Richard Watts has been on our guest wishlist since about five minutes after we came up with the concept of Hyphenates, so we’re pretty excited to end 2014 with him. He is, after all, the busiest arts journalist we know, and we’re still not entirely convinced there isn’t a fleet of Richard Watts Clones out there covering the Australian arts scene from every angle imaginable.
If this theory is correct, then we’re delighted to have one of the Clones joining us. If you’re somehow not familiar with his work, Richard will this Thursday celebrate a full decade as the host of Triple R’s SmartArts, he is the National Performing Arts Journalist at ArtsHub, he was the Artistic Director of Express Media for five years, and spent seven years on the board of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, including three years as chair. He has been involved in the programming of numerous festivals, including Next Wave, the National Young Writers’ Festival, and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.
So which filmmaker has Richard opted to talk about?
Drumroll please: it’s US indie director Gregg Araki!
Araki was one of the biggest names in the New Queer Cinema movement, with films such as Three Bewildered People in the Night (1987), The Long Weekend (O’ Despair) (1989), The Living End (1992) and Totally F***ed Up (1993) making his name on the festival circuit.
He reached a wider audience with 1995’s cult film The Doom Generation, and is probably best known for his 2004 film Mysterious Skin, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michele Trachenberg and Elisabeth Shue. This year, he made White Bird in a Blizzard, with Shailene Woodley and Eva Green.
What is it about this filmmaker that Richard so admires, and why should all good cinephiles be more familiar with Araki’s name? You’ll have to listen in on December 31 to find out!