Revelation Film Festival – Day Ten

Revelation Perth International Film Festival – Day Ten

Wheedle’s Groove

There was still plenty of action to be found at The Astor on the second last day of the 13th Revelation Perth International Film Festival – but sadly, I was unable to spend the whole day immersed in it. Partly because I’d already seen a number of the films receiving their second screening of the fest (Good Hair, Bunny and the Bull, The House of the Devil) and partly because a hefty dose of fatigue had kicked in by mid-afternoon. I instead absconded to the nearest fainting couch. A boy cannot survive on confrontational independent cinema alone.

BUT, this was not before I ventured down to Mt. Lawley to check out Jennifer Maas’ funky documentary Wheedle’s Groove, an intimate look at the hidden history of soul music in 1970s Seattle. Maas interviewed a great number of musicians from the period (including Quincy Jones, and, ahem, Kenny G), as well as other notable figures from the different eras of Seattle’s musical past. It’s a fastidiously assembled little film – all the more impressive when you consider the difficulty in obtaining much of the music, images and video from Seattle’s forgotten funk and soul scene. What elevates the film is the mournful undercurrent running throughout; interviews with talented musicians who were once on the cusp of success, and now dealing with the prospect of their life having passed them by, without them having achieved the greatness they once dreamed of. Occasionally devastating, surprisingly uplifting, and consistently groovy, Wheedle’s Groove falters only in its clumsy dénouement. @DanMarsland echoed the same sentiments: “Wheedle’s Groove was a great exploration of the Seattle Soul/Funk scene, ending was a bit messy though.”

Of course, as I wrestled with the subconscious sandman, devoted Perthians threw themselves headfirst into the rest of the Revelation program. @cutandpastedvd enjoyed directors Cory McAbee, Conor Horgan and Ms. Maas on the panel discussion: The State of Independence. @steve_steve raved about refugee doco Stolen: “Just out of stolen + Q&A with producer. powerful, amazing work. not sure how you can ever move on from a film like that. The only problem with Stolen is that I now feel guilty for watching movies all day and not solving all problems in the world.” He was however “not that big” on Bunny and the Bull.

I wish the rest of the mad Revelators luck as they head into late night screenings of The Horde and the rare concert film Night of the Triffids – a task that I no longer had the energy for. I’m just glad that thanks to Facebook and Twitter (which Rev has embraced quite impressively) I get to feel as if I’m enjoying each of these pictures with them. And I’m deeply saddened that after tomorrow, I’ll have to wait another year for this wonderful communal experience.


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)
Revelation Film Festival – Day Nine

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

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