Film / Maggie Fooke’s Pleasure Domes

Melbourne / Aug 6th

Tue August 6th @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm AEST / $20.00 – $30.00

Join DADo and the Robin Boyd Foundation for an evening double feature screening of Maggie Fooke’s Pleasure Domes (1987) and Agnes Varda’s Du côté de la côte (1958), plus an introductory talk by Pleasure Domes Director, Maggie Fooke. 

Pleasure Domes (1987, 8 min) is an introspective look at the nature of the landscape and the human response to it. The reshaping of the St Kilda landscape into a Hollywood fantasy of the Riviera is reflected upon from the narrator’s balcony overlooking the bay. Rendered in dreamy hand-drawn animation, this short film beautifully illustrates how our perception of landscape is filtered through a set of constructs and is perhaps never truly direct. ‘Pleasure Domes’ was Maggie Fooke’s graduate short film, made whilst she was studying at Swinburne School of Film and Television, which later transferred to VCA Film and Television. The film was the first Australian animation to be invited to screen at the Cannes International Film Festival in 1988.

Du côté de la côte (‘Along the Coast’, 1958, 25 min) is one of Agnes Varda’s earliest films, a short documentary funded by the French Tourism Office to entice tourists to the azure waters of the French Riviera. Unlike a traditional travelogue, however, Varda cheekily reminds the prospective tourist (us the viewer) of the constructed nature of this particular paradise through the screen itself. 

Maggie Fooke was trained as an architect and later as a horticulturist and landscape architect. Her teaching and practice have been in architecture, public art, landscape architecture, documentary filmmaking and experimental animation. She studied animation at Swinburne in 1987 under John Bird and David Atkinson. A large part of Maggie’s life has been spent in local activism. For 7 years, 1987-1994, she fused a dedication to community and passion for filmmaking in her film Mandalay, a feature-length, cinema-verite documentary about the gentrification of St Kilda, her one-time home.

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