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Suzuki Seijun's Pistol Opera Suzuki Seijun's Pistol Opera
Not since the 60s and 70s has Adelaide enjoyed the exhilaration, global contact and screen culture continuity that come with hosting an international film festival. In those days new Godards, Chabrols, Bergmans, Truffauts and Kurosawas appeared with thrilling regularity alongside films from the Hungarian and South American new waves that astonished eager audiences. The Adelaide Film Festival fell foul of internal wrangling and censorship and a valuable tradition was lost, quite in contrast to the provocations and longevity of the Adelaide Festival of Arts. Let’s hope that SA Premier Mike Wrann’s enthusiasm for this film festival is long-lived and that Artistic Director Katrina Sedgwick creates an identity that will differentiate it from the standard model and give due place to innovation and local content. Certainly the fact that it’s to be a biennial event creates interesting curatorial opportunities, not least the time to take in and round up some of the best films available and to engage with the digital impact on filmmaking and distribution. Sedgwick asks, “If cinema was the artform of the 20th century, what will the 21st century bring? Screen culture will continue to dominate our lives but in what forms?”

The 2003 program offers more than 80 films: features, documentaries, shorts, new media, music video, a celebration of Hong Kong Cinema, animation and computer gaming. Free forums will include local, national and international filmmakers, critics, industry representatives and patrons.

Winner of the best British Feature at the 2002 Edinburgh Film festival, Dominic Savage’s Out of Control (UK) is one of 8 international films premiering at the festival. Savage’s wholly improvised film explores peer pressure and poverty, following the lives of 4 boys on a South London housing estate. Another first screening in Australia will be the French film, Fellini: I’m a Big Liar, directed by Damian Pettigrew—an in-depth interview with Fellini plus contributions from friends and collaborators. Also premiering are: Christopher Roth’s award-winning Baader (Germany), an independent feature on urban terrorist Andreas Baader; and Abouna (Chad), the story of 2 young orphans by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. The program also includes Japanese experimentalist Suzuki Seijun’s Pistol Opera, a theatrically extravagant tale about a female assassin.

The Australian silent classic Kid Stakes will be accompanied by The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra; there’ll be a free Deckchair Cinema in the East Parklands; a Spaghetti Western retrospective and a kids’ animation program with workshops.

The Festival’s gala opening night marks the 30th Anniversary of the South Australian Film Corporation and will be followed by a party at Adelaide Town Hall featuring WOMAD guest stars The Temple Of Sound (UK). The full festival timetable will be announced in February 2003. RT

Adelaide International Film Festival 2003, Feb 28-March 7. For details see

RealTime issue #52 Dec-Jan 2002 pg. 17

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