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ISSUE 23 SEPTEMBER-OC


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<9i îswcrs to professional needs Introducing the new Fujicolor Negative Film, crowning long years of development by meeting today’s needs with tomorrow’s technology, w ? • Living, natural skin tones and greens. I • Ultrafine-grain high-definition images. L • A reliable performer under difficult conditions. Data: Fujicolor Negative Film 35mm type 8517,16 mm type 8527 Jm |

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T h eb est docum entaries are made in the w orst conditions. “High Country was commissioned by The Victorian Film Corporation and produced for The Department of State Development, Decentralization and Tourism. It follows a 25 day — 500 km. horse ride through the Victorian Alps. The film crew, equipment and film stock were transported by four wheel drive and horseback into some of Victoria’s roughest country. For the film stock the norms of refrigeration and ‘handle with care’ were forgotten. Yet Kodak’s 5247 still delivered its high standard of quality. Capturing all the subtleties of the midday alpine bush. The splendour of mountain sunsets. And the delicacy of an open campfire. For me, Kodak Eastman color neg. 5247 made the inaccessible — accessible!’ Keith Wagstaff. Director of Photography.

Motion Picture & Audiovisual Markets Division. KODAK (Australasia) PTY. LTD.

Film crew and equipment climbing Mt. Bogong.

Keith Wagstaff on location. (Photography by Colin Beard.)

K 7/9894


Parn*Cannes,1blcyo and now MILAN

Once again weYe off to promote Australian filmsto the World Following successful marketing campaigns of Australian films at the special film week in Paris, at MIP-TV, the international film festival at Cannes and film week in Tokyo, the Australian Film Commission is once again packing its bags to promote the Australian film industry. The MIFED film market (15th-26th October) is one of the most important selling arenas for the international film market. The AFCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Director of Marketing, Alan Wardrope, and United Kingdom and European representative, Ray Atkinson, will be there, along with producers and agents representing films for television, cinema, education, non-theatrical, home video cassettes, pay and cable TV. Alan Wardrope Australian Film Commission 8 West Street North Sydney, NSW 2060, Australia Telephone: (02)922 6855 Telex: 25157 Ray Atkinson European/UK Representative Australian Film Commission Office Canberra House Maltravers Street London Telephone: 423 8376 Telex: 27565 Jim Henry American Representative Australian Film Commission Suite 719-720, 7th Floor City Natidnal Bank 9229 Sunset Boulevarde Los Angeles U.S.A. Telephone: (213)275 7074


We’ve got your next production ftUty planned. AAV introduces Studio D —A total production facility

At AAV-Australia we've designed our new Studio "D ” to have everything you could possibly need during a production, within easy reach. That means not only have we put the producer's office, production manager's office and an open plan production office area of 149 square metres (1600 sq. ft.) next to the new sound stage, but within the one complex we've included: three star dressing rooms, two supporting star dressing rooms plus dressing rooms for male extras and female extras. There's a large make-up room and a wardrobe area, equipped with washing machine, dryer and hot and cold water. This means that all your wardrobe requirements can be handled quickly and efficiently. We have provided the artists with a large, comfortable, fully equipped green room. A separate room, similarly outfitted, has been provided for the production crew. The sound stage measures 334 square metres (3600 sq. ft.), it is air conditioned and has an adjacent food preparation area

equipped with refrigerator, hotplate/griller and hot and cold water so that food may be prepared for "on camera" use. One-hundred and eighty amps per phase of lighting power is distributed throughout the studio from three pin, single phase, 20 amp outlets at grid level and 6 x 3 phase, 30 amps per phase, outlets at floor level. For scenery and props, there's a construction and finishing area of 232 square metres (2500 sq. ft.) and a security storage area. We also offer a total post production service, film color grading, cleaning and film to tape transfer, CMX on-line or off-line computerised editing, film sound scoring and mixing. All under the one roof. Our first production, commencing in October 1979, is Shotton Productions' 'Water Under The Bridge' for the 0 /10 Network. Bookings are now being accepted for March 1980 onwards.

If you'd like to find out more about the facilities in our new Studio "D " call: Warwick Lang (03) 699 1844 David Campbell (02) 908 3929.

AAV Australia We're Open To Good Ideas 180 Bank Street, South Melbourne, Victoria, 3205 (03)699 1844


If you’re planning a film or television production in Victoria, then you should earmark S3 of your budget for a copy of the

I t ’s got the who, when, where, what, why and how of working within this State ,

Published by the Victorian Film Corporation, it is the most detailed listing of services, facilities, personnel, production companies, state and federal law, distributors and exhibitors, media, unions, guilds, location advice, useful contacts, etc., yet compiled in this State.

For anyone currently working or interested in Victoria’s film and television industry, this manual should be compulsory. Copies are available from the

Victorian Film Corporation, 409 King Street, Melbourne (03) 329 7033 Price $3.00 (add $1 for postage)


Film Australians come from all over the industry

An average year for us at Film Australia sees the production of around 100 films and audio­ visuals. As you can imagine, we couldn't handle that volume of work or maintain our high standards without drawing upon the wide range of film-making talent available in the Australian industry today Directors, cameramen, grips, writers, composers and artists in fact everybody who gets into the act, both in front of the camera and behind.

AUSTRALIAN FILM COMMISSION

With the help of freelance Film Australians, we’ve completed important films such as,

Let the Balloon Go, Who’s Flandicapped?, WarWithout Weapons and award winners Flospitals Don’t Burn Down and Leisure. When you next view a Film Australia production, remember that it’s also the production of Australians who work in film. Right across the industry

FILM AUSTRALIA


Communication without visuals is like putting on a play with all the actors behind the curtains... ... and for your visuals by far the best

and most flexible medium is film. Film is the medium capable of capturing a unique moment in time in all its richness and colour In full action. In pulsating reality. Because whatever the eye can see, film can record. But that’s not all. It can capture moments that exist only in the imagination. Science fiction, mystery, fantasy, horror. Film has become one of the arts.

For millions of people it is an indispensable part of their daily lives. Whether at the cinema. On television, Or in their home projectors. Agfa-Gevaert is a film pioneer. We grew up with it and we know its possibilities. We also know that while it may have matured

it has not aged. Film will be as vibrant tomorrow as it is today. All this, because communication without film just isn’t on.

AGFA-GEVAERT LIMITED Melbourne 878 8000. Sydney 8881444 Brisbane 391 6833. Adelaide 42 5703 Perth 361 5399 SYSTEMS FOR PHOTOGRAPHY • MOTION PICTURES • GRAPHIC ARTS • RADIOGRAPHY • VISUAL ARTS • REPROGRAPHY • MAGNETIC RECORDING


ISSN 0311-3639

Articles and Interview s

Tim Burstall Interviewed: 490

Tim Burstail: Interview Scott Murray Australian Women Filmmakers Part 4: Jeni Thornley and Martha Ansara Barbara Alysen Currents in Japanese Cinema: Nagisa Oshima and Sachiko Hidari interviewed Solrun Hoaas Yves Yersin: Interview Scott Murray Australian Television: Why it is the Way it is Julie James Bailey Crawford Productions: A Brief History Albert Moran George Miller: Interview Peter Westfield ‘C’-Television Patricia Edgar

490 497 500 508 510 520 527 530

Features The Quarter The 1979 Cannes Film Festival Jan Dawson Film Censorship Listings The 1979 Melbourne Film Festival Keith Connolly . The 1979 Sydney Film Festival Meaghan Morris, Barbara Alysen, Sue Adler Guide for the Australian Film Producer: Part 16 Antony I. Ginnane, Ian Baillieu, Leon Gorr Picture Preview: Breaker Morant International Production Round-up Terry Bourke Box-office Grosses Production Survey

Cannes Film Festival Reviewed: 504

488 504 533 534 537 541 542 543 545 553

Production Report The Sullivans P roduction Report: 547

The Sullivans and The John Sullivan Story David Stevens

547

Film Reviews The Last of the Knuckiemen Keith Connolly My Brilliant Career Brian McFarlane Days of Heaven Meaghan Morris Tim Dorothy Hewett My Survival as an Aboriginal and Robin Campbell — Old Fellow Now Bobbi Sykes Fedora Richard Brennan The Plumber Jack Clancy Thirst Geoff Mayer

C hildren’s Television A Report: 530

563 564 565 567 568 568 569 571

Book Reviews Nagisa Oshima Interviewed: 500

The Australian Journal of Screen Theory Adrian Martin Recent Releases Mervyn R. Binns

Managing Editor: Peter Beilby. Television supplement edited by Scott Murray.. Editorial Board: Peter Beilby, Scott Murray. Contributing Editors: Antony I. Ginnane, Tom Ryan, Basil Gilbert, Ian Baillieu. Design and Layout: Keith Robertson, Andrew Pecze. Business Consultant: Robert Le Tet. Research: Margot Lethlean. Office Manager: Maureen Harvey. Secretary: Lisa Matthews. London Correspondent: Jan Dawson. Advertising: Sue Adler, Sydney (02)31 1221; Peggy Nicholls, Melbourne (03) 830 1097 or (03) 329 5983. Printing: Progress Press Pty Ltd, 2 Keys Rd, Moorabbin, 3189. Telephone: (03) 95 9600. Typesetting: Affairs Computer Typesetting, 7-17 Geddes St, Mulgrave, 3170. Telephone: (03) 561 2111. Distributors: NSW, Vic., Qld., WA., SA. — Consolidated Press Pty Ltd, 168 Castlereagh St, Sydney, 2000. Telephone: (02) 2 0666. Britain — Motion Picture Bookshop, National Film Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1, 8XT.

•Recommended price only.

573 575

Days of Heaven Reviewed: 565

Cinema Papers is produced with financial assistance from the Australian Film Commission. Articles represent the views of their authors and not necessarily those of the editors. While every care is taken with manuscripts and materials supplied for this magazine, neither the Editors nor the Publishers accept any liability for loss or damage which may arise. This magazine may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the permission of the copyright owner. Cinema Papers is published every two months by Cinema Papers Pty Ltd, Head Office, 644 Victoria St, North Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3051. Telephone (03) 329 5983. © Copyright Cinema Papers Pty Ltd, Number 23, September-October, 1979.

Front cover: Tim Burstall’s The Last of the Knuckiemen (see pp. 490 and 563).

Cinema Papers, September-October — 487


PRISONER SMASH HIT The Prisoner television series, produced by the Sydney-based Grundy Organization, premiered in Los Angeles last month out­ rating programs on the ABC and CBS Networks. The series increased its ratings in its second showing, more than doubling the ratings of KTLA Channel 5 and receiving rave reviews from American critics. Shown in prime time, Prisoner was seen by an audience of two million people, representing a 25 per cent share of the seven-station Los Angeles market. In the U.S. for the premiere, the chairman of the Grundy Organization, Reg Grundy, said: “ ! am delighted for Australia, for the actors and the people behind the scenes who worked so hard on the show, and of course I am delighted for the Grundy Organization, too. Critics here have particularly praised Reg Watson’s script. “The rating was sensational for the televi­ sion station, KTLA Channel 5. We beat NBC and CBS networks, and all the other stations in Los Angeles, with the exception of ABC which is the top network station; even in that case we were only beaten in the second half by an episode of Charlie’s Angels that had Farrah Fawcett-Majors, strangely enough In a story about women in prison. “A 25 share in Australia would not be as sensational as it is here as we only have four stations, but here a 25 share is just spec­ tacular. ABC Network phoned from New York today to KTLA and said, ‘What did you have on last night to get a 25 share?’ They couldn’t believe the figures." The success of Prisoner coincides with the announcement that Reg Grundy will retire as president of the Grundy Organiza­ tion. The Organization’s managing director, Ian Holmes, will take over as the new presi­ dent, while Grundy will continue as chairman of the Australian operation. In the 19 years since he founded the Grundy Organization, Reg Grundy has been responsible for production of some of the most successful television variety shows and series ever made in Australia, including the game shows, Great Temptation, The Price is Right, Celebrity Squares, Blankety Blanks; the series Class of 74, Glenview High, The Young Doctors, The Restless Years, and Prisoner; eight tele-features and numerous

documentaries. Another six feature films are planned for 1980-81. -

PB

Lynda Keane and Gerard Maguire in Prisoner, a hit in the U.S.

CANNES ’79 This year, for the second time, an Australian film was selected to participate in the official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

488 — Cinema Papers, September-October

The enthusiastic reception given to Fred Schepisi’s The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith in 1978, combined with shrewd behind-thescenes lobbying by representatives of the New South Wales Film Corporation, assured Gillian Armstrong’s My Brilliant Career of a place In the Competition. It augurs well for the selection of further Australian films at future festivals, provided Australian film­ makers can continue to produce films that appeal to festival and international ‘art house' audiences. However, the value of the Cannes Film • Festival — which has become an annual pilgrimage for many film producers — as a marketplace for Australian films is doubtful; particularly given the sorts of films now being produced. The Festival certainly did not con­ tribute to the success of Mad Max in the foreign market; it had already sold well before Cannes. It is also debatable whether some of the other more commercial Austra­ lian films at Cannes this year — including

and Sophia Turkiewicz (Short Fiction, Ex­ perimental and Animation). The Jury panel — comprising Igor Auzins, Susan Dermody, Joan Long, Bruce Moir and Scott Murray — selects films to receive Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards, as well as Honorable Mentions, two awards for cinematography, and a special Jury Prize for an innovative film. The AFI’s board of directors also selects a film to receive the Raymond Longford Award for a significant contribution to Australian filmmaking. There are also $28,000 worth of cash prizes donated by the film trade and government film corporations. GS

HANNA BARBERA

Cathy’s Child, Tim, The Odd Angry Shot, Snapshot, Thirst and the Money Movers —

would not have been just as effectively handled by their agents, away from the Festival. Cannes, however, provided an excellent showcase for My Brilliant Career, and un­ doubtedly assisted the sales of art-houseoriented product like Kostas, In Search of Anna, and Palm Beach to smaller dis­ tributors. It also provided the opportunity for producers to preview their films to the organizers of many international film festivals represented at Cannes. There is no longer any doubt that the number of Australians at the Cannes Festival has reached a peak, and that many films are over-represented. It would be far more costeffective for producers to spend a larger part of their marketing budgets on promotional materials and advertising, rather than on a gaggle of assistants and hangers-on who do little more than take in the Mediterranean air. For most producers the Cannes ‘learning period’ is certainly over, and with the exper­ tise now built by the Australian Film Commis­ sion and the NSWFC, it will be increasingly difficult for inexperienced producers to get the backing to go to Cannes in future years. The AFC and the NSWFC again main­ tained offices at the Festival. Over the past four years the AFC has shifted the emphasis of their activities from marketing to general industry promotion, leaving individual producers or agents to do the real selling. The NSWFC contingent, representing four films, were perhaps a little over-zealous in their handling of My Brilliant Career. The controversy over the film involving producer Margaret Fink and the NSWFC’s represen­ tatives (widely reported in Australian news­ papers at the time) was unfortunate, and although the fracas was, in part, the result of a misunderstanding between the two parties, it was detrimental to the overall promotion of Australian films. There was certainly no breakthrough for Australian product at Cannes this year, and it has become clear that dramatic increases in the sales of Australian films can only occur if the local industry goes ‘international’ — as the Canadian film industry did 18 months ago. The $1 million or $2 million chalked up from the sales of Australian films is insignifi­ cant compared to the $100 million turned over by the Canadians. And although the budgets of Canadian films are, on average, much larger than Australian films, there can be no doubt that the dramatic rise in Cana­ dian sales can be traced to the ‘International elements’ in their films. A summary of the sales of Australian films this year tells its own story. The AFC has reported the following sales made at Cannes by films entering the international market for the first time: Cathy’s Child: Lebanon, Greece, Jordan, Germany, Venezuela, USSR, Argentina, Switzerland, Peru, Denmark, Bolivia, Sweden, Ecuador, Britain. Tim: Lebanon, Jordan, Finland, Norway, Italy, Spain, Germany, Canada. Odd Angry Shot: U.S. (Home Box-Office), Britain, Indonesia, Philippines, Belgium. The Money Movers: Latin America. Toby the Little Convict: Scandinavia.

My Brilliant Career: Australia’s entry in the

Cannes Film Festival Competition.

Latin America, U.S., Spain, Ireland, South Africa, South-east Asia. A number of other sales were made by films represented at Cannes in previous years, including: Dot and the Kangaroo, Let Snapshot:

the Balloon Go, The Picture Show Man, Pic­ nic at Hanging Rock and Patrick.

No details have yet been released by the NSWFC for its four productions, but it is known that My Brilliant Career sold to France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland; and Thirst sold to Latin America, South-east Asia, Ireland, and the West Indies. The details released by the AFC do not in­ dicate whether the films were sold outright, or for advances with minimum guarantees; nor whether the deals were for theatrical release or television. AIG

OZCARS There are 146 entries in this year’s Aus­ tralian Film Institute Awards to be held on September 28. The entries include 16 feature films eligible for awards in the following categories: Best Film; Best Performance by an Actor In a Leading Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role; Best Performance by an Actor in a Sup­ porting Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Sup­ porting Role; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Achievement in Cinematography; Best Original Screenplay; Best Screenplay adapted from other material; Best Achievement in Film Editing; Art Direction Award; Costume Design Award; Sound Award; and Best Original Music Score The awards are decided by the film production industry, with the AFI arranging screenings of the 16 features in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. Directors, editors, actors, etc. vote for the best achieve­ ment in each of their categories. Voters in ail categories combine with members of the AFI to vote for Best Film. Films receiving awards in the Short Fic­ tion, Documentary, Experimental and Animation categories are pre-selected, then judged by an official Jury. The pre-selection panels comprised: Kent Chadwick, Marcus Cole, Diana Nettlefold (Documentary); Frank Moorhouse, Eddie Moses, Don McLennan,

After the highly successful joint venture with Peter Luck Productions, Hanna Barbera Australia hopes to continue its expansion into live-action television. The two companies who are responsible for This Fabulous Century, have extended the series at the request of the Seven Network from 23 to 37 episodes. This Fabulous Century has never been beaten in ratings in Sydney, and has a Sunday night audience of more than 700,000. Peter Luck Productions and Hanna Barbera are also planning three more series: two for international release and one local. The companies are not prepared to give details of the productions at this stage; however it is known that two will have an “archival component” . In addition to these ventures, Hanna Barbera is also preparing two other largebudget live-action series. One will have a period theme, while the other is contem­ porary. Both are in pre-production, and negotiations are underway with local televi­ sion stations and potential overseas partners. Each will be 13, one-hour episodes and will involve a total investment of more than $4 million. Experienced film producer Hal McElroy is in charge of production of the new series, and is being assisted by James McElroy. Hanna Barbera's animation division has recently been contracted by the American company, King Features, to produce eight hours of Popeye for U.S. television. The animation division, headed by Chris Cuddington, is committed to 18 hours of animated product, and has just finished two prime-time specials for U.S. networks. PB

FILM IN CHINA A market for Western film is slowly open­ ing up in China after a lapse of 30 years, ac­ cording to Gordon Carr, the Australian Film Commission’s Asia/Pacific representative, who was recently in Peking. China is ripe to accept help, advice and ideas from the West to aid in what is termed, the “ Four Modernizations” — in agriculture, industry, national defence, and science and technology — and the Chinese freely acknowledge that film can play a large part in this program. They are interested in buying Australian feature films and documentaries, and are particularly impressed with the South Aus­ tralian Film Corporation’s Storm Boy. Talks with Chao Wei and Hsu Wei Win from the China Film Corporation, which con­ trols production, marketing, distribution, and importation of feature films, were extremely productive, according to Carr, and it is ex­ pected that purchases will soon be made. The Chinese also wish to market their productions in Australia — which is about 60 features a year, produced in 11 studios in Shanghai and Peking. Although there are more than 5000 cinemas in China, there is little finance available for feature film production. With admission prices ranging from 10 to 20 cents, revenue from domestic distribution is very small. Other organizations visited by Carr included the Film Bureau, an umbrella


THE QUARTER

organization responsible for executive con­ trol of all film matters in China, the China Newsreel and Documentary Studio, and the Broadcasting Bureau, which controls televi­ sion. There are one million television sets in operation in China. Han Qingyu of the Central Broadcasting Administration, com­ menting on the growth of television in China, said: “There are not a great number of receivers in China compared with our pop­ ulation, but the figure is gradually climbing. We have no income from licences, as do some countries, and we do not have adver­ tising; but discussions are going ahead, and perhaps advertising will eventually be in­ cluded. We are gradually expanding, and hope to use Western programs in the near future.” The Minister for Home Affairs, Mr R. J. Ellicott, whose portfolio includes responsibility for the AFC, also visited Peking. BC

CENSORSHIP In the U.S., it is common for people to cross state borders to see films in a lesscensored version than that showing in their home county. Such behavior has even become known in Australia, with Queens­ land viewers often driving south of the border to catch films banned by Bjelke-Petersen’s government. One would never have thought that such a thing would happen to Australian television, but a recent decision by Mel­ bourne television executives has brought this about. To coincide with the launching of the Aus­ tralian edition of Penthouse, Channel 10 in Sydney commissioned a documentary, So You Want to be a Centrefold?, on girls pos­ ing for nude photo-spreads in Penthouse. (Russian defector Lillian Gasinskaya is one of the girls shown modelling for photo­ graphers.) Channel 10 broadcast the pro­ gram in Sydney on August 20, but its sister station, Channel 0 in Melbourne, decided on August 17 that it wasn't “suitable” for broad­ cast. Presumably, Channel 0 executives believe the moral values of the Melbourne television audience to be different to those in Sydney. Even more surprising is concern by a station like Channel 0, which has shown such sex and nudity-filled shows as The Box, for issues of public morality. In the Aprll-May 1979 period, seven films were refused registration. Two, Alice in Wonderland and Fairytales, were videotape

versions of films that had already been released as “ R” (after eliminations). Pre­ sumably the difficulty of making cuts in a videotape led to the films being banned out­ right. « Three films appealed their classifications to the Films Board of Review; all applica­ tions were, not surprisingly, unsuccessful. Spiderman Strikes Back challenged its “ NRC” rating, and The Last of the Knucklemen and Over the Edge their “ R” ratings. Knucklemen presumably received an “ R" for indecent language, but its dialogue is no stronger than that found in Ted Post’s Magnum Force, which showed recently on Australian television with only minor cuts in the violent scenes. Yet again, the Common­ wealth Censor and the Board of Review have shown lack of contact with "prevailing com­ munity standards” .

sion than any other recent development. Let the Balloon Go, and Dot and the Kangaroo are playing on pay television in a number of states, and The Odd Angry Shot has been sold to Home Box-Office. The AFC has also negotiated screenings for Film Australia’s The Russians and The Human Face of China documentary series on the Public Broad­ casting System network. These developments, according to Henry, have created a situation in which, for the first time, the U.S. commercial networks are ex­ pressing interest in Australian product. Pay television and commercial television syndictators are also asking to see Australian titles. News from Europe, however, is not so bright. With the exception of a major sale of The Sullivans to Greek television, there have been few significant sales of Australian film and television to European countries. No doubt the AFC will be taking a long, hard look at its European operation — par­ ticularly in the light of recent criticism over the failure of the AFC to send representatives to two major European festivals. Earlier this year Australians at the Berlin Film Festival were staggered by the absence of an AFC representative, and found themselves fielding questions from potential buyers. Similarly, at the recently-concluded Moscow Festival, film commentator Bill Collins denounced the AFC for failing to represent Australian product. Collins said he and the two other Aus­ tralians at Moscow were constantly ap­ proached by distributors anxious for information about Australian films. He said the AFC had been invited, but declined to attend. PB

DAD AND DAVE RESTORED A 41 year-old Australian feature, Dad and Dave Come to Town, screened at this year’s Sydney Film Festival, is the latest film to be restored by the film archive section of the National Library of Australia. The restored version, running for 88 minutes, is nine minutes shorter than the original film, but is the longest that can be constructed from surviving footage. The original film was made by Ken G. Hall for Cinesound Productions in 1938. It starred Bert Bailey and Fred MacDonald, and is notable for one of Peter Finch’s first screen appearances. Dad and Dave Come to Town was restored by inter-cutting duplicate negatives of the best surviving Australian print — which had many scenes missing due to projection damage — and of a shorter version which was made for release In Britain. The sound­ track, which had to be lifted off each print before the intercutting could begin, was re­ recorded because of its different levels and varying quality. Mr Keith Pardy, the Library’s film techni­ cian, was responsible for the restoration work. LR

COPYRIGHT REPORT After a two-year delay, the Australian Film Commission has published a summary of the papers and discussion from a seminar, "Aspects of the Law on Film — Copyright”, held at its Sydney offices on August 5 and 6, 1977 in conjunction with the Australian Copy­ right Council. The contents of the report include “ Making the Film — Permissions and How to Get Them” by Andrew Martin, “ Distribution of Australian Films” by Lloyd Hart, “ Problems in the Law” by David Catterns, “International Protection of Cinematograph Films” by Adrian Sterling, and “ Protection of Ideas and Titles” by Peter Banki. Discussion leaders in­ cluded Colin Marks, Ian Baillieu and Harry Shore. Some of the p a p e rs have been reproduced as delivered; others as speaker’s notes with precedents tabled at the seminar. The transcript has been edited, with com­ ments, by Peter Martin. While some of the material is undated, most of it remains relevant. Copies of the report are available at the Australian Film Commission, 8 West St, North Sydney, NSW, 2060, for $10. IAKB

MERGER The Australian Film Institute and the National Film Theatre of Australia, two cultural, non-profit organizations receiving support from the Commonwealth Govern­ ment through the Australian Film Commis­ sion, have merged. The merger took effect from July 1, after several months of discussion and planning between the two organizations. The general manager of the AFI, Mr John Foster, said: “ I have worked closely with the director of the NFTA, Mr Rod Webb, in bringing this merger into effect. Small arts organizations like ours, reliant on financial support from the Govern­ ment, have a history of in-fighting and petty jealousies, and we believe that it is a signifi­ cant achievement to have been able to place long-term, broadly-based aims before ex­ pediency and territorial aspirations.” The former NFTA company is In the process of being wound up. Its operations have become a function of the AFI, with Its employees now with the AFI. However, the NFTA will retain a separate identity, as a divi­ sion of the AFI, and its activities will continue as before. “The move is warmly supported by the AFC and the Australian film industry general­ ly. It will lead to a more efficient utilization of resources, and will clearly establish the In­ stitute as the one national cultural organiza­ tion concerned with film in Australia,” Foster said. "The Institute’s board of directors, chaired by Mr Barry Jones, MHR, has been firmly behind the negotiations leading up to the merger. The Board will now resign, and an election for a new Board will be held. This will allow members and subscribers ot the former NFTA, who join the AFI, to participate in the election.”

