Adrian Wootton: Illustrated Film Talks 2022

Presented by MIFF 37°South Market & Accelerator Lab, Adrian Wootton OBE returns exclusively to Melbourne for another series of his acclaimed Illustrated Film Talks this year focusing on Baz Luhrmann, Cher, Elvis Presley and David Bowie.

A former Director of the London Film Festival, British Film Institute and the UK’s National Film Theatre, Wootton is CEO of Film London & The British Film Commission, Director of the Crime Scene Festival, and a program advisor to the Venice Film Festival, London Film Festival and Italy’s Noir Fest. Wootton has also contributed to the Guardian, Sight & Sound, BBC Radio, and received an Honorary Doctorate by The University of East Anglia.


1. Luhrmann: 30 years of Strictly Baz!

Celebrating the release of Baz Luhrmann’s biopic Elvis, Adrian Wootton, Film London CEO, film historian and admirer of both Elvis and Luhrmann reflects on the career of the remarkable and brilliantly talented Australian filmmaker.

From his dazzling debut with Strictly Ballroom, through his ground-breaking reimagining of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to musical masterpiece Moulin Rouge, his lavish, extravagant version of Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and right up to his latest epic Elvis, Luhrmann has captivated audiences and critics alike.

In this talk Adrian Wootton goes behind the scenes of each of these contemporary movie classics, revealing the stories of their making and reflecting on Baz Luhrmann’s extraordinary life and work.

DETAILS: Monday 08 August: 5:15pm to 7:15pm; NGVA Theatrette



2.  Cher: Strong Enough for 60 years.

In this talk, Adrian Wootton explores the dramatic life and career of Cher – pop diva, stage and screen actress, gay icon, cultural giant and comeback queen. It is 60 years since Cher’s 1962 debut as a backup singer for the likes of the Crystals, Ronettes and the Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’. In the six decades since, Cher has become one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, with 100 million records sold, and a Billboard #1 single in every decade. In addition to being the “Goddess of Pop”, Cher also has a number of accolades for her film and television career – including three Golden Globes and a Best Actress Oscar for Moonstruck. Adrian Wootton takes us on a journey through Cher’s glittering life and career illustrated throughout with clips and slides from Cher’s filmography.

DETAILS: Tuesday 09 August: 5:15pm to 7:15pm; NGVA Theatrette



3. Elvis: Enduring Icon 45 Years Later.

Some 45 years after he left the building, The King of Rock n Roll continues to inspire admirers, imitators and lookalikes. Baz Luhrmann’s new biopic Elvis is a reminder of the cultural impact and enduring relevance of Elvis as musician, performer and American icon.

In this talk, Wootton – an Elvis aficionado who was intimately involved in curating film and TV celebrations of Elvis’ Hollywood career for the BFI and Turner Classic Movies – looks back on Elvis Presley’s extensive career on the silver screen.

DETAILS: Wednesday 10 August: 5:00pm – 7:00pm; State Library Victoria Village Roadshow Theatrette



 4.  David Bowie: 60 Years of Genius.

Renowned for his experimentation and distinct visual presentation, multi-awarded English songwriter, rock star, performer, fashion icon, and stage and screen actor David Bowie (1947-2016) was one of the most influential artists of the last century who pioneered glam rock with his flamboyant androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust. Among the world’s best-selling music artists, with global record sales of 140 million, Bowie was also an accomplished actor (who, prior to success as a musician, studied avant-garde theatre and mime), whose memorable films included The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983), Labyrinth (1986), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and The Prestige (2006).

Celebrating MIFF’s special IMAX presentation of Brett Morgen’s highly anticipated David Bowie documentary, Moonage Daydream, Wootton explores the dazzling career and complex life of the iconoclastic Bowie, who was widely hailed as the Picasso of Pop and a Master of Reinvention.

DETAILS: Thursday 11 August: 5:00pm – 7:00pm; State Library Victoria Village Roadshow Theatrette