Sunday, November 27, 2005

Slightly shellshocked Sunday

What a week. Ack. I can barely bring myself to think about it, let alone write about it.

Everything built towards Thursday: I watched Kubrick films, read a Kubrick bio, browsed Kubrick-related websites, all in preparation for 3RRR's three-hour outside broadcast live from the Australian Centre for the Moving Image on Thursday morning, where the exhibition Stanley Kubrick: Inside the mind of a visionary filmmaker opened that night.

Got to ACMI early, chatting to various wonderful RRR staffers who were getting the equipment set up, running through the interview schedule with ACMI staff, and generally getting nervous about the show.

To give you an idea of how seriously I was taking the broadcast, I scripted all of my intros and questions, which I usually just make up on the spot from a couple of brief notes. Not today though, I didn't want to leave things to chance (which meant that at least one of my interviews was a bit stiff, but more of that later).

9am rolled around, and we opened with the thunderous chords of Strauss' 'Thus Spake Zarathrustra' from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and we were away.

I interviewed Maja Kepper first, from the Deutsches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt, one of the co-curators of the exhibition. Then came one of the interviews I was most nervous and excited about: with Christiane Kubrick, Stanley's widow. She was utterly charming, warm, open and friendly. Hopefully I'll have a transcript of the interview posted here in a few days time.

Actor Malcolm McDowell was supposed to be next, but the publicist said he was running late after a big night on Wednesday. They also said he was grumpy, and had already cancelled a couple of interviews. We rescheduled quickly.

My next guest was poet and reviewer Alicia Sometimes, from RRR's Aural Text program, who discussed a couple of recent Kubrick biographies; then I spoke with Jan Harlan, Kubrick's brother-in-law and the executive producer of several of his films. This was the interview I was least happy with, as my pre-prepared questions were off the mark. Still, one flat interview out of six isn't too bad.

Paul Harris from RRR's Filmbuffs Forecast was next, and a charming conversation it was. Finally, at 11.40am, Malcolm McDowell came on the show. To say I was nervous and excited was an understatement. After all, this is a man who's appeared in 142 films and television programs, including Lindsey Anderson's fantastic If..., one of my favourite films of all time.

From what his publicist had said earlier I was expecting him to be a bit cranky, but he was delightful: funny, frank and outgoing. There'll be a transcript of the interview available shortly, including the surreal moment when I swallowed a fly on air while thanking him for coming on the show!

After the Kubrickian excesses of the morning, I raced home and then down to A Bar Called Barry in Collingwood, where I met up with fellow DJ's Helen and Peter, so we could get the decorations up for Q + A's 10th birthday: we finished at about 4.30. I went home, showered and changed, and headed back to ACMI for a quick drink at the formal exhibition launch, then headed home to have dinner with Helen before we started work.

The birthday was a huge success: one of the best nights ever at Q + A. We had a full house an hour after we opened, and half an hour after that, a queue of 250 people waiting to get in. There was one point during the night where I felt like I was on E: I had this overwhelming sense of goodwill and pride in what we'd created, a queer club that plays rock music and welcomes all kinds of queers, and which has become a Melbourne institution. I got to bed around 5am, completely knackered.

On Friday afternoon I had to facilitate the innaugural Youth Access Forum at the National Gallery of Victoria, which is a group of about 12 young people who'll help brainstorm ideas and generate discussion about ways the gallery can engage with a youth audience. Despite being braindead I think I did an ok job.

Next it was out to RRR in West Brunswick, where I met with the station manager Kath Letch to discuss my hosting the Breakfasters program over summer, while the regular team take some time off. This will mean getting up at 4am Monday to Friday for about six weeks, which is going to be a challenge, but it will also be a lot of fun. Plus it's a paid gig, which is even better!

Kath also told me that I didn't get the Program Manager's job, although apparently it was right down to the line between myself and the successful applicant, which was very flattering to learn. We also talked about a couple of other projects for next year, more of which later.

As a sign of how exhausted I was by Friday afternoon though, I picked up my tickets for the Meredith Music Festival while I was at the station, only to put them down somewhere and lose them! I was completely braindead. This is a potential disaster, but hopefully the tickets will turn up at the station somewhere, probably right where I left them, on a table or something...


Saturday I caught the train down to Geelong, as I'd been invited to present a 15 talk at the National Ethnic & Multicultural Broadcasters Council annual conference. Frustratingly, I arrived to discover that my 15 minutes had been cut back to 5 as they were running significantly overtime. A two hour round trip to race through some key points about presenting a arts and cultural issues on community radio? What a joke. To say I was frustrated would be an understatement.

I also had to leave as soon as I was done, because I had to get to Steve and Alicia's engagement party: two old friends who've lived together for eight years and who are finally getting married. I also made it to a wild west themed party at another friend's place in Carlton, but the combination of being drunk and exhausted meant I wasnt much of a conversationalist, and I left after about half an hour.

Finally, sleep. Much needed.

Today is Sunday, and I'm still brainfried. There's shitloads of things that I should be doing, but I think I'm just going to vegetate all day. The most strenuous thing I think I'll do, apart from update this blog of course, is write a list of all the things I want to do this week. After that, I think it's time to lounge around on the couch and watch a couple of DVD's with all my critical functions switched firmly off.

Hmm, sounds like a dumb horror movie or similarly brainless Hollywood flick is in order...


David Prater said...

i felt exhausted just reading that. how was steve and alicia's? i feel so sad missing the wedding.

ekstasis said...

my friend said he talked to you at the Kubrik thing - he kinda works for acmi - or is contracted by them or something...
small world