AB

AFC GOES COMMERCIAL According to the chairman of the Aus­ tralian Film Commission, Ken Watts, the funding of Australian films and television programs will now be based on potential box-office success rather than encouraging ‘high risk' ventures. He told a parliamentary committee hearing — at which the AFC's budget proposals for 1979-80 were o u tlin ed — that the “ developmental days when young film ­ makers were given a chance were over. "What we have been doing is using government money to take pretty enormous risks, just to give everybody a chance. “We will still be looking after the young and developing filmmakers, but, at the same time, we'll be making 'some much harsher commercial judgments. “We just won’t have to take the risks we have been taking over the past three years. “When we started we decided that the base of the industry needed broadening. Not many people had had opportunities, young people coming on with lots of aspirations and ability, and we created a lot of activity in do­ ing this.” The AFC has so far declined to comment on Watts’ statements, and film producers are anxious to ascertain what new assessment procedures will be adopted by the AFC in the implementation of Its new policy. While the AFC has, for some time now, promoted Itself as “ Merchant bankers to the Australian film Industry” , it has taken risks in backing films of doubtful commercial poten­ tial. However, the failures of the Australian film industry cannot be placed on the shoulders of younger, less-experienced film­ makers. While established directors have received funds from the AFC time and time again for films which fail dismally at the box­ office, it is the less-experienced filmmakers who have been responsible for some of the major commercial — and critical — succes­ ses of the Australian film Industry. For example, Mad Max, Australia’s most recent commercial success, was the first feature film made by George Miller; Picnic at Hanging Rock was only the second feature made by Peter Weir; Alvin Purple was the first 35mm feature film made by Tim Bur­ stall; Australia After Dark was John Lamond’s first feature; My Brilliant Career is Gillian Armstrong’s first feature. While the AFC is responsible for fostering and developing a viable feature film industry, and must function, in part, as a merchant bank, it should be careful not to favor feature film and television projects packaged by more experienced producers at the expense of younger, less experienced, but more in­ novative filmmakers, who are most likely to produce the original and distinctive films that the Australian industry needs so badly. PB

MY SURVIVAL IN NEW YORK The Flaherty Seminar is held in New York each year, to honor the famous American documentary filmmaker, Robert Flaherty. As part of the seminar, outstanding documen­ tary filmmakers are invited to attend and pre­ sent their films. This year, Essie Coffey has been invited to present her film, My Survival as an Aboriginal. Coffey, the first Aboriginal woman to direct a film, won the Greater Union and Rouben Mamoulian awards, at the 1979 Sydney Film Festival for My Survival. Her trip is being sponsored by the Aus­ tralian Film Commission and the Aboriginal Arts Advisory Board. My Survival will be screened, together with two other films on Black Australia, Alec Morgan’s Robin Campbell — Old Fellow Now and Mike Edol’s Lalai Dreamtime, at the Longford Cinema in Melbourne.

SM

MARKETING POW-WOW The director of marketing of the Aus­ tralian Film Commission, Alan Wardrope, called a meeting with overseas marketing representatives recently to review the progress of the AFC’s overseas operations, and plan strategies for the coming year. Pre­ sent were Jim Henry, the North American representative based in Los Angeles, Ray Atkinson, the European representative based in London, and Gordon Carr, the Asia/Pacific representative. During his stay, Jim Henry told Cinema Papers that a breakthrough has been made in the American market. He said there was more Australian product simultaneously ap­ pearing in American cinemas than at any time In the past. The Last Wave, Picnic at

JK

ADDENDA AND CORRIGENDA

Hanging Rock, The Picture Show Man, Patrick and Newsfront were all in release. The Last Wave looks set to run all summer

Issue 22 P- 415 The photograph of Bruce Petty was taken by Philip Morris. p. 430 The original budget of Alble Thoms' Palm Beach was $80,000, not $180,000. p. 461 The photograph on this page is from

at the Royal Theatre in Santa Monica, and Picnic at Hanging Rock has opened well at two Los Angeles cinemas. The Picture Show Man is scheduled to open in New York in mid-September. Henry said Australian television product was also making an impact in the U.S. The smash success of Prisoner in Los Angeles had done more for Australian film and televi­

The result of the elections for the seven positions on the new AFI board will be an­ nounced in mid-September. When the board meets its first task will be to appoint an ex­ ecutive director and financial controller.

Dad and Dave Come to Town: restored by the National Archive.

The Luck of the Draw, not Ride on Stranger.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 489


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B U R S

T A

Tim Burstall is Australia’s most prolific film director, and probably its most controversial. In an industry where reticence about issues, on and off the screen, is the rule, Burstall stands apart with his passion for confrontation and energy at the centre of his films. Often accused of selling out to commercial interests, Burstall is, in fact, consistent to the belief he shares with Ken G. Hall that the true business of a filmmaker is to entertain his audience — and make a profit. Burstall has made eight features to date, including Stork, Alvin Purple, Eliza Fraser and The Last of the Knucklemen. In all, he has confronted notions of Australian life, though often with a sense of humor. Burstall is working on an adaptation of D. H. Lawrence’s Kangaroo, a novel he feels “ discusses the important issue of whether Australia is a pre- or post-conscious society. That is, have we rejected the European notions of sensibility and awareness?” In the following interview, the first he has agreed to do with Cinema Papers since its inception in 1973, Burstall talks to Scott Murray about his films, his role at Hexagon and his views on Australian cinema and life in the the 1970s. I began by wanting to be a writer, hoping to write what one used to call satirically the G.A.N. — “the Great Australian Novel” . That was when I was at university. In those days, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the topic discussed at parties was not a film, as it is these days, but the latest novel. For instance, we would have been excited by the latest Saul Bellow, or Lucky Jim. Film was certainly part of that era, but the idea of becoming a Film­ maker was regarded as being out­ side our range. There were no Aus­ tralian films being made, and getting a start in filmmaking just didn’t seem possible.

attempt was made to disguise the fact that he was a puppet; his strings were quite obvious. The world Sebastian inhabited was full of big, rather comic adults, who were nearly always seen as comically wrong-headed, pompous When did you decide to try film­ or idiotic authority-figures. Sebas­ tian occasionally linked up with making? ' children; apart from that he was a Probably after I saw Lamo- loner. The original title song, for which risse ’s Crin blanc (The Wild White Stallion) at the Melbourne Film George Dreyfus wrote the music Festival. I knew one couldn’t make and I the lyrics, goes like this: expensive Hollywood-style films in In the bush there is a creature and he’s got a bushy tail Australia, but one like Crin blanc He’s not a kangaroo or a mongoose seemed possible. or a snail My first film was The Prize, Oh he wears a suit and waistcoat and which I followed with several art the smartest shoes and socks Where did you go after university? films. I was a friend of painters like T h a t ’s S e b a s t i a n , Se b a s t i a n , Arthur Boyd and John Perceval, Sebastian Fox To the National Film Library. I and it seemed easy and inexpensive “However does it happen that there wasn’t especially hooked on film, to make films on their work. is gravel in your bed? but it seemed one way of getting Who put the bucket on the door, that into writing. The only organization toppled on your head? Sebastian the Fox then making films in Australia was Who was it picked your pockets? Who milked your money-box?’’ the Commonwealth Film Unit, and That’s Sebastian, Sebastian Fox, etc. I felt I might be able to make my Sebastian was a pure innocent. way there from the National Film You then made “Sebastian the Fox” In terms of psychology, he was the Library and get work as a script­ for the ABC . . . id — naked spontaneity; one’s writer. Yes. The significant thing from a wishes expressed directly along the The job (Film Officer Grade 1) consisted of looking at documen­ technical point of view about lines of the pleasure principle. taries for four hours every day — Sebastian was that he couldn’t Sebastian was able to do delin­ “ appraising” them, as it was called, speak. He could only communi­ quent things and still be loved by and deciding whom they should be cate his feelings by blinking his children because his delinquency referred to. A diet of this sort eyes, lifting his tail and so on. No was always directed at the rules. He (From Wood Pulp to Newspaper, Bolivian Arts and Crafts) ultimately gave me a distaste for the whole documentary scene. I then became involved in scientific editing and writing for the Antarctic Division.

was never wicked or anti-social. One can see a very obvious development from Sebastian to people like Stork, who also was an innocent, and Alvin, another inno­ cent. For me, Sebastian is one of the first recessive Oz heroes. Apparently you ran into some censorship problems with the ABC over “Sebastian” . .. Yes. The ABC would accept that a brave little tailor could drop a rock on the head of a giant in a Grimm’s fairy tale, but wouldn’t allow something similar in Sebas­ tian. They had a set of spinster school teacher values, which meant that everybody in a children’s pro­ gram was supposed to act in an exemplary way. Consequently, almost nothing could happen. There was an element of this atti­ tude at the Commonwealth Film Unit as well. They were not so much into stories as highbrow and worthy public-spirited themes. This puritanism exists today. Take, for example, the often calvanistic reaction to films like “Alvin Purple” and “Petersen” . .. Sure, but the puritanism of today emanates from intellectual quar­ ters. The Women’s Lib reaction to Cinema Papers, September-October — 491


TIM BURSTALL

Petersen does not represent the What did you do after “Ned Kelly” views of the average person, or the fell through? bureaucracies ad m inistering money. We had another shot with a The puritan attitudes of the early feature, which was From the Other 1960s were shared by society as a Island. It is a story about a delin­ w h o le . Sex w as b a s ic a lly quent figure who escapes from the unmentionable, violence and crime, French Island prison and Finishes at it was assured, didn’t really happen the motor races on Phillip Island. here, etc. But now, when every­ There he becomes involved with a thing is permitted and one is free to Portsea lady. attack any subjects, censorship It was in the style of Rebel comes from a different quarter. Without a Cause, but it didn’t get Not from the community, but from beyond an outline stage. ideological pressure groups. And these groups certainly have an How did you plan to finance these influence on the government films? funding bodies. I don’t know, but I suspect a violent, right-wing, I got a book, I think by Sol vengeance fantasy like Mad Max Encel, listing the 66 wealthiest would have found difficulty in families in Australia. I then com­ getting government support. piled a list of likely people to

Above: The Prize, Right: Adult villain Burstall’s Sebastian series made

Burstall’s first film. and innocent puppet: The Fox, a children’s for the ABC.

Above: The expatriate Noel (David Turn­ bull) is handed a paper by the would-be writer, Will (Mark McManus). 2000 Weeks.

F irs t A tte m p ts at a Feature Was “2000 Weeks” the first feature screenplay you wrote? No, I had written a script (Man in Iron) on Ned Kelly in 1960. My producer, Pat Ryan, took it to Britain and showed it to British Lion. They were not interested in investing, but offered us money for the screenplay. Then, a year later, they brought out their own script on Kelly, written by David Storey. Of course, the Kelly story was in public domain, so they had every right to do their own version. The same thing happened in 1969 with Eliza Fraser. Three months after we had arrived in London and bashed our script around, another one was being fielded (Michael Luke’s The Domestication o f Mrs Fraser). This was subsequently sold to Sandy Howard. The earlier experience with the Kelly script was a big factor, I’d say, in our deciding to go ahead with Eliza Fraser once Sandy Howard had announced his intention of going ahead with the same story. 492 — Cinema Papers, September-October

bite. David Baker, who was then working with me, and 1 would ring 2 0 0 0 W eeks somebody and say we had a film we wanted to make and asked if we could come and see them. 1 must How did you finally get the money have been shown out of a hundred for “2000 Weeks”? different offices of tycoons of various sorts. But some people did When 1 returned from the U.S., put up money, like Rupert Mur­ where I had spent two years, Pat doch who put in £10,000, which was Ryan and I joined up again. Eltham a considerable amount in those Films, which was really Pat Ryan, days. On Man in Iron, we were put up 45 per cent, Senior Films — looking for £50,000, but we only at the time the largest production raised half. We gave back the house in Melbourne — put in money hoping we would return to around 45 per cent, and about 10 fight another day. per cent came from Peter Lord at

Victorian Lilm Laboratories. In those days, the only people interested in making features were those in the industry. The govern­ ment saw itself as having no role, other than putting money into Film Australia and the ABC. Also, the major distributors were unable to return money on any of the few films that had been made. They felt local filmmaking was uneconomic, and, of course, they were largely correct. The few Australian features which had been released had given the industry a very bad image. When we ran a test screening on Stork, for instance, the results indicated that while an audience would like the film, they probably wouldn’t go along if they knew it was Australian. Consequently, we identified Stork with overseas products, saying, “ Funny as M*A*S*H’’, “ Bawdier than Tom Jones”, and so on. What was the deal you did with Columbia on the distribution of “2000 Weeks”? We got the same deal Columbia offered everyone else: -he., it was distributed on a 75-25 basis, with us


TIM BURSTALL

getting 25 per cent of the net profit. The promotion of $10,000 was shared between Columbia and Eltham Senior. People hostile to the distributors said Columbia hung onto the film for seven months before releasing it. True, but Columbia wasn’t able to get a cinema until seven months after it had agreed to take the film; and since Columbia doesn’t have its own chain of cinemas, that doesn’t surprise me. It was then put into the Forum in Melbourne, which was a bit of a cemetery for films. But it was put in at Easter, a good time, and everybody did their best for it. The major problem was that it was a festival-type film and it needed the support, just like a Padre Padrone, of critics like Colin Bennett. U nfortunately, though the film was reviewed in

the ABC and Film Australia, which Sydney did. For a long time, conspiracy theories were held about distributors. Did you ever subscribe to them?

idea of an Australian film industry. They were, in fact, keener to give it a go than the critics and our socalled custodians of film culture. These people neither saw the possi­ bility of growth, nor that the Aus­ tralian audience might be inter­ ested in seeing itself on film. I don’t think the bulk of these critics were sufficiently interested in their own society to be able to recognize those things which related to it. They were spiritually far more at home in Paris and London, not Melbourne or Sydney.

No. That feeling was very polarized in Sydney, much more so than in Melbourne. The Sydney producers saw the distributorexhibitor interests as our enemies, and I think much of my reputation as a sold-out bastard emanated from my public utterances that one should work with the distributors because they were our natural How do you feel about “2000 allies. Weeks” today? It was my experience, when dealing with Village-Roadshow, I have a special place in my heart and with Colin Jones and Tom for it, because it was my first Nicholas at Columbia, that the dis­ feature and in some ways autobio­ tributors were sympathetic to the graphical. But I wince when I see it, except for the few energy points which are mainly in the flashbacks. I think of the first 10 years of mv film work, up to and including 2000 Weeks, as my apprenticeship. Stork exhibits much more control; and the breakthrough with Stork was that it had a script with plenty of energy. I don’t believe the acting in 2000 Weeks is bad, so much as a question of actors being asked to -say unsayable things, and act unactable things. It was too attenuated, too deficient in energy and too much of it was in an intellectualized form, instead of action.

Stork What came after “2000 Weeks”? Above: Will (Mark McManus) with his mis­ tress Jacky (Jeanie Drynan). 2000 Weeks. Right: Jackie Weaver and Bruce Spence in Stork, the film which marks for Burstall the beginning of the renaissance.

enormous detail, everything written about it was a put-down. This had little to do with 2000 Weeks itself. Around the end of 1970 the whole atmosphere seemed to change. It had something to do with Gortonism, a new nationalism, the cultural identity thing emerging. It was as if we stopped being embarrassed about hearing our­ selves speak. I think of the Austra­ lian film industry as starting in 1971, with Stork. 2000 Weeks came before the change, though it and The Naked Bunyip were important stepping-stones. I see this revival as growing out of a theatrical renaissance, and it was no accident the film industry began in Melbourne. You had Stork, which grew out of David Williamson’s first play at La Mama, and the Barry McKenzie films, which grew out of the Edna Everage figure Barry Humphries had developed in Melbourne and then taken to London. And you had Alvin, which was a Melbourne film. Another reason was that Mel­ bourne was geared, more than Sydney, to showbiz values. We didn’t have the deadly tradition of

Well, soon after we had finished the film Pat Ryan, David Bilcock, Rob Copping and I pulled out of Senior Films and formed Bilcock and Copping. The idea was to make commercials, which would then finance features. We then started off on a number of things; one of them was the short, Hot Centre of the Earth, which was done for the Producers and Directors Guild of Australia. This was the first time I worked with John Powers [Last o f the Knucklemen] who wrote the script. After that, I did Getting Back to Nothing, a documentary on the World Surf Championships. A group of production houses, including Filmhouse, Artransa and Bilcock and Copping put up the money when they heard that ABC America had pulled out of covering the event. We knew we had almost a certain sale, so we forged ahead. Then, when the Experimental Film Fund began, I applied for money to make Filth. I had been very amused by an incident at La Mama involving John Romeril’s Mr Big, The Big Fat Pig, which was based on what had happened to Alex Buzo’s Norman and Ahmud when it was first performed. Romeril’s play had a group of people swearing on stage, and then the police would arrest them. The detectives were played by people like Peter Cummins. One night, however, when the cast and audi­ ence were leaving after a per­ formance, they were arrested in the car park by real police and marched down to the Carlton police station. It seemed like a funny idea for a film, which would have been a cinema verite version of what had happened. But once I started on it I found all sorts of reticences from the people involved, and had to give it up. As I had already been given $7500 by the EFF, I went back to my assessor, Fred Schepisi, and asked, “Can I go ahead and adapt a play of Dave W illia m so n ’s instead?” It was called Stork. Fred agreed and I started looking for more money. I got a commitment of $5000 from Bilcock and Copping, and the rest I raised by hocking some of my Arthur Boyd pictures. We raised about $21,000, and decided to forge ahead. In the end, the film cost about $60,000. We released it ourselves at the Palais during Christm as, and advertised it through John Single­ ton’s advertising agency, Spasm, which had done some ACI testing on the film. Was your decision to four-wall the film at the Palais a reaction to Columbia’s handling of “2000 Weeks”? In one way, yes. It wasn’t that I thought we, the producers, could distribute a film better than the dis­ tributors, but that we needed to prove to the distributors that there was an audience for Australian films. Of course, this is what John Cinema Papers, September-October — 493


TJM BURSTALL

Murray had done when he roadshowed The Naked Bunyip. How successful was the run at the Palais?

entered into a partnership with Bilcock and C opping, and my com pany, Tim B urstall and Associates. Bilcock and Copping and I each had 25 per cent; Road­ show 50 per cent. The important thing to remem­ ber was that we had put up the money to make our first film; once Hexagon was established, we, the production arm, had to put up half the money. That was how it worked till Eliza Fraser, when Bilcock and Copping pulled out because the figures were getting too high for them. If a film failed, we lost money; if it made a profit, we com­ mitted ourselves to turning it back into making more films. So, I was the producer, director and financier (25 per cent) of my own projects. This placed me in a very different position from anyone else in the industry. Enviable in one way, but hardly the cushy position a lot of industry people saw me as occupying.

It took $50,000 in six weeks, returning to us $20,000. I then showed the film to Roadshow, but they turned it down. So we hired Harry Miller’s Metro Theatre in Bourke St, as well as the Village cinema in Balwyn. We also took it to Monash and Melbourne uni­ versities. This way we managed to raise our takings to $37,000, but still nobody would take over the distri­ bution of the film. We then took it to Sydney and four-walled it at Mosman. It was only then that we got our first offer, which was from Hoyts. But Hoyts would only give me a suburban release, and couldn’t guarantee the film would recover $30,000, the amount needed to put us in the black. So I took the film to Greater Union, which also knocked it back. I then returned to Mel­ bourne and decided to try Village Libido again. This time Graham Burke decided to take the film. It ended doing infinitely better than any­ What did you do after “Stork”? body thought possible. It took $224,000 in film hire and returned Libido, which was the first film to to us about $ 150,000; this was on an move away from ocker comedy. As expenditure of only $60,000. you know, it was a portmanteau feature consisting of four self-con­ Was the decision to set up Hexagon tained stories by Craig McGregor, based on the success of “Stork”? Hal Porter, Thomas Keneally and David Williamson. Chris Muir pro­ There were two factors: cer­ duced the project for the PDGA tainly the success of Stork with John Murray. impressed Village-Roadshow, The Williamson story was the

one I pressed for and probably would have done it had I not worked with Williamson before. In the end I got the Porter story, Graham Burke in particular, but which was a challenge, in that it equally important was the pressure was difficult to make it work on from the Tariff Board Inquiry of film. 1973. There was a tremendous feeling at the time that we had to There has been much capital made have a film industry. (The Austra­ out of your changes to Porter’s lian Film Development Corpora­ story. Why did you alter it? tion had already been formed.) Village-Roadshow, which had its One reason was that it needed a h ead q u arters in M elbourne, stronger structure, and more Jill Foster as the mother in The Child, Burstall’s episode of Libido.

494 — Cinema Papers, September-October

events. Another, though probably unconscious, motive was that I wanted to make it more autobio­ graphical. I was brought up in England in an enormous house in the north called Windford. In those days one had nannies, and rarely, in fact, saw one’s parents. You never ate with them, though there was something called High Tea, when they would sometimes come in and give you a kiss. But the person you ran to, if you fell over and hurt your leg, was your nanny, not your mama. Mama was the source of values, and harsh repressive expectations. So, there was a split focus thing; that is, between one to whom you owed allegiance, and the one who was freely chosen. This element — the m other/governess split in Porter’s story — was what I was interested in developing. I suspect, by the way, the split between the two women in 2000 Weeks was influenced by this up­ bringing. What was the budget of “Libido”?

because it is something on which one can be born, live, make love and die. One story was written by Alan Marshall, which Mai Bryning was set to do; another by Morris Lurie called Jingle Jangle, which Ross Dimsey was to direct; there was a John Powers story written for Simon Wincer; and a fourth by Max Richards, which Rod Kinnear was to direct. What happened to the project? Although failure can be very divisive, success can be even more so. The Libido exercise, curiously enough, generated a lot of obstruc­ tiveness and jealousy, and it took a long time to get another project moving. But once we did, we still couldn’t raise sufficient money. The VFC were prepared to invest, but the Australian Film Commission wouldn’t come to the party. They said portm anteau films were finished, and that while Libido was fine in its day, the idea was no longer viable. I think they were quite wrong, and it was a great pity.

The PDGA received a grant of about $25,000 from the Arts Council. John Murray’s budget was Alvin Purple about $7000, as was David Baker’s and Fred Schepisi’s. I went in for special pleading on the grounds that Next came “Alvin”, which was my episode was a period piece. I Hexagon’s first venture into film­ was finally given $13,000, though making? the episode’s true cost, given defer­ ments, etc., would have been closer Yes, but it was originally to $23,000. All the actors and technicians intended that it would be Petersen. received some payment, except for An announcement was made in the the Swinburne film students who press, in which A1 Finney, David helped us out, while the directors Williamson and I said we were and producers deferred their entire going to make a new film. Unfortu­ nately, David was working very fees. hard — he was still at Swinburne — How has the film fared commerci­ and couldn’t finish the screenplay to meet V illage-R oadshow ’s ally? deadline. So, we began looking I think the outgoing was $75,000, round for other ideas. At that time, Roadshow had had which was closer to $120,000 if you took the deferments into account. a very successful run with Pasolini’s The return so far is between Decameron, and there appeared to $60,000 and $75,000. Now, if we be an opening for an Australian sell it to 7television for another Decameron. I went looking for $50,000, we would be in the clear. It stories, visiting writers like Bob hasn’t been sold yet, but the PDGA Ellis, Frank Hardy, Williamson and Barry Oakley. I had 26 stories has it in hand. in all, and one of these was by Alan The PDGA has often discussed Hopgood, called Alvin Purple. doing another portmanteau film . . . While the first half was comic, the second was serious, but I thought I After we finished Libido, I was could chop off the front end and get very keen on the idea of doing one an amusing 20-minute episode out such film a year. It seemed the best of it. But as I bored further into all way of blooding young directors in the stories, the Decameron idea the feature business. After all, it seemed bitsy, and we decided it was was Schepisi’s first film, and better to go with one idea. So I took Baker’s and Murray’s. In each the A lvin Purple story and case, except for John who was most developed it with Hopgood, aiming ruthlessly savaged by the critics and at straight comedy. In the end, I has since retired hurt, Libido was a rewrote quite a lot of it — the water-bed stuff, the chases, the great help to their careers. turning of the McBurney figure, What was intended as the next film? who was serious in the original, into a charlatan, a sex maniac. Something called The Bed. This time we thought we had to connect Was Alvin’s virginal girlfriend (Eli the stories, and each revolved round McClure) a remnant of Hopgood’s a brass bed. A bed is a good pivot serious second half?


TIM BURSTALL

No, I introduced her as I felt the audience needed a point of comparison with which to identify. Given that Alvin’s behavior is running counter to a certain soft of morality, you must have relics of that morality or you have» no contrast. I think the problem with the love affair in 2000 Weeks, for example, was that while it was true of a certain section of society, a general audience found it hard to accept. It may have been all right in a French film, but not in an Aus­ tralian. If the characters had been deceiving each other, and not open­ ly declaring their relationships, it probably would have met with greater acceptance. This relationship between Alvin and the girl was actually developed

How successful was “Alvin”?

left with $120,000, the bulk of had the chance to play three which I put into Hexagon’s next different roles: Alvin; a gangster I think it is the third most films. So, while it seems a lot of called Balls McGee; and Alvin pre­ successful Australian film in the money to make, you don’t see very tending to be Balls — a role rich in last decade.1 According to my much. comic possibilities (cf Wonder figures,, it has taken about $4 Man). But when it came to the million gross, of which about $2.4 crunch, Blundell failed to differen­ million has been returned to the Alvin Rides Again tiate between playing Balls and exhibitors. So, $1.6 million came to playing Alvin pretending to be the distributors, which knocked off Balls. $500,000. This left the production The sequel, “Alvin Rides Again”, In my view, the film fails for pre­ company, Hexagon, with $1.1 soon followed, but apparently you cisely that reason: i.e., Alvin is lost. million. Now take off the cost were not very enthusiastic about ($202,000) and you are left with doing one . . . How much creative control did you $900,000. It was then sold for exercise as producer? $40,000 to television, so the Hexagon had bought the rights September 1977 total became to Pendergast, which was the I controlled the writing as well as $940,000. Alvin was a joint venture, so Roadshow got $470,000, Bilcock and Copping $230,000 and I

Above: Alvin (Graeme Blundell) and the body painting girl (Kris McQuade) in Alvin Purple. Right: Petersen (Jack Thompson) and his mistress (Wendy Hughes), the uni­ versity tutor. Petersen.

Above left: Alvin cleans a window only to find a housewife with similar intentions (above).

much further in the Final screen­ play, but I had to cut a lot out during the Fine cut.

the casting, and I was close to the editing. But it would be idiotic to call it my film, as some critics insist on doing.

For the sake of keeping up the level of humor . ..

As sequels go, it was quite success­ ful . . .

Yes. A lot of jokes went as well, just to keep the thing moving. After Alvin and the body painting girl roll around in paint on the water-bed, for instance, there was a cut to him looking at the canvas and saying, “ Not bad for a self-portrait.” Not that it isn’t a funny line, but it des­ troyed the pace and had to go.

Oh yes, we made money from it. I don’t think it was as good as the first Alvin, but it did well enough to end up as Australia’s sixth or seventh most successful film. There must have been a temptation for Hexagon to keep the series going . ..

Ken Hall once said that the only sure financial bet in Australia was a comedy. Do you agree?

There was, but the ABC then entered the picture and that was the end of that.

I think a well-executed film in almost any genre can work, though some genres are better than others. The track record of comedies in Australia is probably the best, but I suspect that comedies are not what audiences are looking for at the moment. The kind of comedy that is working is that of Neil Simon and Woody Allen, and we are not likely to get anything on those lines, are we?

$230,000. The .Tax Department then took 47.5 per cent and I was I. Based on figures compiled by Mr Burstall for his September 1977 article in the Bulletin. At that time, the ratings were: Alvin Purple, I; Picnic at Hanging Rock, 2; Number 96, 3; Caddie, 4; Alvin Rides Again, 5. Since then, Picnic has over­ taken Alvin, Storm Boy has passed Cad­ die and Alvin Rides Again, and Mad Max has overtaken them all, having already netted $1.65 million. This is made up of sales of $850,000 (world-wide) and $800,000 (U.S. domestic). As well, there will be residuals which will lift the figure higher.

project I was keen on doing next. Given the performance of Alvin, however, the Hexagon Board felt there was no choice. But while Hexagon wanted to do a follow-up, neither Hopgood nor Graeme Blundell were keen. Blundell wanted something which displayed his acting skills — he felt he was in danger of being typecast. Ultimately, I Finished writing the bulk of Alvin Rides Again with A1 Finney. We introduced the double identity element, so that Blundell

Petersen Your next film was “Petersen” . . . The Hexagon Board, in parti­ cular Graham Burke, didn’t want to make Petersen. Burke felt nobody would be interested in the lives of university students. I said I would make it outside Hexagon, Cinema Papers, September-October — 495


TIM BURSTALL

and approached the AFDC, which also knocked it back. Then, as soon as Burke heard we had been knocked back — he is a very quixotic man — he changed his mind and decided to support us. Burkey, to be honest, liked it very much when he saw it. Was it a commercial success? Yes, though it didn’t do as well as Alvin. It only made about $70,000, but after a television sale and an overseas sale it is doing nearly as well as Alvin Rides Again. “Petersen” makes an interesting companion piece to “2000 Weeks”,

adoptive one. David Williamson wrote the role of Petersen speci­ fically for Jack Thompson, and, as Jack was an adopted son, we decided to explore this. So we gave Petersen a middle-class back­ ground, but a whole line up of working-class or lower-middleclass connections. Every intellectual or academic character in your films is treated critically. There is not one who is likeable . . . Yes, that is true. I suppose you have to look at my background for an answer. My father and my grandfather were professors, but in a discipline [engineering] which is

No, much earlier. For instance, there were no chairs of English Literature until 1900. In other words, by the time the novel was dying, the academics began to see it as something worth studying. With Film, I wish to fight off the entry of the theorizers, culture vultures and influence sniffers into an area which I still think of as free — especially of the terrible burden of bullshit that the academics are now trying to pour over it. Most of them are unresponsive, schoolteacherish, rule-of-thumb people. Do you link the academic edifice in “Petersen” with Petersen’s step­ father who runs a church without any connection with, or belief in, God? Absolutely. F. R. Leavis says somewhere that, “The only argu­ ment for Philistinism I ever felt had any weight was the Anzacs in the First World War.” I don’t know what he meant exactly, except that the larrikin Australian — relaxed, healthy and with an anti-consci­ ousness view of life — had a few things to be said for him. So, I certainly think that to oppose the view of a reductive, commonsensical electrician to a university professor was a productive thing to do. I can remember a fight in Woolloomooloo where a gang of thugs removed the railings outside a house and then moved in. The only three people who opposed them were me (a public school boy), a journalist who happened to be a violence freak, and a drop-out

Above: The controversial fight sequence in Petersen, where Petersen takes on the in­ truding bikies. Right: Mark (John Waters) is threatened by his brother Robert (George Mallaby) in End Play.

