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Monday, 30 April 2018

On Limited Release - A new Australian documentary by Les McLaren & Annie Stiven LIFE IS A VERY STRANGE THING (2017)

Annie Stiven and Les McLaren spent 15 years in Papua New Guinea since the early 1970s working at various cultural institutions in Papua New Guinea and in Australian screen production across many genres.
Their five previous films made in Papua New Guinea observed cultural practice and cultural change and have featured in international festivals including in Paris, Amsterdam, Florence, New York and Rio de Janeiro: Pikizjaa, Kama Wosi, Namekas, Cowboy & Maria in Town(Winner Best Documentary, Sydney Film Festival), and Taking Pictures.

They produced the website Pacific Stories, Les wrote and directed the 3-part documentary series Viva Timor Leste!and Annie has recently completed a novel set in Oceania.

Their latest film focuses on one of their acquaintances from those days. They write: When we first met Frédéric, he was an ebullient teenager recording traditional music in remote villages of Papua New Guinea.  Nearly 40 years later we met him again in France: returned home, retired, divorced and with an ancient hunch-backed dog as his constant companion. 

Frederic (l) in Paris, Life is a Very Strange Thing
He’d lost none of his keenness or wit, and as he recounted his unlikely story we started shooting.  Over 2 years we followed his daily activities and encounters: in cafes, brocante shops and at lunch with neighbours, and we met three generations of the remarkable Duvelle family.
As filmmakers we are interested in how threads of history and culture, the personal and the political intersect.  With Frédéric and his family we found a unique prism for viewing these threads at a time of profound change.

The resulting film Life is a Very Strange Thing had its premiere at the 2017 Brisbane International Film Festival and is now starting a national tour of limited screenings at select venues. 

First up is Sydney on 17 May Palace Norton Street, Leichhardt, and on 23 May at the Roseville Cinema. 


 There is more information on the film’s website if you click here

 and you can watch a trailer of the film   if you click here

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