Who Killed the KLF?, filmmaker Chris Atkins’ controversy-sparking documentary about the legendary British electronic act, will have its Australian premiere in Melbourne next month, and also have a limited screening in Sydney in September.
The film will screen twice as part of this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival, with screenings at the Capitol on Saturday, 13th August and Hoyts on Friday, 19th August. In Sydney, the doco will be shown at Sydney’s Golden Age Cinema on Friday, 2nd September.
Watch the Trailer for Who Killed the KLF?
Atkins’ unauthorised film attempts to provide a portrait of The KLF, who pioneered the genre of stadium house and were notorious for stunts like firing machine gun blanks into an audience at the 1992 BRIT Awards, and burning one million pounds sterling in 1994.
Archival footage and old interviews with band members Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond are interspersed with dramatic reconstructions of some of the band’s biggest public actions, interviews with the likes of Paul Oakenfold and Carl Cox, and snippets of the KLF’s music used under the fair dealing copyright defence.
The band were initially opposed to the film, with Cauty likening the project to an “archaeological dig through the past” in a 2016 interview. Lawyers for the band attempted to block its release on the grounds of copyright infringement for the snippets of songs used. Atkins, in response, pointed to the band’s own history, acknowledging their heavy use of uncleared samples on early tracks.
In a piece he wrote for The Guardian in April, Atkins indicated that Cauty and Drummond might have changed their feelings on the documentary. According to him, he met up for a coffee with the pair earlier this year, with Drummond telling him, “We’ve seen it and we love it.”
Who Killed the KLF? is one of many music-related films screening as part of this year’s MIFF, which runs between August 4th and 21st in cinemas, and 11th to 28th online. See the full program here.