The biennial Adelaide Film Festival has announced its 2015 program, featuring numerous international festival favourites – many of which are yet to have hit Australian screens – a concise but impressive collection of retrospective screenings and an impressive Australian line-up.
Kicking off the festival is Highly Strung, the new film from Scott Hicks (director of Shine) which documents the unique world of compulsive music aficionados. Of major note is the Australian premiere of Todd Haynes’s long awaited Patricia Highsmith adaptation Carol, an Ed Lachman shot tale of forbidden love in 1950s New York starring Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett. Also of note is Paolo Sorrentino’s follow-up to The Great Beauty, Youth, which premiered at Cannes earlier this year. Youth, the festival’s closing night film, is a rumination on aging that follows a holiday between two best friends (played by Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel) which is interrupted when one of them receives an invitation to perform at Prince Philip’s birthday from Queen Elizabeth II.
One of the festival’s major drawcards, the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund, will see the premiere of a number of new Australian films including A Month of Sundays, a real estate comedy from Noise‘s Matthew Saville starring Anthony LaPaglia, Girl Asleep, an adaptation of Windmill Theatre’s critically acclaimed surreal coming-of-age tale from Rosemary Myers, Matthew Bates’s Sam Klemke’s Time Machine, a collation of self-shot footage of a man who obsessively documented his own life which played to rave reviews at Sundance, and Steven Page’s Spear, a contemporary Aboriginal story told through movement and dance adapted from the Bangarra Theatre production of the same name. Joining them will be Scott Hick’s aforementioned feature Highly Strung, as well as a slew of new Australian shorts.
Also returning is the National Film and Sound Archive restores series, which will see screenings of Australian classic Storm Boy, Gillian Armstrong’s post-My Brilliant Career outing Starstruck, and personal favourite Howling III: The Marsupials, a nightmarish ozsploitation-fueled offshoot from Joe Dante’s The Howling series. In addition, the Adelaide Film Festival will be hosting a one-of-a-kind screening of Rolf De Heer’s infamous Bad Boy Bubby in binaural sound, with every member of the audience wearing headsets so that they are literally plugged into protagonist Nick Hope’s experience.
Other screenings of note are Tag, a gory, feminist, action-fantasy teen flick from site favourite Sion Sono, Freeheld, Peter Sollet’s recount of the Laurel Hester starring Julianne Moore and Ellen Page, Remembering the Man, the documentary accompaniment to the recent Holding the Man, Hong Won-Chan’s thriller Office, Jennifer Peedom’s Everest documentary Sherpa, Aussie canine spooker The Pack from Nick Robertson, and the (unofficial) Australian premiere of recent Rosalie Ham adaptation The Dressmaker, which will see the red carpet treatment at Adelaide Film Festival 2 days before its official Australian premiere on the 18th of October in Melbourne.
Of course, 4:3 festival favourites The Assassin, Cemetery of Splendour, Sergio Herman: FUCKING PERFECT, Deathgasm, and The Lobster will be seeing their Adelaide premiere, as will Miguel Gomes’s Arabian Nights trilogy, which will be screening as a single block, echoing their second run at MIFF earlier this year.