Night #3 was building up to be one of the festival highlights for us, with the Melbourne premier of our man Jarret Gahan's feature-length directorial début, GONE LESBO GONE: THE UNTOLD TALE OF AN UNSEEN FILM. Having spent the last few years piecing the film together, all was about to be revealed….
And what a revelation it was! The night began with a screening of Andrew Leavold’s deeply personal odyssey THE SEARCH FOR WENG-WENG. It’s a remarkable documentary about Leavold’s crusade to dig deep into the Filipino culture in search of a forgotten pint-sized movie star. I have seen the film several times and there is no doubt that it is something special. It oozes with love and passion and one hell of a tenacious determination to tell a story. The audience response was great and the film infected everyone.
Next up was GONE LESBO GONE. When we filed out of the WENG-WENG screening we were faced with a foyer full of chatter. A whole lot of people had made their way into the city on their Sunday night to see the film. I checked in with Jarret a few times to gauge his nerve factor and being the true professional that we know him to be he was cool, calm and collected (no doubt shitting himself on the inside). I was buzzing around the room with my camera, filming the atmosphere. Spirits were high and everyone was excited. Before long we were all ushered into the cinema…
Richard Wolstencroft introduced Jarret to the front and we were given a little back story to the film. Jarret called Andrew Leavold to the front and the two of them bantered for a few minutes, priming the audience for what they were about to see. With a big round of applause the lights dimmed and the film rolled.
GONE LESBO GONE: THE UNTOLD TALE OF AN UNSEEN FILM is a retrospective documentary about Leavold’s first subversive exploitation film LESBO A GO-GO. Using a talking heads format, it recalls the whole making of 2003 film with a whole heap of cast and crew returning to share their thoughts. Some recall the experience fondly, while others bare resentment towards it. The strength of the documentary lies in the fact that most of the audience have never seen Leavold’s film, which gives the whole narrative of the doco an air of mystery and notoriety. With the added strength of a brilliant score and soundtrack by The Screaming Meanies and the use of rare archival footage, Jarret has crafted a personal and revealing exposé on a film that very few people know about, let alone have seen.
Following the film, the lights went up and Jarret and Andrew were called back to the front for a Q&A. Lead actress Cara Gramer Guaraldo (credited in the original film as Cari Withercy) joined them… and she looked stunning. Absolutely gorgeous and hasn't aged a day since 2003. The three of them took the stage like pros and shared their stories to the captivated room of movie lovers. There is no doubt that the audience loved to the film and hopefully for them it was also one of the festival highlights so far.
We captured the night on video and will be sharing it with you very soon. To say that I am proud of what Jarret has achieved is an understatement. Not only is he one of the nicest blokes on Earth and an incredible creative partner, he is also (clearly) a brilliant film maker. I'm proud as punch of what he’s done for FakeShemp.Net and couldn't be happier for him with such a fantastic screening at MUFF16. All spoils are very well earned.