496 — Cinema Papers, September-October

Yes, except I would have thought the problem with the Film was it wasn’t until he started to fail that people sided with him. I think the m ale-bonding section of the audience is with him earlier, but it is not until his woman starts kicking him in the teeth that the whole audience comes in behind him. Up to that point, I suspect they have been put off by a lot of his dem onstrations of Australian manhood. Of course, I knew there were some things which the uni­ versity-educated, middle-class person would resent and dislike about Petersen, but I was prepared to risk that.

End Play “End Play”, which is based on a Russell Braddon novel, is quite a departure .. . Yes. I wanted to get away from ocker material, and I thought of doing either a western, a musical or a crime-thriller. Of these, End Play was the easiest to mount. It was just after Sleuth, and I thought a two-hander like End Play would be viable. It is interesting to reflect how everybody was trying to move away from ocker material at the same time. Fred Schepisi was doing Devil’s Playground, Peter Weir Picnic at Hanging Rock and so on. We all felt we had to move into something different, and widen the scope. Did you have a free hand in adapting the novel?

in that many of the elements are similar . . . That’s right. Petersen is really a re-vamp of the earlier Film, though there is a class difference. Will (Mark McManus), in 2000 Weeks, is a journalist who aspires to be a writer; Petersen (Jack Thompson) is an electrician who aspires to go to university. Will and Petersen have two women — again a split between the mistress and the wife. In the case of Petersen, the mistress represents an intellectual set of values, someone to whom he aspires, but who also grates on him, and he on her, in terms of a whole series of cultural clashes. He comes from Moonee Ponds, and she from the south side of the River. In the case of 2000 Weeks, Will’s wife is an emotional Rock of Gibraltar Figure, while the mistress is a kind of romantic addition to his life. It is a gratuitous love affair. Then there is the question of father-son relationships. The father in 2000 Weeks is of the old puritan sort, and there has been a total breakdown in father-son relation­ ship. In Petersen, the father is an

It is at the party, particularly when Petersen goes to protect the children, that the audience comes to side with him . . .

different from what l think of a uni­ versity as representing. My atti­ tude to what we think of as the humanities side of university is that professors, lecturers and even schoolteachers have become the modern church. They don’t seem to be a source of value any more. I think, for instance, the entry of the academic mind into an art form like the novel, while it didn’t do any damage to it, certainly signalled the end of it as a key art form of the 20th Century. Do you mean academics like Roland Barthes?

At the time I felt there were restrictions, but I suspect they were m o stly in my m ind. W h at interested me was the competition between the two brothers. This led me to look at the sexual possi­ bilities of introducing a girl who had been the girlfriend of one, and then got off with the other — which is what I did. Perhaps I should have taken that idea further, even down to introducing a murder. That certainly would have given more energy to the middle of the Film.

neurotic. The party was composed entirely of “varsity chaps” who Many of the film’s scenes were shot were denying that anything was on a set. What effect did that have happening. One of them said, “ We on the finished film? libertarians are cowards, Tim,” as he disappeared into the other room. It made it far more fluid than It was the same syndrome one Finds would have been possible had we in critics like Colin Bennett who shot on location. There was a major think that violence is a Hollywood problem with the set, however, in import, not something that ever that it was intended that it would really happens in Australia. open directly out into the garden. I think the very uneventfulness of Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the A u s tra lia n su b u rb an life is right man to build the exterior part connected with a kind of under­ of the set and had to give the idea current of violence in all sorts of away. There was, therefore, a bump places — an anarchic desire to break the bloody thing apart. Continued on P. 576


JENITHORNLEY and MARTHA ANSARA Film For Discussion was premiered in the Womenvision Festival at the Sydney Film­ makers Co-operative in 1973. It turned out to be Martha Ansara and Jeni Thornley are film­ a very sensitive and restrained film. Beginning makers whose work spans the history of feminist with a montage sequence, borrowed in style and film production in Australia, and incorporates content from the work of Cuban filmmaker San­ the varied styles that genre has encompassed. tiago Alvarez, it shows Thornley at work and at Very little has happened in the past 10 years of home questioning the limited roles offered to Australian feminist filmmaking in which at least women in Australian society. one of them has not been involved. Despite Ansara’s reservations about film Thornley has acted in several films directed by competitions, Film for Discussion was entered in Ansara, and last year made her first film, the 1974 Greater Union Awards. However, out­ Maidens, which was judged Best Film in the side the cinema, she and other members of the General Section of the Greater Union Awards, Sydney Women’s Film Group handed out and invited to the 1978 Flaherty Seminar in the leaflets which criticized the Greater Union U.S. Organization as “the thumb of the hand which is Ansara is best known as a cinematographer. strangling the development of a native film in­ Her camera credits include: Letters from Poland dustry” . It added: (directed by Sophia Turkiewicz); Prisoners “Such a farce as the Greater Union Awards (made by the Prisoners Action Group); and two raises several questions. This year the films about Aboriginal Australians, Alec Australian film industry has crawled forward Morgan’s Robin Campbell . . . Old Feller Now, just a few more inches, with the production of and Essie C offey’s My Survival as an several features under way and a good number Aboriginal.2 of short films. How are we to judge their Ansara and Thornley met in 1969 at the in­ value? Does it help to pit one against the other augural meeting of the Sydney Women’s Libera­ in competition? . . . Can films really be tion group. A year later they began making Film measured by a few judges in a room? Because for Discussion, a propaganda film that would, in a film is complete only when people see it, we Ansara’s words, “show the things that lead a consider its context. Who was it meant for and young, attractive girl to discover women’s for what purpose?” liberation” . Graham Shirley’s A Day Like Tomorrow It was the first feminist film to commence (which covered similar ground to Film For production in Australia, but not the first Discussion, but in a completely different style), finished. By the time it was completed three won the documentary section of the awards that others, Living Together (directed by Julie year. Comparing the two, film reviewer Mike Gibson, and narrated by Jeni Thornley), Harris wrote that A Day Like Tomorrow was a Woman’s Day 20c (made by Margot Knox, “ far more cogent piece of women’s lib. Virginia Coventry, Kaye Martyn, Robyn propaganda than . . . the mechanically turgid Murphy), and Home (made by Robyn Murphy, and often ill-observed entry by the Sydney Susan Varga, Barbara Levy, and Leoni Crennan) were already in distribution. Below: Martha Ansara shooting Essie Coffey’s My Survival

Barbara Alysen

1. Part I in this series appeared in Cinema Papers, issue 9, June-July 1976, pp. 34-37, 89; Part 2, issue 10, September-October 1976, pp. 138-141, 180; Part 3, issue 12, April 1977, pp. 310-313. 2. Reviewed in this issue.

as an Aboriginal.

Women’s Film Group. While the latter did raise questions that need not just an answer but a solution, it over-reached and, at any rate in this particular demi-chauvinist, evoked the same reaction one got from Leni Riefenstahl’s Der triumph des Willens: it was so numbing as to create a distancing — disbelief took over. Or was it defensiveness?” He conceded, however, that “they’re both thought-provoking and in that they’re valuable.” 1 Film For Discussion, however, is one of the most widely-screened Australian short films; Ansara estimates it has been seen by as many people as some of the more successful feature films. It has also found distributors in Britain and North America — a rare achievement for a short film. In 1974, Ansara and Jane Oehr co-ordinated the Women’s Film Workshop, conducted with funds from the Interim Training Program of the Film and Television School; 20 women par­ ticipated, among them Thornley. Although

3. The Australian, June 5, 1974.


AUSTRALIAN WOMEN FILMMAKERS

feminism was not an entry requirement, many of those who took part in the course had worked in the women’s movement. The workshop was run along collective lines, with everyone taking some of the responsibility for its organization. During the workshop Thornley made Still Life (together with Dasha Ross), a short film about an artist’s model posing for an all-male class: “The Workshop was the first time I was ac­ tually involved in making films. Until then I had either been watching or acting in them. The Workshop was my first opportunity to get my hands on filmmaking equipment; it was very exciting. Making films was so dif­ ferent from being the passive receiver.”

Maidens After the Women’s Film Workshop was con­ cluded, Thornley decided to make her own film: “ I wrote a script which I put up to the Australian Film Institute4. It was called Cup of Tea and was about having an abortion in the mid-1960s when it was illegal. Basically, it was a dramatization; it explored the contrast between the intensity of lovemaking and the reality of getting an abortion when it was il­ legal. “The intensity of that contrast was really strong in my mind, but I couldn’t fuse the two experiences together. That’s why I wanted to make a film about it. I think it was quite a good script. “ In the end, however, I didn’t make it; I couldn’t come to terms with the idea of a twoweek shoot, using actors and lights, and all the other paraphernalia. Now that I have read and thought more, seen more films, and worked with more crews, I think my rejection of the idea had to do with rejecting the form of narrative cinema. It’s such a difficult area to work well in. You have to be very experienced 4. The AFI was then administering the funding for the Australian Film Commission’s Experimental Film Fund.

498 — Cinema Papers, September-October

to make a narrative film work, and I felt I didn’t have that experience. “ In all the narrative films I have worked on there has been an incredible disparity between the content of the film and the way they have been made. I couldn’t come to terms with that. I also couldn’t come to terms with hav­ ing someone act out my experiences, and I hadn’t removed them from me enough in the script for Cup of Tea. “ I knew I wanted to make a film, but I didn’t want to make that film. So, one day I decided to look at all the films I had ever acted in or worked on, and after brooding over them decided to change the concept for my film. I then wrote to the AFI and advised them what I wanted to do, and they gave their okay.” While Maidens was evolving, Thornley worked as a camera assistant, first for Jon Rhodes at Film Australia and then, on Ansara’s recommendation, for Tom Cowan on Journey Among Women. “ From the idea to the execution, Maidens took three years. During that time I tried to enrol in the Film and Television School, but each year I was rejected. The outline of Maidens was one of the things I submitted in my last application. “One of the reasons it was such a struggle to make was that I had to deal with my lack of confidence. I had taken the rejection from the School very badly. They said they wouldn’t admit me because my work was not of a suf­ ficiently high standard, and I began to believe it. Perhaps there was some truth in what they said. “ Denied access to formal training, I was working without the skills and patterns one develops when one has experience.” Maidens evolved into a portrait of four generations of Thornley’s maternal family, ex­ ploring the period between 1900 and 1977, draw­ ing on photographs found in family albums. It is an intensely personal film, and a comment on the development of all Australian families. When the film previewed at the Sydney Film Festival in June 1978, film reviewer Paddy McGuinness wrote: “The General Category award was . . . quite mystifying. It was given to a film called Maidens, by Jeni Thornley, which was technically incompetent, boring and stupid. I can only imagine that its evangelistic lesbianism won it support from the claque of anti-male fringe-dwellers in the women’s movement5.” The General Section had been judged, in fact, 5. National Times, June 17, 1978, P. 47.

Jeni Thornley and her mother in Film for Discussion, pro­ duced by the Sydney Women’s Film Group.

by filmmakers Sandra Gross and Phil Noyce, and Filmnews editor Tina Kaufman. Noyce and Kaufman replied to the McGuin­ ness review, describing it as “lazy and offhand” . Their letter didn’t arrive in time for the follow­ ing edition and was not published, but it said, in part: “There is a world-wide body of film apprecia­ tion which ignores the technical aspects of im­ ages and responds to the emotion com­ municated by the manipulation of these im­ ages. In these films, over-exposure, graininess, contrasty lighting, or whatever, are valid expressionistic tools to be used by the new generation of filmmakers who, not bound by traditional Hollywood aesthetics, find themselves free to fashion a new cinema vocabulary. Jeni Thornley has done just this, and we applaud her work.” McGuinness had also questioned the authority of the Australian judges of the Greater Union Awards. Traditionally, the foreign delegates to the Festival, who judge the Rouben Mamoulian Award, choose a different film from their local counterparts (1979 being an excep­ tion). Part of his concern with parochialism, however, must have been invalidated when Maidens won a Gold Hugo at the Chicago Film Festival and was invited to the Flaherty Seminar in the U.S. Commenting on the Awards and McGuin­ ness’ reaction to the film, Thornley said: “ Even getting into the finals of the Greater Union Awards was a kind of vindication of the criticisms that had been made about the film and the Film School made about me. It was even more of a vindication when the Film School sent me a telegram of congratulations. “ Paddy’s review disturbed me, but by the time it was published the film had been shown to lots of people and other reactions were even more disturbing. When I was having the sound transferred, the sound technician — who was the first man to listen to it — looked as though he had fallen asleep! I felt really mortified. “ I suppose it’s like having children. You can’t control what people think or feel. The film is a free spirit.” My Survival as an Aboriginal In 1976, Martha Ansara enrolled in the full­ time program at the Australian Film and Televi­ sion School to study cinematography. During the three years she spent there, Ansara directed


AUSTRALIAN WOMEN FILMMAKERS

two films — Don’t Be Too Polite Girls (about working women), and Secret Storm (featuring Jeni Thornley) — and shot several others, in­ cluding Letters From Poland and Me and Daphne (directed by David Hay). At the School, Ansara studied under cinematographer Brian Probyn, of whom she said: “ Everything I know I owe to him. You only really need one good person teaching you if you’re learning a craft. You just have cups of tea with them and watch them in action. After a while it rubs off.” During her final year, Ansara, together with black activist Essie Coffey, applied to the AFC for funds to make a documentary, My Survival as an Aboriginal. However, the production was postponed until Ansara had completed her course at the School: “ While I was working on Backroads with Phil Noyce I was aware of being different from the other people working on the film. While we were up in Brewarrina I met Essie. She was very nice to me; there were certain ways in which I was very different from the film crew that were acceptable to her. “ We had a bit of a talk about this and that and agreed on certain political questions. I learned quite a bit from her. When it was time to go I said, ‘We’ll make our own film, one that will say all the things that had to be left out of Backroads.’ “ You know how you say those things, and the next week you’ve forgotten them? Well, I didn’t forget, and one day I just got on the train to Dubbo and then on the bus to Brewarrina — and there was Essie on the bus! And so we discussed what the film should be about. I thought we should make a drama — just as exciting as Noyce’s Backroads, but she said no. She wanted everything in the film to be truthful, not play acting.” My Survival as an Aboriginal was directed by Coffey and photographed by Ansara; it won the documentary section of the 1979 Greater Union Awards and the Rouben Mamoulian Award. Coffey could not attend the Festival to accept the awards, so Ansara, who had just published an article in Filmnews detailing the history of the Greater Union Awards (which criticized them for not exhibiting the winning films in their cinemas, and for not increasing the prize money in line with inflation), collected them on her behalf. She used her acceptance speech to re­ mind the audience that poor nutrition and government indifference were still destroying the Aboriginals. My Survival was initially funded with $16,500 from the Creative Development Branch of the AFC: “ We were very economical; everybody had to eat porridge. We had the money to make a 26­ min. film, but I could tell it was going to be a bit longer. So we were careful with money, and for only $ 1500 more we got a 50-min. film — and an internegative too! I think we did very well. Essie Coffey (centre) during the shooting of My Survival as an Aboriginal.

film on Vietnam with independent filmmaker Richard Mordaunt. She also hopes to study with cameraman Ross Wood, for which she received traineeship funding from the Women’s Film Fund several months ago. Thornley is working on a compilation documentary about women and work in Australia, with Margot Oliver and Megan McMurchy. The research is being funded by the Creative Development Branch: “Since Maidens, I have developed more ex­ pansive ideas about what films can be used for. I didn’t make Maidens to be used for anything. It’s just as well I worked that out with Maidens and not some other kind of film. But it had to be made; it was a process of transformation within myself. I know it is limited as far as distribution is concerned, because I don’t think it’s accessible to a wide audience. “The women and work film is one that is needed. The only Australian film on the sub­ ject is Don’t Be Too Polite Girls, but there is no labor history film. We want to explore the Alec Morgan’s Robin Campbell — Old Fellow Now. labor history of working women in Australia, and the image of women in Australian films. “One thing that has always been important to “ By January we hope to have the equivalent of me is making films that really speak from in­ a shooting script, all the copyright questions side a situation. Just about the best experience worked out, the sound research completed, I’ve ever had was working for the Prisoners and we will have resolved what gauge and Action Group on Prisoners (winner of the length the film is going to be. documentary section of the 1977 Greater “This film couldn’t have been made five or 10 Union Awards). It was very inspiring because years ago, because we are drawing on research Tony Green, who produced the film and also by feminist historians like Anne Summers, appeared in it, knew so clearly what he wanted Sue Bellamy and Margaret Powell — work to say. that had come out of the womenls movement “To make a film, you have to remain naive. If and wasn’t around before.” you make a film with somebody like Essie or Ansara is one of the few women technicians Tony Green — who hadn’t made a film before working in the Australian film industry; and she —- you have to do exactly as they say and not has very strong views on the roles women should know better. Their weakness, which is ig­ fill in the industry, and how they should achieve norance about how film works, is also their them: strength. If you start trying to correct that, “ I can remember when I was 19 and I used to you ruin their strength.” tag along and carry things when people were As well as making films and distributing making films. I always thought it was only them, writing and looking after two children, somebody very special who photographed Ansara also works, from time to time, as an as­ films. It was hard for me to realize that Alfred sessor for the Creative Development Branch of Hitchcock didn’t photograph his films, that he the AFC: had somehow made them up in his mind’s eye “One of the things that has been important to without physically having to do it. I always me — not that I’ve kept it up — is that I went have to do things with my own hands. to see films obsessively for many years before “ Being able to photograph films has very little I ever thought about making one. to do with technical considerations and a lot “ It’s extraordinary to me that so many of the to do with mental attitudes and expres­ people who come to the AFC for money to siveness. I just wish more women knew this make films have hardly ever seen one. They and then they wouldn’t be so intimidated by might have seen certain films downtown, but machines. beyond that there has been so little explora­ “ I find it disturbing that more women don’t tion, and so little thought. want to work in technical areas. I don’t see “We have the problem, among filmmakers and how we are going to take over the film in­ film journalists in this country, of an extreme­ dustry unless they do. However, I don’t think ly underdeveloped film culture. Films are there are the barriers now that there used to made in a vacuum and discussed in a vacuum. be. People like Jan Kenny have opened the There is very little common purpose, or com­ way for women to do technical work. mon sense of the function of film in this “ I think women are discouraged by their own society. Discussions of film are without any inhibitions. They are still tentative about goals or guidelines. working in the film industry. They don’t do it “ Filmmakers who work in the industry are with their hands and eyes; they do it from a often cynical or exhausted, and they work in safe distance, and for me, directing is a safe an alienated way. This is a severe problem, distance. and this is why many of the films are virtually “ Part of my reason for saying this is that I re­ useless. They can be promoted easily, people ject the notion of a single person, the director, will watch them, and somebody may make being the creative force behind a film. There is money out of them, but beyond that very few an adulation for directors in this society that I of them seem to be lasting.” don’t share. I would like to see film where a When this interview was conducted, Ansara great deal of preparation and thought and in­ was about to leave Australia for Cuba and the spiration from all those involved go into their U.S. to arrange distribution for her own and making. other related films. My Survival as an Aboriginal “ I am not sure I wish to direct films, but I like has been invited to the San Francisco Film to photograph them. I also want to take Festival, and she will meet Coffey there for the responsibility for films. For me, the making of screening. the film is the seeing of it; I can’t give that up When Ansara returns, she hopes to make a to anybody else.” ★ Cinema Papers, September-October — 499


CURRENTS IN

Top left: Oshima (left) rehearsing Eika Matsuda and Tatsuya Fuji on the set of Empire of the Senses.

Bottom left: Empire of Passion, which won Oshima the award for best direction at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival.

Bottom right: Empire of the Senses. The filmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s explicitness has made Oshima a scapegoat for attempts by the Japanese authorities to suppress freedom of expression.


NAGISA OSHIMA Do you think the obscenity charges against you and the outcome of the trial you are now involved in will affect your work? 1 don’t think it will have much in­ fluence. Why were the charges brought against you? With such a long tra­ dition of pornography in Japan the official attitude seems very incon­ sistent . . . I think so, too; it is absolutely in­ consistent. As for the police, they have no objective basis on which to decide what is obscene and what is not. When they occasionally set up someone as a criminal, they just make a scapegoat or example of him; they think others will not follow suit. In some way or other they want to suppress our freedom of expression. So they hit someone in the public eye, like the recent incident involving the writer, Akiyuki Nosaka, and now the film­ maker Oshima. When it came into the country, Empire of the Senses had already been cut by the censors, so they couldn’t make the film itself their target. Therefore, they hit the book of the film, and are using that to teach us a lesson. That is the way power works. Of course it is con­ tradictory. Do you think the situation will get worse in Japan? It is bad enough as it is. 1 don’t think it can get much worse.

N agisa O sh im a ’s first film , “ A Town of Love and H ope” , was made in 1959, but it w a sn ’t u n til “ B oy” w as screened at the V enice F ilm F estiv a l, in 1969, that he attracted attention outside Japan. The en th u sia stic critical reaction the film received led to the com m ercial release of “ D eath by H a n g in g ” (1968) and “ D iary of a S h in ju k i T h ief” (1969) in London. S in ce then his film s have been show n at major international film festiv a ls, and m any have been released com m ercially in a number of countries. O sh im a ’s work has been ex ten siv ely reviewed, and he has been u n iversally acclaim ed as one of the m ost talented directors in Japan today. O sh im a ’s career, however, has been surrounded by controversy. In 1960, h is fourth feature, “ N ight and Fog over J ap an ” , about the activities of a group of m ilitan t students, w as withdrawn from circulation and suppressed. M ore recently, “ Empire of the S e n se s” (1976) has been banned in m any countries because of its sex u a l ex p licitn ess. O shim a is also involved in a protracted legal battle involving obscenity charges arising from the publication of an illustrated book of “ Empire of the S e n se s” . H is latest film , “ Empire of P a ssio n ” , premiered at the 1978 C annes F ilm F estival where it won the award for best direction. It was show n, for the first tim e in A ustralia, at th is year’s M elbourne and Sydney Film F estiv a ls. O shim a was interview ed in Tokyo recently for Cinema Papers by in d e p e n d e n t film m a k e r and jou rn alist Solrun H oaas. H e ta lk s about the obscenity charges against him , and the position of wom en in contemporary Japan. one who experiences life as suffer­ ing more than most. I want to por­ tray such people.

In your films, you often deal with characters who have been defined as criminals or outcasts by society. Is Do you think the reaction to your this because the conflict between films abroad is different from that in society and the individual can be Japan? seen more sharply through them? Or 1 think it is the same. It varies are you more concerned with the definition arrived at by a society or more with the individual than with government of what asocial or the nationality. In the case of The criminal behavior is, and what Ceremony, for instance, if you take the structuralists’ view of it, their creates a criminal? reaction is so difficult to compre­ I am very interested in the hend; not even I can understand it! criminal as such. As for the criminal versus society, of course I When I saw “Empire of the Senses” am very interested in this. But I am at the Sydney Film Festival — more interested in the criminal for where it was very popular — several his own sake than in the conflict people who liked it said they thought between the two. Ultimately it is it was beautiful, but not erotic . . . the suffering human being that con­ Not erotic? I can see that. cerns me. And the criminal is some­

Was that your intention? Yes. Do you see a connection between your approach and the ‘ukiyoe’ woodblocks, or traditional Japan­ ese theatre? There is a connection, but it is not something I was conscious of. It just came out that way in the pro­ cess. I understand “ Empire of the Senses” was particularly popular among women in Japan. Did you expect that? Yes. I thought it would have a large following among women. You once did a television program,

over a period of time, in which you spoke to women about their prob­ lems — sexual, marital and so on — and gave them advice. Did this affect the making of the film? Yes, it was related. Let me put it this way: my films have usually por­ trayed criminals. In the earliest ones, the person committing the crime might be a young boy or a youth. The typical crime, in the case of the youth, was rape. In such cases the woman would not be the perpetrator of the crime, but only the object of it. From a certain period, with films like Empire of the Senses and Empire of Passion, I began to do the opposite, to make women the central characters. The focus of my interest shifted in this way towards women, and I think the television program where I talked with women had something to do with this. Feminism has gained in popularity in Japan in the past couple of years, perhaps partly because it is some­ thing that has come from the out­ side and become fashionable. Do you have any opinion or comment to make on this trend? Yes. I feel I want to stand along­ side and fight with the women who are putting up a serious struggle. But among all the various cur­ rents, there are those that have come from overseas and just become fashionable. Basically, what was called the women’s lib. movement when it began was very good. In Japan it was at its best and was most vigor­ ous as a movement just before International Women’s Year, in 1975. After that, it went in the opposite direction, and while taking on a liberal facade, it became reac­ tionary. The old women’s movement in Japan went hand in hand with class struggle and socialism for a long time. With the women’s lib. move­ ment it became clear for the first time that the struggle had to deal with basic issues peculiar to women. I would support this. But we now have something called feminism. This, I think, is led by a group of elite women who are asserting their rights while embra­ cing a male society. I don’t think that’s the case with all feminists, of Concluded on P. 579 Cinema Papers, September-October — 501


Top left: Sachiko Hidari as a railway workerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wife in The Far Road.

Top right: The Far Road. Hidari (right) discusses a scene with one of the railway workers.

Bottom: Hisashi Igana in The Far Road.


SACHIKO HIDARI As an actress, I don’t like a scene cut, and therefore, as a director, I often use very long takes. When I stop a scene I feel as if my breath is cut short and the flow of human emotion has stopped. I have worked with many direc­ tors, and each has his own way of drawing out an actor. The one who impressed me most was Tomu Uchida. He would direct according to the needs of each actor. Working with Hani on the other hand meant using an all-amateur team. She and He was difficult to make for that reason. But the experience was useful in the making of The Far Road, because the union members and workers in the film were practically all amateurs. The scenes of discussions for instance — particularly the meeting of the workers’ wives — were all shot using amateurs. When you mix professional actors and amateurs you get a dis­ crepancy in acting styles. To avoid this halting effect, one has to try and get the amateurs to portray their own lives without being conscious of it. “The Far Road” focuses on a worker’s wife, Satoko. This is un­ usual for a union film . . . The average woman, as por­ trayed in the media, is of a rather passive kind: she doesn’t set out to change things around her. I feel little affinity with such women. Once, by chance, I found myself chatting with a group of railway workers’ wives I had met on a train. They told me that unless they took part-time jobs they couldn’t make a living. Regardless of whether they liked it or not, they had to work to su p p lem en t th e ir h u s b a n d s ’ incomes. They were very dissatis­ fied and felt they had to do some­ thing. They wanted to support their husbands when they went on strike for better wages. What they told me affected me greatly, and later I spoke to women in factories, offices, and other work places. Then, gradually, I began to develop a story. I discussed it with union officials and suggested it would make a film. 1. The star of Kenji Mizoguchi’s The Life of Oharu *■ 2. Hidari’s husband until 1977.

