Posted by: Gregoryno6 | October 30, 2022

My favourite film festival turns 25.

In 2022, the Revelation Perth International Film Festival celebrated 25 years of delivering cinema that is eccentric, provocative, and disturbing. Not necessarily in that order.

Rev has survived the Great Financial Crisis and the Y2K bug. Nothing launched by NASA has fallen on it from the sky. Rev has taken its case to court and won against a state government minister. Even Tha Dreaded C couldn’t put Rev out of business… though it came closer than anything else to doing so.

(Was I the only one who slipped my mask off when the lights went down?)

Rev has expanded from screenings to workshops and conferences. From the basement of His Majesty’s in Hay Street it moved to Leederville, branched out to Fremantle, moved across to Mount Lawley, and came back to Leederville.

Rev attracts films and film makers from around the world. And George Lazenby, who is not so much a film maker as a phenomenon.

Rev’s head honcho Richard must wonder sometimes at this fearsome cinema child he has fathered. Like Gina and her calendar, he said ‘See what you think of this’ and the world asked for more.

In this historic year, a focus on history seems quite appropriate.

The Assassination and Mrs Paine
John F Kennedy died at an assassin’s hand sixty years ago. Who pulled the trigger? And why? When Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald the questioning only grew louder. Someone had to answer the questions. Over the intervening decades that someone, more often than not, has been Ruth Paine.

Ruth and her husband were neighbours to Oswald and his Russian wife. Ruth helped Oswald get the job at the Texas Book Depository. And it was largely due to Mrs Paine’s testimony that the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald had acted alone. This puts Ruth Paine at the centre of many theories. Still alive today, Mrs Paine is still answering questions. Recordings of previous interviews indicates that neither the questions nor the answers have changed much.

Richard and the Rev selection panel have demonstrated a consistent skill at finding documentaries that leave the viewer to judge. Ruth Paine may be the key player in the assassination that many claim she is… but I don’t see it. If she had something to hide, why would she continue to submit to interviews? She could have made herself unavailable a long time ago. Or she might have grown tired of lying and signed a big-bucks deal for an exclusive on the true story.

If she was a part of the assassination, she hasn’t benefited much from protecting her co-conspirators. For someone supposedly connected to the rich and powerful, a small domicile in a retirement village seems an underwhelming reward. Kim Philby got a swanky apartment in Moscow for less.

18 1/2
Who shot JFK? dominated the 1960s, and What was on the tapes? dominated the 1970s. 18 1/2 takes its name from the length of the erased Watergate tape – it starts like a thriller, with a Washington tape transcriber meeting a reporter in a cafe. Pretty quickly it takes an unexpected turn, veering away from suspense and into dark comedy. A shift, as it were, from All The President’s Men to A New Leaf.

A simple plan unfolds into confusion, deceit, and killing. Along the way there’s dancing and some frantic sex. 18 1/2 doesn’t solve any mysteries – actually, it creates a few. Especially toward the end.

Featuring the voice of Bruce ‘Evil Dead’ Campbell as Richard Nixon on the legenday tape – pre erasure.

In The Court Of The Crimson King
King Crimson is perhaps the ultimate 60’s cult band. More ecletic than Yes; more ethereal than Hawkwind. Director Toby Amies traveled with the band as it prepared for its final performances.

Rather than attempt to describe King Crimson’s music, I present a selection of quotes from current and former band members.

This is the first King Crimson where there’s not at least one member of the band that actively resents my presence, which is astonishing – Founding King Crimson member Robert Fripp.

Find the most interesting people you can, put them in a recording studio, throw away the key and, sure enough, you’ll come out with something interesting after a while – if they haven’t killed each other – Bill Bruford, former drummer.

You can trust a horse, you can trust a dog, but you can never trust a fuckin’ guitar player – Pat Mastelotto, former drummer.

It’s a little bit like having a low-grade infection. You’re not really sick but you don’t feel well, either – Trey Gunn, former guitarist, on being a member of King Crimson.

I don’t have the problem. The problems lie elsewhere – Fripp.

Some of us went through hell – Mel Collins, former saxophonist.

I always thought it was me and Robert as a partnership. I didn’t know I was in somebody’s band… ‘What do you mean? I thought it was our band’ – Former member Adrian Belew.

Change is essential. Otherwise, you turn into the Moody Blues, for heaven’s sake – Bruford.

What’s possible for this band remains in potential. And that’s an acute suffering – Fripp.

Bonus, sort of: If you’re interested in King Crimson’s music you’ll find plenty to sample online. So here’s something else. Robert Fripp – without King Crimson – and Andy Summers, with strangely choreographed dancing girls, from 1982.

 

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Responses

  1. I will have to look for the movie about Mrs. Paine here. Dallas is close to me and I do get interested in the assassination and it’s aftermath. My parents were living in Dallas when it happened.

    • I realised as I was writing the article that the 60th anniversary is only a month away. Be interesting to see the coverage it gets.
      I f you find it, Jon, let me know what you think.

      • In my own opinion there was more than one shooter and then a cover-up. I don’t think we’ll ever really know what all happened, it’s been too long ago.

  2. The secret world of MI6 can be a small one as portrayed by Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce in A spy Amongst Friends about Kim Philby and if you haven’t read it yet, Ben Macintyre will be disappointed!

    As all espionage cognoscenti know, Kim Philby was a member of the infamous Cambridge Five along with Anthony Blunt, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess and John Cairncross. Philby knew John le Carré (aka David Cornwell) and ended le Carré’s career in MI6 by treacherously informing on all his East European secret agents.

    Philby (and maybe other Famous Five members) also knew Colonel Alan Brooke Pemberton CVO MBE in the fifties when Pemberton was ADC to Field Marshall Sir Gerald Walter Robert Templer and fought in the guerrilla war known as the Malayan Emergency. Philby was sniffing around for information to help the communist Malayan insurgents backed inter alia by the USSR but got little useful data from Templer’s camp and the insurgents (the Malayan National Liberation Army) were eventually defeated by the British.

    In the early seventies Alan Pemberton recruited one Bill Fairclough for MI6 (codename JJ). They worked together on and off for the next twenty years or so. Before 2014 Fairclough’s links with various intelligence agencies became public knowledge and to quash any fake narratives Fairclough set about publishing a series of factual autobiographical novels known as The Burlington Files, only one of which (Beyond Enkription) has been published to date.

    Given Alan Pemberton (Fairclough’s original MI6 handler knew Kim Philby) it is unsurprising that John le Carré turned down Bill Fairclough’s offer in 2014 to collaborate on the action packed factual Burlington Files series. David Cornwell responded along the lines of “Why should I? I’ve got by so far without collaboration so why bother now?”

    An expected but realistic response from a famous expert in passive fiction who refused to visit theburlingtonfiles.org in case his photo was snatched while on line! Pemberton’s People in MI6 even included Roy Astley Richards OBE (Winston Churchill’s bodyguard) and an eccentric British Brigadier (Peter ‘Scrubber’ Stewart-Richardson) who was once refused permission to join the Afghan Mujahideen.


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