Tonight's screening at MUFF may be the last for me this year. Regrettably I may not be able to attend any more due to other commitments. I am especially sorry to be missing out on the closing night (plus awards). I encourage all of you to get along, though, because the closing night is a belter with MUFF's international guest, Giovanni Coda presenting his film THE NAKED ROSE as well as Stuart Simpson presenting his film CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY VANILLA. A definite MUST.
My night began with a team meeting of the FakeShemp.Net crew. We've got some exciting things in the works and cannot wait to unleash it all upon you. It was a productive meeting with more podcast preparations and brainstorming being our main focus. I can confirm that unless we hit a snag the podcast will be unleashed next weekend! Stay tuned for that. Tonight Jarret also launched his monthly COLLECTION UPDATE on our YouTube channel and I encourage you to subscribe. His videos are strangely rhythmic and compulsive.
And so 6:30 rolled on by faster than we knew it and we all hopped in the car and headed to THE BACKLOT STUDIOS. With little time to spare we grabbed a drink, mingled quickly with the festival organisers Hussein, Elva & David and then made our way into the cinema. We came to watch THE SUICIDE THEORY.
With a provocative name like THE SUICIDE THEORY and little knowledge of it's story, I had no idea what to expect from this new independent Australian feature film. Suspecting something gratuitous and/or deeply disturbing I was surprised and relieved to be confronted with a unique and original film, which was dramatic and comical in equal measure. It tells the story of two men who are both dealing with unimaginable grief. One of them (Steven) has harnessed his darkness by becoming a gun-for-hire while the other man (Percival) is desperately suicidal. Percival believes himself to be cursed when no method of suicide actually works and so he employs Steven to kill him. The two men form an unlikely bond when Steven's attempts to kill Percival all fail. The story is complex and to reveal any more would be to ruin it for you. So good is this film that I uncomfortably held in one of the biggest pisses I've ever had to take. I kept waiting for a moment to quickly duck out but the film was so gripping that I couldn't leave. Every beat seemed important and to have left the cinema, even for a moment, would have ruined the film. I am struggling to find any criticisms with THE SUICIDE THEORY aside from the fact that the title may be off putting to many people... however it is a very appropriate title. Director Dru Brown has crafted an amazing looking film with rock-solid performances from every single player. Leo Cain and Steve Mouzakis are fantastic as the two leads and their on screen chemistry is undeniable. Both deliver sincere and outstanding performances. The script is good too and moves from beat to beat without drooping and it keeps the story moving at full steam ahead. The film is shot well, lit well and edited well. It's an accomplished film, which will stick with me for some time. I am already wanting to watch it again and cannot wait to see what good things Dru Brown moves onto from here. This is an exceptional film.
With other commitments to get to Jarret and Justine left and I stuck around for the next feature film HOW TO TIME TRAVEL. Sadly this did not strike a chord with me and I actually left 40 minutes into it. I guess ya can't win 'em all. The film was a very low budget feature, which told the story of a heartbroken guy who invents a time travel device that allows him and his roommate to travel back and forth through time in small increments. I was a silly and fun premise, executed poorly. The script was very average and the performances were all amateur. Ha, I even recognised one of the actors from a recent episode of Family Feud. Most of the film was shot hand-held and lacked discipline in it's handling. At best the movie felt like a decent student film, but was more suited to a short film rather than a feature. With none of the jokes resonating and an audience full of family and friends (who seemed to think it was hilarious) I bided my time, waiting for an opportune moment to leave discreetly. I sure didn't want to offend... with an old guy sitting behind me, coughing into my ear the whole time I just had to say "fuck it" and I left. It was a bugger of a way to finish the festival but on the flip side, I was still buzzing from THE SUICIDE THEORY.
This year's MUFF has been one of the years lineups yet. START OPTIONS EXIT, A VENUE FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, THE SUICIDE THEORY are some of the best Australian films I have seen this year and with CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY VANILLA closing up the festival I can say with confidence that MUFF15 has been an amazing festival.
A huge congratulations and personal thanks to Richard Wolstencroft, Hussein Khoder, Elva Clarke and David Joseph Clarke for all of their generosity and enthusiasm for our humble little website. Thanks guys... with your invitation to appear on 3RRR radio with you and your sharing of this diary, you have helped bring a new audience to FakeShemp.Net and have given us a hell of a lot more traction. I am truly grateful.
I have also made a lot of new friends and for that MUFF15 has been a highlight of the year for me.
Muchas Gracias Amigos.