Artist Del Kathryn Barton pulled off a casting coup securing actress Cate Blanchett for her short film RED, but it was a couple of uncooperative, venomous eight-legged stars that posed one of her toughest challenges.
RED, a 15-minute surrealist film which will premiere at the Art Gallery of South Australia in late January as part of the 2017 Adelaide Festival program, is inspired by the sexual cannibalism of the Australian redback spider.
It’s a fascinating ritual, but also brutal: after or during sex, the male spider offers himself to his female as a post-coital meal, somersaulting into her mouth. If she’s not immediately hungry, she may bind his body and store it in her web as a snack for later.
Barton says she can’t remember when she first heard of the ritual – “but when I did, I thought, wow! That’s so insane and crazy and awesome all at once.
del kathryn barton Australia, born 1972 RED, 2016 high resolution digital video, 15 mins, patrons edition 2/3 (film still); Gift of the Art Gallery of South Australia Contemporary Collectors 2016, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide Images courtesy of the artist
“For me it spoke about the poetics of female power, which is central to my oeuvre anyway, but this seemed like a more uncompromising, brutal manifestation of that.
“And to me the female redback spider is such an extraordinary creature – so monumental and fierce-looking.”
Keen to nurture the professional relationships she had made while working on The Nightingale and the Rose – a film project inspired by Oscar Wilde’s story – the two-time Archibald Prize winner says she decided to embark on a new film with the redback at the core of the narrative.
She started out by filming macro footage of mating spiders – under a house in Queensland, in the middle of a storm. And although she eventually captured what she wanted, including the female luring her mate along the web, mating with him and then binding him, it didn’t happen quickly.
“It hasn’t been filmed before so that was pretty exciting but quite stressful, too, because you can’t exactly cue your talent … we were there for five very long days.”
Barton says that after she won $50,000 in funding through the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, her ambitions grew for RED. She decided to develop the project with live actors (Blanchett and Alex Russell) and a dancer (Sydney Dance Company member Charmene Yap).
When it came to casting the “archetypal mother”, the artist says Blanchett – whom she had painted with her family for her 2011 Archibald Prize entry, Mother (a portrait of Cate) – was top of her list. Barton has previously said she screamed out loud when she heard the actress had accepted the role.
“She could not have been more perfect … I always aim for the best and it worked,” she tells InDaily.
“My understanding of Cate is that she really welcomes those creative opportunities … she welcomes challenges and stepping into unknown creative spaces.”
Barton describes Blanchett’s role as “fierce, strong, beautiful, predatory and poetic all at once”.
“Cate does this extraordinary performance where she cuts herself out of a suit, so it’s like she’s freeing herself from a type of skin and her female energy explodes into the universe.”
There is little dialogue in the film, which is largely visual and sonic. Its intense energy is driven by composer Tom Schutzinger’s soundtrack of beats, which reflects RED’s themes of life and death, sex, female power and fertility.
“It takes you on a wild, varied ride,” Barton says of the music.
“It really comes at you and slaps you around, and the film really needs that.”
Red will be at the Art Gallery of South Australia from January 26 until April 30, 2017.
Hello everyone! We have great news to UK and ROI fans!
Giorgio Armani, a trading division of L’Oréal (UK) Limited, is promoting a contest in which the winner will be able to meet Cate Blanchett in NYC. The prize also includes a trip to New York City (4th and 5th February 2017) for 2 – including return flights from UK to New York, 3 nights’ hotel 5* accommodation with activities including tickets to see Cate Blanchett on stage, meals at top New York restaurants and a shopping session at the Giorgio Armani flagship store with $1,000 for the winner to spend on Armani products. Entries must be received on or no later than 23:59 UK time on 31 December 2016. The prize draw will take place by 5 January 2017 and the winner will be notified by email by 20 January 2017.
Thanks to @KoffeeWithKish on Twitter for sharing this information with us!
See how to enter to Sì to Light contest below.
Declare your Sì and you may be selected to meet Cate Blanchett in New York City.
Experience 2 days full of emotions, on February 4th & 5th, 2017.
How to participate*:
a) Post a photo representing your future ambition on https://saysi.facebook.armanibeauty.com and tell us your future ambition (your “Sì”);
b) Complete the mandatory parts of the form (first name, last name, email address, country, postal address and date of birth); and
c) Click on “Share my Sì” to add the post to their Facebook account
*Read all the terms and conditions to make sure you are eligible for this contest.
