The Palais St Kilda. Festival runs 25- 30 May 2010
This is one of my favourite annual events as it's a little bit edgy, a little bit rock'n'roll with an ironic dash of old school glamour, there is nothing like turning up to the Grand Palais and a spotlight is scraping the sky announcing that this is where dreams can be made!
This is Australia's longest running Film Festival launching in 1984 and since then having screened over 2500 short films.... in other words it's HOT!
The crowd is clad in compulsory black, even I adhered to the code except for the large gold sequins bow-tie emblazoned down the front of my black velvet frock.
The foyer is a frenzy of air kissing, balding men in leather jackets, young starlets and hundreds of people who I have no idea who they are but they all look very nice and seem more intent on swilling champagne then adhering to the PA urging everyone one to take their seats.
The gorgeous Di Glenn is there we reminisce about our days as sales reps at a Sydney Photography Agency as well as the handsome Tom Wrenn as charming as ever, he should be in line for Austalia's next top leading man.
The star factor is turned up a notch by the minor paparazzi tangle in the foyer.
If your TV star husband is on the box at the time you will get asked to stand and deliver your best smile to the lens of the social pages, unfortunately when he is employed in independent theater you are relegated back to the throngs of the teeming masses!!
Once in side the Palais theater the old girl's fading beauty makes one feel special and warm inside and it was a treat to be joined by the gorgeous Yessie Spence looking fabulous in a new brunette crop.
Noni Hazlehurst opened the show making the comment that one of the major domestic airlines is still screening "are you being served"? Bugger that everyone agrees, play our movies all the way from Melbourne to Adelaide!!
Watching a series of short films can often feel like being in a conversation full of unfinished sentences.
The ideas are opened up and stretched and often left gaping for the viewer to find their own conclusion.
At it's best it can be a sharp, passionate highly emotive, poetic journey at it's worse it can be too ambiguous to capture your mind and to light to move your heart.
This nights screening tended a little bit to the latter with no one film really standing out, but as a whole gave an interesting insight into the lightness of the dilemmas of our Australian culture and the difficulties faced by those in other countries.
This was achieved by juxtaposing International films set in Viet Nam, (Foreign Parts), Israeli (On the road to Tel- Aviv) and the border of Pakistan and India (Wagah) that dealt with death, terrorism and dislocation respectively with local work that was exploring personal relationships.
I guess the idea of individual happiness found through love is still a driving force in our narratives however what I saw last night, was even though the bigger issues are set in foreign countries their themes are very relevant here in Australia today.
The Program that runs until Sunday looks fantastic, so definitely get a guide and go check a few out.
The post party at the St Kilda Hall is one you need no baby sitter curfews and a cab fare home for to really make the most of it, however last night we behaved ourselves with one cocktail then back to the sleepy North!