Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hot doc 'Night' captures the magic of Kings Cross

While the purse-mouthed complain that "people come to Kings Cross to just party on the streets" (Police community meeting last week), a hot doc on SBS last night showed fabulous footage of lovers, laughers and live-wires on the night streets of Kings Cross. In gorgeously honest interviews people revealed why they need night life to release their inner poet, to let go, to be themselves -- therapy for the constrictions of work, daily life and the suburbs.

Night presented an alternative and more realistic media view of Kings Cross than the usual footage of fights, syringes and shootings of the Ibrahim siblings. This is what the majority of people experience.

Night further crystallised for me why I live here, why I need to bathe in the river of international life that flows through this place and why I defend it against the squelchers who enjoy keeping logbooks of noise events more than getting a life.

About 25% of the doc was shot within a few hundred metres of my house. I had a small epiphany as a woman described her dreams of flying over the city at night, circling the Centrepoint tower. As she spoke, an aerial camera circled the tower while, watching TV in bed, I could see the real thing out my window . I fancied briefly that I could see her flying in the night sky outside. The camera then flew up William Street across the big Westfield neons which I could see out the other window. It was as if my walls had dissolved and I was airborne myself, shades of childhood novels like The Wishing Chair but also of the Leunig cartoon in which people watch a sunset on TV while the real thing is happening outside!

The doc is a worthy companion to The Glittering Mile shot in 1964. I need to get a copy! Congratulations to Lawrence Johnston and SBS.

From the SBS TV guide:
10.00  Night
Hot Docs - A stunning and cinematic documentary which celebrates Australia at night. From director Lawrence Johnston who made the internationally award winning documentary Eternity, this film shows society in all its forms, people and places, urban and rural, and explores the universal nature of night and how we experience night. It is brought together by people from all walks of life telling their stories of what the night means to them, the pleasure and the pain, in reality and fantasy, work and leisure, past and present. It shows people from all cultures going about their daily lives under the darkness of the wondrous nature of night and juxtaposes the amazing differences in our varied existence between dusk and the dawn of a new day(Commissioned by SBS, in English) 

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