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Mar 20, 2012

VODO Spotlight #3: Lanfranchi’s Memorial Discotheque – A Legendary DIY Art Space Vs The Man


Director: Richard Baron
Bitter Man Films (2010)

Lanfranchi’s Memorial Discotheque was Sydney’s favourite artist-run space, situated on the second level of an inner city warehouse. Lanfranchi’s doubled as an unauthorised residence and performance venue for five years, growing from unlikely beginnings to become what director Neil Armfield (Candy, Belvoir St. Theatre) described as a ‘major strand of our city’s cultural DNA’.

The decaying warehouse hosted hundreds of shows and was an accessible starting point for Sydney’s emerging performers, artists and musicians. That is, until property development gets in the way and Lanfranchi’s residents were given sixty days to vacate the building.

The story of Lanfranchi’s is told through ex-residents such as Lucas Abela (Justice Yeldham); an experimental musician who plays amplified sheets of broken glass with his mouth – a show he developed at Lanfranchi’s and has since performed in more than forty countries. Others to be displaced included Dorkbot; a community of electrical engineering artists, the bastard cover band Winner, experimental theatre-comedy group Cab Sav and The Marrickville Jelly Wrestling Federation.

The film charts the last stand of a vital creative community around the DIY venue through which it has flourished. Despite the impending descent of authority down to the grass roots, the parties roll on during the final days of Lanfranchi’s until the building’s owners and police intervene. But with no replacement, and with Sydney’s vibrant underground art communities fractured, where will the city breed its cultural DNA?



Winner, Director’s Choice, Sydney Underground Film Festival (2010)
Winner, Best Documentary, Melbourne Underground Film Festival (2010)
Official Selection, Independent Spirit International Film Awards (2010)


VICE Magazine A Movie About a Venue Called Lanfranchi’s
RealTime Arts Memorial for a Memorial
Sydney Morning Herald / The Age / Brisbane Times Last Days of a Cultural Experiment
Strangelove Magazine Underground Movies



Lanfranchi’s Memorial Discotheque is available as a Free-To-Share download, and also in a variety of Support-And-Share streaming packages. When you support the filmmakers with as little as $5, VODO provides you with links to private streams that enable you to distribute the film among friends, in addition to giving you access to a range of special extras.



VODO Spotlight is a new initiative promoting specially selected works from the VODO free-to-share film catalogue, celebrating the spectrum of compelling, weird, wonderful, stark, humorous and innovative talents behind them. Spotlight releases provide the same kind of support opportunities as headline releases, offering viewers the chance to share private streaming tokens as gifts and pick up great production memorabilia while supporting independent film and the free-to-share ethos.




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