Sachiko Hidari is the only woman to direct a commercial feature film in Japan (“The Far Road” — 1977), since the death of actress Kinuyo Tanaka1, who, between 1954 and 1962, directed six films. “The Far Road” was seen for the first time in Australia last year, at a travelling festival of Japanese films sponsored by the Australia-Japan Foundation, and again this year at screenings organized by the National Film Theatre of Aus­ tralia. Overseas, the film has been screened at the Berlin Festival and in the New Directors’ series at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Hidari not only directed and starred in “The Far Road” , but also produced it, with finance raised from the Japanese National Railway Workers’ Union. It is based on her original idea and scripted by the well-known Japanese writer, Ken Miyamoto. Sachiko Hidari, like Kinuyo Tanaka, turned to directing after a long career as an actress, and has worked with some of Japan’s leading directors. Her films give a vivid, although varied picture of the post-war Japanese woman, with emphasis on strength of will, independence, perseverance and earthiness. Hidari’s two finest performances were in Shohei Imamura’s “The Insect Woman” (1963), and Susumu Hani’s2 “She and H e” (1963), which won her the best actress award at the Berlin Film Festival. In this interview, conducted by Solrun Hoaas, Hidari dis­ cusses her career as an actress, and the making of “The Far Road” . She begins by describing how her acting experience affected her approach to directing.

Essentially, The Far Road is a plea for a better life for railway workers, and for all other people in government-managed institutions. These are nationalized industries that continue to operate as if they were not nationalized. Why should a worker be getting a pittance after 30 years on the job? The lives of ordinary working families are not portrayed in Japan­ ese films very often, and the image of the working man is very weak.-1 Did the film change much in the making?

not in the script. In the theatre it could work to have the actors speak the lines as written, but I felt it wouldn’t with young actors who had no experience of the workers’ lives. So I told them to go to the railway workers and talk to them, make up their dialogue, and ask themselves questions like, “Why does father work for such low wages?” , or “ Why should I follow in his footsteps and become a rail­ way worker?.” You rem em ber th a t long sequence where the boy is talking to his mother about his future as they walk along the rails?

There is a lot in the film that’s 3. The Far Road is more radical politically than may be obvious to a non-Japanese audience. This is evident in the worker’s gradual awareness of his right to strike (something which has been denied nation­ alized company workers), and his refusal to join; the typically Japanese system of management unions, which exploit the worker’s sense of loyalty to his particular company over his allegiance to his fellow workers.

Yes, I liked that scene very much . . . The boy made up those lines him­ self. I liked the pace. You allowed it to run its course . . . Yes. There is no cut in this scene. I told the cameraman to keep

shooting, at least until the boy had stopped talking. I was surprised that it came off in one take. Rather than me (as the mother) telling the son, “ You should study hard, then go to university . . .” and so on, I wanted the mother to listen to what her son had to say and hear what he wanted to do. Therefore, I had the boy who plays the son make it up himself. Each time we ran through the scene it was different, but the basic content was the same: the son realized he had to choose his own course, and then, by his own choice, decided on the railway job. Here was something in his father’s way of living that had moved him. Japan has become a country where parents, worried about their children’s future, do everything to get them into an elite course. They totally disregard the children’s in­ dividual qualities and think only of their progress from kindergarten through to university. This is hor­ rendous: it was very much in mind while I was making the film. The character you play in “The Far Road” is a very idealized . . . There are a lot of women like that in Japan; women who live a simple life and learn to cope with hardship when their husbands are sacked or receive cuts in salary. There is nothing very dramatic about such people. Women have great perseverance — not just in Japan, but all over the world. They have an ability to put up with things that men don’t. Do you see this as a good thing? No, I don’t think one can say that. If the situation women find themselves in makes no sense, they must also have the intelligence to change it. Up until now persever­ ance has been made into a virtue. But now more and more women refuse to be bound by tradition; they decide their lives for them­ selves. There are such women in Japan, too, but in a society influ­ enced by the media people tend to become passive. The role I played in The Far Road is a combination of many women I have met. I created the character from the positive traits I found in them. Concluded on P. 579 Cinema Papers, September-October — 503


Treat Williams and Charlotte Rae in Milos Forman’s Hair: an old-fashioned type of entertainment filmmaking.

Post-Aquarian Apocalypse Jan Dawson reports on the 1979 Cannes Film Festival With the hindsight achieved by the time of the closing-night awards, it seemed appropriate that the 1979 Can­ nes Film Festival should have opened with Milos Forman’s Hair — as much an autopsy of the Swinging ’60s as a celebration thereof. Not only is Hair adapted from a pre-existing source in another medium (a general trend evidenced in the Competition entries from Bo Widerberg, Francesco Rosi, Werner Herzog, Volker Schlondorff, James Ivory and — arguably — Andre Techine), it also revealed a onceidiosyncratic European auteur abandon­ ing the quirky questioning of his smaller, more personal cineprobes and ap­ parently expressing delight in his newlyacquired American citizenship by allow­ ing every distinguishing personal characteristic to be harnessed to a somewhat old-fashioned type of enter­ tainment filmmaking, which equates style primarily with pace, glossy production values and sheer volume. For although Hair was the only film in the main Festival program with the ex­ cuse of being a musical — and a rock musical at that — it was, sadly, not alone in using excessively amplified sound as an easy way of asserting its separateness 504 — Cinema Papers, September-October

from the Oedipal medium of television. At the risk of laboring the point, it seem s w o rth in s is tin g th a t the phenomenon of Hair symptomatically resumes, on more levels than one, the shifting trends and tendencies which make for a re-definition of contemporary cinema. The Age of Aquarius, over which For­ man’s film casts its retrospective eye, was equated with a spirit of open-minded experimentation, manifesting itself off­ screen in the morality labelled ‘permis­ sive’, frequently involving the collective use of sex and drug-induced visions as part of an egocentric quest for a truth at once cosmic and private. On-screen, at least when tempered by the disciplines imposed by a tight budget and a realistic production schedule, the Aquarian spirit enabled the auteur film to reach its apogee: Herzog, with Kaspar Hauser, and Eustache, with The Mother and the Whore, were but two of the Euro­ pean Aquarians to be honored with prizes at Cannes; while in the U.S., the executives of multi-million dollar con­ glomerates sought desperately to harness some new free spirits capable of reproducing the economic miracle of Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider.

It is, of course, one of the finer ironies accompanying the present economic depression that it should have made in­ dividualism big business. Apocalypse Now, the most expensive vision ever filmed, reveals this tendency pushed to its farthest limit. At the poorer end of the market, most noticeably in Western Europe, former visionaries — increasing­ ly obliged to seek their financing from television or international producers — appear to be caught up in the drift towards ‘safe’, common-denominator subjects and literary adaptations suitable for prompt transmission on the smaller screen. Of the major film-producing na­ tions, only the East European countries seem immune from these contradictory pressures of the capitalist market place. Indeed, the major overall impression to be generated by this year’s Cannes Festival was of the international film in­ dustry — engaged in an elaborate game of musical chairs. On the basis of the tendencies to emerge from the 1979 Festival, it appears (and exceptions to this general rule were more than gratefully received) that the U.S. is the present stronghold of auteurist cinema; that Eastern Europe is excelling in the area of social and moral criticism; and that Western Europe is floundering aesthetically somewhere between the two stools. To complete the cautionary metaphor, it’s worth remembering that musical chairs, besides involving a uni­ versal shift of positions, is also a game In which the players are eliminated — one by one. To return finally, and concretely, to Forman has ‘opened up’ the original Gerome Ragni James Rado Galt Hair,

MacDermot stage show into a trans­ continental odyssey. Although Incor­ porating all but three of the original songs, the story has been re-shaped. A breathtaking elegiac opening se­ quence shows the untroubled and un­ changing beauty of the farmlands from which Claude (John Savage) has been drafted into the U.S. Army (at the time active in Vietnam). His two-day stay of grace in New York becomes his, and our, initiation into the delights of tribal, drop­ out society, expressed less effectively through Twyla Tharp’s choreographed ensemble work in Central Park than through the complacent and slightly op­ pressive charisma of the super drop-out, Berger (Treat Williams), who assumes the Ariadne task of guiding the novice Claude through the labyrinthine joys of the alternative society. Berger demonstrably represents the alternative so cie ty’s fundam ental morality: and in practising the collectivist doctrine he preaches to the point of following his new friend across country to his California boot camp and (albeit un­ intentionally) assuming his place in the Army, he in fact also endorses that most traditional of Hollywood virtues — male camaraderie. If, on the negative side, it must be said that Forman’s ’60s reconstruction allows him little scope for the improvisation and unplanned observation that d is ­ tinguished his work before One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; that neither Tharp’s studiedly casual choreography nor Miroslav Ondricek’s free-wheeling camera produce the sense of raw urgency which characterized the original stage show; that the film’s more psy­ chedelic ’production numbers’ seem born of a meeting between Ken Russell and West Side Story — Forman’s Hair still has one powerful thing in its favor. His own hindsight enables him to show, not merely the charm but also the fragility of the Aquarian Dream. The sub­ stance of the stage musical becomes merely the central panel in the triptych which traces the thread connecting the stability of the farmlands to the imperial ambitions in South-East Asia. There are no neutral characters in Forman’s Hair: everyone involved is either hawk or dove. And the penultimate sequence, in which the flower-child Berger — now shaved, shorn and uniformed — becomes one of the anonymous army to be swallowed into the belly of the jet transporter which will take him to Vietnam and another brutal, alternative_reality provides the cinema with its most potent epitaph yet for the optimism which was the ’60s. Via Vietnam, the American optimism of the ’60s has yielded not merely to im­ potent despair, but also to a form of in­ sanity the more terrifying for being self­ aware. If, for the Czech emigre Forman, Vietnam could be observed as a linear stroke of destiny, for Francis Ford Cop­ pola, who, on his own admission, “ knew very little about the war” , its tales of nightmare horror could only be ap­ proached through a form of identifica­ tion. Where Forman sees the war as ter­ minating the hallucinogenic experience, the script for Apocalypse Now, which John Milius based, at Coppola’s sugges­ tion, on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, was received by Coppola as “ part zany comedy, part terrifying psychedelic-horror” . It focuses on the universal nightmares of the war by recording one man’s experiences of them; at the same time, it questions the horrors it records by presenting them through the eyes of a protagonist who is more observer than participant, and whose own moral, or amoral, am­ bivalence prevents the filmgoer’s iden­ tification with him from ever becoming more than partial, critical or tangential. As film and protagonist make their in­ separable way up through the jungle and towards the heart of darkness, the filmgoer finds himself submerged in an hallucinogenic, sensually inviting, technologically sophisticated dance of death and destruction, at the same time denied any of the usual keys which would


1979 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL simplify the task of deciphering its mean­ ing. The protagonist, Willard (Martin Sheen, considerably matured since Badlands), is a Special Officer — in other words, a professional killer of professional killers. In common with many a uniformed soldier, he is sent on a search-and-destroy mission; but the dif­ ference in his case is that the object of his search is not an enemy outpost but an individual American officer, Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who has established a private kingdom far behind enemy lines. In sharp contrast to Deer Hunter, where violence and a brutal enemy loom in close-up whenever an American citizen is faced with a moment of moral choice, Apocalypse Now reduces ‘the enemy’ to abstraction and (except for the bombing raid) to invisibility: the horror of war emerges the more pronounced for being merely part of an eerie, but b e a u tifu l b ackg ro un d. It is this background, this escalating retreat from the established rules and values of civilization, that gives the film its sustained element of muted suspense. Sheen’s impassive, sweaty, in ­ terrogative gaze suggests a process of introspection at work: one finds oneself wondering, as the film’s style and pacing become increasingly oneiric and in­ trospective, whether this process will prove powerful enough to modify his original sense of himself as a man with a simple job to do. And at the end of the film, Willard’s mission accomplished, we are still wondering — uncertain whether he has killed Kurtz only to take his place. To complain, as most people did, that everything which happens in the film after the first shadow-darkened sighting, of Marlon Brando’s Kurtz is an anti­ climactic mess, is to complain about the film’s inner logic — rather like complain­ ing that the holy grail, when finally located, proves no more visually exciting than a glass of tomato juice. Coppola’s film, in many respects a multi-million­ dollar, airborne Aguirre, is a journey to the thresholds of moral choice, sanity and the human soul: he can hardly be reproached for failing to depict the inner darkness as vividly as he does the ap­ proaches to it. Coppola’s incomparable and spec­ tacular achievement served to eclipse the brightness of most of the other American entries, or at least to have the effect of turning them into period pieces — which, indeed, several of them were. The least exciting was Martin Ritt’s Norma Rae, for which Sally Field, in the title role, received the Best Actress award. It’s an unsubtle, comic-strip simplified story — nonetheless dated in its liberal-humanist optimism for being set in the present day — of an aggres­

Francis Ford Coppola’s epic Apocalypse Now: submerging the filmgoer in an hallucinogenic, sensually inviting, technologically sophisticated dance of death and destruction.

sive, fast-tempered proletarian who transcends her exploited condition when she joins forces with an American Textile Workers’ Union delegate to help unionize the cotton mill which employs her and the rest of her home town in the American South. The film has pretensions to the modern, even to the fashionably feminist,

Linda Manz in Terence Malick’s Days of Heaven: the tale of three incestuously-connected characters hurtling towards their nemesis in 1916 Texas.

insofar as it shows its heroine putting more energy into — and deriving more fulfilment from — her political activities than her relationships with lover, hus­ band and children. Yet, in that it never seriously shows her confronting more than one facet of her life at a time, it re­ mains as fundamentally old-fashioned and cliched as the perennially-smiling Jewish union organizer played by Ron Leibman. Terence Malick’s ecstatically-praised Days of Heaven was, for me, a disap­ pointment. Despite Nestor Almendros’ photography, which endows the flat ex­ panses of the open prairies with an epic dignity and a quivering fragility, the film’s pretensions to the epic — reflected as much in the amplification through the Dolby sound system of every rustle of corn or snap of twig as in the Greektragic aspirations of its tale of three incestuously-connected characters hurtling towards their nemesis in 1916 Texas — the core of the film is a banal triangle of jealous passions which needs to achieve the mythical status of a Gone With the Wind if it is to avoid sinking into the mire of the novelette. W orking from his own original screenplay, Malick reproduces the dis­ tancing device he used in Badlands (another story of expulsion from Eden in which woman is temptress and man pays the highest penalty for heeding her siren song) by having his story narrated in voice-over by a child, this time a worldlywise one who is herself a peripheral rath er than a c e n tra l on-screen character. The fact that the adult characters have already met their fate before the child’s recollections begin is worked, and over-worked, to lend a

tragic stature to their largely non-verbal communications within a dominant land­ scape; but the faux-naif effects from which much of the tension should derive (the gap between child perception and adult passions) wears gratingly thin before the holocaust of the final reel. Visual beauty is also predominant in Woody Allen’s latest, Manhattan, a hymn to the romantic skyline of a city, here peopled only by lovers and culturelovers, photographed by Gordon Willis in low-contrast black-and-white, and serenaded by the old Gershwin tunes that make up the music track. Where Malick’s aspirations were clearly signalled as Biblical, Allen sticks to his own, increasingly assured brand of urban anthropocentrism: if love and death remain his twin obsessions, the em phasis s till rem ains on th e ir manifestations in the here-and-now. Casting himself In the central role — a divorced writer called Ike Davis — Allen laments the transience of his mortal un­ ions (“ I’ve never had a relationship with a woman that lasted longer than the one between Hitler and Eva Braun’’), and continues — in his quest to wrest a lasting meaning from his passing fancies — to worry most of his relationships into the ground. The story involves a series of overlap­ ping emotional triangles, and this time the Allen character is allowed to get at least one of the girls. The fact that he dares to take himself seriously as a lovable lover is not the only change in A lle n ’s on-screen persona: the characters over whose clay feet his own romantic yearnings stumble are drawn from the more affected echelons of the Cinema Papers, September-October — 505


1979 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

Mariel Hemingway and Woody Allen in Manhattan: a perfectly proportioned minor work.

New York culture-vultures; and although the irrepressible Diane Keaton again im­ poses herself as a vulnerable neurotic, despite the polysyllabic banality of her up-market small talk, it’s this latter which defines the communications between all the characters, except Allen’s ike and his schoolgirl girlfriend (Mariel Hemingway). In this context, and even though the characters’ common heritage of neurosis provides a levelling and a leavening agent, Allen's self-mockery renders him closer to the heroic than the other characters with their self-assertions. This time, primarily, it’s the other people who are the joke. And though Allen, as director and screen-persona, still has a long way to go before he reaches complacency, there are signs that his anxieties are beginning to fit him more comfortably than before. The result is not only a technically more accomplished film, but also one In which the humor occasionally treads a dangerously thin line between the self­ deprecatory and the self-congratulatory: the Alien style is now almost too polished to suit the emotional mess that lies at the heart of its subject matter. While Manhattan belongs in the category of perfectly-proportioned minor works, there was one other American film at Cannes which not even Apoca­ lypse Now could succeed in dwarfing. And beside which James Bridges’ The China Syndrome — an excellentlycrafted, apocalyptic cliffhanger about a go-getting television presenter (Jane Fonda at her most convincing yet) who uncovers evidence of a lethal fault in a nuclear power plant and starts waging a doubly-doomed fight against the big business interests which control it — recedes into the realms of the well-made thriller. At the age of 72, John Huston has, in Wise Blood (shown out of competition) created a film as uncompromisingly modern in its tirelessly questioning spirit, denial of answers and eccentric observa­ tion as it is ‘old-fashioned’ in its flawless craftsmanship. Scripted by Benedict Fitzgerald, from the novel by Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood manages to run its tale of a collection of misfits, in an ap­ proximately contemporary Georgia, into 506 — Cinema Papers, September-October

a haunting vision of American society after the apocalypse. The film starts almost conventionally — and not without echoes of Huston’s own Fat City, which will, incidentally, continue to recur throughout the film, somewhat in the manner of reflections in a distorting mirror. Newly discharged fro m the A rm y , H azel M ote s (mesmerically incarnated by Brad Dourif) returns to the redeveloping country town called home to find himself a homeless orphan. (A tombstone cryp­ tically tells of a parent “gone to joining the angels” .) Like many a lone-ranger, se lf­ searcher or American go-getter before him, Hazel sets out in a new suit and giant hat (which he does with all the reverential ceremony of a matador preparing for the arena) to sample urban life and to divest himself of his hell-fire religious origins. His Impersonation of an atheistic swinger is not a success: everyone, from the fat, $4 whore with whom he begins his attempted initiation into ungodliness, recognizes him as ‘a preacher’. Everyone he meets proves to be a lone prophet (or a charlatan sermonizer) soothsaying in the wilderness of a curiously underpopulated city in which each moves in almost perfect isolation from the misfits around him. Try as he may to assert his claim to his own, self-motivating life, Hazel en­ counters only characters who define themselves and him in relation to a God who, if present at all, would appear to function primarily as a fount of commer­ cial enterprise. Enraged, Hazel attempts to preach his own anti-religion, “the Church of Christ without Christ” ; and just as we have grown to see him as conven­ tionally insane — a man with a fixed idea he can neither com m unicate nor abandon — we realize that he is as sane as the next man, that each of the characters mirrors the others in his separate but equal, and equally un­ heeding, insanity. Individually, the characters struggle to impose a meaning of lives long since divested of any: whether they speak of love or sin or redemption, they confront the same yawning void of loneliness and purposelessness, driven by the compul­ sion of their warped inner logic to at­ tempt to join what remains sundered.

Even after Hazel, in a film which perfectly balances the blackest of humor with the bleakest of Greek-tragic visions, has maimed and blinded himself in a con­ fused attem pt to prove the non­ redemptive value of suffering, he re­ mains such stuff as lonely female dreams can prey on. His crusade to prove the meaninglessness of existence lends him the power of a holy man. For me, only one of the European films at Cannes achieved the same parabolic power as Huston’s: Rainer Werner Fass­ binder’s The Third Generation, much maligned by his fellow countrymen, and which, in a style which recalls Godard’s last attempts to reconcile narrative cinema with political preoccupations, bombards its audience with multiple and conflicting sounds and images, and a barrage of technological gadgets, to suggest the fundamental meaningless­ ness underlying a multiplicity of alter­ native meanings; and the extent to which

machines take control of the men who in­ vented them. The idea of society as a vast, many-headed Frankenstein monster is not a new one to Fass­ binder’s work: it was central to his twopart television film, World on a Wire, in which the scientist hero, working on the creation of facsimile humans, found himself to be no more than a facsimile from another scientist’s brain. But science fiction is one thing, and sensitive contemporary politics evidently another. The general outrage with which most German critics have greeted The Third Generation apparently derives largely from the fact that its characters are not robot-scientists, but members of a terrorist cell whose biographical details frequently appear to derive from those of the Baader-Meinhof group. Terrorists, especially dead ones, have, it seems, already acquired their own fixed place in the mythology of contemporary politics. And those who see them as demons seem joined to those who regard them as martyrs in resisting any attempt to dis­ turb the mythological status quo. Yet, It is precisely this status quo, this receptacle of received ideas, this vast machine for converting energy into un­ threatening cliche, which Fassbinder takes as his target. And here he challenges It as uncompromisingly as he challenges the artistic conventions which govern how a political tale should, ‘correctly’, be told. While sharing all of their rage at a huisclos society, Fassbinder dares to laugh at Germany’s sacred monsters; to suggest that they are at their most risible in their attempts to forge for themselves in­ dividual identities separate from the society that spawned them. Hence, on the one hand, the camped-up theatrical posturings of his superstar guerrilla group; hence, on the other, the many jokes revealing that they have not yet cut the umbilical knot which binds them to a consumerist society: they complain about the furnishings at a ‘safe house’, revel in their lurid disguises and exotic aliases, compete for the best property on the Monopoly board, play-act at being fugitives in a film , and discover themselves caught up in a game in which only the blood is real. Fassbinder's starting point is the no­ tion that, “ if terrorists did not exist, the state would have to invent them” . His particular band are the brainchild of a right-wing businessman (Eddie Constan­ tine) who hopes their exploits will stimulate an increase in the falling sales for his computerized security devices. Their lives, which they naively believe they have chosen, are incestuously, inex­ tricably linked with those of the police who pursue them through a society governed as much by the law .of the double-double-cross as by that of supply and demand. Wheels within wheels,

Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The Third Generation: bombarding the audience with multiple and conflicting sounds and images.


1979 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

machines within machines, they aspire to become the image which society has made of them. When a series of ironic accidents leads to their kidnapping the Con­ stantine-character whose creation they unwittingly are, they direct the shooting of their home-movie ultimatum with ail the perfectionism of a von Sternberg. The retake becomes a metaphor for the human condition. And in suggesting that society’s ‘monsters’ are merely its own, mirror-image creations rather than its detachable excrescences, Fassbinder probes indelicately at the endemic nature of totalitarian attitudes within the democratic state machine. While Fassbinder’s film was consigned to the Festival’s subsidiary section, vapidly entitled ‘Un Certain Regard’, another film which turned terrorism to c o n v e n t i o n a l l y d r a m a t i c ef f ect represented Italy in the main competi­ tion. Dino Risi’s Dear Papa (Caro Papa) casts Vittorio Gassman as a multi­ national industrialist who finds that his student son is plotting a political assas­ sination, but takes a lot longer than the audience to realise that he himself is the intended victim. Fashionably streamlined, the film places equal emphasis on the plutocracy’s indulgence in conspicuous consumption and in the g e n e r a t i o n gap. The t ycoon is characterized as considerably more in­ telligent than his rebel son (though both are surrounded by crude caricatures — of wealth and malcontent respectively), and an opportunistically ‘happy’ ending suggests that family ties are stronger than political differences. Blood, in this case, proving thicker than blood. Another competitive Italian attempt to combine apocalyptic warnings with pop­ ular family entertainment was Luigi Comencini’s Bottleneck (Lingorgo una storia impossible). Screened at a time when tales of the violence produced by petrol shortages in the U.S. might have given it a topical edge, it vitiates its portrait of civilization paralysed by an in­ terminable traffic jam through its deter­ mination to produce a star for every car — creating the ultimately tedious effect of a Grand Hotel on immobile wheels. Another inscrutable fable about the breakdown of civilization was Federico Fellini’s Orchestra Rehearsal (Prova d’orchestra), which was shown in an un­ official screening at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. The political implications of its (crudely post-synchronized) portrait of an orchestra disintegrating into anarchy, until their conductor reaffirms the need for a ‘strong leader’, have been hotly disputed. In fact, like many a younger filmmaker on display in Cannes this year, Fellini seemed determined to have it both ways — a determination which reduced his film, even at its modest television length of 70 minutes,

to a formal exercise in danger of becom­ ing a pretentious bore. Surprisingly, it was Italy’s foremost political filmmaker who provided the Competition with its most attenuated political message. Eboli, Francesco Rosi’s adaptation from Carlo Levi’s Christ Stopped at Eboli, allows the desolate poverty of Lucania to speak for itself, and attempts to demonstrate, with nudgings or underlinings, the irrelevance of national politics to a lifestyle virtually untouched by the Industrial Revolution. Rosi’s powers — of observation and composition — are such that one might reasonably have hoped for another masterpiece in the manner of Ermanno Olmi’s Clog Tree. Unfortunately, the mute, amused and occasionally out­ raged humanism which Gian Maria Volonte is required to register in the central role of the exiled intellectual, in­ troduce a false note of sentimental patronage. And with many a sequence concluding with a close-up of the soulfullooking dog who follows. Levi into exile, one can’t help wonder whether Christ didn’t also find the time to stop in Disneyland. It was France, however, which provided the Festival with its most con­ centrated area of disappointment, despite the confirmation, through La Drolesse, that Jacques Doillon is the most uncompromisingly original film­ maker working there today. Original, because he dares to base his dramas on meticulous observation rather than on in­ flationary cosmic warnings; because he is content to show, through the ebb-andflow of human relations, the mechanisms by which people — sooner than confront the yawning abysses of their own s o l i t u d e — can a c c o m m o d a t e themselves to even the most irregular forms of camaraderie. The odd couple of La Drolesse are a 20 year-old mentally-retarded farmboy and the practical 11 year-old girl whom he kidnaps for company. Doillon creates a domestic Badlands without any of Malick’s Biblical aspirations, showing the preference of his misfits’ sequestered domesticity to anything they can expect to find in the world outside. Unfortunately, one Doillon is not enough to save the French cinema’s reputation, which was helped by neither Alain Corneau's Serie Noire, an over­ promising title placed at the service of a silly rather than funny comedy-thrillerturned-sour, in which another teenage temptress (Marie Trintignant) pushes a twitching and overbearingly mannered Patrick Dewaere towards a life of crime; nor by Techine’s tedious Bronte Sisters, which most resembled a television serial without the weekly intervals. Techine was determined to avoid the pitfall of putting the literary process on the screen; but since the major events in his sisters’ lives

Andre Techine’s Bronte Sisters: an anthology of well-photographed death scenes.

