steadily picking up buzz since it hit the festival circuit twelve months ago. I was glad to join my Perth-brethren for its first local screening, and even gladder to confirm that the deafening buzz of anticipation was well warranted. It truly is a demented horror film full of solid performances; one that inspires increasing dread with every passing minute. More imaginative in the gore department than any of the Saw films, and, surprisingly, farmore touching than I had expected. You won’t receive a spoilerific plot synopsis from me. Just imagine the worst-case scenario of refusing an invite to the school dance from the weird girl at school. The scenario in The Loved Ones is slightly worse than that. It also features a father who is so deranged and obsessed with his daughter, he makes the dad in Dogtooth look like Greg Brady.

Finally, an open letter to the couple sitting behind me in The Loved Ones who talked. all. the. way. through.That may fly when you’re watching the latest Friedberg/Seltzer “comedy”, but not at Revelation. There is absolutely no reason to talk during a movie (unless there is a legitimate emergency, in which case, you should leave).The world is not your personal screening of The Room. Go away forever.

Previously:

Revelation Film Festival – Day One
Revelation Film Festival – Day Two
Revelation Film Festival – Day Three
Revelation Film Festival – Day Four
Revelation Film Festival – Day Five (No wrap-up)
Revelation Film Festival – Day Six
Revelation Film Festival – Day Seven
Revelation Film Festival – Day Eight (No wrap-up)

Discuss: Feel free to share with us your feelings on the films you’ve caught at the festival so far!

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