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A Venue for the End of the World

Available at GooglePlay https://play.google.com/store/movies/details?id=idGJ3ioJ5NI

Haunted by uncanny similarities between Nazi stage techniques and the showmanship employed by modern entertainers, a filmmaker investigates the dangers of audience manipulation and leader worship.

With D.A. Pennebaker, Dick Cavett, Ian Anderson, Country Joe McDonald, Paul Provenza, Chris Hegedus, The Gregory Brothers, Chip Monck, Jann Klose and the creators of the Woodstock festival.

As documentary filmmaker Aidan Prewett meets with various performers and masters of concert orchestration, he learns many backstage secrets for commanding the stage. But that doesn’t mean he’ll have what it takes when he tries these techniques out in front of a crowd of thousands. In A Venue for the End of The World we discover that the search for truth is a cause for unexpected humour, and uncover a world where performers’ insecurities may
actually work in their favour.

A Venue for the End of the World also unearths some powerful antidotes to the herd mentality by rediscovering the protest era and investigating some of the largest crowds ever assembled. From
Woodstock to the Nuremberg rallies to the Occupy Movement, A Venue for the End of The World presents a mind-blowing exploration of the overlapping worlds of politics and performance.

  • Aidan Prewett
    Me & the Devil Blues, Me Myself & iPod
  • Aidan Prewet
    Me & the Devil Blues, Me Myself & iPod
  • Schy Peterson
    Me & the Devil Blues, Me Myself & iPod
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 34 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 1, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    14,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Australia, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Melbourne Underground Film Festival
    Melbourne, AU
    August 31, 2014
    Australian Premiere
    Best Documentary
  • Festival de Programmes Audiovisuel
    Biarritz, France
    January 30, 2015
    European Premiere
Director Biography - Aidan Prewett

As a documentary filmmaker, Prewett has found himself in more than his share of strange situations. From his one-on-one time with Tom Cruise in Mozart's basement, to a passionate stage kiss with Carrie Fisher, to having Michael Parkinson bent double with laughter after being called a misogynist old bastard - there are few arenas outside his comfort zone.

One of these is Melbourne's Hisense Arena, where in 2013 Prewett entered into a verbal altercation with a crowd of 10,000 for the climactic scene in A Venue for the End of the World. It was around this time that it was suggested by Dick Cavett that he might 'use his head for better things'.

Upon completion of his Master of Film & Television in 2009, Prewett was presented with the coveted Victorian College of the Arts Best Achievement in Direction. Carrying on his work in personal documentary storytelling, he soon found himself flown to a number of film festivals in Europe and Asia, where his films have picked up various awards and honors.

Prewett's films often center around music, from the historical Me and the Devil Blues, about the legendary Robert Johnson, to the aural addiction of Me, Myself & iPod. Prewett's films have been shot on location across the globe and have featured a host of entertainment luminaries.

His latest feature documentary deals with the complex issue of power and control in a crowd situation and asks a bunch of rock stars about the Nazis. It's called A Venue for the End of the World and is slated for general release in 2015.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

A Venue for the End of the World began its long journey to the screen back in 2007 at a Roger Waters concert. The entire opening to the stadium show was staged as a kind of fascist rally, complete with red arm bands and vertical banners among the Pink Floyd paraphernalia. The sequence ended with Mr. Waters machine-gunning the front row as a half-scale Messerschmitt exploded in flames behind him. The entire stadium was on their feet cheering, and I was completely swept up in it. Many people, myself included, literally screamed for blood when prompted by the jack-booted bass player. It was only when the lights came up for an interval that I was hit by the gravity of what had just happened. 15,000 people in a room had just willingly taken part in a re-enactment of a Nuremberg rally. I had been so enamored by the presence on-stage of my hero, that I - and many others - had ecstatically bought into an experience that was quite sickening when examined under a non-theatrical light.

The point Mr. Waters was making is where Venue begins. How far can theatrics and a powerful personality take us? And is there any way to stand up to that kind of power when we realise it's being misused?

The project rattled around in between other films for several years, until I found myself interviewing Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson in 2012. I wanted to properly test the water with this project and so, as part of a routine junket-style interview, I began by asking Mr. Anderson about the feeling of power on stage. He immediately brought up the Nazis. What we were told would be a ‘maximum ten-minute interview’ quickly turned into 28 minutes of gold, covering everything from the Nuremberg rallies to the Occupy movement, and every rock concert that went sour in between. By the time the interview was over, I knew that this was a film that wanted to be made. And it was going to be more quirky and more personal than I first thought. We had started our journey into the bizarre, overlapping world of politics and performance.

Fascinating new stories came to light with every interview that followed and I found that the film was starting to lead me places I had never considered going. Suddenly we found ourselves being let in on trade secrets and uncovering incredible pieces of history that might get lost in projects of a more orthodox nature.

It’s now more than two years since that first interview and I’ve found that in many ways, my own life has been shaped by the film. Who knew that by the end of it I would find myself on-stage confronted by ten-thousand people?

I sure didn’t.

And it was almost the end of the world.