Wake in Fright (1971)

// Surprise Chef




Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne

Hear My Eyes brings its sonic reinterpretation services to MIFF2024, presenting the classic Australian film Wake In Fright. Local soul seekers Surprise Chef will take the stage therewith, tasked with broadcasting new frames of reference over revitalised imagery. Thusly heard anew, but also seen anew, this unique screening doubles as the Worldwide premier of the film’s 4K restoration.
"It left me speechless"

Martin Scorsese

Occupying a dark cupboard of the white Australian psyche, the 1971 film Wake In Fright hardly needs introduction. A film coated in a slick of sweat and the stink of stale beer, Canadian director Ted Kotcheff captured a disquieting version of the interior of this country that is as hard to look away from as it is to watch. The claustrophobia of endless open space and small town minds serve as backdrop for an outsider’s tightrope walk on razor - thin divides: between urban/rural, hypermasculinity/homosexuality, larrikin/brute, human/animal. The descent into chaos is paved with green and gold.

Surprise Chef’s music is based on evoking mood; their vivid arrangements utilize time and space to build soundscapes that invite the listener into their world. Already taking their cues from 70s film scores, Coburg’s best loved five-piece cinematic-soul-super-group are the obvious choice to lend Wake In Fright some new suede loafers. But don’t expect to know what to expect, because this groovy ensemble is huddled in their soul kitchen week-in-week-out cooking up hitherto untraversed soundscapes in response to the surreal swill of Wake In Fright.