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Film gets dressed up this summer

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Film lovers and fashionistas will love the National Film and Sound Archives’ week-long program celebrating the power of costumes and cinema

The National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) will explore the magic of costumes on film with a week-long line up of screenings, talks and special guests from Saturday 6 to Sunday 14 January.

Costume Week is part of a season of events curated to complement Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits, the exhibition presented in partnership by the National Film and Sound Archive and the National Portrait Gallery (10 November – 4 March 2018). The program has been designed to celebrate the fashion featured in the exhibition–several iconic costumes are on display in Starstruck, including the red satin gown worn by Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge! and Miranda’s white dress from Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Miranda’s white dress from Picnic at Hanging Rock will be on display.

On 8 January, AACTA award-winning costume designer Judith Dorsman will introduce a screening of Caddie (1976), ahead of a discussion on designing for the screen. While on 9 January, Oscar-nominated costume designer Anna Senior will present a screening of Bruce Beresford’s 1977 film The Getting of Wisdom.

Filmmaker Richard Lowenstein (He Died with a Felafel in His Hand, I’m only looking: the best of INXS) will share his journey from the world of music videos to movies in a free in-conversation event on 13 January, which will precede a screening of Dogs in Space. Written and directed by Lowenstein, the film stars INXS frontman Michael Hutchence and focuses on the punk scene in 1970s Melbourne.

Michael Hutchence and Saskia Post in Dogs in Space.

The NFSA’s restoration of The Cheaters (1929) will have its premiere at Arc cinema on 14 January. The silent film – which follows the daughter of a professional grifter who falls for the son of one of his victims – was digitised as part of the NFSA Restores program, which brings new life to Australia’s cinema icons. The screening will feature a live musical accompaniment. A dress from the film can be found on display at the Starstruck exhibition.

The Costume Week program also features screenings of beloved Australian films known for their eye-catching costuming, including Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Dressmaker, Moulin Rouge! and The Sapphires.

Other highlights

Archetypes and fashion

NFSA curator Dr Jenny Gall will explain how costumes are used in movies to create archetypes that tell us about ourselves.

The Film Colourist at work

NFSA curator Nathan Smith looks at the role of the film colourist and the Director of Photography in helping a director bring their vision to life.

Women of Empire 1914-1919 exhibition

Adventurers, campaigners, ambulance drivers, nurses, doctors and long-suffering mothers are brought to life in the clothes worn by such plucky women during WWI.

Vintage fashion rumble

Dressing Australia, the Museum of Australian Costume, has teamed up with vintage clothing sellers to offer special sales of period dresses and other fashion. From 2-3pm daily, with a special sale on Sunday 14 January.

For more information visit  Want to win a Costume Week season pass (valued at $60 each)? Drop us a line and tell us which costume you’re dying to see! Entries close 5pm, Friday 12 January, 2017. Winners will be notified via return email.

Want more reasons to visit the NFSA? Rediscover it here, and find out what else is happening around town here.

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