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ACMI: Digital comfort


Six Days: DJ Shadow, Wong Kar-Wai Six Days: DJ Shadow, Wong Kar-Wai
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is finally open in Melbourne, and with it the only digital cinema projector in Australia. The intimate cinemas are magnificently equipped with big screens, enormous sound systems, high-backed seating and steeply raked auditoria so that everyone has an ideal relationship with the screens.

The initial screening program is aptly titled Digital Cinema and in December and January viewers can see a program curated by Claire Stewart.

The Indigent collective was established in the US in 1999 and inspired by the ideas of Dogme 95 and John Cassavetes. It was financed by the Independent Film Channel (IFC) to produce 10 low-budget digital feature films, 5 of which can be seen this month at ACMI. These include Tape which is set in a hotel room in Michigan and shot on 2 consumer-model digital cameras, and Ethan Hawke’s Chelsea Walls, another hotel inspired drama. There are also films from the Danish Dogme clan, including lesser known features such as Mifune screening alongside The Idiots and Italian For Beginners.

The Garage Thrills program offers a selection of American films based on the DIY approach such as The Last Broadcast, a precursor to The Blair Witch Project and American Movie: The Making of Northwestern.

On the digital front, Resfest is an annual festival that showcases current digital creativity. Works screening from this year’s program includes Cinema Electronica, a collection of innovative music videos, and By Design, a selection of short films that, curiously, take their inspiration from the corporate world.

A highlight of this first ACMI season will be Digital Projections, showcasing 15 Australian-produced short fictions, animations, music videos and experimental work, including Ectoplasmic Fat Provider Baby by Ian Haig, Purgatory by Michael Frank, You and Me by Tina Gonsalves and Broken by Victoria Batchelor. RT

Digital Cinema, The ACMI Cinemas, Federation Square, Flinders St, Melbourne, Dec 5 2002-Jan 18 2003.

RealTime issue #52 Dec-Jan 2002 pg. 17

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