It was great to see so many people at the premiere screenings of the NFSA’s new 35mm prints of Love Serenade (Shirley Barrett, 1996) and The Last Days of Chez Nous (Gillian Armstrong, 1992) at the Sydney Film Festival last Saturday morning. The new 35mm prints were recently preserved as part of the NFSA’s Deluxe/Kodak Project and they looked fantastic on the big screen in the Art Gallery of New South Wales theatre.
The double-bill kicked off at 10:30am with Love Serenade (Winner of Camera D’Or in Cannes in 1996) and the audience thoroughly enjoyed re-visiting the black comedy – they laughed hysterically at the quirky and awkward scenes featuring Miranda Otto, Rebecca Frith and George Shevtsov (the loveable radio guru Ken Sherry!). Director Shirley Barrett expressed her happiness after seeing the new print, ‘It’s a wonderful feeling for me to re-visit Love Serenade – my first feature – after all these years, and to see the print looking so fresh and clean and beautiful.’
At 1pm The Last Days of Chez Nous session was a full-house, and for many in the audience it was an opportunity to see the film for the first time. Director Gillian Armstrong said, ‘It was a privilege to have The Last Days of Chez Nous selected by the NFSA to have a new preservation print made to be kept for posterity.’ Seeing the film again reminded Gillian of ‘how wonderful Helen Garner’s script was and how acute, both sad and funny, her observations of people and relationships was and still is’.