Ian Christie public lecture
Does Scorsese's Catholic formation explain the moral framework of his
lowlife films as much as his blasphemous Last Temptation of Christ and Buddhist Kundun? How seriously should we take the religious
preoccupations of a director renowned for extreme violence and the
apparent glorification of criminals? Taking bearings from Dostoevsky,
Paul Tillich and a recent interview with Scorsese on matters
AFI Research Collection book sale
Special Public Screening
Time: Friday 17 November 6:30pm
Elgar’s enigma: biography of a concerto (New Zealand, 2006)
The archive project (Australia, 2006)
Session followed by a Q&A with both filmmakers
Presented by the Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand and ACMI
Elgar's Enigma: Biography of a Concerto intercuts an extraordinary performance of the English composer’s much-loved Cello Concerto in Em, performed by American cellist Lynn Harrell, with a "back story" of love, loss, and war. Harrell is performing with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, with Matthias Bamert conducting.
The Concerto is known as a powerful war requiem, grieving for a world destroyed by the First World War. Musicologist Brian Trowell believes the origins of the work lie in the story of the penniless young Elgar, a struggling composer, and his first love, Helen Weaver. Both lived in Worcester, England and were briefly engaged in the 1880s. But Helen broke off the engagement, possibly because she had contracted TB and departed for the healthier climes of New Zealand. She married and then moved to a raw settlement town.
Twenty years later, on the brink of WW1, Elgar had become a famous composer. Helen’s children had grown and her New Zealand-born son, Kenneth Munro, joined the army and was sent to Gallipoli where he fought for three months. He then collapsed and was invalided out and sent to London. On his recovery, Munro was sent to the Western Front where he was killed, a fact that Elgar would have learned through the Roll of Honour published in the Daily Telegraph. Elgar left London several days later, suffering from a serious bout of depression. He fell ill and went into hospital. One day, during his slow recovery, he called for paper and pencil and sketched the beginnings of Concerto—the first serious music he had written since 1914. Trowell argues that the cello masterpiece, Elgar’s last work, was a response not only to the tragedy of World War I, but specifically to the death of Munro, who could have been the son he never had.
The narrative is told through a subtle weave of interview (with Trowell, British filmmaker Ken Russell, New Zealand historian Jamie Belich, amongst others), archive, ephemera, and some subtle re-enactments.
Annie Goldson has been producing and directing documentaries for 20 years in the United States and New Zealand. Her titles include Punitive Damage, released in cinemas in 1999, and Georgie Girl, released in 2002. Both titles have also garnered major awards in film festivals. In 2004, Annie completed Sheilas: 28 Years On, which won Best Documentary at the Commonwealth Film Festival, and recently produced Pacific Solution: From Afghanistan to Aotearoa, runner-up Best Documentary at DOCNZ, the inaugural Documentary Film Festival in New Zealand. Her documentaries have been broadcast by HBO, PBS, CBC, SBS, ABC, TVNZ, TV3 and ARD amongst others. Annie is also a writer and has published articles in books and journals such as Screen, Semiotext(e), and Social Text. A monograph, Memory, Landscape Dad, and Me was published earlier this year by Victoria University and second book, After the Fact: Documentary, Human Rights and International Law, is under contract with Temple University Press for a 2007 publication date.
Annie is also the director of the biannual New Zealand International Documentary Conference held at the University of Auckland since 1996, and received her PhD in Film and Television Studies from the University of Auckland. She is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies at that institution.
The Archive Project explores a foundational moment in Australian independent film through an examination of Melbourne’s Realist film movement and the cultural cold war of the late 1940s and early 1950s.
The Melbourne Realists were ‘activist’ filmmakers supporting labour movement, housing and peace campaigns. They introduced Australian audiences to world cinema at a time when cinema screens were dominated by the US and UK film industries. Their work was crucial to the emergence of Film Festivals in Melbourne and Sydney. A compilation of their works, their ideals, their deeds and their battles with the Stalinist left and the forces of the repressive state is woven together from a wide variety of archival sources and formats into a timely commentary on the challenges faced by an independent voice in dark times.
This feature length documentary is part of a broader cross-platform project that includes an interactive work and gallery installation in association with ACMI, the National Film and Sound Archive, Film Victoria and ABC TV. The film is produced by Philippa Campey and John Hughes for Early Works. Co-directed and edited Uri Mizrahi, with an extraordinarily evocative score by Martin Friedel, it has been over 20 years in the making.
John Hughes is a highly respected and award winning director, writer and producer in documentary and drama. He has been a juror for the international competition at IDFA and Vladivostok and this year received the Stanley Hawes Award for outstanding contribution to the documentary sector. His credits are numerous and include the following: Film Work, Traps, After Mabo, River of Dreams, and What I Have Written. He also worked as a commissioning Editor for Documentary at SBS Independent from 1988-2001, and has taught cinema studies, documentary and television studies with the Department of Visual Studies, Monash University (1990-94). John has recently completed Hidden Treasures (15 x 5 mins), his third art history series with Betty Churcher, and is currently working on the final phase (DVD interactive) of the Archive Project.