MIFF Day 18 - 10th August 2002

Another quiet day today but I had an early start due to the first film starting at 11am. I found out the reason I hadn't planned to go to any of these sessions after the late screenings.

I managed to stay awake for Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I put a spell on me which was a documentary of the life and music the peformer in the title. There were other people interviewed in the film but the most interesting was Mr Hawkins himself along with all the concert footage shown (especially the early 1950's performances.)

What I really liked about this film was that I had heard of Screamin' Jay Hawkins but I didn't really know that much about him. This documentary explained the story of his life very well and even told of some things that some people that knew a bit more about him might not of known (such as his love of singing classical opera.) There was a great scene of Mr Hawkins reading the bios that one of his friends had collected from the internet about him also.

An excellent documentary, it is a great pitty that Screamin' Jay Hawkins is no longer with us - hopefully this film will introduce him to a new audience.

My next session was another documentary called Fortress Australia which covered the attempts of successive Australian governments to aquire a nuclear arsenal of their own. The reason this film has come out now is that many of the documents involved have only just been declassified.

There was some interesting footage in the documentary including a simulated tactical nuclear strike on a Queensland rainforest using 500 tons of TNT and footage of the rocket launches in Woomera.

This was a good documentary and will probably have a bigger impact when it screens on the ABC in a couple of weeks time.

My last session for the day was One Hour Photo starring Robin Williams as a very ordinary photo processor who wouldn't say boo to a ghost who has a dark secret.

I didn't like this movie as it was very unsettling and scary, even though some things where only implied. The sense of impending violence is what scared me the most as it slowly built up through the film.

The rest of the characters are well done but they pale in comparison to the character Williams portrays. There where also a couple of confusing sequences that didn't really seem to belong in the film.

This film is sure to do well when it enters general release later in the year.