POPCORN TAXI presents DARK AGE w/ QUENTIN TARANTINO
Hayden Orpheum Theatre, Cremorne
4 August 2009.
Quentin Tarantino – enthusiast, eccentric, genius. Introduced on this particular night as a rock star of the film industry and bowing out, no less, with a slam down of the mic onto the soft Orpheum carpet, it’s a testament to Tarantino’s untamable nature and general unruliness. On this particular night, Tarantino played Australian film patron, and man with the goods, as he coughed up for one night only his own personal 35 mm print of Arch Nicholson’s 1987 Ozploitation croc flick Dark Age – a film not screened before in Australia, even after its completion some 22 years previous. The night was mediated by Popcorn Taxi, who in the past have been responsible for presentations with the likes of Baz Luhrmann, Danny Boyle and Richard Linklater, to name just a few. Founded in 1999, Popcorn Taxi runs with the philosophy to close the gaps between audience, films and filmmakers – but on this particular night, I think most attended for bragging rights and a few deep-belly laughs.
Spinning a vast web of his own enthusiasm, Tarantino informed the audience of just how he came about the Dark Age print and his very serious suspicion that he may own, not only a print, but the actual master print itself! He follows this story by highlighting the best and worst bits to watch for in the coming film. In particular, he describes quite vividly the appalling nature of the first shot of Numunwari (the killer croc), adding that he’d considered editing it out, except it was (possibly) the only copy left! He also requested quite cheekily, that once this shot had passed and giggles been expelled, disbelief should be suspended for the remainder of the film.
Once the film concluded, Tarantino reappeared to host Q and A with stars, John Jarratt and Nikki Coghill – neither of who’d seen the film prior to the night. Both agreed Dark Age was better than they’d expected, which is a worry considering what we’re working with. Jarratt was the talkative of the two and quite the funny man, whilst Tarantino looked visibly nervous during this part of the night. It didn’t however, stop him adding his eager two cents every so often. Most importantly, the discussion covered amongst other things, initial distribution complications and also the revision of Dark Age’s release in light of more recent attention brought to the film by 2008’s Ozploitation documentary, Not Quite Hollywood.
So keep your eyes peeled kiddies; this film may be in your grubby little fingers, sooner than you’d think. For those of you that missed out, all I can say is, “Take that suckers! You should’ve bought your tickets earlier.” This was a night that was always going to be great value.
Check out Corine’s review of Dark Age elsewhere on Music Feeds.