Monday, 5 March 2012

First Look at New Jerusalem at ACMI

New Jerusalem
Indie-folk hero Will Oldham stars in New Jerusalem, a meditative neo-realist portrait of modern relationships, premiering at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image this April.

Returning from service in Afghanistan, Irish immigrant Sean (Colm O'Leary) lands in a small American town where he attempts to start anew.  Finding work in a local tyre shop, Sean is befriended by Ike (Oldham) who has all the energy and intensity of a man born again. A friendship slowly develops that is inexplicable to Sean but offers an anchor to civilian life.

Director Rick Alverson's sophomore film offers a piercing gaze on the certainty of personal beliefs and male bonds. 

"When conceiving of New Jerusalem, we pictured two men. One was resolute, filled with certainty, and found comfort in that unwavering position. But that certainty could only be sustained if it were confirmed and reflected in the objective world, in the eyes of another. The other was a man devoid of that position, unmoored and lacking the pillars of belief, community and belonging. His curiosity didn't care much for details, could barely hear words. He found himself pitted against a choice between freedom and confinement, between the comfort of an unreality and the stark, but true footing of the world," says Alverson.

ACMI Film Programmer Kristy Matheson says; "The screen presence of the two stars combined with Alverson's meditative neo-realist style makes for a beautifully rendered portrait of modern relationships."

Alverson's debut film The Builder (2010) starred O'Leary and featured music by Bon Iver. He is first and foremost recognised as a musician, with nine albums to his name, the most recent with his band Spokane. Alverson's partnership with O'Leary extends to co-writing both The Builder and New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem had its premiere at the 2011 Rotterdam International Film Festival.

New Jerusalem is Oldham's first leading role since staring in Kelly Reichardt's Old Joy (2006). The singer-songwriter performs under the moniker Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and is touring Australia in March.

New Jerusalem will screen as part of ACMI's First Look program from Friday 13 to Monday 16 April 2012.

Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
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