This is the time of year in Perth when the weather is warm, people start winding down for the holidays and migrate outdoors. With this comes the excitement of the Perth Festival, which to me is one of the arts highlights of the year in Perth.
The Perth Festival officially runs from 10 Februray-3 March, 2012. Tickets are now on sale, and some popular events have already sold out (Bon Iver and Death Cab for Cutie tickets are, unsurprisingly, amongst these). But there are still plenty of tickets available and so many other events to see and participate in, some of which are free.
The Perth Festival website has all the details, including a full calendar and all the genres of events including film, dance, literature, theatre, music, visual arts, opera and many more. But these are my personal picks when it comes to the three genres on which I spend the most money purchasing tickets – film, dance and literature:
The Lotterywest Festival film screenings have already begun and will run through till 15 April. Here are a few I’ve bookmarked to see myself:
Director Miranda July, USA/Germany
I dare you to resist the charm of Miranda July in this sweet tale about modern life and relationships, which also includes a cat (my kind of film).
Un Amour de Jeunesse/Goodbye, First Love
Director Mia Hansen-Løve, France/Germany
I love films that explore first love and coming-of-age stories with depth and complexity. So if this is your type of genre too, this film looks rather good.
Director Joseph Cedar, Israel
I have to preface this by saying I’m both an academic and Israeli-born, so I’m pretty much a sucker for this film that satirically explores the academic world in Israel through a competitive father and son relationship. Plus I know the trauma of footnotes all too well.
The Deep Blue Sea
Director Terence Davies, USA/UK
I can’t go to a film festival without viewing a classy World War II film. And if that film also happens to include Rachel Weisz, well then, I’m hooked.
Lucinda Childs Dance Company
Choreography by Lucinda Childs, Music by Philip Glass, Film by Sol LeWitt
This is one of those legendary postmodern dance pieces associated with some of the biggest names in modern dance and music. I wouldn’t miss this for the world.
Ballet at The Quarry
West Australian Ballet
Ballet at The Quarry is a bit of a West Australian dance institution. There really isn’t anything nicer than watching ballet under an open summer sky, with a picnic laid out before you.
The Perth Writers Festival is something that as a writer, I look forward to the most. While I generally want to go and see everything on offer, this year I’m particularly looking forward to hearing Germaine Greer speak about Eco-Feminism at The University of Western Australia, my own “home-turf”. Other guest speakers at the Writers Festival include Barbara Trapido, Jo Nesbø, Chetan Bhagat, David Levithan, Janette Turner-Hospital, Justice Michael Kirby, Marieke Hardy, Tom Keneally, Frank Moorhouse, Peter FitzSimons, Ray Martin, Stuart Littlemore and Michael Robothan. Can you feel my excitement?
I’ve only scratched the surface here, so I suggest you hop onto the Perth Festival website to check everything out in more detail.