Francesco Rosi’s Eboli: underlining the Irrelevance of national politics to a lifestyle untouched by the Industrial Revolution.

were writing and dying, he is left with an anthology of well-photographed death scenes to help the nudgingly referential dialogue along its leaden path. There is more than one sense in which great writers don’t always make for the greatest films. American James Ivory, providing the Festival, in The Europeans, with its only official British entry, unwisely plays Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s fairly straightforward adaptation from Henry James for farce and prettiness, leaving

the wit and subtlety of the original as strained as the effects of pathos after which Lee Remick strives in the role of an unsuccessful European fortune-huntress in 1850s New England. The film is all the more of a disappoint­ ment, in that the same creative team’s re­ cent television film, Hullabaloo over Geòrgie and Bonnie’s Pictures (set in contemporary India and screened in the Market section at Cannes), had wittily-

Coneluded on P. 583

James Ivory’s The Europeans: unwisely plays Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s straightforward adaptation from Henry James for farce and prettiness.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 507


I am part of the second genera­ tion of Swiss filmmakers — after Alain Tanner, Michel Soutter and Claude Goretta. Though I started making films at the same time, I followed a different course. I have more affinity with German-Swiss cinema than with French-Swiss cinema. The difference between the two cinemas is that while the French-Swiss came out of tele­ vision, the German-Swiss origin­ ated in documentaries. The docum entary school in German Switzerland is rather developed. It is a social reflection on Swiss society, and has developed a rapport with the people. The sub­ jects of these films are planted in the social and political prob­ lématique. The French-Swiss cinema, on the other hand, has followed the same route into fiction, but by using the same means available for docu­ mentaries: direct sound, 16mm cameras, non-professional actors, natural light, etc'. These techniques have allowed the development of cinema in a country that has no structure for it.

“Les petites fugues” took three years to make. Was this a reflection of the difficulty of your moving from documentaries into features? It is true that the gestation of Les petites fugues was very slow, but the problem was a different one. The need to get away from documen­ taries is something felt in the docu­ mentaries; they are quite theatri­ calized. A more important prob­ lem is the financial side. Les petites fugues cost 1,600,000 Swiss francs (A$848,300), which is quite expen­ sive. However, the slow gestation also came from my method of work. I work in a very artisanal way, and two film collectives were used in making the film. This allowed the film to be made in a very autono­ mous way. Did these collectives financially sup­ port the film?

Do you mean structure in financial terms? Yes. Industrial structure. Studios and technicians, etc., don’t exist other than for television. This has had a direct effect on the kinds of cinema that have developed. The financial and technical constraints gave an intimate form to the films. They expressed themselves through the spoken word with very few characters — one thinks of films like Bertrand von Effenterre’s Erica Minor, or the films of Tanner and Soutter. The form of these films was also influenced by their being shot on 16mm, in black and white, and with few actors. Many scenes would often take place in one room and, because of budgetary limitations, there was rarely any shooting in the countryside. This is not a value judgment on the films; it is an attempt to charac­ terize them. Today, however, there is a generation of Swiss film­ makers who are reacting to this form; who want to open out their cinema. The last films of Tanner and Soutter are examples of this — Messidor and so on. This cinema also uses a more poetic language, with humor and dialogue that doesn’t deal directly with the social and political content of the film — that is to say, which isn’t formu­ lated by it. 508 — Cinema Papers, September-October

The Cannes Film Festival consists of several different events, and while the officially-invited films in the Competition gain most of the coverage in the popular press, often it is the films in the other events that generate the greatest critical response. One such film in 1979 was Yves Yersin’s “ Les petites fugues” , which screened in the Un Certain Regard section. A moderately-budgeted Swiss feature, it tells the story of how the life of Pipe, a 66 year-old farm-hand, is transformed after he buys a motor-cycle. While in Cannes for the screening of his film, Yersin was in­ terviewed by Scott Murray. Yersin begins by discussing his place in Swiss cinema today.

No. Collectives don’t subsidize films, they just gather together the technical side — the technicians and so on. They also have sound studios, and editing and mixing facilities. The filmmaker is the one who actually pushes his project for­ ward. The state doesn’t subsidize the collective; it subsidizes the film. The main collectives are Film­ kollektiv in Zurich, German Switzerland, and Film et Video Collectif in Lausanne, French Switzerland. Before going to the collectives, I tried to get the film started through the classical approach of finding an established producer. This took a year, and came to nothing. And, during that time, the technicians united to bring together all their technical means, and to possess the tools with which they work. Finally, Robert Boner, who is a member of the collective in Lausanne, became the producer. He is now a profes­ sional producer. He started with other films in the collective, like Patricia Moraz’s The Indians Are Still Far Away. Government subsidy is obviously essential to continued film produc­ tion in Switzerland. What is the present level of funding, and is it likely to continue? It is essential if films are to be made in Switzerland. At the moment 2,750,000 Swiss francs (A$ 1,458,035) is made available for film production and culture — that is, for absolutely everything to do with film culture.


YVES YERSIN

work is about to start. That is why I wanted to finish the film at this point. The scene where Pipe flies round the Matterhorn in a helicopter confuses me, in that he seems to prefer the photograph in his room to the reality. This seems to go against his path to liberty . ..

Does the state expect to recoup the money it invests in films? Things are moving in that direc­ tion, but financial gain is not yet a criteria in deciding what films are to be made. How much did the state invest in “Les petites fugues”? It put in 300,000 Swiss francs, which is about one-fifth of the budget. Equally important, how­ ever, is the financial involvement of Swiss television. It is practically impossible to make films of the nature of Les petites fugues with­ out a co-production arrangement. “Les petites fugues” also had the involvement of French television . . . Yes. There are three essential things for Swiss films: government subsidy, co-production with Swiss television, and co-production with a foreign country. The audience in Switzerland is so small that it is impossible to cover costs in Switzerland alone. I understand the story in the fdm is based on a true incident . . . Yes, it is about an agricultural worker whose life was completely transformed when he started to travel in his old age. He bought a motor-bike with the money he received from the pension fund. But he was caught drunk, and the motor-bike was taken by the police. He died of the consequences of an aborted suicide. Claude Muret [co-writer] and I decided to use this incident to describe not only the life of an old farm-hand, but also to make some kind of fable. We kept the main events and the setting, and added to it ourselves. The various stages of develop­ ment of the main character repre­ sent the symbolic stages which correspond to our own reality: the discovery of geographical auto­ nomy, the power over oneself and others, the implication of the body in an experience, a sense of escape, the flight to somewhere else,

Michel Robin as Pipe, about to fly, in Yves Yersin’s Les petites fugues.

ecstasy, Katmandu. Then the one’s personal and deeper experi­ repression that shocks you into a ences. state of complete destruction and the impossibility of continuing on Is this dealing with characters, the road to detachment. Finally, rather than ideas, indicative of slow reconstruction by means of something wider than just a reac­ reflection; by the discovery of tion to the earlier films of Goretta others and your place among them, and Tanner? and the power and potentiality of loneliness.1 Yes. It is an evolution that fol­ lowed the movements of 1968 — a I am interested in your use of the re-definition of what is “political” . motor-cycle as a catalyst, because This re-definition of the politique is while it does help Pipe progress something that comes essentially towards autonomy, a motor-cycle is from the individual. One cannot also a negative product of civiliza­ impose a transformation on society tion: it is noisy, polluting, causes the in general; it is a transformation of landscape to be broken up with the individual that one must attain. roads and so on . . . Power is questioned because Pipe questions himself, and through his The means offered by modern actions invites the audience to use technology has that effect only the same processes of self-ques­ because one is the master as well as tioning. prisoner of it. Everything depends on the way things are used. In the Yet Pipe doesn’t try to communi­ case of Pipe, instead of being cate this process to his boss. prisoner of the motor-bike, he is Because of this, he causes unneces­ prepared to conquer it himself. His sary friction . . . alienation on the farm is due to him always being there, and the motor­ Correct. Pipe only imposes what bike provides him with a way of he is trying to do. He cannot com­ attaining liberty. municate it to his boss because he would not understand. The scene where Pipe flies on the Up to this point the boss has had motor-cycle is the only time the film the responsibility of everybody on moves into fantasy. Was part of the the farm — or, at least, felt he had motivation of the scene to divorce the responsibility. But from the the fdm that little bit from reality, moment a person takes responsi­ thereby strengthening your desire bility for himself, the power of the not to talk about political things boss is lessened. It is therefore directly? something that one is forced to impose; one cannot do it through Yes. The scene is a way of help­ discussion. So, while the boss ing to avoid imposing ideas on the finally-does give responsibility to public which are already formu­ the others, they have in fact already lated. It is an attempt to reach the taken that responsibility them­ public in a deeper way, through selves. other means. One should always try to tell the The Film stops at the point where public things that allows it two dif­ self-responsibility has dawned on ferent ways of perceiving them. So, each of the characters in different while one can see Pipe as simply ways. It is optimistic in one sense, flying, one can also link it with but it doesn’t go further . . . I. Yersin’s reply incorporates a brief extract from an interview with him, conducted in March 1979 by Roland Cosandey, and reprinted in the Les petites fugues press book.

From the moment one attains autonomy, anxiety begins. Liberty is not necessarily happiness. Rather, it signals that immense

The film is built on two general movements: the first is called Kat­ mandu, which is about the search for liberty, total and abstract, and the second shows the limits of this way of attaining liberty, and how, ultimately, Pipe goes further than that. People who only go through the first movement often find them­ selves back in society in the state they were before. This can end in total self-destruction, through injecting drugs or by becoming marginal. I wanted to show how society reacts to the sort of liberty that Pipe is conquering. Liberty goes further than Pipe at the motorcross rally; he is not in control of it. And it is usually at this moment that society repri­ mands that liberty. In the second movement, the film shows how Pipe defines himself in society by re-defining his sur­ roundings, his complexes and his rapport with himself, with others, and with his work. He discovers that there are two forms of work— what he does for others, and what he does for himself. In the scenes of the Matterhorn, Pipe realizes that the Katmandu movement is not a finality for him. This mode'of pro­ gression was valid at the begin­ ning, but now it is no longer suffi­ cient. And the only way to advance further is to do so back at the farm. That is why he says, “I have to go back to the ground because I have things to do” . . . Yes. Pipe realizes that the Matterhorn is, for him, a dream, and only approachable by means that he cannot control, such as a helicopter. So the photograph in his room is much more important to him than the Matterhorn; it is all his fantasy, while the reality of the Matterhorn is something he cannot do anything with. ★ Filmography Documentaries 1965 1966 .1967 1967 1967 1967 1969 1969 1970 1970 1970 1970 1970 1970 1972 1973 1976 1976 1979

Le panier a viande (short) Les cloches de vache (short) Le licou (short) Valvieja (short) Le tannerie de la sarraz (short) Angele (short) 1980 — Celui qui dit non (short) Le huilier (short) Les boites a vacherin (short) Le sangles a vacherin (short) Une fromagerie du jura (short) Le cordonnier ambulant du loetschental La chapeliere du loetschental Le four en Pierre Olaire La passementerie (short) Les derniers passementiers Le reveil de l’ordre (short) Le prix d’un divorce (short) Features Les petites fugues

Cinema Papers, September-October — 509


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AUSTRALIAN TELEV Why it is the way it is Julie James Bailey The history of Australian television must inevitably be that of government policy and legislation. There are two reasons for this: (a) Broadcasting uses limited air space and, therefore, precludes free competition; and (b) It reaches every member of the public who can turn on a receiving set, thereby requir­ ing some control. This history, therefore, is one of government action and reaction to the various vested inter­ ests involved in broadcasting. In the early days of radio, when the system was being established, these interests were manufacturers and retailers, broadcasting com­ panies and the public. The successes and fail­ ures of these pressure groups on the government of the day resulted in the dual system of national broadcasting — the Australian Broadcasting Commission and the commercial system — which exists today.1 The three factors which determined the struc­ ture of television were the existing dual system of commercial and ABC radio, the federal election of December 1949, and the economic crisis in 1951-52.

Dual System Established2 Radio moved out of the experimentation stage in 1923, and the first regulations introduced by the Post Office were for a system of sealed sets. They were the brainchild of Ernest Fisk, managing director of AWA, which was one of the leading manufacturers. Through the Post Office, listeners paid licence fees nominating the broadcasting station they wished to receive, and their sets were sealed to receive that channel only. Initially, no direct commercial advertising was allowed. It soon became obvious, however, that there were not enough listeners’ licences to generate sufficient revenue to support the broad­ casting stations. So the Postmaster-General allowed sponsorship announcements. At the same time, the Sydney Sun bought into the radio station 2BL, and that was the beginning of news­ paper involvement in the ownership of broad­ casting. The sealed set system was unpopular with three of the four companies licensed to broad­ cast , the radio set retailers and the public, and all pressured the Postmaster-General for an alternative system. So, in 1924, the “ A” and 1. As every government since 1942 has failed to examine the structure, performance and role of the ABC in the broadcasting system, this analysis has not attempted to plot the history of the ABC, which has made very little impact on broadcasting structure and control. 2. Curnow, R. A n Administrative History o f the Develop­ ment o f Wireless Telegraphy and Broadcasting Until 1942. MA thesis, Sydney University, 1961-.

“ B” class licence system was introduced. “A” class licences were operated by broadcasting companies funded from the revenue from lis­ teners’ licences, while “ B” class licences were operated by the broadcasting companies which were allowed to advertise. Neither the “ A” or “ B” class licensing system succeeded in getting radio to the country areas, however, as both methods of financing depended on broadcasting to areas with large popula­ tions. As a result of public demand, the Royal Commission on Wireless was appointed in 1927. It heard considerable evidence in favor of the BBC system, but did not recommend that system because of the difficulty of compensat­ ing the existing companies.-1 Instead, the Government tried to get the “ A” class companies to pool their resources, set up relay stations and make greater use of interstate relays; but the profit motive of the individual companies mitigated against this compromise. Finally, in 1929, the Government decided to acquire the plant and equipment of all the “ A” class stations. It paid £64,261.10.7d in compensation and put the supply of programs to these stations up for tender. The Australian Broadcasting Company, a consortium of new interests (none of the stations already broad­ casting were involved), won the contract for three years, with a promise to meet the demands of various public pressure groups interested in education, music and the arts. Throughout 1930 and 1931 the pressure from public groups continued; many of them believed that only a public corporation could provide a high standard of programming on a national basis. The Government was prepared to introduce such a structure when the Australian Broadcasting Company licence expired in 1932, and the Australian Broadcasting Commission Act was passed. This set up the ABC along the lines similar to those which exist today. The new ABC had problems in the first decade of its existence: with new broadcasts, publications and relations with the Govern­ ment. Over the same period the commercial broadcasters were having problems with the Post Office in relation to regulation, and these difficulties eventually led to the setting up of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Broadcast­ ing, which produced its Report in 1942.4 This became known as the Gibson Committee, after its chairman. That was the only public inquiry to look at the total operation of the ABC, and some time was spent examining the method of control through the general manager and the commissioners. 3. Australian Parliament. Report of Royal Commission on Wireless. 4. Australian Parliament. Report and evidence of Joint Parliamentary Committee on Wireless Broadcasting, 1941 (Gibson Committee).

The Report recommended, among other things, the administration of commercial radio by legislation and an end to its direct control by the Post Office.5The Government concurred, and to the existing legislation, which controlled the ABC, added these recommendations. This new Act became the substantial basis of the Broad­ casting and Television Act as it exists today.

Early Television Policy The 1942 Act, of course, made no reference to television; its history begins with legislation passed six years later, in 1948. This Act set up the Australian Broadcasting Control Board (the forerunner of the Australian Broadcasting Tri­ bunal) and excluded commercial television.6 The government of the day was eager to set up a national service in the six capital cities which would cover 60 per cent of the population. It also wanted to co-ordinate and control the technical side of all broadcasting, including television, and the programming and advertising side of com­ mercial radio. The debate in parliament focused on the issue of control, rather than the pros and cons of commercial television.7 The Australian Federation of Commercial Broadcasters (the forerunner to the Federation of Australian Radio Broadcasters) had, as early as 1936, considered the advantages of a separate board to prevent chaos of the airwaves. The Federation was unhappy about the way the Post Office had been regulating commercial stations and allocating channels. However, the Federa­ tion feared that a government authority would interfere in programming, particularly if the body was set up by a Labor government. The Liberal Opposition also strongly opposed the concept of a board, claiming that it would be “the' first step towards nationalization” . The Control Board was set up in March 1949 with three permanent Board members and a staff recruited from the Post Office. The Labor government regarded the Board as a champion of the interests of the listeners, and the Board recognized8 that its responsibilities in this area “ represent a novel development in the adminis­ tration of broadcasting” . Within months of the Board’s inception it ventured into the programming role and issued its first order (Political Order No. 1) which defined the terms of availability of airtime for political broadcasts, and required commercial stations to transmit any addresses by party 5. Ibid. 6. Cole, B. The Australian Broadcasting Control Board and the Regulation o f Commercial Radio in Australia. 7. Commonwealth of Australia. Parliamentary Debate 199. 8. Australian Broadcasting Control Board. Annual Report, 1949.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 511


AUSTRALIAN TELEVISION

leaders which had been broadcast by the ABC. In the 1946 elections the ABC had given a 15minute segment to the Communist Party, but by 1949 the Cold War had begun and a “ Reds under the bed” climate existed on both sides of parliament. The Control Board revoked the order, which was destined for revocation by parliament anyway, and it never again made an independent move in the programming area.

The 1 9 4 9 Election The Labor government called for tenders for the supply of television transmitters and studio equipment for a national service in each capital city, but before work began the Liberal Party gained power and Robert Menzies became Prime Minister. The new Government announced its detailed policy on television in June 1950.9 It stated that television would develop gradually, with one station in Sydney for the National Television Service, which would expand as funds became available. There were also to be two commercial television licences — one in Sydney and one in Melbourne — with others available to appli­ cants in any of the other capital cities who showed they had the financial capacity to sustain a service. This policy statement had serious implica­ tions for the ABC. Far from being given a monopolistic control of television, which was a possibility under the Labor government’s policy, it was fighting for the junior role in the develop­ ment of television. Moreover, it was left uncertain of the future plans of the Government which officially supported private enterprise and had many members who were not fans of the ABC. Charles Moses, general manager of the ABC at the time, said many years later10 that he had suggested to Menzies that a national service and commercial service should come under one statutory authority, like the ABC. This way, the powerful medium could be operated in the public interest. He admitted, however, that Menzies was never in favor of the idea. In August 1950, the Government set up a tele­ vision advisory committee, consisting of the Director-General of Posts and Telegraphs, the chairman of the ABC and the chairman of the A ustralian Broadcasting Control Board. Charles Moses went overseas on a fact-finding mission for this Committee. He recalled" he was concerned to prevent that the same mistakes which had been made in radio — particularly the separation of responsibility between program­ ming which was done by the ABC and the 9. ABCB. Annual Report, 1950. 10. Interview with Sir Charles Moses for Australian Film and Television School, June 17, 1976 11. Ibid.

Filming an episode of Pacific Film’s The Terrible Ten.

512 — Cinema Papers, September-October

Compere Bill Collins (at front) leads the sing-along on Sunny Side Up.

Lady for a Day — day-time viewing at its best.

provision of technical facilities which were supplied by the Post Office. Because of the cost of setting up a national television service, Moses wanted a system introduced which would encourage the Australian public to buy tele­ vision sets. He had been very impressed with what he had found in San Francisco, where statistics showed that an increasing number of television sets were bought as more channels went to air. He also said he was very conscious of the cost of making television programs, and that the cost of a national service might be too much for the Australian economy to sustain. He proposed, therefore, that there should be advertising on the ABC in 20 to 25 per cent of its programs.

Commission on Television, chaired by Professor G. W. Paton, vice-chancellor of Melbourne Uni­ versity, and including the chairman of the Control Board, to determine how many tele­ vision stations there should be, and where they should be located. The Opposition was very critical of the Government introducing legislation to provide for commercial television before the Royal Commission had reported, and for not allowing the Commission to provide a basic philosophy for the introduction of television, or even to decide whether commercial television was wanted.

Number of Channels

The Economic Crisis of 1952 By early 1952 the economic situation had become serious, and in March the Government announced that it had deferred the introduction of television until the economy improved.12 The future of television was again problematic, but early in 1953 the Government announced it would amend the broadcasting legislation to permit the licensing of commercial television stations “on the same fundamental basis as has been so remarkably successful in respect of sound broadcasting” .13 It also appointed a Royal 12. ABCB. Annual Report, 1952. 13. ABCB. Annual Report, 1953.

Host Graham Kennedy (centre stool) chairs the celebrations on In Melbourne Tonight’s 1000th show. A wistful Bert Newton can be seen in the group at left.

The Royal Commission took evidence from a number of witnesses who felt that a television service should be operated solely by a govern­ ment authority, and that commercial services should not be permitted to operate at all — or, alternatively, that the latter should only be per­ mitted to operate after the national service had been established for some years. In a personal submission, Richard Boyer, the chairman of the ABC, revealed the real problem inherent in a commercial television system: “ It is around this question of the limitation of total television transmission that the real issue is joined in the respective merit of com­ mercial and public operation of television. In public operation there is no inherent urge to telecast more hours or more sessions than the availability of material of quality and public interest will permit. Commercially there is a natural urge to fill all possible hours with material of some sort for time is the product sold. This inevitably leads to the inclusion of a vast amount of material which is of inferior and sometimes distinctly harmful character. When one considers the long preparation and care devoted to the production of Film for theatre use because of the possibility of screening into thousands of individual audiences over a long period of time, it is obvious that the filling of day-long television programs on a multiplicity of stations must result in a lowering of quality.” Boyer then recommended a gradual introduc­ tion, stating that it was inadvisable to entrench any sectional interest, be it commercial, poli-


AUSTRALIAN TELEVISION

Live recording of HSV-7’s The Happy Show.

tical, or religious, which may have to be extrac­ ted in the future. He urged in favor of the Post Office ^erecting transmitters which it would continue to own, to carry sponsored programs and renting facilities to those commercial organizations which wished to take advantage of them. He continued: “ The many applicants, both (sic) com­ mercial, cultural and religious who may now or in the future desire participation on a com­ mercial basis in television, should not have their rights prejudiced by the present aliena­ tion of any frequency to any one or more particular interests. Where competition cannot by its nature be completely free and unlimited due regard to community rights can be achieved only through the sharing of the community facility.” 14 The Royal Commission, however, stated that its terms of reference had restricted its function to inquire only into conditions under which the existing dual system should operate, and stated: “ Although the question whether commercial television should be permitted in Australia is clearly a matter which has caused great concern to large sections of the community, we have come to the conclusion that it is not included in the matters referred to us, and we do not therefore propose to offer any observa­ tion in this issue.” 15 In 1954, the Royal Commission recommen­ ded one national station and two commercial licences in Sydney and Melbourne, favoring the evidence from the commercial radio broad­ casters, newspaper proprietors and manufac­ turers which wanted to encourage the purchase of television sets.

Control Board also gave permission to the New South Wales branch of the Returned Service­ men’s League, and Actors and Announcers Equity to be heard as interested parties, and Equity made a strong plea for an Australian content quota. The Control Board reported to the Minister16 noting that the applications came from a narrow area of press, broadcasting and theatre interests, and recommended that the four licences be given to the applications with substantial press and broadcasting interests. It is interesting that they did not recommend one substantial Sydney application with no press interests. The Minister approved the Control Board’s recommenda­ tions in April 1955, and all four commercial stations and the two ABC stations were on the air by January 1957. In 1957, the Government announced the extension of the ABC and commercial tele­ vision services to the other four capital cities.17 It also stated that it had made no decision on the number of commercial licences to be granted in each capital city, and would not do so until the Control Board had made recommendations based on further public hearings. In the Control Board’s Report18 on the Bris­ bane and Adelaide hearings it noted that much of the evidence was devoted to the interest and development of the existing stations in Sydney and Melbourne, and that GTV’s evidence indica­ ted the station should be allowed to develop tele­ vision in country areas through the establish­ ment of relay stations. So, the Control Board addressed itself parti­ cularly to two issues: whether the existing licensees in Sydney and Melbourne should be allowed to exercise substantial influence in the Television Licences establishment of the new stations in Brisbane and Adelaide; and to what extent newspapers, which already had interests in television broad­ The next significant event was the choosing of casting stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Bris­ the licensees. The Control Board conducted bane and Adelaide, should be allowed to exercise public hearings into the granting of licences in 1955. Four applications were received for the 16. ABCB. Report and Recommendations to the Post­ master-General pursuant to the Television Act of 1953 two Melbourne licences, and eight for the two in and the Television Regulations of Applications for Sydney. At the public hearings the Control -Licences for Commercial Television Stations in the Board approved representation by counsel. The Sydney area and the Melbourne area, 1955. Also printed 14. Submissions and evidence to Royal Commission on Television, 1953, held by Australian Broadcasting Con­ trol Board. 15. Australian Parliament. Report of the Royal Commis­ sion on Television, 1954.

in the ABCB Annual Report. 17. ABCB. Annual Report, 1958. 18. ABCB. Report and Recommendation to the Post­ master-General on Applications for Commercial Tele­ vision Licences for the Brisbane and Adelaide areas, 1958.

control over television stations in Brisbane and Adelaide, if licences were granted to them. The Control Board answered both questions negatively. It recommended that there should be only one licence issued in either city and indica­ ted that a locally-owned company, not con­ trolled in any way by companies already holding licences, would be preferred. The Government, however, rejected these recommendations and requested the Control Board to choose two licensees in each city from the original applicants.19 This decision was another blow to the independence of the Control Board, and ensured that the existing Sydney and Melbourne television licensees, with their powerful radio, newspaper and magazine interest groups, had a strong influence in the Brisbane and Adelaide stations. There was no difference of opinion in Perth and Hobart. All applicants stated that only one licence should be granted20, and TVW (in Perth) and Tasmanian Television (in Hobart) were recommended by the Control Board. By 1961, television had been extended to 33 country areas, which had been allocated one ABC and one commercial television channel. The Postmaster-General had directed that, where possible, licences would be allocated on the basis that they were local independent com­ panies and not associated with the metropolitan services. Two of these licences were in the large conurbations adjoining Sydney in Nev/castle and Wollongong. The Sydney licensees attempted to prevent these two independent stations from getting overseas programs. The Board tried to impose conditions on the Sydney stations to stop this embargo, but the stations took the Control Board to the High Court and they succeeded. However, when it became clear that the Govern­ ment intended to support the Control Board with legislation, the stations gave in. In March 1963, the Government announced that a third licence would be allocated to the four capital cities and a second licence for Perth. This decision appears to have resulted from a number of pressures: the advertising industry wanted greater competition; other commercial interests wanted a piece of what appeared to be the profitable television cake (between 1959 and 1961 net profits increased from $1.5 million to $2.8 million, yet the Control Board made only a token effort to enforce regulations relating to the amount of Australian content). Other pressures included the need to break the media monopoly which was building up with existing metro­ politan stations (in the previous year Consolida­ ted Press, owners of the TCN licence in Sydney, had taken over GTV Melbourne) and the Government’s concern that if Labor won the next elections it might allow the trade union movement to have the third licence. The reason the Minister gave, however, was that there was room in the airspace, and that “great competition would result and benefit residents and the development of the television service” .21 There were nine applications for the Sydney licence and six for Melbourne. GTV Melbourne tried unsuccessfully to intervene in the Mel­ bourne hearings to protect its network interests, should the Control Board decide not to grant a third licence in Brisbane and Adelaide, having already granted a third in Sydney and Mel­ bourne. The Control Board disallowed their appearance on the basis that they had not been 19. ABCB. Supplementary Report and Recommendation to the Postmaster-General on Applications for Commer­ cial Television Licences for the Brisbane and Adelaide areas. 20. ABCB. Report and Recommendation to the Post­ master-General on Applications for Commercial Televi­ sion Licences for the Perth and Hobart areas, 1958. 21. ABCB. Annual Report. 1962.

Cinema Papers. September-October — 513


AUSTRALIAN TELEVISION

able to show an interest, and recommended that the third licences in the four capital cities should go to applicants with no newspaper interests.22 The granting of the 1963 licences is significant because it brought Ansett into television. The A nsett com pany, A u staram a, got the Melbourne licence but not the Brisbane licence for which it also applied. The Board recom­ mended Universal Telecasters which had no other commercial television interests, and claimed that the stations would be run by Queenslanders for Queenslanders. Ansett then bought up the shares in Universal Telecasters and controlled the company. The Melbourne Herald commented: “ If an applicant rejected by the Board can gain his ends by buying his successful rival’s share on the stock exchanges, it seems to make the Board’s hearings a costly but rather ineffective form of indoor recreation.”22 In recommending24 South Australian Tele­ casters Ltd for the licence in Adelaide, the Control Board noted that the majority of shares would be held in South Australia, except for some held by Ansett. This station (SAS-10) was taken over by TVW Perth in 1971, however, and now the majority of shares are held in Western Australia. In Perth, Ansett also had a small number of shares in Swan Television, the successful applicant for the second licence. So, by July 1965, when the third stations in Brisbane and Adelaide went on air (the last of this group to do so), the structure was completed in its present form, and what Richard Boyer feared in 1953 had arrived — endless hours of airtime to be filled.

