VARDOS ON FILM
Producer/ director Ruth Cullen and Australian artist Vali Myers were friends for over 20 years, many of which were spent living in the Chelsea Hotel. In this delightful documentary, producer/director Ruth captures Vali at her studio centred in the heart of Melbourne. It’s an “at-home”, only this home and its inhabitant are unlike any that you’ve seen before. Vali divided her time between Melbourne and her wild valley in Southern Italy where she lived for over 30 years without electricity or running water.
When in Australia, Vali could be found either at her studio or the dingo farm belonging to her friend Bruce Jacobs’ who has almost single-handedly fought to preserve the pure bred dingo from extinction. Vali’s art is infused with her identification with nature and animals feature prominently in her work.
In Melbourne there were frequent visitors to her studio. Friends such as Romani poet Lee Fuhler and the musical group Vardos whose traditional gypsy music from eastern Europe provides an exhuberant backdrop to the action. Intertwined with the day to day activity are her drawings – dreamy, sensual, visions sometimes severe but always delicate and painstakingly composed. Each drawing could take anything from months to years to complete and originals of her work are in collections all over the world. Ruth Cullen’s 20 year friendship with the artist is evident in the ease with which Vali opens herself up to the camera. This is no hagiography but an intimate and revealing look at a fascinating life and work.
|ENTERTAINING COUNTESS DRACULA
Written by Sofia Chapman, directed by Nathan Godkin
Screenings: Melbourne Underground Film Festival, Westgarth Film Festival : Ode to the Silent Era, the New York Independent Film and Video Festival and Mediawave Festival, Hungary.
Starring Natalia Axenova as the Countess and Peter Hosking as her evil nemesis Count Thurzo.
Produced by Sofia Chapman and Alanya van de Wiel. Photos by Justin Batchelor. Soundtrack recorded by Phil Egan at PBS FM with Alana Hunt, violin, Sofia Chapman, accordion and Melinda McCarthy, double bass.
A short film by Annemarie Szeleczky with music played by Sofia and Alana from VARDOS
Short animation - drawn in sand on glass with mixed media and cut-outs and shot with a digital camera.
At the 2002 World Masters Games, one athlete will do anything to win, and his grandson will do anything to help.