Good evening to you all! As we announced last week, on Sunday a documentary about Shakespeare went on air on Channel 1 (Russia). Cate Blanchett appeares amongst the various actors interviewed to realize this special. For now we only have the Russian dubbed version, and the title it’s a poor translation of the original. We hope someone will acquire the documentary in the English speaking version. In the meantime…enjoy!
Cate Blanchett, alongside with Joseph and Ralph Fiennes, and many other actors, is featured in a Russian documentary by Vladimir Pozner, realized to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Titled ???????. ?????????????? ???????, that Google translate as “Shakespeare Warning kings”, the film is centered on the relationship between the poet, the government and the nobles. The documentary will premiere on Sunday, December 11. Watch a clip below
The United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees released another video from the humanitarian visit that Cate Blanchett, with her husband and their youngest son, took in Jordan in the spring. The video, centered on a young couple who found love in the refugees camp, is part of the new campaign Nobody Left Outside.
Good morning! After three years from its IMAX debut (Nov. 2013), Journey to the South Pacific, a stunning documentary narrated by Cate Blanchett, will be screened again, in 3D, at the National Geografic Giant Screen Theatre in the Centre of Society and Industry (Columbus, Ohio) from November 23 to December 16, 2016 (Tickets here). For the new fans, and the old ones, here are the trailer and the behind the scenes videos. Enjoy!
Good morning! A mini update of the gallery: missing photos from Cate’s humanitarian visit in Lebanon (2015) and new behind-the-scenes images from the recording of What They Took With Them, part of the #Withrefugees Campaign. – via UNHCR
A new interview with Cate Blanchett is available on Marie Claire Australia November 2016. There is also a new promotional picture for Sì Le Parfum and we also recovered an old issue of Vanity Fair Italy. All the scans were added to our gallery. Enjoy!
Mon 1/23/2017: Manifesto World Premiere at Sundance Film Festival
Mon 1/23/2017: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Thu 2/2/2017: Manifesto Nordic Premiere at Göteborg Film Festival
Fri 3/10/2017: Song To Song World Premiere
Role: Narrator Screening: Hoglund Foundation Theatre, Perot Museum (Dallas, Texas) October 6, 2016 - March 10, 2017 || The Field Museum (Chicago, Illinois) October 7, 2016 - April 30, 2017
Plot: As we fly with the birds on their migrations, we discover the fascinating science of flight: how they manoeuvre simultaneously in flocks a million strong; manage immense journeys; navigate across whole continents and collaborate with other animals to find food.
Role: Thirteen roles Release: 2015-2018 Premiere (linear): January 23rd, Sundance Film Festival 2017 Screenings (complete): Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) May 28, 2016 - February 19, 2017 || Sprengel Museum (Hannover, Germany) June 5, 2016 - May 7, 2017 || Staatgalerie (Stuttgart, Germany) December 16, 2016 - May 14, 2017 || Villa Stuck Museum (Munich, Germany) February 16 - May 21, 2017 || Palais des Beaux-Arts (Paris, France) February 24 - April 29, 2017 || ‘O’ Space (Aarhus, Denmark) March - April 30, 2017 || Kino Der Kunst (Munich, Germany) April 19 - 23, 2017 || Casco Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Netherlands) June 4 - 25, 2017
Plot: A collage of artists’ manifestos, ultimately questioning the role of the artist in society today
Role: Anna Petrovna On stage: January 8th, 2017 - March 19th, 2017 Theatre: Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 West 47th Street, New York
Plot: The Present takes Chekhov’s Platonov and updates the setting to a country house in the mid-1990s. It follows the birthday celebration of the widow Anna Petrovna, where Mikhail Platonov gathers with his wife, former students and friends. While everything appears calm on the surface, tension, unresolved relationships and regret quickly rise.
Role: Amanda Status: Completed Release: March 17, 2017
Plot: In this modern love story set against the Austin, Texas music scene, two entangled couples — struggling songwriters and a music mogul Cook, and the waitress whom he ensnares — chase success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal.
Role: Hela Status: Post-production Release: November 3rd, 2017 (USA)
Plot: Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela
Role: Valka (voice) Status: Pre-production Release: March 1, 2019
Plot: As Hiccup fulfills his dream of creating a peaceful dragon utopia, Toothless' discovery of an untamed, elusive mate draws the Night Fury away. When danger mounts at home and Hiccup's reign as village chief is tested, both dragon and rider must make impossible decisions to save their kind.