Movies have saved my sanity

Written by Wendy Squires

IN times of crisis, there is no better escape than in to the world of film. In the loooong months of lockdown in Melbourne, I would estimate I have spent most of it transfixed to a screen, my small world opening up to the infinite possibilities’ cinema allows.

I may have been restricted to a five kilometre radius from my home (which, when living in Port Phillip, usually entails a rather large slab of that space being the bay), but I have travelled to the future and back in time daily. I have explored foreign countries and experienced other exotic lifestyles. I have white knuckled through car chases, screamed at serial killers and fallen in love (via proxy) with swoon-worthy heroes innumerable times.

In other words, movies have saved my sanity.

And while I may have missed the crinkle of the choc top wrapper, the alluring perfume of fresh popcorn, and the shared sensation of riding a plot with others, their laughs, tears and fears echoing my own, I have been grateful for the portals in to the fresh and unknown cinema has allowed. It has been an escape from my motionless new normal to fast paced worlds where there is more excitement in life than waiting for Uber Eats to arrive.

Yet while I have enjoyed my vicarious voyages into the worlds of others, what has been missing is a look in to my own, the unique stories from our city and the relevance they impart. I am looking forward to our own festival showcasing the streets I walk and the places I inhabit along with insights of others.

After binge watching enough Nordic noir I almost have an accent, I look forward to some Aussie voices, humour and perspective. I am interested to see the streets I walk being inhabited by others on film; to relate to my world through the eyes of others, to have my mind challenged and my heart warmed by the creative insights of others.

The St Kilda Film Festival is unique in that is promotes Australian film, giving up and comings a chance to showcase their ideas along with more established creatives. And as no movie is over 30 minutes in length, a night of cinema isn’t confined to one plot but many.

It will be fascinating to see how Covid-19 lockdown has inspired the next crop of film makers and how the year everyone wants to forget will be remembered.