It is the age of digital culture. Never before has the moving image been so deeply integrated into our lives, and the world around us. As the digital clock moves closer to ticking over into another year, there is no grand chime. I find myself reflecting nonetheless, as we all do – not only on the importance of the moving image, but also on the incredible relevance of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), and the efforts of this institution where I so proudly work.
Last night I watched Spotlight, the new film from director Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor, Win Win) featuring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachael McAdams, and Liev Schreiber. It is a tour de force in filmmaking. A film about a groundbreaking story from an investigative journalism team that shocked a city, and the world, when it was published in the Boston Globe in 2002 is one of the most important pieces of cinema this century. It is noteworthy that to fully realize the potential of this story, which started out as a newspaper article, it was made into the moving image so as to have the greatest reach. I had an overwhelming sense of duty as the credits rolled. A sense of duty to do the best possible job I can at ACMI to promote the significance of the moving image as the most important channel of expression, storytelling, and reporting in today’s world.
ACMI’s output offers some of the most front-line art, film, and digital culture in the world. Our cutting-edge exhibitions (Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto, Orry-Kelly:Dressing Hollywood); perceptive film programs (Poles Apart, Essential Bergman); eclectic film festivals (Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, Melbourne Queer Film Festival); educational creative workshops (Make a Movie, Family Claymation), and digital culture commentary (ACMI Channel) provide world-leading insight into the possibilities of the moving image. In an industry that often becomes too commercial for its own good, ACMI consistently provides excellence, diversity, and education.
We have all had a life-enhancing experience with the moving image. In my time at ACMI I have had several. More than several…lots! I look forward, as we all do at ACMI, to celebrating, exploring, and promoting the moving image in all its forms with you again next year. If you want to see something, see it at ACMI.
Ben Haller ©2015