Standards The major concern with the standards for television has always been over the amount of Australian-made programs (which is measur­ able), rather than their quality (which is not). At the Royal Commission hearings, the case in favor of Australian content was frequently argued in terms of showing Australian culture, and the need to employ Australians and develop Australian talent. A large number of submissions from parents and teachers were concerned about the amount of American programs which might be shown, 22. ABCB. Report and Recommendation to the Post­ master-General on Applications for a Licence for a Commercial Television Station in Sydney and Mel­ bourne areas. 23. MacCallum, M. Ten Years o f Television, Sun Books, 1968. The chapter by K. Davidson, “ Profit and Loss” , covers the 1958 and 1963 licence period. 24. ABCB. Report and Recommendation to the Post­ master-General on Applications for a Licence for a Commercial Television Station in the Brisbane area, in the Adelaide area and in the Perth area.

Albert Namatjira being interviewed on TCN9.

514 — Cinema Papers, September-October

and the commercialism that went with them. Other witnesses cited American research which showed that the number of hours children spent viewing television was beginning to equal that spent at school; that there was a considerable reduction in the time children spent at play; that television watching induced depressed mental activity; and that the amount of violence on tele­ vision was having an effect on children. Addressing himself to the quality of the programs, Richard Boyer again made some pertinent comments in his submission: “The hours of telecasting and the number of stations operating should be strictly related to the availability of material of good quality. As with radio, it is possible to put programs of a sort at small cost on the T.V. screen. The interests both of the public and of the prestige of T.V. require limitation of hours to a point where standards can be maintained.” In the light of the subsequent development of television it is interesting to note that Boyer quoted to the Commission an article which had appeared in the New York Times, written by Jack Gold, a radio critic: “Television is getting pretty bad. The high hopes which wepe held by so many are vanishing before our eyes. The medium is heading hell bent for the rut of innocuity, mediocrity and sameness that made a juke­ box of radio. What of the endless procession of crime thrillers and of the panel shows with the same faces appearing over and over again with monotonous regularity? And the children’s programs? Is there no sure ease from the nauseating trifles whereon the younger generation sing the praises of cereals and candy bars? Are these programs to be the sole measure of the child inheritance, the riches of the library and the treasure of the arts? Television take heed! It is blindly and short-sightedly selling its ultimate greatness for a batch of synthetic popularity ratings that are boring into T.V.’s foundation like ter­ mites.” The Royal Commission, commenting on standards, stated that there was strong evidence from two groups: those who saw themselves as potential licensees favoring self-regulation; and those who believed that self-regulation would not be an “adequate means of maintaining stan­ dards” , because commercial pressures would encourage mediocrity, and the paucity of Aus­ tralian talent would encourage the introduction of cheap and inferior overseas programs to save costs. The Commission recommended that: “ The most effective method of raising standards is through the licensing system with provision for a public hearing where the Aus­ tralian Broadcasting Control Board does not think that it is in the public interest that a

Pick a Box compere Bob Dyer (centre) questions a con­ testant while the champion, Barry Jones, waits in the back­ ground.

licence should be renewed. If the public puts up with inferior television, it will only have itself to blame if it fails to take advantage of the means provided for the expression of its dissatisfaction. What is needed is a vocal public which will offer constructive criticism and refuse to be satisfied with inferior programs. In the United Kingdom the public and press are very active in expressing from week to week opinions on each particular type of program. In the United States, many organizations have been set up with the sole object of using public opinion as a means of improving quality. An active policy of con­ structive public criticism is essential in Aus­ tralia if television is to reach the standard desired?’ The history of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board’s regulation of television, until its demise in 1976, indicates that it did not at any time believe it should set up an open hearing to provide a forum for the public to voice their com m ents on television program m ing. Secondly, the result of the Government’s inter­ ference in the licensing system in 1958 was that the press, the other possible medium for a critical voice, was not impartial.

Australian Content Another reason the employment argument has tended to swamp the one for high quality is a clause introduced into the legislation in 1942, and retained since. It requires the commercial licensees, and the ABC, to “as far as possible use the services of Australians” .25 The Royal Commission Report in 1953 had stated that Australian artistes should play a real and steadily increasing part in Australian tele­ vision; but it also stated that it was not possible to recommend a quota of Australian content until actual experience had been gained on the amount of talent available. At the public hearings for the granting of the first licence in Sydney in 1955, Clive Evatt QC appeared for Actors Equity and asked the applicants what were their intentions in relation to Australian programming and the employ­ ment of Australian artistes. He made a very strong plea to the Board to require as a condi­ tion of the licence not less than 55 per cent pro­ gram hours of Australian content. The Control Board stated, however, that it did not intend to recommend any such condition, as it was sure licensees would discharge the obliga­ tion of ensuring that best use was made of Aus­ tralian talent. It did recommend, however, that the granting of licences should be on the con­ dition that the licensees complied with any program standards the Board determined. Although there was no Australian content quota during the first month of operation, there were severe restrictions on the amount of over­ seas programming permitted because of the shortage of overseas currency. The Government limited each organization’s expenditure on overseas material to £60,000, of which not more than two-thirds could be spent in U.S. dollars. This meant a lot of programming was local live material (there were no video recording machines until 1959).26 But in July 1957, the Government released this restriction, despite public pressure for its retention as an Australian content control mechanism. It is significant that the percentage of Australian content before the restriction was lifted was ATN: 66 per cent; TCN: 45 per cent; GTV: 61 per cent; and HSV: 45 per cent. By 25. Australian Parliament. Broadcasting and Television Act 1942, Clause 114. 26. ABCB. Annual Report, 1956


AUSTRALIAN TELEVISION

September 1958 programming hours had increased, but Australian content had dropped to below 45 per cent for all stations, with TCN the lowest at 37 per cent.27 Public pressure for more Australian content continued to grow, and in 1960 the Minister introduced the first quota. 'He advised licensees that the proportion of Australian programs tele­ vised by each station at the end of three years of operation should be not less than 40 per cent, and must include at least one hour a week, between 7.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. However, the annual report of the Control Board for June 1962 showed that neither of the Sydney com­ mercial stations had reached that 40 per cent when the Postmaster-General announced the proposed introduction of a third channel in the other four capital cities. Throughout 1962, and during the public hearings for a third commercial licence in Sydney and Melbourne, the Control Board heard evidence from applicants about their plans for Australian programs. In choosing the two successful applicants for Sydney and Mel­ bourne the Control Board stated that it was impressed with the Sydney applicant (United Telecasters) and quoted from its submission: “A real and persistent effort should be made to bring a fresh, original and Australian approach to all types of entertaining programming” . The Board, in recommending the Melbourne licence to Austarama Television Ltd, stated that it attached great importance to the nature of the program proposals of this applicant. These proposals included 24.5 hours of programs of Australian origin, or 58 per cent in the first year of operation, and a gradual increase in the se­ cond and third years. The company also sought to create “ a strong Australian image in its programs” , and that “ the content of the program would also need to reflect an Aus­ tralian environment encouraging awareness of the achievements of Australia and advance the arts and crafts culture of the nation.” The hearings for the third licence in Brisbane and Adelaide, however, attracted considerable evidence arguing that an additional channel would have dilatorious effects on the existing commercial stations. The Control Board stated in its Report that it recognized this, and that there may be some reduction in the local pro­ duction of Australian programs, but the curtail­ ment would not necessarily lead to serious results. It stated that: “ Any reduction of the amount of Australian programs produced locally would we consider be largely offset by the use of some of the increasing quantity of good quality Australian programs which will become available parti­ cularly as a result of the productions of the new Sydney and Melbourne stations.” To appease the growing pressure for more Australian content from the unions, independ­ ent film producers, and the public, the Government28 set up the Select Committee on the Encouragement of Australian Productions for Television, chaired by Senator Vincent. It took evidence in all states and generated a great deal of interest and expectation, and reported to the Government in 1963.29 This committee was very critical of the Control Board’s regulation of commercial television and made a number of recommendations, some of which are only now coming into effect: (a) That applications for a licence renewal should be heard in public; (b) That the renewal period for a television 27. ABCB. Annual Report, 1958. 28. ABCB. Annual Report, 1963. 29. Australian Parliament. Report of the Senate Select Committee on the Encouragement of Australian Pro­ duction for Television 1963 (Vincent Committee).

A U S TR A LIA N Q U O T A R E Q U IR E M E N TS FOR TE LEV ISIO N * Year

Quota: All Programs

7.30p.m.-9.30p.m.

I960

40 per cent

4 hours a month

1963

‘ VINCENT REPORT

1964

45 per cent

1965

50 per cent Credit British Commonwealth

1967

50 per cent

12 hours a month

1968

50 per cent

18 hours a month

1970

“ ‘MAKE IT AUSTRALIAN” CAMPAIGN

Drama

Children

8 hours a month

2 hours a month

6p.m.-10p.m.

1970

50 per cent including credit first release drama

1973

‘ TARIFF BOARD REPORTS

1973

Points system introduced

45 per cent

1974 1976

6 hours a month

4 hours a month

6 hours a month

4 hours a month

6 hours a month

6 hours a month

9 hours a month

10 hours a month

Overseas programs allowed 1977

*ABT SELF-REGULATION INQUIRY

27th ABCB Annual Report, 1974-75 28th ABCB Annual Report, 1975-76

licence be extended from one to three years after the first five years; (c) That tax reductions be allowed for com­ panies producing and investing in films; (d) That the overall volume of programs depicting crime, violence, horror and anti­ social behavior be considerably reduced; (e) That there be a quota for Australian drama programs of not less than 9 per cent of total time devoted to programs of Australian origin to be imposed progressively over the next ensuing three years; and (0 That an Australian Television Council be responsible for planning and co-ordinating a national research program. The Vincent Committee made other recom­ mendations to encourage Australian programs and filmmaking, which had never seen the light of day. So, while the recommendations were well received by the public, they were not taken seriously by the Government, which adjourned its parliamentary debate on the Report in April 1964 and never returned to it.

funding the film industry and breaking up distribution and exhibition monopolies led to growing pressure from filmmakers which resulted in a Unesco seminar in 1968 on the pro­ fessional training of film and television script­ writers, producers and directors. From this came the recommendations for the Australian Film Development Corporation, the Experimental Film Fund, and the Film and Television School. .The Vincent Committee’s recommendations for a national television council were taken over by interested unions31 which formed a council to get the recommendations implemented. All this activity spawned the “T.V. — Make it Australian” campaign in 1971. Media unions, filmmakers and individuals working in the film and television industry organized petitions in marginal seats in Melbourne and Sydney. They sought an inquiry into the structure of Aus­ tralian television and assistance for Australian films. These petitions were presented to the Senate and had two results: in August 1971, the Senate Standing Committee on Education, Science and the Arts was given the reference to Public Pressure inquire into “ all aspects of television and broad­ casting including Australian content of tele­ vision programs” under the chairmanship of The Vincent Committee was the beginning of Senator Davidson; and, in March 1972, the the slow process of raising awareness to media Minister for Trade and Industry requested the and film issues within industry organizations Tariff Board to inquire into, and recommend on, and with the public. The Control Board could no the assistance needed for production in Australia longer turn a blind eye to the Australian content of motion picture films and television programs. issue. It set up research into audience attitudes These bodies took evidence throughout 1972 to programming30, and gradually raised the from the film and television industry. percentage quotas as the pressure continued to The Tariff Board reported in June 197332 grow (see Table 1). However, it appeared in­ making recommendations to assist Australian capable of strictly imposing these quotas. film production, distribution and exhibition, in­ The lack of media publicity for the Govern­ cluding the setting up of a government body to ment’s inaction gradually stimulated awareness invest in films, and a strategy for breaking up of the problems of media monopoly. Some un­ the distribution and exhibition monopolies. The ions responded by demanding a break-up of Continued on P. 584 media control. The recommendations for 30. Australian Broadcasting Control Board. Attitudes to Television 1968-1975. A ustralian Broadcasting Tribunal, Television and the Public, Melbourne 1977.

31. Report from Mass Communications Conference, November 1969. Convened by media unions and ACSPA. 32. Tariff Board. Report on Tariff Revision Motion Picture Films and Television Programs, June 1973.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 515


ROBERT BRUNING How was Gemini Productions set up?

As Australia’s feature film industry developed from the revival of 1970, it was inevitable that the closely-related fields Gemini dates from 1971, when I of features and television would overlap. One area where this is was making The Godfathers, which particularly apparent is tele-features, which are often funded was my first television series. There by the Australian Film Commission, as well as by commercial were five of us involved in the television stations. production: Michael Laurence, the A pioneer o f the tele-feature is Robert Bruning, a producer writer, Bill Hughes and Alister Smart, who were directors, David whose name is as associated with acting as with the television Hannay, the production manager, shows he has produced. “The Godfathers” , a series which and myself. I was anxious to ensure Bruning began in 1971 on a budget of $5600 an episode, was a that all of us were financially courageous start. It was soon followed by a string of tele­ involved in the production, but the others felt that a share of the profits features, which includes “The Alternative”, “ M ama’s Gone wasn’t as satisfactory as some a ’Hunting” and “ Is There Anybody There?” . Bruning, who still alternates between producing and acting, equity in the company. I wasn’t prepared to give them was recently in Melbourne working for Crawford Productions. equity in my family company, so I There he spoke to Peter Beilby and Scott Murray. set up Gemini Productions as a strictly package production comp­ any. It was called Gemini because there were many people in the group with that star sign. We did a lot of television while the half-hour weekly series was still popular. We knew how to work economically, and, though we were not making a fortune, we did quite nicely. 1 was making The God­ fathers for $5600 an episode, yet making money on it — that was quite a neat trick. The margin was $400 an episode and I calculated on having to make 22 episodes to break even. How was the series financed? That came about because of a public challenge Clyde Packer made with Bobby Limb, after Limb had gone to the press and said that television stations weren’t pre­ pared to back small Australian producers. Limb maintained that, given the chance, he could make a half-hour television series for $5000 an episode. Clyde retaliated by saying that if Limb could, he would place an order then and there. Finally, Limb backed off and I just happened to run into Clyde at the time. I offered to make a series for $5600 an episode, and, as luck would have it, we made a good pilot and got the order. As it turned out, the series was so successful that after 26 episodes Michael, who had written every episode, started to go round the twist. So he wrote himself out and

the rest are in distribution. Channel 7 then gave me a chance on Is There Anybody There?, which was the first of the true all-film tele­ features. I made that in 1976, and it did very well. On the basis of it, Channel 7 gave me my first backto-back order, which were the three we made in 1977: Mama’s Gone a’ Hunting, The Alternative and Gone to Ground. They all rated well, but I came up against the combination of things that happens to small independent producers: because television features made in Aust­ ralia are not viable, you have to deficit finance; because you are deficit financed, you have to keep your deficit as low as possible; because you are trying to keep your deficit as low as possible, you have to keep your own end as low as possible and you live on virtually nothing; and so on. Obviously, I didn’t starve to death, but I didn’t have the necessary financial resources to keep that sort of structure going. I then looked at the forecast and it seemed that by the end of 1978 I was going to be into various invest­ ors for more than $500,000. Now, although I am not a particularly pessimistic sort of person, I knew that if I went bad at the age of 48, there was no way I was going to be able to pay that sort of money back. As a production company, I needed the umbrella of a bigger organization. I then spoke to Reg Grundy. Reg was already a drama producer of •substance, but he wanted to widen Robert.Bruning (second from left) and cast from The Godfathers. the range of his drama activities, the upshot of which was that I sold wrote Harold Hopkins in. We devised the idea of making tele­ Gemini Productions to Reg, with a continued with the show for vision films back to back, but I contract to run it for him for two another two years, then we fell on couldn’t convince anybody there years. That contract expired on hard times. I was doing the True was a market for them. The October 31, last year. Blue Show, my first variety show, evidence was there because Spelling Gemini is now a wholly-owned and it was too much to bite off. It Goldberg had been making them subsidiary of the Grundy Organi­ died in the Christmas of 1973, and very successfully in the U.S., but no zation, and will remain so. My rela­ in 1974 I couldn’t even get arrested. one would listen. tionship with Reg is such, that when Fortunately, I got a role in Sunday Then, in 1975, I finally got an they want to do a television feature, Too Far Away and Crawfords, who order. It was from Channel 9 for a and they feel I might be the right had always been kind to me, offered terrible thing called Paradise. I kind of producer, I could be me work. But it just wasn’t enough, made it in Surfers Paradise, and, brought in as a contract producer especially since I got married that although I would like to forget it, it — should 1 be available. year. has been shown on American It was a very painless transfer, p rim e -tim e in sy n d ic a tio n . the only difference being that I had Well, somebody loved you . . . Paramount bought it outright; in much flasher offices, and though I Yes, somebody loved me. Then 1 fact, it’s the only one I ever sold — still wrote the cheques, I didn’t get Cinema Papers, September-October — 517


ROBERT BRÜNING

to sign them any more. I also had the opportunity to develop other projects. This meant I could take on a bigger production schedule in 1977. We did seven that year, which was slightly too many. You said you evolved a technique of making these features on very low budgets. What did that involve? The first thing is to have all the scripts ready and locked-off before the first day of pre-production. Then, if you take on the right sort of highly professional hardworking production staff, you can virtually p re-p ro d u ce th re e fe a tu re s simultaneously. The films might not all be happening at once, but bits of one film could be attended to while another is shooting, and so on. We used to shoot the films in three six-day weeks, with a week's lay-off in between for the crew to collapse. In effect, we were offering people three months work, with lots of variety. All the films had urban locations, so theoretically the crew could get home to their wives every night. It didn’t quite work out that way, though, as some of the days were quite long. There were all sorts of economies like that, which reduce your over­ heads enormously. But the whole thing won’t work unless your scripts are locked-off. If you have any problems with script altera­ tions and so forth, then the whole thing falls to pieces. As we discov­ ered last year, it all falls to pieces with acts of God. Paul Eddey became very ill while he was work­ ing on these projects and we were forced to postpone one of them in the middle. Now that is not just the postponement of a film, it is the postponement of everything that follows. Your first three tele-features were done with Channel 7. Did they put up the money?

They bought them in advance; Channel 7 bought the television rights and the Australian Film Commission put up the deficit. Channel 7 also had a very modest percentage of the films. They are beautiful customers in the sense that once you have proved that you can do what they want, nobody hassles you. I like to think that I enjoy an excellent relationship with Channel 7, though I wish they would pay me a little more. What figure are we talking about for a tele-feature? It varied over the years. In 1977, the figure offered by the television stations was somewhere between $70,000 and $84,000, depending on the length of format — i.e. 90 minutes or two hours. Now that was against budgets of between $105,000 and $ 125,000, so there is a fairly heavy deficit, and you are not going to make that up from your advance from a distributor. Did the financing of the tele­ features change when Grundy became involved? No, they were still deficit financed by the AFC. So Grundys didn’t have any investment in the projects, except by virtue of their production company I d o n ’t th in k th e ir to ta l contribution is reflected in the budget; the provision of facilities and so forth are only nominally charged for in the budget. I would say that Grundy’s contribution was heavy, and, of course, in between productions, he kept my staff and me busy developing properties. Now that’s a punt. The money that has gone into those scripts has not come from the AFC, but the Grundy Organization’s pockets. I

Elaine Lee and Eric Oldfield in Gone to Ground, one of the three tele-features Bruning pro­ duced in 1977.

518 — Cinema Papers, September-October

would imagine that in the past 18 months, considering the American operation as well', the Grundy I. Tom McManus has been appointed as the American representative of the Grundy Organization. As well, Bob Kristal in Los Angeles does work for the company.

O rganization’s investment on drama would have been in excess of $ 100,000. That’s a lot of bread, and one of the things a smaller producer like myself can’t bankroll. You said that your first three tele­ features rated well. How was that tested?

Wendy Hughes and Carla Hoogeveen in the critically-regarded The Alternative.


ROBERT BRUNING

station by the programs it shows. Now my tele-features, while rating well, also brought their fair share of public acclaim. Is There Anybody There?, for example, took a Penguin, and also a Sammy for the best music. In the second year, the two of my three films that have been shown (Mania’s Gone a’ Hunting and The Alternative) took eight awards between them. I think all these awards indicate that Channel 7’s involvement in drama is at a level other than purely ratings. Obviously they love to get good ratings, but they also like the prestige brought by awards. If we could talk now about the over­ seas marketing. You said earlier that your films were taken up by an overseas distributor . . .

Robert Bruning (centre) with the stars of The Godfathers: Eric Oldfield, Michael Lawrence and Anna Volska.

It is more than ratings. There is an area of television, which is not often referred to, which I call the area of “ prestige” . It measures the amount of kudos brought to a

Yes. Is There Anybody There?, Mama’s Gone a’ Hunting, Gone to Ground, and The Alternative were all distributed by Paramount. The deal was a substantial cash up-front in return for the right to distribute them for 15 years. That is a little long in my opinion, but it’s a buyers’ market. They take a 35 per cent commission on sales, which comes off the top. In a year where sales have been, say, $100,000, this means $35,000 comes off the top to start with. Then come a whole range of standard charges, like print costs and so forth. These may be as high as $25,000, and you are left with $40,000. Off the top of that comes the repayment of any advances — say $25,000. So, out of the $100,000 raised in sales, you are left with a nett $14,000, which doesn’t look too good for the investors. If the films do well in the next year, however, things can change. Do tele-features have long lives in that sense? It depends on how they are sold. Mostly they are sold in packages,

Robert Bruning as the lecherous film producer who lures Angela (Sigrid Thornton) into doing some test shots. Simon Wincer’s Snapshot.

grouped round a “leader” film. For people drive on; the situation is example, if someone wanted to sell mostly interior; it’s about mostly My Fair Lady to Japan, they would middle-class people with present put 50 films with it, of which Is day modern values; and so on. It’s There Anybody There? might be the pretty international in its approach. last card in the pack. Now, if the End Play was always a television sale is for a million dollars, you film in concept, though it was made don’t work out how much Is There on a budget that was too high for its Anybody There? gets by dividing a day. It deserved a better run in the million dollars equally among 51 local cinema, however, and its tele­ films. My Fair Lady would vision airing certainly proved probably get $800,000, and the rest worthwhile. I believe it will work would then be split up — probably very well on air overseas. quite arbitrarily. So, a cinema film with television One of the areas I find most legs is one way of taking the deficit unsatisfactory about the situation is out of financing. You make the film that the producer loses control of for, let’s say $300,000, and that is where or for what his product will not an awful lot to win back at the be sold. So, while I am very cinema. Sure, you still have to grateful to Paramount for getting make a million dollars plus to us into an international sphere, I break even, but if you have a few am less than happy about the goodies in it — like an acceptable methods by which I let myself be American television star — you drawn in. I certainly wouldn’t allow have a chance. I don’t think we will it to happen again. break into the American networks for many, many years, though In retrospect, is there a way to make American syndication is definitely profitable tele-features in Australia? a possibility. Yes, and I believe everybody is Do you think the package concept going to have a crack at it this year. should also be adopted? In fact, there will be enough product around to make the feature Sure. If you have a package you business look a bit sick in terms of can hedge your bets a little. If one total output. gets up, it will probably carry the other two, or at least make a step What form will these tele-features towards them. It’s all little bits and take? pieces. The first thing everybody is Do you envisage a greater coming thinking about is of low-budget together of the television and film cinema films with television legs industries, and, if so, could that be a beyond that point. In a sense, I way of making the industries more believe that’s what Patrick and End viable? Play are. Patrick probably has cinema legs outside this country as Yes, though there are several well, but it certainly has television ways they could become more legs. It is a first-class piece of tele­ viable. One is a correct application vision product for the U.S. because of the new taxation laws. I don’t if you dub th a t trac k into think the television stations are American, the film could easily be com pletely aware of w hat’s thought to have come out of San possible. Francisco, New York, or New If the television stations in a Orleans. There are no cars in it, so network were to form into the you don’t see what side of the road investment groups, they could then invest in feature films and at the same time show substantial finan­ cial results in the form of taxation relief. This would then mean they could afford to invest far more than they have in the past. I have great sympathy for tele­ vision stations, however, because every time they turn in a good financial result everybody says they should immediately subsidize the whole feature film business. I just don’t subscribe to that. They are in the television game and they are doing what we should be doing, which is making money. The important thing is for more feature films to do well at the box­ office. I know one network, for example, which over the past three years has invested in 10 features, only one of which made a profit. Now, you can’t blame the boards of directors, who are after all in the television business, saying to their managements, “ Just remember Gerard Kennedy and Vince Martin in chaps, what business you are in.” It Mama’s Gone a’ Hunting, Bruning’s first all­ is, after all, horses for courses. ★ film tele-feature. Cinema Papers, September-October — 519


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CRAWFORD PRODUCTIONS Since the early 1960s, Crawford Productions has produced more than 2000 hours of tele­ vision drama (see fig. 1). Such an output makes it the largest producer in the country, well ahead of its largest commercial competi­ tor, the Grundy Organisation, which has only been in the drama area since 1974. Crawfords has also exceeded the output of the ABC. Yet, with the exception of John C. Murray’s article, “ Defending The Defenders” ( Lumiere, No. 22, April 1973), there has been a critical silence about the significance of the organiza­ tion’s contribution to the television and film industries. This article, therefore, is offered as a stimulus to further work in the field. Crawford Productions began as Hector Crawford Productions in 1945. Up to the coming of television in 1956, it was one of the largest transcription houses for thie production of radio material in Australia. At its peak, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, it was producing more than 10 hours of material a week (fig. 2 gives a sample of various titles and the number of episodes produced). With the advent of television, several tran­ scription houses planned to move into tele­ vision: Grace Gibson Productions in Sydney m ade a half-h o u r te lev isio n pilot The Adventures of A1 Munch (released in news­ reel theatrettes as I Found Joe Barton), and Australasian Radio Productions in Melbourne did a half-hour comedy pilot, Man About The House; neither found the backers necessary to allow them to go into production. Crawfords was the only company to make the transition successfully and, altogether, it has been in drama production for nearly 35 years. The company was founded by Hector Crawford and his sister, Dorothy. Hector’s background was in music and Dorothy’s in music and drama. Not surprisingly, the transcription house specialized in these areas. Hector Crawford was born in Melbourne in 1913 and was educated as a choirboy at St. Paul’s Cathedral School and at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. As a young man he was actively involved with music: he was on the staff of the Conservatorium, conducted a number of Melbourne choirs, and, in 1938, started the “ Music For The People” outdoor symphony concerts. Then, in 1940, he became music and recording director of Broadcast Exchange of Australia, a Melbourne-based recording and radio production company. Dorothy Crawford, after a scholarship course in singing and pianoforte at the Conser­ vatorium, was a professional singer for several years before switching to the theatre and Opposite: Lorraine Bayly and Paul Cronin as Mrs and Mr Sullivan in Crawfords’ The Sullivans.

drama. She worked in the ABC, in radio acting and production, before linking up with her brother to form Hector Crawford Productions. The company started business in offices in Little Collins St. During its radio days, Crawfords was an intimate family company with no more than 10 to 12 people on the payroll. They included office staff, who also doubled as script editors, Hector and Dorothy, and others with writing, acting or production skills. At different tim es, these included Roland Strong, Rube Sharlett and John Ormiston-Reid. The first program the company made was Melba (t-he part was sung by Glenda Raymond who became Hector Crawford’s wife in 1950) and music was to be its early strength. Later, its drama production became just as outstanding. Sales were as successful as its programs and, unlike some of the other tran­ scription houses, Crawfords rarely sold anything that was not on a national basis. In addition, it achieved sales in 20 overseas countries. . With the advent of television and the general trend in radio to music formats, the demand for recorded music slackened consid­ erably. The years up to 1961 were lean, but some revenue came in from other sources, such as overseas sales, radio and television c o m m e r c ia ls , and d o c u m e n ta r y film production (especially the Export Action series which the company produced under an arrangement with the Department of Trade).

