I'm very much in denial about the Melbourne International Film Festival which is currently in progress in this fair city. Over the past fifteen or so years it has been my main cinematic pleasure dome. I've been lucky enough to travel to many of the worlds great film festivals, but Melbourne is and will always be, my number one. There have been years where I have gone into lock down for the two weeks and seen around 40 films. Thats between 3-5 a day for the duration. Bliss! But this year I'm embarrassed to say I haven't even had a chance to leaf through the programme. So wrong! I've just been way too busy. Which is good and bad all wrapped up into one.
So instead I have been trying to catch up on a few 'at home' screenings. Working my way through some of the 1500 before I die. And just like a film festival proper I lucked upon an amazing documentary. The other night in the wee small hours I watched Carts Of Darkness and it was so worth missing an hour of sleep for. You can watch the whole thing below. Or perhaps just wet your appetite with the trailer.
On the surface the film is about a bunch of homeless guys who have developed their own extreme sport where they ride shopping trolleys down super steep hills. But of course like all great films, it's about so much more.
The film is directed by Murray Siple who also features in the film. I don't want to say to much about this as his presence is one of the more surprisingly wonderful aspects of 'Carts', particularly the final sequence of the film which in it's own surreal way is one of the most uplifting and life affirming endings to a film I've ever seen.
I read an interview with Murray today where he discussed the way he approached the film. "I want to make the kind of films where I'm involved beyond directing and actually a part of it. Where I'm not just an outsider pretending it's something cool to document... Make the film "with" them not "about" them." this kind of filmmaking, where it's an immersive experience for everyone involved is such an amazing way of making films, especially documentary. On a personal and professional level it's something I crave.