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Friday 13 August 2010

Popcorn Taxi: World Premiere Screening of Lanfranchi's Memorial Discotheque

Popcorn Taxi's upcoming event - this Monday August 16 at Event Cinemas Bondi Junction, at 7pm - is a film which is part of the very fabric of inner city Sydney. Called Lanfranchi's Memorial Discotheque, here is what Popcorn Taxi say about the screening:

Lanfranchi's Memorial Discotheque was Sydney’s favourite artist-run space, situated on the second level of an inner city warehouse. Lanfranchi’s doubled as a residence and unauthorised performance venue for five years, growing from unlikely beginnings to become what director Neil Armfield described as a ‘major strand of our city’s cultural DNA’. The decaying warehouse hosted hundreds of shows and was an accessible starting point for Sydney’s emerging performers, artists and musicians. That is, until property development gets in the way and Lanfranchi’s residents are given 60 days to vacate the building.

The story of Lanfranchi’s is told through ex-residents such as Lucas Abela; an experimental musician who plays amplified sheets of broken glass with his mouth. A show he developed at Lanfranchi’s and has since performed in more than 40 countries. Others soon to be displaced include Dorkbot; a community of electrical engineering artists, the bastard cover band Winner, experimental theatre-comedy group Cab Sav and the Marrickville Jelly Wrestling Federation.

Despite the impending eviction, the parties roll on during the final days of Lanfranchi’s, until the building’s owners and police intervene. But with no replacement, and with Sydney’s vibrant underground art communities fractured, where will the city breed its cultural DNA?

And here is what Producer/Director Richard Baron says about his film:

"When Lanfranchi’s residents were given 60 days to pack up their venue and vacate the building, there seemed to be nothing taking its place. After 5 years as Sydney’s premier underground performance venue, I thought it would be undervaluing the legacy of the space if its memory were confined only to those who had experienced Lanfranchi’s first hand. After all, this was an artist-run space which was responsible for shaping much of the city’s cultural character, across so many artistic fields.

Armed with all the naivety and passion of a first-time director, I set out to document the last 2 months of events with the objective of producing a short documentary. Quickly realising the story could not be adequately told in a few minutes, the project developed into a 57 minute feature. The film was created from 50 hours of footage shot during the last days of Lanfranchi’s, in addition to archival footage captured by punters over the years.

Lanfranchi’s Memorial Discotheque is a guerilla-style documentary and my directorial debut. Produced over 2 ½ years, I shot, edited and mixed the feature with no funding or assistance from production companies.

The documentary is testament to the creative talent of Sydney’s artists, musicians and performers."

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