There’s a revelation coming to Perth. Now in its 18th year, the Revelation Film Festival is far and away one of the biggest highlights of Perth’s ever-growing cultural calendar. Taking place across three cinemas in Leederville, Fremantle and Northbridge from July 3-13, this year’s program boasts some of the most fascinating, transgressive and offbeat cinematic offerings from every corner of the world.
It all begins with opening night feature Under the Skin, the Scarlett Johannson-starring sci-fi flick that subverts her role as a sex symbol and turns it on its head as she plays Laura, an alien temptress who takes the form of a beautiful woman, seducing unwitting men with the promise of sex, only to lead them to their deaths. It’s the third offering from the award-winning British director Jonathan Glazer, best known for his BAFTA-nominated debut feature Sexy Beast, and it’s been critically lauded as a rigorous psychological thriller of Kubrickian proportions.
Revelation is for premieres, too, with horror flicks American Mummy and Willow Creek making their Australian debuts on July 4 and 11 respectively. There’s plenty more genres to feast on too, like the Stephen King-meets-Philip K. Dick sci-fi Time Lapse about a group of roommates who discover their neighbour is taking photos of them 24 hours in the future, or the hard-boiled western feature Joe, which tells the gritty tale of an ex-con (played by Nicolas Cage) struggling to bury his demons in the unforgiving south.
If documentaries are more your bag, try To Be Takei – a look at the life and times of cult legend, social activist and cultural icon George Takei, making its Australian premiere on July 6 at Revelation. There are also fascinating portraits of life in the margins, from Purgatorio, which chronicles life in limbo caught between the violence of Northern Mexico and the distant promise of a new life on the other side of the border, to Freeload, a real-life road movie about the modern subculture of vagabonds and vagrants living off the grid and on the move.
Revelation’s not all so serious, though, and there’s a wide variety of intrigue, absurdity and comedy to be found in its vast offerings. There’s the whimsical, psychedelic sci-fi piece The Congress that sees Robin Wright playing a fictionalized version of herself in a story that merges live-action footage and animation to create a hallucinatory masterpiece. There’s also the schlock-horror zombie Nazi affair Dead Snow 2 and the absurd anti buddy-comedy piece Lawrence and Holloman.
Revelation’s full of great odds and ends, too, offering something a little different to their feature and documentary fare, like Sight Unseen, the multimedia collaboration between visual artist Leah Singer and her husband Lee Ranaldo, founding member and guitarist of legendary indie rock group Sonic Youth. Revelation has built up a share of festival mainstays in its near two-decade lifespan: Get Your Shorts On! brings together the finest short films from WA’s emerging filmmakers, while the animation and experimental showcases run the gamut from dreamscapes to film-noir and dreamscapes to the apocalypse in two of cinemas most visually inspiring genres.
Whatever you fancy, there’s something sublime behind the curtain ready to be unveiled. For the full program, head over to www.revelationfilmfest.org.Tags: events, film, revelation film festival