The Backlot Cinema Classics

– by David Morgan-Brown

As the name suggests, The Backlot Cinema is a tucked away venue, yet still easily accessible, hardly a five minute walk from the Leederville strip. This new cinema is already bringing wonders to Perth with their contribution to the Fringe World Festival this year, a nifty selection of cinema classics to be screened over the next few weeks, and it’s a fantastic list of movies worth revisiting (or seeing for the first time) on the big screen.

Starting off with the classic of classics, Citizen Kane, which is widely regarded as the best film ever. An influence on just about every film released today, this 1941 film took every trick in the book to make a powerful statement on the capitalist and power-hungry giant (based on real-life mogul and newspaper tycoon, William Randolph Hearst) and reign it into an emotional and relatable sentiment, the twist at the end of the film a gut-punch sure to give anyone an uneasy feeling of nostalgia.

One of the leading lists that determine the “greatest” films ever made, Sight and Sound, had placed Citizen Kane at the top spot for fifty years … until in 2012 it got dethroned by Vertigo, which also got a screening last Saturday. The landmark film about a detective investigating, and obsessing, over an old friend’s wife has a wonderfully cinematic look at a time when colour film had properly matured and another incredible booming score by Hitchcock regular Bernard Hermann (all of this fabulously and deliriously shown off in the opening credits sequence), which looked and sounded spectacular on the big screen … at least that’s what I assume.

Unfortunately, I missed these two films I’d already seen (but on the small screens) as I only discovered this festival programme before managing to catch the sci-fi masterpiece, Blade Runner, worthy of gracing the cinema screen – its beautifully and chaotically cluttered environments haphazardly splashing different cultures and genres, tied together by Jordan Cronenworth’s beyond-cyber-punk-before-it-even-existed tech noir cinematography. This goes hand in hand with the incredible Vangelis music, a gloomy and futurist synth score that sits in the transitional line between the organic and the artificial.

To make sure no more folks like myself miss out on seeing some cinematic classics at Perth’s best new cinema, be sure to check out Taxi Driver this Friday at 6:30pm, with Close Encounters of the Third Kind on the next day at 1:30pm and Seven Samurai on Sunday at 1:30pm, with A Clockwork Orange, Sunset Boulevard, Apocalypse Now, The Terminator, Annie Hall, and Rebel Without a Cause to follow. Damn, I’m gonna be so broke by the time this Fringe Festival finishes.


Check out the session times here: http://www.fringeworld.com.au/program/event/088ab328-6149-48ff-ad83-64ac09c51e8d/

And check out more about The Backlot cinema here: http://www.thebacklotstudios.com/perth/


Picture credit: Campaign Brief

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