Mutiny in Heaven: The Birthday Party, the feature documentary chronicling the thrilling, debauched and frequently hilarious adventures of the legendary Melbourne post-punk band will release into select Brisbane cinemas this November.
The film is directed by Ian White and features new interviews with Nick Cave and bandmates Mick Harvey, Rowland S Howard and Phill Calvert, along with remarkable never seen before footage.
In February 1980, they were The Boys Next Door on the brink of stardom. Changing their name to The Birthday Party mid-flight to London and writing ever scarier, sexier, angrier music that turned their gigs into antagonistic art ordeals. Offstage, things were even more chaotic. Nick Cave, Rowland S. Howard, Mick Harvey, Tracy Pew and Phill Calvert froze and starved in increasingly squalid squats, some descending into addiction, psychosis, imprisonment and, worst of all, creative differences. Yet by their final gig in 1983, howling like fallen angels under the chandelier at St Kilda’s Crystal Ballroom, The Birthday Party had achieved rock immortality.
With a soundtrack curated by Harvey, this remarkable and picaresque documentary is filled with rare and unseen photos, artwork, letters and diaries, unreleased tracks and studio footage. But its greatest delight are the band members’ own sardonic recollections of their youthful hopes and dreams. A thrilling chronicle of the band’s struggles and successes, and the momentous three years that changed rock music and reverberate still, Mutiny in Heaven is a must-see for post-punk fans and anyone seeking to join the dots of Nick Cave’s remarkable and ongoing 40+ year career journey.
“Punk had perhaps correctly loathed the plasticine nature of showbiz, but The Birthday Party took the spectacle and blew it up, exposing and embracing the violence underneath.” – Pitchfork
Select screenings will be accompanied by not to be missed Q&As with band members Mick Harvey and Phill Calvert and director Ian White.
The Australian release follows the films World Premiere at the recent Melbourne International Film festival and a US release commencing this week in more than 50 cities.
Mutiny in Heaven: The Birthday Party Brisbane Screenings
17, 18 and 20 November 2023 – Angelika Film Centre
Brisbane Premiere event / Friday 17th Nov Q&A at Angelika Film Centre with director IAN WHITE and founding band member PHILL CALVERT
17, 18 and 21 November – Dendy Coorparoo