Mick Harvey and supergroup Springtime to re-score ‘Chopper’ live at the Astor for MIFF 2022

Mick Harvey and supergroup Springtime to re-score ‘Chopper’ live at the Astor for MIFF 2022

Scanned by Oscans Imaging in July 2021 on authority of Michele Bennett

Chopper - arguably the greatest Aussie crime film of all time - will be re-scored by some of Australia's all-time greatest musicians as part of Melbourne International Film Festival 2022.

The combination of Mick Harvey, Springtime (Gareth Liddiard, Jim White and Chris Abrahams), and Eric Bana’s Chopper Read is a match made in alternative heaven for Melbourne. The re-score will go down at the gorgeous Astor Theatre just off Chapel Street, and is certain to be a musical and film experience to remember.

MIFF’s Hear My Eyes program returns for the festival’s 70th edition with Andrew Dominik’s classic crime drama, Chopper, to be screened alongside a brand-new original live score from acclaimed musician and member of the Bad Seeds, Mick Harvey. Performing with Gareth Liddiard (Tropical Fuck Storm/The Drones), Jim White (Dirty Three) and Chris Abrahams (The Necks) as Springtime, Mick Harvey and band will compose a fresh take on the infamous story of Mark ‘Chopper’ Read – in the film that shot Eric Bana to global stardom – for two shows on Wednesday 17 August at the Astor Theatre.

The key takeaways

  • Hear My Eyes: Chopper + Springtime & Mick Harvey will be screened to a live re-scoring with two shows (6.15pm, 9pm) at the Astor Theatre on Wednesday 17 August
  • Tickets to Hear My Eyes: Chopper + Springtime & Mick Harvey are on sale from 10.00am Thursday 16 June via miff.com.au
  • The 2022 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) runs from 4-21 August

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Notoriously controversial at the time, Dominik’s dynamite debut depicting the infamous life and crimes of the titular character exploded into the national consciousness upon its release in 2000, propelled by the film’s audacious humour and Bana’s star-making performance. So scarily convincing and oddly sympathetic is Bana’s gold-grilled goon, the true-crime classic is a masterpiece of Australian cinema, inspired by Read’s autobiographical tabloid tales.

Chopper won Dominik and Bana the Best Director and Best Actor trophies at that year’s AFI Awards, while Mick Harvey picked up a nomination for his haunting original score. Multi-instrumentalist Harvey has numerous Aria Awards to his name and was a founding member of the Bad Seeds and The Birthday Party, and long-term collaborator of Nick Cave.

This special Hear My Eyes screening will see bona fide local legends Liddiard, White and Abrahams join Harvey on stage to perform a new live score for the film. Their eccentric musical mood swings will offer a unique backdrop for the brilliantly unhinged abandon on screen, guaranteeing an unforgettable night of sound and cinema.

Mick Harvey said: “It will be amazing to have the opportunity to revisit the music for Chopper, 22 years on and to work with such brilliant musicians and friends as the guys from Springtime to concoct something different.”

Springtime formed in 2021 with the release of a self-titled debut album of avant-garde post-rock sounds, which saw Liddiard, White and Abrahams join forces for the first time. Among the country’s most venerated musicians, their individual mastery makes for a combined chemistry that’s superlative. With just one album and a single national tour to their name so far, this genre-defying supergroup creates a playful fusion of improvisational free jazz and experimental noise that promises to electrify the Hear My Eyes screen.

Andrew Dominik, director of Chopper, said: “I’m excited to see how the musicians react to the film – it’s being given over to them, they’ll have their way with it for a few nights and you’ll have to be there if you want to experience it. It’s ephemeral and it’s communal and it’ll be exciting for me because it won’t be mine anymore – it’ll be the film through their eyes.”

Through years of curating and directing live score events, Hear My Eyes screenings are an untapped, hybrid artform producing audio-visual events that push the conventions of film and sound. Previous events have featured collaborations in Girlhood x Sampa the GreatNo Country for Old Men x Tropical Fuck StormTwo Hands x The Murlocs and more.

Curated by Haydn Green, Hear My Eyes’ Artistic Director, the collective work alongside local musicians to reinterpret a film’s soundtrack and perform it live at screening events – translating the original cinematic experience for the 21st century. Sitting somewhere between a film screening and live concert, audiences are invited into a brand new sensory realm.

MIFF Passes and MIFF Memberships available for purchase now via miff.com.au/tickets.