Category Archives: SLiQFlicks podcast Back

No More Hiding

April is upon us, and this month we’re taking a sideways look at technology. Specifically the way it’s changed us on one of our most profound human levels: the way we communicate with one another.

It’s an embryonic state that we find ourselves in  people my age (let’s say hovering just above 40 on some ragged wings) are adapting, working with the assimilation of an ever-new tech procession into most aspects of our lives, while people that have never lived without the sprawling, crooked genius of the internet seem to have the trick down: just go with it.

I’m not a luddite — I love the world that has opened up for me. As someone who used to manage a video store, by which I mean VHS, I have no calling to revisit the days of clunky, dirty video cassettes and the infuriating limits placed upon the consumer by physical distribution, and every time I hear somebody complain about the sound quality of mp3 files all I have to do is think back to the murky warbling of the cassettes I used to have. But, for the longest time I unconsciously resisted contemporary technology, waving my cane from my front porch at it, corn-cob pipe jutting from the corner of my sneering grill. Why? Because it would have meant that I had to change.

The fluid nature of early 21st century machines means that they are assimilating more organically into our lives, and if that’s all you’ve ever known, it makes it a lot easier to just dive in and see what the possibilities are.

UPSTREAM COLOR (6 Apr) is without a doubt the most poetic example I’ve seen of how external forces work with us and through us, connecting us in ways that we might not even fully comprehend yet. Engaging in the world of social media is something akin to having low-level psychic powers: my friend on the other side of the world feels elated this morning, how does that make me feel? My friend across town is hungry, a peripheral person that I barely know is worried about losing their job, a dozen people on my feed are reading a post by someone we’ve never met, all in real time. When experience becomes more collective, what does this do to our identity? What creates the tides? It’s a love story, beautiful, challenging, maddening and true.

The notion of power, held through wealth and visible prestige, hasn’t gone anywhere yet, but the cracks might be starting to show. COSMOPOLIS (13 Apr), adapted from the quietly shattering book by Don Delillo and adapted by the master of cinematic collapse David Cronenberg gives us the absurdist tale of a media tycoon driven by unknowable hungers. Isolated from the physical world, save for specifically cherry-picked encounters, we spend a day with a man who follows the hidden patterns of this power, even if they must lead him towards a self imposed doom. The old ways of doing business are dying, the concept of wealth and what it means are changing, and nothing will ever be the same.

The Cronenberg gene manifests itself again in our program through the debut feature from progeny Brandon, ANTIVIRAL (20 Apr). Either a grim, clinical dystopic sci-fi horror, or the blackest of black comedies, the viewer can decide what this unsettling and viciously intelligent film means to them. The concept of “celebrity” has changed. Where idols used to be presented to us, like sculptures or new gods, we now vote on the objects we lionise. Not in the crass, simplistic format of game shows where raw, naive ambition is pasteurised into some kind of final survivor to be shuffled off stage, but through this brutal 24 hour immediacy. Arrests, overdoses, weight gain, breakups, all fed out to the world live. How long until contracting the same strains of disease that your favourite celebrity is incubating becomes desperately appealing? How long until the cloned flesh of superstars can be used for unspeakable purposes? Antiviral would like to discuss this with you.

As a bonus feature, we’re extremely pleased to be holding an outdoor screening of the truly bizarre cinematic curio TRIBULATION 99 on the evening of Tuesday 8 of April, at the QUT Creative Industries Precinct in Kelvin Grove. Much like relationships, power, and fame — the idea of truth is being further warped through the lens of our new machines. If the “truth” was controlled in the past by large, selective media companies, it has now begun to run rampant as all of us go forth armed with a camera and a perspective. When there are seven billion versions of the truth, what currency does it hold anymore? A riotous collage of found footage and b-movie snippets, Tribulation 99 presents an alternate history of the world, in which the colonies of Martians that live in the centre of our planet wage an endless war with the covert forces above. It’s supremely silly and complete genius.

We finish the month with a look back at the 20th century, and the fears of technology that plagued us then. A quaint time, when the concept of surveillance, media thought manipulation, and de-humanisation in return for security were something that came from outside, from unknowable faceless forces, instead of being a process that we are complicit in, every day, every time we use our devices.

Our audience can choose from one of three features in our monthly voting forum: Videodrome, Blow Out, and THX 1138 — these are cautionary tales from the 1970s and 80s. The time of my youth, a time that now seems as impossibly distant and unworkable as the youth of my ancestors.

Links to trailers for all of our films, and further details about the shows can be found here: http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on/events/sliqflicks

Communal Dreaming

Appreciation of culture is always subjective, what speaks to the core of one of us might fall flat on another. For me though, the art of film has always stood as the meeting point where literature, design, music and photography combine to produce a medium of almost limitless possibilities. I take great joy in knowing that as long as I live, there will always be more movies than I can possibly take in- an ocean of experience that was here before any of us, and will certainly be here long after our daily flutterings have ceased.
I remember attending free film screnings at SLQ as a budding movie fan, and being exposed to new worlds, each one offering a new tangent to explore. Decades old, the Sunday movie screenings here have been a staple of our community so entrenched that stepping into the shoes of my predecessor has at times felt like a responsibility almost overwhelming in it’s scope.
But we have continued- three years into my tenure and we’re still going to the movies, being challenged, angered, seduced, educated, comforted and entertained by this collective dreaming that is cinema. At times I’ve wondered if the fact that most of us now have screens in our homes of a dazzling size and quality, in addition to unprecedented access to film archives through new delivery systems would affect our behaviour- that the simple act of a community coming together under one roof to share a dramatic experience would fade away. It would seem not- the very nature of movies is that they are populist, they’re meant to be experienced together, and discussed afterwards. The movie fan with nobody to discuss their favourite (or least favourite) flick with is a lonely soul indeed.

This is a time of the year where I’d like to think we can take a moment to look at our lives, the year we’ve had, and the one that lies before us. And looking back I must say I stand humbled and grateful for the SLiQFlicks audience, who keep coming back, to have that silent communal conversation in the shared dark of the movies, where for a couple of hours each week we see where the rabbit hole takes us.

There’s a kind of peace in embracing such a simple, universal act, and even though every movie is a beautiful lie, there’s a truth in how we perceive them.  
I hope we continue to dream together for years to come.

Talking About Seeing

After many delays the third episode of our SLiQFlicks Podcast is up and ready for your listening pleasure! Listen to Sarah Ward and myself hash over the latest big and small screen releases including Blue Jasmine, The Canyons, A Field In England, Spring Breakers and more! Spend a relaxing 50 minutes ruminating over the nature of entertainment! Enjoy listening to me forget a never-ending series of names! http://enc.slq.qld.gov.au/audio/slq/pp/mp3/sliqflicks-podcast/Ep3.mp3

SLiQ Flicks podcast episode 2

Welcome to episode two of the SLiQ Flicks podcast, where Lance Sinclair and Sarah Ward dissect the month’s filmic offerings. This episode they turn their attentions to Frances Ha, Elysium, Oblivion and anything else that wanders into their stream of consciousness.

SLiQ Flicks podcast episode 2

Frances Ha

Introducing the SLiQ Flicks podcast

Introducing the new SLiQ Flicks podcast by SLQ’s Film Events Coordinator Lance Sinclair and film journalist Sarah Ward.

Described by Lance as a film-centric popular culture podcast, the conversation covers films currently screening as well as new releases on dvd and favourite classics.

Touching on local and global film news and occasionally spilling over into books and music, this engaging podcast series is a must for film buffs everywhere.

SLiQ Flicks podcast episode 1