Sunday, 16 August 2009

Errol Flynn's Pianist at SUFF 2009



After screening internationally at eleven film festivals and events, Errol Flynn's Pianist is finally going to have its Australian premiere. The Sydney Underground Film Festival plays from 10th to 13th of September at The Factory Theatre. So if you are in Sydney or even Switzerland, mid August, these are the two months to catch Errol Flynn's Pianist on the big screen.

There are some joyous experiences awaiting the attendee of SUFF this year including John Water's Pink Flamingos in Odorama. Errol Flynn's Pianist will screen in Session 1 on September 11th, the session starts at 6:30pm and finishes at 8pm. Download the program here for all the tasty morsels to be sampled during the event. You might even see me there if I have time to catch the train up. I prefer traveling by train, I suffer from Vertigo, so planes are really only good if a necessity.

A little retrospection on the topic of my short film, since its festival run is nearly at a close.

My Errol Flynn film is a hats off to the Baron in my own style, whether people find it offensive or not, and some have. I had a very grumpy pianist leave some comments on YouTube. We ended up having a bit of private slanging mayhem which resulted in both of us growing tired of exchanging vitriol. He blamed me for all the ugliness in Art, and considered my film to be a noxious trick. Forgive me for not understanding his stance on the matter, I failed to see what the trick was. The only trick I can think of, is the tricky business of getting a cast and crew of twenty together to make a one minute film shot on 16mm.

Errol Flynn's Pianist was what I came up with to put him in a creative context. I wanted a short and concise way to merge the myth, the enigma, the contradiction and the truth. The only way I thought to have a crack at doing this was to use a story imparted to Truman Capote by Marilyn Monroe. Errol Flynn spent most of his life embellishing the truth yet yearned to dispel the rumors. He played up to not being taken seriously but at the same time craved sincerity. Who else but Marilyn Monroe experienced the same confused values? She was the perfect carrier for this tale.

Errol Flynn wore his contradictions on his sleeve. This film is about that paradox. It is also about humbling celebrity, there are a brigade of post-Flynn followers who are obsessed with the Machismo side of Errol, and think that sweeping ideas of bisexuality or excessive drug use under the carpet will somehow purify their own fears into default idiolatry virtues. Well, fuck that, I say. A person is a person, and who can say exactly what lies in their heart or what they got up to. It's all just pithy conjecture.

That's why Errol Flynn's Pianist endeavors to completely ignore "truth" in this way, or attempt to be some kind of encyclopedic portrayal of fact. To me that method defeats its own purpose from the very birth of its idea to the conception of its understanding.

If it is considered appropriate to make paradoxical remarks about your own people, then being that I am Tasmanian should give me added benefits to do the same as many stand-up comedians have been doing for decades. I was born in the same Hospital, so there. Seriously though, there is nothing derogatory about this film whatsoever, and critics should expend their energies dialing talk-back-radio about their issues instead of knocking at people's doors just to yell abuse at them about the hue of their socks or some such nugatory.

I experienced the same sensation when I got into an argument with Dr. Gael Jennings on the Einstein Factor about Benny Hill. Matt Parkinson had expressed a recognition of the genius of Benny Hill, whereas Gael couldn't see that side of him for all the misogyny that clouded her perception on the matter, which is understandable but not necessary in this instance. Roll around in the Stinging Nettle and you'll never come to the conclusion that you can cook them up and eat them. They are are quite delicious and are about 40% protein. My point is that as Ezra Pound said "A genius is a man who sees ten things where an ordinary man see one", we should all be geniuses in that regard. So with Errol Flynn's Pianist I am trying to, in the scope of one minute worth of celluloid, see at least five or six sides to his complex character. I think Errol would have found the film funny.

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