Crawfords even had two early television quiz shows in Video Village and Wedding Day, and in its offices, on the second floor of the Olderfleet Building at 475 Collins St, where it moved in 1960, the company also ran the Crawford Television Workshop, an acting workshop which was a further source of revenue. The breakthrough, however, came when HSV Channel 7 invited Crawfords to transfer its long-running radio series, Consider Your Verdict, to television (by then it had finished on radio) . Consider Your Verdict was a low-budget adaptation of the radio program. On radio each case had run as five half-hour episodes; on television it began as two-hour episodes, but was soon cut down to one. It won little dis­ tinction or glory, apart from a TV Week Logie in 1961 for Best Australian Drama; but for a good part of that year it was the only local drama series in production. Against imported courtroom dramas of the time, such as Perry Mason and Boyd Q.C., Consider Your Verdict looked distinctly tame. Confined to the courtroom set, the series had no regular characters, although a small group of actors, such as Wyn Roberts, Roland Strong, George Fairfax, Peter Aarnesson and Robert Peach, recurred as counsel, and action was confined to verbal interchanges between witnesses and counsel. Audience involvement was, therefore, centred on an involvement with lay people in any particular case, and in the question of whether the accused was

As at January 1979 Consider Your Verdict Homicide Hunter Division 4 Matlock Police Ryan The Box The Last Of The Australians Bluey Solo One The Bluestone Boys The Sullivans Young Ramsey Bobby Dazzler Cop Shop

160 one-hour episodes 500 one-hour episodes 39 one-hour episodes 300 one-hour episodes 200 one-hour episodes 26 one-hour episodes 700 one-hour episodes 26 half-hour episodes 39 one-hour episodes 13 half-hour episodes 26 one-hour episodes 200 one-hour episodes 13 one-hour episodes 13 half-hour episodes 140 one-hour episodes

These figures are approximate only. Currently in production are The Sullivans, Cop Shop and Skyways; Murder Squad and Young Ramsey (a second 13 episode series) are in pre­

paration.

John Turner’s Family 252 half hour Imprisoned Heart 416 quarter- hour Inspector West 728 quarter- hour Here Comes O’Malley 311 quarter-hour Sincerely, Rita Marsden 436 quarter- hour Consider Your Verdict 31 2 half hour Your Marriage 416 quarter­ hour No Holiday for Haliiday 650 quarter­ hour Opera For The People 50 half- hour Glenda 52 half- hour D.24 104 half- hour C.I.B. 52 half- hour The Melba Story 26 half- hour A Man Called Sheppherd 208 quarter- hour My Other Love 208 quarter- hour A Woman In Love 208 quarter- hour The Amazing Oscar Hammerstein 52 half-hour

episodes episodes episodes episodes episodes episodes episodes episodes episodes episodes episodes episodes episodes episodes episodes episodes episodes

Cinema Papers, September-October — 521


CRAWFORD PRODUCTIONS

innocent or guilty. In early episodes, the role of the court reporter who hosted each case was partly that of a master of ceremonies, and partly quiz-master to the audience at home. Later, dramatic values were centred on the people in a case. From a production point of view, the format was very economical. The early part of the week was spent in writing and editing the script, casting, set preparation and other stages of pre-production. Most of the Thursday rehearsal, held in Crawfords’ space in the Olderfleet Building, was given over to the learning of lines and coaching of acting perfor­ mance, and, at the same time, working out actors’ movements and sequencing shots. Friday was spent in making necessary changes to the script and giving actors extra rehearsals. Tele-recording took place on Saturday morning at the HSV Theatre in Collingwood, converted for the morning into a television studio. Before the introduction of videotape, recording took place by Filming the transmitted image off a monitor, a process known as kinneying. Editing was difficult, so recording went from one commercial break to the next — any major mistake meant the sequence had to be shot again. Each hour-long episode was required to be shot in three and a half hours of studio time; under the arrangement with HSV, any time beyond that was costed to Crawfords. Although Consider Your Verdict won only moderate ratings (see Fig. 3), the series was important on a number of counts. Running to over 160 episodes, it was the most successful local production to that point in time. Moreover, it was the First drama series made outside a station by an independent producer — a situation that was very much the rule in the 1940s and 1950s when radio drama was produced by the transcription houses, and again today with television drama, but was very much the exception in the early 1960s. For Crawfords, the success of Consider Your Verdict helped consolidate its position in the television production industry. Equally important for the company, the program helped establish a pattern of production which changed little until the early 1970s. The key figures in the develop­ ment of this pattern were Dorothy and Ian Crawford, with Dorothy in charge of drama production. On Consider Your Verdict this meant that she edited scripts, supervised the casting, and wrote and drama-produced the early episodes of the series. Gradually she developed a small team that took over several of these functions, but under her control. Phil Freedman, an ex-radio writer who joined the company in 1961, became script editor on the series, and Sonia Borg, who joined around the same time and had a background in the theatre, started as an acting coach, became casting director for a time, wrote scripts and

The Homicide team as it was in 1974: Dennis Grosvenor (left), Don Barker, Gary Day and Charles “ Bud” Tingwell.

522 — Cinema Papers, September-October

Hector Crawford conducts “ Music for the People” during the late 1930s

Terry Stapleton, who took over new projects after the departure of Ian Jones in 1977.

Hector Crawford rehearses his orchestra before the taping of a talent show.

was Finally drama director on the later episodes of Consider Your Verdict. Essentially, this team was responsible for the dramatic values of the series. Ian Crawford was in charge of technical production. On Consider Your Verdict this involved movement blocking in the Olderfleet building in preparation for video directing in

the Collingwood studio. Crawford was also in charge of post-production, supervising such things as music and sound mixing. When, a few years later and starting with Homicide, Film units were formed for outside location work, Ian Crawford was placed in overall con­ trol of this area of production as well. The units were mostly manned by people who had come

Senior Detective Frank Banner (Gerard Kennedy) and suspect (Bill Pearson) in Division 4, Crawfords’ second highest rating program (after Homicide) up to 1972.

Rod Mullinar in Ryan, a series which centred on the adven­ tures of a private detective.


CRAWFORD PRODUCTIONS

Hector Crawford.

A scene from Consider Your Verdict, Crawfords’ First pro­ duction venture into television. It was adapted from its highly successful radio program.

through the nursery system of the technical departments. This pattern of production had several impli­ cations. The division and specialization of labor was such that it was difficult for any one individual to guide an episode of a Crawford series from conception to finished product (not only on Consider Your Verdict, but all

Senior Constable Hogan (Paul Cronin) and Senior Sergeant Kennedy (Vic Gordon) in Matlock Police, a police series commissioned by the 0-10 Network.

productions at Crawfords up to the early 1970s). Auteurism was then structurally impossible because of the pattern of organ­ ization: if anything, authorship on these early programs was collective and anonymous. And yet, paradoxically, while individual authorship was denied, the script was promoted in impor­ tance because it became a means of controlling and focusing the efforts of various divisions of the company while it passed through the different stages of production. Thus, the area of production given most importance was the writing, with writers being the best paid and m ost highly-regarded em ployees in the company. Finally, the pattern outlined meant that the family retained overall control of its programs. Even if the family members were unable to supervise the finer details of production, they could, through the teams they had developed, retain overall guidance and control. The final credit of a Crawford program in those years — “ A Crawford Production” — was a succinct expression of the dominance of the family in the company. Late in 1963, Consider Your Verdict was cancelled. Crawfords had already developed a new series, Homicide, and had sunk its own money into a pilot episode, The Stunt, written by Phil Freedman and Ian Jones. Although HSV Channel 7 was interested, other sales had to be made before the new series could go into regular production. Even then the company found that they were getting back less than the program cost, and it was two years before Homicide began to show a profit. From the beginning, however, the new series outrated Consider Your Verdict. It started on Melbourne television in late 1964, and in Sydney early in 1965; within months it was among the 10 most popular programs in both cities. From 1966 to 1972 it was the most popular program on Australian television, and only Division 4 came close to rivalling it. Despite obvious differences, Homicide showed some interesting continuities with Consider Your Verdict. Like the latter, Homicide was based on a recurring plot situation (a murder and its investigation) rather than on characterization. The homicide squad did contain regular characters, but for much of its run these were not the subject of dramatic interest. Altogether there were 15 changes of police characters: the original team was John Fegan, Terry McDermott and Lex Mitchell; the final one was Charles Tingwell, Don Barker, Gary Day and Dennis Grosvenor. Like Consider Your Verdict, the stress was on authenticity. The files of the Victorian police department were available to the writers (although writers also had access to the company’s own police drama scripts from the radio days). Police advisers vetted scripts for details and accuracy, and the department

helped in such things as blocking off traffic for film shooting, allowing access to places like Russell St and the Police Academy, and providing megaphones, ambulances, etc. The first 13 episodes of Homicide culmi­ nated in a courtroom trial along the same lines as Consider Your Verdict. In practical terms, the trial saved money and time. These seg­ ments were shot on videotape. However, it was in the use of filmed inserts that Homicide broke with its predecessor. The program started on a ratio of about one length of film (about 16 minutes of screen time) to two of videotape. This was gradually increased until, just before it converted to all film and color in 1972, film and videotape were of about equal length. Film enabled Homicide to move outdoors; it saw the introduction of physical action, chases and fights. It also saw the introduction of a side of a large Australian city with which most viewers were familiar, but which had not been seen previously on local television. For many of those working on the program this was one of the chief reasons for its success, a view echoed and supported by John C. Murray in his 1973 article: “ In Homicide and Division 4 the dramatic character, action and ethic are embedded in a world we know — the sub-industrial land­ scape of narrow-gutted South Melbourne timber cottages, Carlton back streets and lanes, the Victoria docks, the Dynon road railway yard . . . More than anything else, the location shooting makes the series good to look at: and again it all sustains that constancy of tone I’ve been talking about. If a smalltime drunk-roller is being pursued by the boys in blue, then he’ll be hunted down smalltime back streets, alleys and courtyards; the squalidness of his crime shadowed by the squalidness of the settings.” For more than 10 years Homicide was to be at the centre of Crawfords’ operation. Its success tended to confirm the company in a certain line of thinking. After the cancellation of Hunter, an ambitious attempt at a spy series which could not resolve whether it wanted to be Ian Fleming or John le Carre, was dis­ continued, Crawfords fell back on the police format for a new series it had begun preparing in late 1968 for the Nine Network to replace the spy series. Originally titled Saints and Sinners and set in the St. Kilda police station, it was changed to Division 4 and relocated at Yarra Central after claims that it cast a bad light on the area. By way of varying the police format, the new series concentrated on a suburban police sta­ tion, and included uniform police on the beat, as well as plain-clothes detectives. Because of the evident popularity of the home-grown police series, ATV-0 tried to

Dramatic moment in The Box, the high-rating soap opera that followed Grundy’s Number 96.

Lucky Grills as Bluey in Crawfords’ action series, Bluey.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 523


CRAWFORD PRODUCTIONS

make its own variant of the genre. It commis­ sioned former Sydney radio producer Ron Beck to produce The Long Arm, but cancelled the show after poor ratings. The station then approached Crawfords and Matlock Police went to air the following year. Even after its demise, Homicide still has an obvious glow of attraction for stations, the company and even its competitors. As one executive at Crawfords said, “ Cop shows always come back.” A year after its cancellation, Crawfords was back to the police format with Bluey, a series that had only lukewarm ratings and after com­ pleting its 39-episode contract was not renew ed. M eanw hile, the Reg G rundy Organisation had its first shot at the format with King’s Men, a series that found an even earlier grave. Late in 1977, an obvious marriage of soap opera and the police format took place when Crawfords produced Cop Shop. Currently, Crawfords and Grundys are preparing pilots for new police series; Crawfords’ series is tentatively titled Murder Squad. Despite this tendency to fall back on what is known and successful, there have also been conscious attempts to find variations within the format. With Division 4, Crawfords tried to develop the personality of the individual police. However, the different writers tended to get out of step and the characters became a te m p o ra l, like th e ir c o u n te rp a rts in Homicide. So the experiment was abandoned. In later episodes, however, when Don Battye was executive producer, the series successfully deepened and developed the police characters. Matlock Police, at first, also ran the risk of duplicating Homicide. In later episodes, however, a more rural setting was achieved, but it was only in Solo One, a half-hour spin off, and Young Ramsey, an hour series about a veterinary surgeon, that the company got into the pastoral drama whose potential is con­ tained in Matlock Police. Solo One and Young Ramsey were produced by Henry Crawford, one of the later producers of Matlock Police. Crawfords’ record outside the police format has been patchier and less decisive. Ryan, a series that attempted to give private detectives the same glamorous exciting lives that Hunter had given special agents, was even less successful than its predecessor. Of their three comedy series, The Last of the Australians did reasonably well, but The Bluestone Boys and Bobby Dazzler were cancelled. The Box was Crawfords’ first venture into soap opera, but only after Cash-Harmon’s Number 96 had opened up this area almost two years earlier. While it was never as popular as its Sydney counterpart, it achieved reason­ able success and helped the company greatly in a very difficult period.

Crawfords’ other serials have been Hotel Story and The Sullivans. Hotel Story was cancelled after eight episodes had been made, and before any were put to air. As for The Sullivans, a recent McNair survey listed it as the most successful local serial in current production. In these years, Crawfords grew to be the largest drama production house in Australia. Unlike several other production groups which were reluctant to venture into more than one series at a time, for fear of not being able to attract sufficient competent writers and tech­ nicians, Crawfords had always been willing to expand production to meet demand. By 1974 it had five programs on air — Homicide, Division 4, Matlock Police, Ryan and The Box — and was producing 6.5 hours of tele­ vision drama each week. The company had also ballooned in size. In 1964, when Homicide had started, there were about 30 people on staff; 10 years later there were nearly 400. This staff was housed in the Olderfleet Building, then in nearby buildings, before Crawfords moved to new premises in Southampton Cres., Abbotsford, in 1973. T hese prem ises were large enough to accommodate three sound stages (later reduced to two), as well as the company itself. (The exteriors of the premises were myth­ ologized as Channel 12 in The Box.) As the company swelled in size, the family strove to retain control of the direction of growth. To the initial script editing and production team of Phil Freedman and Sonia Borg were added Ian Jones, Douglas Tainsh, Terry Stapleton, Tom Hegarty and Howard Griffiths. This group became an important nucleus for the development of the different series and around it were grouped younger, less experienced writers. Through script editing and production conferences, they gave newcomers the same kind of initiation into the company as they had received themselves earlier.1 The nucleus of writers/script editors was important to the company in other ways. After about 1973, when the production system that developed with Consider Your Verdict was changed so that one person was in overall control of a program, that person was more likely to come from the pool of older writers than anywhere else in the company. Also, in the early 1970s when Crawfords

Maurie Fields, Johnny Farnham and Terry Norris in one of Crawfords' few ventures into comedy, Bobby Dazzler.

Clowning between takes on the set of The Bluestone Boys.

524 — Cinema Papers, September-October

1. Ian Jones is somewhat of an exception to the group. A former journalist with the Melbourne Sim and a director at HSV Channel 7, he joined Crawfords in 1963 and became the first company director outside the family. He had more creative space in which to move. He was in charge of creative projects and wrote and/or directed first episodes of Homicide, Hunter, Division 4, Matlock Police, The Box, The Bluestone Boys and The Sullivans. When he left in 1977, Terry Stapleton, the only one of this group by then still with the com­ pany, took over new projects.

instituted the position of associate director of the company — partly an honorary title in recognition of contribution, but also an attempt to open better lines of communication between workers and management — 11 of the first 12 associate directors had been writers. Nevertheless, close supervision and control by the family became impossible as the company grew. This was perhaps most apparent in the production area. By early 1974, it was impossible to keep all five programs under the same degree of close supervision. Producers found that they might be left alone for long periods to get on with their programs only then to be subjected to a bout of sustained scrutiny. Many staff developed split loyalties — to the company, but also to their programs. Homicide rem ained at the centre of productions, but it too changed. Starting with Hunter, Crawfords developed a policy of starting newcomers on Homicide and moving more experienced people into the new programs. However, with new programs being added in 1968, 1970, 1972 and 1973, newcomers were spending less and less timeJn apprenticeship and were absorbing much less of the family’s way of doing things. In other words, as Crawfords grew and more shows went into production, the creative space in which people in the com pany worked expanded. Homicide was the only one of the police series to go over to an all-film format, which it did in 1973. (Ryan was also produced on this new system, but Division 4 and Matlock Police stayed as film/tape integration up to the time they ceased production.) The company also decided to have the same director shoot the interiors as well as the exteriors, a decision making for potentially greater visual and dramatic coherence, but one at odds with the company’s previous organization of pro­ duction. This decision, which moved some of the company’s programs out from under the nominal control of the family, was reinforced by the company’s agreement to change the title of the positions of Henry Crawford (only a distant cousin of the family and never on the board of directors) and Don Battye on Homicide and Division 4 from that of script editors to executive producers. An executive producer was given overall control of a pro­ gram, and writers, script editors and directors were ultimately responsible to him. From this time on, therefore, it is possible and fruitful to search for authorial presences at this level in Crawfords’ output. The company may have agreed to institute the new position because, by this stage, it was planning The Box which was to be its first drama serial in television. Unlike a series where each episode is a self-contained story, perhaps with regular characters, a serial has

The Last of the Australians.


CRAWFORD PRODUCTIONS

changing relationships among the characters, as well as a continuous story. It is, therefore, essential that someone has overall control of individual episodes as well as overall direction of the program in a way that it is not essential with a series. Since The Box, Crawfords has made two further serials, The Sullivans and Cop Shop, and has another (Skyways) in pro­ duction. ” Disaster struck in early 1975. W ithin months, the three networks cancelled the police series (though production was not to end until early the following year). Whether the cancellations were coincidental was, and is, a matter of speculation in the industry. One theory had it that the moves were an attempt to cut Crawfords down to size, for by this time the company was easily the most important outside supplier of drama programs to the net­ works in Australia. In addition, in the early years of the Labor Government there was talk of taking away one television station licence from a licensee. 0-10 seemed the most vulnerable network and, after all, Crawfords had been an unsuccessful station licence applicant in 1963. Another theory had it that Crawfords was covertly playing politics and several of the most vocal elements in the “ TV, make it Australian!” campaign were actors employed on the company’s series. There was also a story that the campaign had sent telexes to Canberra politicians using telex machines at Crawfords. However, from the stations’ point of view, the cancellations were justified by the dropping ratings. The cancellations certainly cut down the company. The years 1975 and 1976 were as difficult for Crawfords as had been the period between 1956 and 1961. Indeed, had it not been for The Box, which continued in production until 1977, the company could have gone into receivership. As it was, large cutbacks had to be made, and by early 1976 staff was down to about 70. Production teams were broken up, and senior and junior employees were retrenched. The years since have been a process of cautious regrowth. Overseas sales have developed and can cushion losses on the Aus­ tralian market. Three programs are on air, and there are several projects in preparation. However, in all their time in television Crawfords has never developed a production base in Sydney, although it has toyed with the idea. Parts of Hunter were shot there and it was originally intended to base Bluey there. The success this year of Prisoner, which Grundy Productions, a Sydney-based com­ pany, is making for ATV-0 in Melbourne is an o m in o u s d e v e lo p m e n t. It m ean s th a t Crawfords now faces major competition in its home market, a market it has always domi­ nated. ★

Figure 3

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CRAW FORD TE LE V IS IO N P R O D U C TIO N S M ELBO U R N E S CR EEN IN G D A TE S AND RATINGS*

One-hour Series

Av. Rating Consider Your Verdict

(7)

Homicide

(7)

17.2.61 - 3.12.61 7.1.62 - 16.12.62 27.1.63 - 27.10.63 17.1 1.63 - 15.12.63 16.2.64 - 30.5.64 20.10.64 - 15.12.64 26.1.65 - 2.3.65 27.4.65 - 14.12.65 25.1.66 - 20.12.66 24.1.67 - 19.12.67 30.1.68 - 17.12.68 28.1.69 - 2.12.69 27.1.70-30.11.70 19.1.71 - 16.11.71 1.2.72 - 7.11.72 6.2.73-6.11.73 22.1.74 - 9.4.74 7.5.74 - 29.10.74 4 .2 .7 5 - 11.3.75 1 .4 .7 5 - 19.12.75 19.2.76 - 25.6.76 14.12.76 - 18.1.77

-

17 14 10 8 6 33 31 33 41 *Max. 52 41 41 41 41 39 38 26 26 25 19 20 11 NA

9 EPISODES CANNED Hunter

(9)

Division 4

(9)

Matlock Police

(0)

5.7.67 - 29.11.67 20.3.68-27.11.68 2 2 .1 .6 9 - 5.3.69 1 1 .3 .6 9 - 18.11.69 27.1.70 - 1.12.70 19.1.71 - 17.11.71 26.1.72 - 8.11.72 7.2.73 - 5.1 2.73 13.2.74 - 6.11.74 12.2.75 - 1.10.75 28.1.76 - 7.4.76 25.2.71 - 2.12.71 20.1.72 - 9.11.72 2 5 .1 .7 3 - 13.12.73 17.1.74-31.10.74 1 6.1 .7 5- 12.9.75 6.11.75 - 18.12.75 1.1.76 - 5.2.76 14.3.77 - 16.3.77

29 22 22 40 *Max. 51 32 31 30 24 24 18 17 20 20 22 24 20 7 2 3

7 EPISODES CANNED Ryan

(7)

Bluey

(7)

The Biuestone Boys

(0)

Hotel Story

(0)

2 7 .5 .7 3 - 5.11.73 7.11.74 - 19.12.74 13.12.76 - 24.1.77 2.8.76 - 4.10.76 22.1.77 - 21.6.77 1 5.8 .7 6 - 10.10.76 11.1.77 - 2.2.77

17 NA NA 18 7 15 NA

10 EPISODES CANNED

13.7.77-3.8.77

11

4 EPISODES CANNED

(7) (7)

4.11.77 - 28.1.78 28.11.77 -

17

The Box

(0)

Last of the Australians

(9)

Solo One The Sullivans

(7) (9)

29 22 17 9 24 14 21 34

Bobby Dazzler

(7)

11.2.74 - 29.11.74 14.1.75-3.12.75 20.1.76-30.11.76 11.2.77 - 27.9.77 17.6.75 - 28.10.75 1 4.3 .7 6 - 11.4.76 18.6.76 - 10.9.76 1 5.11.76- 1.12.77 6.2.78 20.11.77 - 10.2.78

Young Ramsey Cop Shop

Half-hour Series

14

Tony Bonner (left) and Bruce Barry in Crawfords’ adult soap-opera. Skyways.

‘ Compiled from a list prepared by Colin Jones of the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal Cinema Papers. September-October — 525


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GEORGE MILLER How do you see the role of a direc­ tor on a series such as “Against the Wind”? No differently from that of being a director of a feature. Basically, a director’s job is to take a piece of literature, in this case a script, and turn it into a series of images. It’s a kind of translation. You start with a writer’s ideas, which you then have to translate, as faithfully as possible, onto a television or cinema screen. In the process you can greatly influence the original — hopefully improving it. I think all directors like to feel that their work is individualistic. Now, if a writer tries to force a certain kind of shot on me, as a director, I usually find the finished product doesn’t have any vitality. On “Against The Wind” there were two directors, and the scripts were controlled — in some cases written — by Ian Jones and Bronwyn Binns. Did this ever conflict with your stamp of individualism? I think they resolved that prob­ lem when they chose Simon Win­ cer and me as directors. Not only are Simon and I close friends, we have worked together for nearly 10 years, starting with Cash and Com­ pany. Our ideas on filmmaking tend to agree, and Pegasus knew, when they picked Simon and me,

they have very high standards in what they do. My specific reason for coming back to Crawfords after Against The Wind was to work on The Sulli­ vans, which I think is a wonderful program. Now that Against The Wind has finished, I consider The Sullivans to be the best series being W hile m any telev isio n directors aw ait the day they can done in Australia. I was also drawn m ove out of telev isio n into feature film m a k in g , George back to Crawfords because I heard M iller is happiest where he is. A director of m any of the they were doing another 13 epi­ of Young Ramsay. This fills top-rating series Crawfords have produced, including sodes me with joy, because I have always “ H om icid e” , “ The S u lliv a n s” and “ Y oung R a m sey ” , felt it is an excellent program. M iller h as also worked outside that com pany. W ith There is enthusiasm among the Sim on W incer he directed “ C ash and C om pany” and the crew at Crawfords, which is in­ variably made up of young people. h igh ly su ccessfu l “ A gainst the W ind” . I first started working on To find out how different directing telev isio n w as from When Homicide, for example, it used to m ak ing features, Cinema Papers sen t Peter W estfield to be a major logistical problem to interview George M iller, who w as preparing for the new move the crew from one location to another, because nobody was old series of “ Y oung R a m sey ” . enough to have a car licence. I can that they were not going to get radi­ Homestead Films, to produce Cash also fondly recall the waves of cally different looking episodes. If and Company. I knew them fairly terror that used to break out among they had chosen a director other well — I had worked with them on the crew when Australia had con­ than Simon, however, there could some of their Crawfords’ projects scription; crew members were have been obvious differences be­ — and when they showed me some always worrying whether they tween the programs. I think they of the scripts, I was really impres­ would be called up. were very lucky to have us. sed. So, it was a question of an I owe Crawfords a great deal for opportunity appearing and me leap­ training me, and I believe that You left Crawfords twice to work on ing at it. training has kept me in work over other projects . . . I have always tried to chase the years. Because I owe them that, things I believe will make good tele­ I am always happy to go back; they It is a pattern I set up when I first vision, and that is why I have are like a family. Crawfords is the left Crawfords years ago. Russell moved away from Crawfords sev­ place in which I grew up, and I have Hagg and Patrick Edgeworth were eral times. But it’s always good to had many good times there. But I starting an independent company, come back to Crawfords, because must stress that one of the reasons I

George Miller checks the screenplay during the filming of the highly successful television series, Against the Wind.

Simon Wincer (with screenplay) during the shooting of Against the Wind. Wincer and Miller shared the directing workload of the series.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 527


GEORGE MILLER

have always kept going back is be­ cause they consistently produce programs of high standard. If they started producing bad programs, I wouldn’t go back. Do producers at Crawfords, such as Hector and Ian Crawford, have much say in how you shoot an epi­ sode?

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They allow a lot of creative free­ dom — until you stuff it up. In that case you are gone. Usually they say, “ Here is a script, there is the crew, and that’s the amount of time we have to do it in. Now go away and do it.” Does that “creative freedom” in­ volve the right to rewrite or re-struc­ ture a script? That situation doesn’t occur be­ Miller shaves before an early start cause the scripts they produce don’t George during filming of High Country. need to be re-written. So much work has been done on a script, that most of the really horrific things that with film you can shoot have been weeded out. That’s not to through 360 degrees. As a result, say that from time to time things you tend to conceive scenes in the don’t go wrong. But if they do, they round — actor’s movements and so expect you, as director, to do what on. On videotape you usually con­ must be done, bearing in mind the ceive things in terms of 180 de­ grees, because on the other side of overall story. I think they would be very dis­ that line are your cameras. There is a compensating factor, appointed if you suddenly rang in from location and said, “ It’s not however, in that you can get away working, what will I do?” with amazing cuts on videotape that you can’t on film. You can’t As a director, do you notice any make a continuity blue, for major differences between working example, because the continuity is on film and videotape? For example, always there. Consequently, you one tends to direct videotape via a tend not to worry about whether control booth, as opposed to being things will cut together; all you next to the camera on a film se t. . . have to do is press a button. The major difference is that film­ making is much slower, but then you generally have more time. In a sense, film is also a cooler medium, where a performance, or bits of it, may have to be done several times. On videotape you look at a scene played in its entirety and can do all the cutting within a specific amount of time. The pace and intensity of performance, therefore, are fairly fixed. With film, however, you can adjust performances and pacing when you edit the thing later. Another noticeable difference is 528 — Cinema Papers, September-October

Do you primarily see yourself as a director of film or of television? My role is that of a commun­ icator, whatever the medium. Tele­ vision is the most effective means of communication in the world today. If a feature film is a tear-away success in Australia, for example, perhaps 200,000 people will have seen it. Yet one episode of Against the Wind reached nearly five million people. What makes me love television is its wholesale effectiveness, com­

pared with other forms of com­ munication. It is also an amazingly voracious consumer of product, which means it will always work in response to the public. If people don’t watch a program, the station will respond and that program won’t stay on the air. If it does work, then the station is the first to say, “ Hey, that’s fantastic, let’s keep it going” . In a way, that’s why Young Ramsay is to have another series.

have a definite length? Rather than saying The Sulli­ vans has gone on and on, I prefer to think of it as having evolved. The characters, for a start, are now quite different to what they were when they originally set out.

