The Melbourne Bureau is emerging from hibernation into spring after spending one of the coldest winters on record in one of the coldest areas of the state. Watford House in Avoca was Bandita HQ for three months and in between fire maintenance, Leanora managed to sneak out for a couple of local film screenings.
In July we visited the screening of the Pyrenees Youth Film Project. Secondary pupils from local schools were invited to participate in workshops held my filmmaker Michelle Dunn who guided them on making a short film on their smart phone. The screening took place at the Empire Theatre in Crowlands. This tiny cinema is a jewel in the Pyrenees area. Complete with traditional seating, a plush red curtain for the screen and heating for the winter months, it’s a place of dedication and passion.
Melbourne HQ also attended a small screening at the home of experimental filmmakers Arthur and Corinne Cantrill. The Cantrills showed us their 1981 film The Second Journey (To Uluru), a filmmaker’s exploration into the sacred monolith and the landscape around it. We found it to be quite a personal film, commenting on the decisions and processes that the pair engaged with during their time spent with and around the rock. The Cantrills note, “(the film) was shown at the 1981 MELBOURNE FILM FESTIVAL, once, at an afternoon session, to a handful of people. It sank like a stone into oblivion! Geoff Gardner, the Director of the MFF, went to Europe later that year, and suggested to Ulrich Gregor, the Director of the Internationales Forum des Jungen Films, part of the Berlin Film Festival, that he consider it for the 1982 Forum. We sent the print over, and were invited to the Forum; it was like a new beginning for us, after the past few depressing years in Melbourne.”
Leanora is continuing with the writing of her PhD thesis that explores the role of archives in small country towns. From her photographic practice to the Bring Your Own Archive event, including her exploration of personal archives in the towns of Rainbow and Cowwarr, she is examining different ways of reimaging memory through vernacular imagery, the idea of mindful handling when working with personal archives and the camera as an ethnographic tool, amongst other chapters! First draft due to be completed before she goes on maternity leave.
The Edinburgh Bureau has been focusing energies on various different projects and ideas over the last few months. Collaborative dialogue continues with Leith’s stellar community outpost Out of the Blue Drill Hall, where we are taking time to form a group of community participants with whom we will embark upon a creative memory and oral history project, drawing upon their personal archives as source material. We’ll also be guests at Freeze Frame Film Club on Friday December 1st, for an analogue film extravaganza, giving a welcome outing to some of the weird and wonderful material from our 16mm film archive.
Also delighted to report that we will be working alongside Alchemy Film & Art’s Festival to introduce groups of secondary school pupils and adults to the wonderful creative possibilities of cameraless filmmaking, by way of hands-on 16mm direct- animation workshops in the Borders. More information soon on this..
In other news, the Edinburgh Bandita is hugely excited to be attending two 8mm film workshops in the coming weeks. Next weekend we’ll be bound for Birmingham, to learn how to hand-process 8mm film at Gauge Lab, and November will bring a trip to Bristol, and a visit to BEEF (Bristol Expanded Experimental Film) to attend Martha Jurksaitis’ Psychedelic Super 8 Workshop’. We’re not exactly sure yet what this will entail, but it sounds completely irresistible! Lastly, watch this space, as exciting plans are afoot for a semi-regular series of artists film screenings, showcasing the work of filmmakers working with analogue film.
Over and out for now, the Banditas x