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CITY OF DREAMS

Australia, 2000 (MIFF 2000, Australian Showcase)

Director: Belinda Mason

City of Dreams tells the fascinating story of an unconventional couple—Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney Griffin; visionary American architects, whose imaginative engagement with Australia spanned a twenty-year period. On the eve of WW1, Walter and Marion travelled to Australia to oversee the construction of their winning design entry for Canberra. Little did they realise they would be drawn into a bitter and longstanding bureaucratic struggle over the control and design of the new capital city. For seven years, culminating in a Royal Commission, government officials used bullyboy tactics to replace the Griffin plan with a design of their own. The city of their dreams was never built, but the Griffins chose to stay in Australia, producing hundreds of buildings, often utilising controversial techniques and materials. We have them to thank for the stunning ceiling at the Capitol Theatre. City of Dreams skillfully weaves together the Griffin's personal and professional lives, drawing on archival and contemporary footage of their work, to produce an invaluable account of one of the most outstanding artistic collaborations of the 20th century.

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