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'The Afterlight' Screening and In-Conversation Session

This new film only exists as a single 35mm print, which deteriorates at each and every screening until it will completely fade away.
By Sarah Ward
August 15, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
August 15, 2022
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Thanks to the huge array of streaming services available at the mere press of a button, as well as the seemingly non-stop array of new movies hitting them each and every month, it's easy to forget that films don't always last forever. The very medium of 35mm film itself doesn't, in fact — it deteriorates, which is why restored and remastered versions of old classics, and shiny 4K digital transfers, are such a big deal in cinephile circles.

Here's a movie that won't ever grace a DVD, a streaming queue or even get digitised, however: The Afterlight by Fear Itself and Beyond Clueless filmmaker Charlie Shackleton. It's 100-percent designed to only screen on 35mm, and only exists as one single print. And, that means that it degrades every time it's shown, and will one day fade away to the point it can no longer be played.

Accordingly, getting to see The Afterlight isn't an ordinary trip to the cinema. It's a rare one-off and a true once-in-a-lifetime experience. It's also what's on offer at AGNSW, for free, for one afternoon only from 2pm on Saturday, August 20.

Arriving in Brisbane fresh from playing MIFF, the film will screen just once, with Shackleton in attendance for an in-conversation session afterwards.

And if you're wondering what The Afterlight is actually about, it's a cinematic collage featuring clips of actors who are now dead but will always live on on celluloid — although not on this strip of celluloid once it disappears.

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