Sydney Opera House and Sydney Film Festival are joining forces this year to give cinephiles an additional venue. Under the new partnership, The Playhouse will co-present two festival programs. Sounds on Screen, starting June 4, celebrating the connection between film and music, including several post-screening gigs (the eight-hour Vivid LIVE Day for Night Movie Marathon in the Playhouse on June 6 also comes under the Sounds on Screen umbrella).
Sydney Film Festival’s vampire retrospective, Immortal Seduction: The Vampire Movie, includes a screening of the classic Nosferatu with live score by Darth Vegas and sound effects by Miss Death as per program when it kicks off on June 5.
“I’ve known Clare Stewart, the director of the Sydney Film Festival, for a long time,” says Virginia Hyam, Opera House head of contemporary culture. “I really love her style of programming and I was taken by her Sounds on Screen program, which she started a few years ago.
“We talked about embracing some of that programming here at the Opera House because we’re in a great position to handle the live components of it. We had aspirations for more live performances around the screenings but this did come together fairly quickly so hopefully we’ll be able to do more of that next year.”
Those live components include the new Sydney-based Persian band Ravi playing after the June 5 screening of No One Knows About Persian Cats, a drama that explores Iran’s underground music scene. The June 12 screening of the film will be followed by a panel discussion. After the June 12 and 13 screenings of Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae, Kingtide will perform.
Sounds on Screen includes three Australian premieres. On June 4 there’s Lemmy, a documentary about the hard-rocking Motorhead frontman with cameos from Dave Grohl, Alice Cooper and Billy Bob Thornton. On the same day there’s The Sentimental Engine Slayer – a psychodelic Texan drama from founder of the Mars Volta, Omar Rodriguez Lopez, who writes, directs, produces and stars in this film about a nerdy guy on the verge of a meltdown. On June 5, fans of Julien Temple can catch Oil City Confidential about cult English R’n’B band Dr Feelgood.
Immortal Seduction features an encore performance of Nosferatu followed by Darth Vegas – the same pairing sold out in a snap at the Opera House in April. This time around, the screening starts at the very creepy hour of 10pm.
The postmodern Aussie vampire flick Thirst screens June 12. The retrospective wraps on June 13 with Seduce Me, a 10-minute short from Isabella Rossellini that trains a camera on the mating rituals of the animal kingdom, and the Canadian “vampire ballet”, Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary.
“This is all on at the same time as Vivid LIVE so the Western Foyers will be just like one big, cruisy lounge bar,” says Hyam.