ACMI presents Playing Under the Influence and Cinemix

Press release from ACMI

As part of Melbourne Music Week, from 19-26 November, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) presents some of Melbourne’s finest musicians – Midnight Juggernauts, Tim Rogers, Mick Harvey, Henry Wagons and Vincent Vendetta – in a series of intimate screenings and live events exploring the relationship between film and music.

In the program Playing Under the Influence, four musicians select and discuss the film that’s had the greatest impact on their sound, demonstrating that music’s intersection with the moving image goes well beyond video clips and soundtracks. Taking the audience on a personal journey through the artist’s relationship to film all screenings will be followed by a Q&A.

On Saturday 19 November, Mick Harvey, solo artist and former member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, focuses his sights on the London Jazz scene of the 60s for a rare screening of All Night Long (1962).

A smoky and sensual re-telling of the Shakespearean classic Othello, the film tells the story of an ambitious jazz drummer who, over the course of an evening, tries to destroy the relationship between an interracial couple.

Providing a snap shot of the social problems facing London in 1962, All Night Long combines stark black and white cinematography with sharp costumes, and features cameo appearances and performances by jazz masters Charles Mingus, Dave Brubeck, Tubby Hayes, Bert Courtley and John Dankworth.

On Sunday 20 November, local music legend and You Am I front-man Tim Rogers selects a screening of Billy Liar (1963), a classic of British cinema from Oscar winning director John Schlesinger.

Billy Fisher is an undertaker’s assistant who sells “funeral furniture” but his dreams can’t be confined to his dreary day job. In his own world, Billy is literally a king, elevated way above his real social standing. His fantasies have earned him the nickname ‘Billy Liar’.

A film that provides sharp social commentary on subjects as far ranging as community expectations, advertising, family life and authority, Billy Liar features remarkable performances from Tom Courtenay in the title role and Julie Christie as a kindred free spirit.

On Thursday 24 November, charismatic neo-country front-man Henry Wagons (Wagons) curates a screening of Dead Man (1995) by the master of contemporary cinema, Jim Jarmusch.

After barely surviving a gun fight, William Blake (Johnny Depp) is thrust onto the American frontier. Befriended by a native American named Nobody (Gary Farmer), William embarks on a physical and spiritual journey where both violence and compassion are never far away.

Marking a turning point for independent cinema, Dead Man features a cast of A-list outsiders including Iggy Pop, Crispin Glover and Robert Mitchum (in his final film), and a haunting score by Neil Young.

On Saturday 26 November, Midnight Juggernauts front-man Vincent Vendetta curates a screening filled with blood and gore with George A Romero’s classic zombie flick, Dawn of the Dead (1978).

In the aftermath of a Zombie plague, a group of hapless survivors find themselves holed up in a shopping mall forced to confront their own prejudices and power struggles as they try to escape the zombies.

With the aid of make-up master Tom Savini, and a much emulated 70s synth soundtrack by Italian outfit Goblin, Dawn of the Dead became a genre defining film. Rarely seen, the Dario Argento European cut (containing even more Goblin) will be screened at ACMI.

“What’s great about Playing Under the Influence is how personal the film choices are” says ACMI’s Head of Film Programs Richard Sowada. “It’s a rare opportunity to be able to get under the skin of these artists and experience them and their sound from a new dimension.”

As part of the Cinemix program, on Friday 25 November, local synth-pop trio Midnight Juggernauts will perform its own brand of kaleidoscopic jams to accompany selections of the rare British newsreel series, Look at Life.

From 1959 until 1969, British entertainment company the Rank Organisation commissioned dozens of newsreels to reflect life of the time. Traversing the jet age, new advances in science and the swinging 60s, these films represent a fascinating snapshot of a moment in time, but with a firm eye on the future.

In a one show only music and film experience, Midnight Juggernauts play Look at Life will feature the band performing an original live score consisting of samples, loops and inspired improvisation. The event will also be accompanied by live narration.

“Cinemix is a whole other beast,” says Richard Sowada. “When the Juggernauts came to the table with the ‘Look at Life’ series concept, it was just impossible to resist. It’s just such a strange and unique idea – it’s perfect for ACMI.”

Playing Under the Influence and Cinemix are presented in association with Melbourne Music Week from 19-26 November at ACMI in Melbourne. Tickets are on sale now through


All Night Long (unclassified 18+)

Saturday 19 November, 7.00pm, ACMI Cinemas

Screening and Q&A with Mick Harvey

Billy Liar (M)

Sunday 20 November, 4.00pm, ACMI Cinemas

Screening and Q&A with Tim Rogers

Dead Man (R)

Thursday 24 November, 7.00pm, ACMI Cinemas

Screening and Q&A with Henry Wagons (Wagons)

Dawn of the Dead (R)

Saturday 26 November, 7.00pm, ACMI Cinemas

Screening and Q&A with Vincent Vendetta (Midnight Juggernauts)


Midnight Juggernauts play Look at Life (unclassified all ages)

Friday 25 November, 8.00pm, ACMI Cinemas

Screening with live score performed in the cinema