Gob Squad vs Melbourne

Gob Squad: Super Night Shot

Gob Squad’s Super Night Shot is a film experience that doesn’t come along too often. Not only is it an absolute pleasure to work with the team, but it’s such an immersive experience in every way.

Cinematically it’s a dynamic thing seeing four images blaze away in real time side by side in “happenings” taking place all over the CBD. Physically, it can’t help but suck into its random vortex all elements of the participating venue. Gob Squad’s infectious enthusiasm, love for what they do, great understanding of how to connect with people, and consummate professionalism all add to the experience that is as much a part of the show as the show itself.

What they do is a finely tuned concept that has visited more than 100 cities around the world (see the Gob Squad website for details) and it shows. Rammed with high energy and a fantastic innocence, the show has it all – humour, drama, funk and a good level of tension fill each night in an environment where the audience is as much a part of the action as the hapless bystanders who stray into the Gob Squad’s cross-hairs. 

I think it was master documentary filmmaker Errol Morris who believed that people were so afraid of silence in conversations that they’d say the first thing that came into their head to fill the gap. It was these moments that he believed to be the purest moments of thought – the first thing that jumps into your head being the first thing that comes out – unmediated, unprepared, unpredictable. There’s a lot of that in Super Night Shot, where bystanders are expertly pushed to react in an instant or reflect on their own ‘self’.

A lot is packed into the hour the four performers spend shooting before they arrive back at the cinema – and there’s a lot said about people – but it’s hard not to smile throughout if for nothing else than the beautiful execution of a such a simple but effective idea.

One of the other smart things about this show is that no single audience member has the same experience as the next. With four films running together horizontally, the experience is very much based on how the individual audience member pieces each screen together as they oscillate their focus based on whatever catches their eye. But that’s what it’s about – the individual experience.

Out of chaos comes order…or at the very least a good amount of fun.

– Richard Sowada, ACMI’s Head of Film Programs

Super Night Shot will again take over the streets of Melbourne (and ACMI’s Cinema 2) tonight and tomorrow night at 9pm. Watch an excerpt from last night’s event:

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