Last night was just beautiful. A very chilly Thursday evening, where most people would opt to spend indoors, curled up underneath a blanket (or snuggie for those inclined), instead saw a steady and increasing line gather at the entry to the recently refurbished Capitol Theatre on Swanston Street in Melbourne CBD.
With me were 3 special guests, 2 of which knew very little-to nothing about Suzi Quatro. It was actually our first time in this theatre and we were all awe-struck upon walking into it. The soaring high ceiling, the grand, yet futuristic looking walls, which were more probably designed that way just as much for aesthetics as they were for optimal sounds absorption and perfect acoustics.
It was admittedly bigger than I thought it would be. All the images I saw of it made it look beautiful, but quite narrow. Then I discovered why; short of taking a panoramic photo or panning on a video, there is no way to capture all of its grandness and scale in one landscape or portrait photo, not with a simple iPhone camera anyway. Nonetheless, we were loving it, especially the exceptional mood lighting which changed every couple of minutes and appeared to just be emanating out of the walls with no definitive source able to be seen.
The cinema was completely full, with a capacity of 600 people, it was certainly very lively, yet strangely so due to the perfection of the acoustics, sounded quieter than most busy cafe's around, which made it very pleasant when conversing with those around you.
No sooner had everyone taken their spots that the opening presentation was made, with a small discussion about the film by Producer Tait Brady and Director Liam Firmager. Within no time, the opening credits came around and SUZI Q was now officially released.
Without giving too much away, SUZI Q is an honest, authentic and raw piece of storytelling, masterfully captured by the director into the all-encompassing life of Suzi Quatro, including her countless successes, challenges, vulnerability and relationships with her inner and outer circles. The amount of archival footage is staggering, the caliber of featured interviewees is impressive, including the likes of Alice Cooper, Henry Winkler and Deborah Harry to name just a few.
There were moments of laughter, which sounded delightful in the huge theatre, joined with moments of singing where we could hear people breaking out into song as it played out on-screen, intertwined by weeping eyes and heartstrings being pulled at the beautifully authentic and personal level of depth and truth that Liam was able to extract from Suzi herself and some of the stories and memories of those that knew and know her best.
As the film came to an end, the 600-strong audience broke out into a thunderous applause. It was so lovely to hear the chatter of people around us as they commented on what they had just seen, every single comment was that of praise, which as an Executive Producer of this film, was incredibly humbling and exciting to hear. Additionally, 2 of my 3 guests both said that they not only loved it, but felt that they now knew a great deal more about Suzi Quatro and were compelled to now seek more about her.
SUZI Q is not just your typical story of rags to riches which ends in success and eternal happiness for the star, rather, it's a pleasant and pensive experience, a story of a female powerhouse who refused to be boxed and despite all of her vulnerability and temptations that constantly surrounded her, continually kept true to herself in simply allowing herself to be who she was and still is - Suzi Quatro, through and through.
Before the end of the night, a post-film Q&A was held on the stage with Director Liam Firmager and Producer Tait Brady with some roaming microphones for eager fans and audience members to ask questions. The questions were insightful, some about the creation of the production and others about Suzi herself.
This concluded what was the perfect reception to our brand new film that had just been publicly broadcast for the first time anywhere in the world. A complete success. We'd like to say that's a wrap, but in truth, it is only the beginning. SUZI Q is screening again at MIFF (Melbourne International Film Festival) this Saturday 17th August and will then embark on its international journey, with a London Premiere followed by what we hope will be many notable and prestigious film festivals across the world.
To add some icing on the cake, as of today, August 16th 2019, SUZI Q has just cracked the top 5,000 films on IMDb and by all accounts, is still on the rise. What a spectacular achievement for everyone involved and we couldn't be prouder.
To learn more about the film, please see links below:
- SUZI Q website
- SUZI Q Facebook page
- SUZI Q IMDb page