The Hobart

Local People: Graziano Di Martino

by The Hobart Magazine
Local People: Graziano Di Martino

Founder of New Town’s Rewind Cinema, which pays tribute to films of the 80s and 90s, Graziano has helped foster an enthusiastic community for film buffs of all ages.

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I grew up in West Moonah in a working-class Italian immigrant household. I now reside in Lenah Valley.

Tell us a little about your work. It’s one of the most interesting jobs I’ve done so far in my life. Previously I was a restaurateur for 15 years. I was a resident DJ for a few years back in the early 2000s. I was a professional photographer for seven years photographing weddings around the world…and this by far, is the most creative, dynamic, intense and most rewarding job I’ve ever had. And also the hardest I’ve ever pushed myself in my working life.

You started Rewind Cinema in 2022. How has it grown in that time? Any unexpected challenges? It’s been thoroughly enriching watching this curious, creative endeavour turn into a fully functioning indie cinema. It’s like watching a plant grow. You get your hands dirty planting the seeds, water it consistently over time and with love and care it grows into something you can quietly admire. There’s been plenty of challenges, particularly having not worked in a cinema before and having no idea about how any of it worked, but with anything worth doing there are going to be struggles, like getting broken into last year. The community response after the break in showed me that this is something really special and means a lot to a lot of people. It was really beautiful how much people cared.

Do you have a favourite memory from one of your showings? This is a tough one. There’s way too many. The party screenings are always the best, the air is electric on those nights. Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Princess Bride screenings were a lot of fun, with all the dress ups and crowd interaction. But also the world cinema movies with intimate crowds and the roundtable audience/ group chats after the screenings; they’re amazing and make it all such a unique, warm experience. But it’s got to be the simple act of the crowd clapping after a screening. That’s the best. Everyone enjoying a movie together, and clapping to show it…that’s primo.

What sparked your interest in cinema and the moviegoing experience? It was coming out of COVID and at the time I’d put photography on pause to see what else I wanted to do. Creatively I’d burnt out and was looking at trying something different. I screened some classic black and white Italian films at Don Camillo Restaurant (my family’s restaurant) on Monday evenings. I fell in love with the atmosphere of that intimate space watching beautiful films with people who were strangers at the start of the film but had become friends by the end. I discovered the Hidden Theatre space (where Rewind operates out of) at Kickstart Arts on an exploratory Sunday bike ride, and I just thought ‘this would be an awesome place to watch The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story with a bunch of people’. Those were the two films that triggered the idea. That’s where it all started.

What are your three desert island movies and why? Amour by Micheal Haneke – to remind me that life is not perfect, that it is made up of equal parts happiness and sadness. Robot Dreams by Pablo Berger – the colours, the animation, the characters and the story. It’s a beautiful celebration of friendship and life. Koyaanisqatsi by Godfrey Reggio – if I’m on an island by myself this will keep me company when I’m missing the world.

Who do you admire? Anyone that goes against the grain, follows their dreams and burns their light bright while being kind and respectful of others.

Favourite podcast? The Blindboy Podcast. It’s my happy place.

Secret vice? A Touch of Frost – best show ever made (closely followed by Cheers/Frasier and Golden Girls). Yes, that’s my vice.

What are you reading now? Currently reading The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. SO good. Just finished reading the Silo series. 10/10 loved it so much.

Do you have any pets? Sadly my autoimmune system says no 🙁 But I love animals (I’m vegan).

What was your first job? Hill Street Grocer!

What are your daily news/social media habits? Habits? You mean addiction? The same as most. Instagram and Facebook are crucial to running a cinema.

Your favourite place for…

Breakfast: Little Lotus Cafe.

Lunch: Little Lotus Cafe.

Dinner: My kitchen (there’s not a lot of options for vegan in Hobart still). Did I mention I was vegan? I’m vegan.

Dream holiday destination? The Outer Hebrides. Been there twice and itching to go back.

Favourite Tasmanian secret? It’s a little water hole, though if I said where it was it wouldn’t be a secret 🙂

Parting words? Just a quote from George Bernard Shaw: “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

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May 2024

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