Play Trailer


Fri 22 Sep 8:00 PM

Arc Cinema
Allocated Seating
103 Mins
1998 | 35MM|US | D: Peter Weir 

Arc Cinema presents a series of Friday night filmic feasts hosted by Venus Mantrap - local drag artist and culture warrior.  
Fright Night: Cult Cinema Classics at the NFSA plumbs the archives to showcase cinema with bite, edgy movies and fan favourites - films that unnerve, push buttons, ask questions and just look good on the big screen!  
If you're a sucker for nostalgia or curious about forgotten gems, join Venus as we venture into the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond - with special guests, surprise performances, trivia and best-dressed contests. Gather your tribe of rowdy rebels and misfits and join Venus for Fright Night! 

It wasn’t so long ago but 1998 seems a distant solar system, a provincial pre-millennial world where Spice Girls dominate pop charts, ER and The X-Files are on telly and 20 million copies of Titanic sell on home video. There is no such thing as Kardashians, Real Housewives or Big BrotherBut there is The Truman Show. 
Played by Jim Carrey in his first critically acclaimed dramatic role, Truman Burbank is the unsuspecting central figure of a round-the-clock reality television program. When tech equipment literally falls from the sky, Truman begins to notice other unusual happenings in his carefully curated town of Seahaven, triggering a series of questions about his seemingly idyllic existence. 
Upon its release, The Truman Show, Peter Weir’s darkly comic and satirical forecast of future media landscapes, pushed concepts surrounding ethics and entertainment to the very brink of the absurd. But these farfetched notions - once thought only possible within the realms of science fiction - were clairvoyant in their visions and have since become crystallised. The exploitation of Truman as a central character is - like many great works of satire and sci-fi - a prescient rendering of 21st century consumerist appetites. The perverse irony that nobody could have predicted is that on the other side of Truman’s fabricated existence was a world in waiting - one where the individual would enthusiastically embrace the very thing that Truman would become desperate to escape. 
The Truman Show is a very foreboding, dark movie—and, unfortunately, our world had gone even way beyond that.’ - Laura Linney 
Television, with its insatiable hunger for material, has made celebrities into "content," devouring their lives and secrets. If you think The Truman Show is an exaggeration, reflect that Princess Diana lived under similar conditions from the day she became engaged to Charles.’ Roger Ebert 
The Truman Show is that rare cinematic experience-a movie so close to pure perfection that it seems a shame to spoil it by even reading a review beforehand. Ironically, this intricate satire on the subject of media saturation should be seen by eyes untainted by previews, television advertisements or even the opinions of critics in order for its smart, teasing story to work its full magic.’ - Michael O'Sullivan 
Venus Mantrap is an androgynous construct whose roots are firmly planted in the world of drag. Exploring aspects of cabaret, performance-art and comedy during live shows, Mantrap has produced The Bowie Ball and starred in the one-person-shows Life, Love and Lip Syncing and Valley of the Molls. Venus is regularly found at Smith's Alternative as the MC of Cabaret Voltaire and has been a featured artist at Glitterbox, LGBTIQ+ Elders Dance Club, Drag Cabaret and Finucane and Smith's touring show Dancehall. Follow them on Instagram at @the_venus_mantrap. 

Presented on a 35mm film print from the NFSA collection.  

Arc Cinema

1 McCoy Circuit Acton, Australian Capital Territory, 2601