What is the status of the director in the Australian industry? Australia is a fairly young coun­ try as films go. Consequently, the director doesn’t have the same status as one would have in the U.S. Similarly, he may not be the highest paid member on the crew. Directing in Australia is a pres­ surised job, because you have to do a lot in a little time. Programs also have to be.produced at a fraction of the cost of American television, and because of that we all have to work very efficiently. Bronwyn Binns and lan Jones plan­ ned “Against The Wind” as a 13part series without a sequel, whereas “The Sullivans” started as a 13week series and has been going ever since. Do you think a series should

John Hargreaves, star of Young Ramsey, which Miller is directing for Crawford Pro­ ductions.


GEORGE MILLER

Generally I prefer 13-episode series — or 26 at the outside. There are problems with a short-run series, however, in that you can’t extend your production costs over a long period. The price of your prod­ uct becomes dearer, and it may, in * fact, become too expensive to sell.

I have worked almost exclu­ very insular, and I can watch other Tony Ginnane to direct Thirst. Al­ sively on short-run series — Cash crews and directors at work. That is though I was very happy at the and Company, Young Ramsay, very stimulating, and I come back thought of being associated with Against The Wind, and the new much fresher. Tony, I didn’t feel I could make the Shooting stills on features also contribution needed for that script series of Young Ramsay — so I can’t speak with absolute know­ gives you a greater command of the to become a success. So, I turned it ledge of what it is like to work on a language of cinema. It is essential down, which is what you must do in program for a couple of years. I to know about the focal length of such circumstances. have always slid out from under the lenses and what light will do be­ cause this knowledge helps you Did you fee! the script was lacking? responsibility. u n d e rsta n d a c a m e ra m a n ’s Is that because you fear stagnation? problems. No, I just felt it would have been On the other hand, directing is wrong for me to direct something I suppose a long run could be­ what I have been doing, and I have which I didn’t feel highly motiva­ come stultifying, but if it does, that always seen myself as a director. I ted to do. That doesn’t mean to say stagnation will probably wind up on enjoy it; it is a field with unlimited it was a bad script; simply, it wasn’t the screen. The ratings will then scope. As society changes in Aus­ the right script for me at the time. drop, and the show will be can­ tralia, so do the programs we make celled. — and with each program change Have you ever thought about mov­ comes a rethink of your directing ing on features? But there are situations which are methods. Originally, I was an Absolutely not. I don’t regard stultifying solely in terms of one’s action director; now, due to Against The Wind and The Sullivans, I am features as a step up from tele­ satisfaction with a series . . . seen as an histo rical drama vision. I consider myself a com­ municator, and, as I have said, tele­ If you are in a spin you do some­ specialist. The most important thing to re­ vision is the most effective way of thing else. Let someone else do it. member, however, is that it is no communicating. There are some good working on a program unless subjects that are communicated Can you do that at Crawfords? you really want to do it, and no better in the cinema, but those sub­ I feel I can. From time to time I good directing anything unless you jects are very few and far between. I find television exciting. It’s part work as a stills photographer on a believe you can make a contri­ feature. I find this can be a great bution. of my life, and something I never relief from directing, which is often I was recently approached by want to give up. ★

Filming Against the Wind on location. Jon English (Jonathon) is centre frame, holding the horse.

Tom Sullivan (Steven Tandy), Bert Duggan (Peter Hehir) and Norm Baker (Norman Yemm) on the outskirts of Tobruk, January 1941, in a scene from The Sullivans.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 529


TELEVISION

The recent classification of children’s tele­ vision programs for transmission during the 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. time slot has brought the Austra­ lian Broadcasting Tribunal’s Children’s Pro­ gram Committee under attack from producers, various sections of the media, and the Federa­ tion of Commercial Television Stations. In the following article, the chairman of the Tribunal’s Children’s Program Committee, Dr Patricia Edgar, describes the evolution of the guidelines for the classification of children’s pro­ grams, and outlines the philosophy behind them.

The Children’s Program Committee, an ad­ visory body of the Australian Broadcasting Tri­ bunal set up in 1978, was asked to prepare guide­ lines for children’s television, as well as classify programs specifically designed for them. The guidelines were also to set out the type of adver­ tising to be shown during the programs. In July 1977, the Tribunal’s Self-Regulation Report had recommended that a new classifica­ tion — ‘C’ for children — be instituted, and that

Shirley Strachan in HSV-7’s Shirl’s Neighbourhood: classi­ fied ‘C \

530 — Cinema Papers, September-October

only material classified ‘C’ be televised between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. The Committee’s terms of reference were: 1. To assess public opinion and research with a view to developing a consistent philo­ sophy upon which guidelines and classi­ fications for children’s programming may be used. 2. To formulate guidelines for: (a) programs to be televised during periods, as determined by the Tribunal, when only material specifically designed for children may be presented; (b) advertising and program promotions to be televised during the ‘C’ classified time zone; and (c) pro-social messages to be televised dur­ ing kindergarten programs. 3. To classify, in terms of such guidelines: (a) programs proposed for ‘C classifica­ tion; (b) advertisements proposed for ‘C’ classi­ fication; and

The Tasmanian Film Corporation’s Fatty and George: classified ‘C \

(c) pro-social messages proposed for kindergarten programs. In view of the concern expressed by many sources, the Committee decided that children’s programs should improve as soon as possible. Consequently, its most urgent task was to for­ mulate requirements for televising ‘C’ classified programs after 4 p.m. As a result of public inquiries by the Tri­ bunal, and the general interest in the subject, there was a great deal of published material on the expectations and criticisms of children’s pro­ gramming. The Committee, therefore, decided to find out how it could help in the production of worthwhile programs. It agreed that children’s programs needed some kind of protection from competitive programs, such as cartoons and family-oriented imported material,, if the long­ term goals of the public and the producers were to be realized. It was also apparent that producers would welcome access to research material and advice to help them refine their concepts and tech­ niques. It was clear that many inexperienced producers would be entering this field in

NSW-9’s Curiosity Show: classified.‘C’


‘C TELEVISION

ADS-7’s K.O.: classified ‘C \

The BBC’s Take Hart: classified ‘C \

HSV-7’s Stax, produced by OCP: given a provisional ‘C’ classification.

response to the demands being made for child­ ren’s programs, and that such assistance would be welcomed. Because of the urgency, the Committee agreed to meet these requirements in two stages: firstly, it decided on the requirements for the types of programs needed, the minimum quantities to be televised, and the times of presentation; second­ ly, Ian Fairweather, one of Australia’s most suc­ cessful children’s program producers, was com­ missioned to compile a handbook on produc­ tion techniques, and Millicent Poole, of Mac­ quarie University, was engaged to evaluate research material gathered in the U.S., and put them in an Australian context.

Although the implementation of this strategy was the Committee’s first priority, it was also active in the advertising field. A sub-committee, comprising Frank Meaney, Bruce Harris and Sarah Guest, was set up to prepare guidelines for advertisements to be shown during times allotted for children’s programs. The Committee forwarded its recommenda­ tions to the Tribunal on requirements for ‘C’ classified material on May 14, 1979. At that time, as chairman of the Committee, I said: “ It has been a tribute to the sincerity and goodwill of the members of the industry within the Committee that such a high level of amicable agreement in this sensitive and im-

portant area has been so readily achieved.” In drawing up its recommendations, the Com­ mittee avoided any recipe, or formula for child­ ren’s programs and stressed the need for the in­ dustry to support production with resources, facilities, time, and genuine commitment, so that the expertise needed to create quality child­ ren’s programs could be developed. The guidelines called for the production of Australian drama, documentaries, magazine, and information programs designed for child­ ren. They stressed that programs should not be “didactic, instructional and overtly educa­ tional” , but must first be entertaining tele­ vision, and that programs “should be about sub­ jects which interest children and should be designed and presented in such a way that they can be readily understood and appreciated by children” . To achieve these aims, the Com­ mittee made 13 recommendations (see box). The television industries lobby group, the Federation of Australian Commercial Tele­ vision Stations (FACTS), had two main objec­ tions to the guidelines. They argued that pro­ grams should be “ suitable” rather than “specifically designed” for children, and that there should be no restriction on the time when the program could be shown. FACTS argued that children were not a ma­ jority group in the audience between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., and in effect it was undemocratic not to cater for the other members of that audience with general programming. FACTS also argued that if stations were to invest in quality produc­ tions for children they should be able to pro­ gram them later in the evening when there was a larger audience watching television. It followed from the FACTS argument that the programs should, therefore, be suitable for a family audience rather than a child audience. The Committee recognized that the term ‘suitable’ could be applied to any family pro­ gram, including sport, and that it would be diffi­ cult to argue that any of the programs shown in the 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. time slot over the years were not ‘suitable’ for children. In addition, research shows that there is a higher proportion of 6 to 13 year-olds in the 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. television audience than at any other time, and that they have more chance to control the set themselves at that time. During its deliberations, the Committee com­ missioned a study of the audience in the house between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. The results showed that adults who were watching television at that time believed programs shown between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. should be for children. Most adults surveyed also said they were watching television at that time for reasons unrelated to the pro­ gram — such as sitting with their children, or having the TV on in the background while doing the ironing. Concluded on P. 587

Consolidated List of Children’s Programs classified by the Tribunal. Submitted by

Date Classified

Untitled pilot (Australia) Skippy (Australia) Solo One (Australia) Take Hart (Britain) Terracotta Horse, The (Britain) Tomorrow People (Britain) Yes What (Australia)

TCN-9 TCN-9, ATN-7 ATN-7, Fremantle Max Stuart Aranda Prod. BBC Max Stuart ATN-7 NWS-9 Earth Film Prod. TEN-10 ATN-7 QTQ-9, Fremantle Tas. Film Corp. TCN-9 STW-9 BBC ATN-7 TVW-7 TCN-9 BBC ATN-7 ADS-7 TEN-10 SAS-10 TVW-7 HSV-7 Townsend Corp. TCN-9 TVW-7, ATN-7 BBC BBC TVW-7, ATN-7 STW-9

June 1 June 1 June 20 July 18 June 20 June 20 July 18 July 18 June 1 July 18 June 20 July 18 June 20 June 20 June 1 July 18 June 20 June 20 July 18 June 1 June 20 June 20 July 18 June 20 June 20 June 1 June 1 June 1 June 20 June 1 June 20 June 20 June 1 July 18

Provisional ‘C’ A Kid’s Country (Australia) Stax (Australia) Crackerjack (Australia)

NWS-7 HSV-7 SAS-10

June 1 June 1* July 18

Classified ‘C’ Animals, Animals, Animals (U.S.) API Animated Classics (Australia) Black Beauty (Britain) Body Works Bush Bunch, The (Australia) Carrie’s War (Britain) Catch a Rainbow (U.S.) Catch Kandy (Australia) Curiosity Show (Australia) Earth Patrol (Australia) Electric Company (U.S.) Elephant Boy (Australia) Family Hour Festival (U.S.) Fatty and George (Australia) Gene Machine (Britain) Golden Flowers (Australia) Heads and Tails (Britain) Heidi (ATN/API Intertel) Here Come the Double Deckers (Britain) Henry Winkler Meets Shakespeare (U.S.) Jackanory Playhouse (Britain) Just William (Britain) K.O. (Australia) Lost Islands (Australia) Make a Wish (U.S.) Shadows (Britain) Shirt’s Neighbourhood (Australia)

Not Acceptable To date, 13 programs have been rejected by the Committee as unacceptable for ‘C’ classification. •Reviewed on July 18.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 531


WHO WILL BE THE WINNERS IN 1979? BLUE FIN CATHY'S CHILD DAWN DIMBOOLA IN SEARCH OF ANNA KOSTAS THE LAST OF THE KNUCKLEMEN MAD MAX MONEY MOVERS MY BRILLIANT CAREER THE NIGHT THE PROWLER THE ODD ANGRY SHOT PALM BEACH SNAPSHOT THIRD PERSON PLURAL or

TIM

Keep Friday night, 28 September free for the

AUSTRALIAN FILM AWARDS PRESENTATION Televised nationally by the Nine Network at 8.30 p.m. The Australian Film Awards are an activity of the Australian Film Institute.


FILM CENSORSHIP LISTINGS Reprinted from Australian Government Gazette

APRIL 1979

P u b l i s h e d b y the A u s t r a l i a n G o v e rn m e n t P u b l i s h i n g S e rv ic e

-È à t .»*. A U S TR A L IA .,<•

FILMS REGISTERED ELIMINATIONS

JUNE 12 — JULY 10

WITHOUT

GENERAL

For General Exhibition (G) Asya: Lenfilm Studio, U.S.S.R. (2671.00 m) The Connection Back: Lenfilm Studio, U.S.S.R. (2554.00 m) Edouard et Caroline (16 mm): Not shown, France (1080.00 m) Elvis: D. Clark, U.S.A. (3262.90 m) I Was Born But . . . (16 mm): Shochiku Co., Japan (1018.00 m) Ko-Haku 1978 (16 mm): N.H.K., Japan (1974.60 m) Koko: A Talking Gorilla (16 mm): B. Schroder, U.S.A. (899.00 m) Memeno: Mosfilm, U.S.S.R. (2645.00 m) My Affectionate and Tender Beast: Mosfilm, U.S.S.R. (2987.00 m) My Vast Land: Central Popular Science Film Studios, U.S.S.R. (2098.00 m) Pages from the Life of Lev Tolstoy: Leningrad Popular Science Film Studios, U.S.S.R. (1742.00 m) Peking — Cause of Anxiety for Mankind: Central Documentary Film Studios, U.S.S.R. (1593.00 m) A Purple Little Flower: Mosfilm, U.S.S.R. (1681.00 m) Races Without Finish: Mosfilm, U.S.S.R. (2387.00 m) The Right of the First Signature: Mosfilm, U.S.S.R. (2679.00 m) The Road to Happiness: Leningrad Documentary Film Studios, U.S.S.R. (2600.00 m) Sit Down Near Mishka: Lenfilm Studio, U.S.S.R.

m)

Shalimar (Videotape): S. Shah, India (140 mins) The Shape of Things to Come: W. Davidson, Canada (2677.25 m) Shiawase N Kiiroi Hankachi (A Yellow Handkerchief) (16 mm): Sochiku Prod., Japan (1184.00 m) Tatort — 8 Jahre Spater (16 mm): W. Becker, W. Germany (1048.00 m) Tatort — Tod Eines Einbrechers (16 mm): R. Von Sydow, W. Germany (930.00 m) Touch of Fair Lady: Galaxy Films, Hong Kong (2659.45

m)

Valahol Europaban (Somewhere in Europe): Mafllm, Hungary (2807.17 m) 1. Reduced by Producer's cuts from 2661.00 m.

(2110.00 m)

Soldier and Elephant: Armen Film Studios, U.S.S.R. (2229.00 m) S o v ie t A rm ed Forces R ep o rtin g : M o s film Documentary Studio, U.S.S.R. (2200.00 m) Sweethearts (16 mm): Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, U.S.A. (1315.00 m) This Is My Land — Belorussia (16 mm): Mosfilm Documentary Studio, U.S.S.R. (850.00 m) Town for People (16 mm): Mosfilm Documentary Studio, U.S.S.R. (850.00 m) Unconscionable Diplomats: Dovjenko’s Ukrainian Studio, U.S.S.R. (1870.00 m) W hat About Tenth One? (16 m m ): M o sfilm Documentary Studio, U.S.S.R. (850.00 m) White Winter Sunshine (16 mm): R. Knop, U.S.A. (888.00 m)

Not Recommended for Children (NRC) Ab Kya Hoga: Mercury Prods, India (3735.00 m) Antar Bin Chadded (AntarThe Black Prince) (16 mm): Moustafa, Egypt (1536.90 m) Armed and Dangerous: Central Gorky Studio, U.S.S.R. (2735.00 m) The Birch Tree (Breza): Jadran Film, Zagreb, Yugoslavia (2482.00 m) Bir Teselli Ver: O. Gencabay/K. Kesemen, Turkey (2468.00 m) Buck Rogers in the Twenty-fifth Century: R. Caffey/L. Stevens, U.S.A. (2454.00 m) The China Syndrome: M. Douglas, U.S.A. (3346.00 m) Count of Years (16 mm): Sabbah, Egypt (1199.00 m) Diabolo Menthe: Les Films de I'Aima, France (2788.00

m).

Enemies: Mosfilm, U.S.S.R. (2112.00 m) Extinction of Taiga Emperor: Armen Film Studios, U.S.S.R. (2476.00 m) Front Behind the Front’s Line: Mosfilm, U.S.S.R. (4757.00 m) Good Morning (16 mm): Y. Ozu, Japan (2578.00 m) Hero of the Wild: Not shown, Hong Kong (2604.00 m) Hurricane: D. De Laurentiis, U.S.A. (3236.74 m) Inn On The Pjatnlskaja Square: Mosfilm, U.S.S.R. (2465.00 m) Jaguar (16 mm): J. Rouch, France (1049.00 m) Jenny (16 mm): Not shown, France (1050.00 m) La Chambre Verte (The Green Room): Les Films du Carrosse, France (2565.70 m) Le Desert Des Tartares (The Desert of the Tartars): J. Perrin, France (3703.00 m) Le Schpountz (16 mm): M. Pagnol, France (1590.00 m) Once More In The Evening: C. Chian-Fei, Hong Kong (2459.00 m) A Strange Woman: Mosfilm, U.S.S.R. (4018.00 m) Tim: Pisces Productions, Australia (2984.00 m) To Save the City: Mosfilm, U.S.S.R. (2764.00 m)

For Mature Audiences (M) Bay Bars: K. Kan/Funda Film, Turkey (2105.00 m) By Hook & By Crook: A. Gouw, Hong Kong (2593.29 m) Challenge of Death: W. Feng/K. Kai, Hong Kong (2537.00 m) Hair: L. Persky/M. Butler, U.S.A. (3262.90 m) Horror of Dracula (16 mm)1: Hammer Prods, U.K. (887.00 m) The Invincible Kung Fu Trio: Not shown, Hong Kong (2286.82 m) Jad (Anguish): Vardar Film, Yugoslavia (3151.34 m) Kung Fu Master Named Drunk Cat: A. Gouw, Hong Kong (2352.00 m) Love At First Bite: J. Freeman/M. Simon, U.S.A. (2621.47 m) Ludi Dani (Crazy Days): Jadran Film, Yugoslavia (2432.88 m) Praznovanje Pomladi (The Return of Spring): Viba Film, Yugoslavia (2513.09 m) The Scenic Route (16 mm): M. Rappaport, U.S.A. (812.00 m) Snake Shadow, Lama Fist: W. P. Ping, Hong Kong (2406.15 m) Specijalno Vaspitanje (Special Education): Centar Filmskih Radnih, Yugoslavia (2940.00 m) Spree: L. Hoot, U.S.A. (2510.00 m) Super Dragon: H. Chin, Hong Kong (2482.03 m)

Cathy’s Child (Reduced version)1: P. Oliver/E. Sulli­ van, Australia (2469.00 m) ■ .. Cloud of Romance: Not shown, Hong Kong (2646.76 m) Die Stunde Null (Down to Zero) (16 mm): E. Reitz, W. Germany (1277.0 m) Femmina Senza Cuore: R. Amoroso, Italy (2249.00 m) The Great Heroes: C. Jian-Fei, Hong Kong (2732.62 m) Hassna Ai Baddia (16 mm): Sabbah, Lebanon (1227.00 m) The Legend of Hillbilly John: B. Rosenzweig, U.S.A. (2343.00 m) A Little Romance: Orion Pictures, U.S.A. (3011.00 m) Love Affair of Rainbow: Not shown, Hong Kong (2482.00 m) Love of the White Snake: First Films, Hong Kong (2756.00 m) A Love Seed: Superstar (H.K.) Film, Hong Kong (2621.47 m) Movie Movie: S. Donen, U.S.A. (2900.35 m) Nineteen Going on Twenty: Cheng Bros, Hong Kong (2485.00 m) Norma Rae: T. Asseyev/A. Rose, U.S.A. (3123.46 m) Ogin — Her Love and Faith (16 mm): T. Matsumoto, Japan (1272.52 m) The Promise: F. Weintraub/P. Heller, U.S.A. (2677.25

For Mature Audiences (M) The Last of the Knucklemen: the producer’s appeal against an R rating was dismissed by the

Board of Review and the classification was upheld. Tri (Three): Avala Film, Yugoslavia (2163.60 m) Vdovstvo Karoline Zasler (The Widowhood of Karolina Zasler): Vlba/Vesna Film, Yugoslavia (2940.85 m) * Zen Kwun Do Strikes in Paris: S. Lai Woo, Hong Kong (2593.58 m) 1. Previously classified ‘M’ with eliminations on August 1972 List.

For Restricted Exhibition (R) Boulevard Nights: B. Benenson, U.S.A. (2780.00 m) Conflict of Emotions: G. D im ltropoulls, Greece (2753.00 m) Felicity (Reduced version)1: Krystal Film Prods, Hong Kong /Aust. (2487.89 m) The Italian Stallion (Pre-censor cut version): M. Lewis, U.S.A. (1801.60 m) Love Above All: G. Dimitropoulis, Greece (2673.50 m) Loves of a Nympho: Cine Cast/Vera Cine, Italy (2432.00 m) Mad Max: B. Kennedy, Australia (2486.35 m) Make Love With Me: Societe Nouvelle Clnevog, France (2031.86 m) 1. Reduced by producer’s cuts from 2550.99 m (December 1978 List). Special Conditions: For showing not more than twice at 1979 Sydney/ Melbourne/ Brisbane/ Perth and/or Adelaide Film Festivals and then exported. Alexandria . . . Why? Youssef Chahine, Egypt/Algeria (4389.00 m) Angel Mine: lla Film Prods, New Zealand (1821.00 m) Blacks Britannica (16 mm): David Koff, U.S.A. (625.00

m)

Confession of Love: Lenfilm, U.S.S.R. (3672.00 m) Death and Devil (16 mm): S. Dwoskin/Q.Prods., U.K./W. Germany (1019.00 m) A Fisherman from Hanstholm: S. Herdel Fllmprod, Denmark (1755.52 m) Hindered (16 mm): S. Dwoskin, U.K./W. Germany (1060.00 m) Hungarians: Dialog Studio, Hungary (3010.00 m) H eksen — P o litic s in P apua New Guinea: O'Rourke/Kildea Filmakers, Australia (754.00 m) Kassbach — A Portrait: P. Patzak/Satel Film, Austria (3007.00 m) The Last Three Days: Rai, Italy (3630.00 m) Loose Ends (16 mm): Fat Chance, Inc., U.S.A. (1339.00

m)

The Making of Anna (16 mm): Avec Film Unit, Australia (611.00 m) The Meetings of Anna: Helene Films/Paradise Films, Belglum/France/W. Germany (4191.00 m) Nolan at Sixty (16 mm): A.B.C., Australia (645.00 m) Northern Lights: Cine Manifest Prods., U.S.A. (2550.00

m)

Once A Moth: Premier Prods, Philippines (3359.00 m) Peau D’Ane (Donkey Skin): Parc Fllm/Marianne Prods, France (2940.00 m) Rembrandt Fecit 1669: J. Stalling, Netherlands (3107.00 m) Skin Deep: Phase Three Films, New Zealand (2743.00

m)

Solzhenitsyn’s Children are Making a Lot of Noise in Paris (16 mm): Nat. Film Board of Canada, Canada (954.00 m) Song of the Canary (16 mm): Manteca Films, U.S.A. (636.00 m) The Stroller in the Attic: Nikkatsu Corp, Japan (2088.00 m) Sun of the Hyenas: Newin Prods, Tunisia/Netherlands (2880.00 m)

The Trial of Joan of Arc: Agnes Delahaie Prods, France (2145.00 m)

FILMS REFUSED REGISTRATION Alice in Wonderland (Videotape)1: W. Osco, U.S.A. (74 mins) Reason: Indecency Dr Carstairs’ — 1869 Love Root Elixir: Pyramid 11 Films, U.S.A. (2164.00 m) Reason: Indecency Fairytales (Videotape)2: C. Band, U.S.A. (85 mins) Reason: Indecency The Mountain of the Cannibal God: Dania Film/Media Distribuzione, Italy (2698.20 m) Reason: Excessive violence She Knew No Other Way (Pre-censor cut version)3: T. Vlassis, Greece (3279.40 m) Reason: Indecency 1. Film version registered ‘R’ with cuts (September 1976 List. 2. Film version (pre-censor cut) registered ‘R’ (August 1978 List). 3. Version measuring 2237.00 m registered 'M' (December 1974 List).

FILMS BOARD OF REVIEW Spiderman Strikes Back: R. Satlof/R. Janes, U.S.A. (2496.13 m) Decision reviewed: ‘NRC’ registration by the film Censorship Board. Decision of the Board: Uphold the decision of the Film Censorship Board.

MAY 1979

FILMS REGISTERED WITHOUT ELIMINATIONS For General'Exhibition (G) Dalila (16 mm): M. Karim, Egypt (1402.00 m) El Rahibah (16 mm): S. Ei Fan, Egypt (1341.00 m) The Great American Chase: C. Jones, U.S.A. (2705.00

m)

Ho Never Gives Up (16 mm): M. C. Ling, China (1305.00 m) La Spirale (16 mm): Reggone Films, Chile (1569.00 m) Mamnooh Fi Lelt El Doukla (16 mm): S. El Fan, Egypt (1279.00 m) Prinz Von Homburg (16 mm): P. Stein, W. Germany (1735.00 m) Shining Spring: C. Chlen-Fei, Hong Kong (2678.96 m) Tatlin: A. Gulyuz, Turkey (2072.00 m) To Sfalma (The Mistake): J. Paris, Greece (2400.00 m) Donatella: R. Amoroso, Italy (2150.00 m) The Golden Age of Second Avenue (16 mm): A. Cantor, U.S.A. (702.00 m) Slamo Ricchi E Poveri: R. Amoroso, Italy (2100.00 m)

Not Recommended for Children (NRC) Angel’s Kiss: J. Wang, Taiwan (2413.00 m) Butch and Sundance: The Early Days: G. Katzka/S. Bach, U.S.A. (3067.00 m) Beyond the Poseidon Adventure: I. Allen, U.S.A. (3101.00 m)

Aina: M. A. Shamsl, Pakistan (3750.00 m) Brave Archer Part II: R. Shaw/M. Fong, Hong Kong (3272.87 m) Der Fangschuss (Coup De Grace) (16 mm) (Dubbed English version)1: E. Junkersdorf, W. Germany (1090.00 m). E Demonismeni (The Possessed): J. Paris, Greece (2400.00 m) Hanover Street: P. Lazarus III, U.K./U.S.A. (2887.38 m) Jaguar Lives: D. Gibson, U.S.A. (2482.03 m) The Journalist: P. Oliver, Australia (2314.70 m) The King of the Two Day Wonder (16 mm): K. Anderson, Australia (724.02 m) Kiri No Hata (Sweet Revenge) (16 mm): Toho Prods, Japan (1053.00 m) Last Embrace: M. Taylor/D. Wlgutow, U.S.A. (2760.91

m)

Lost and Found: M. Frank, U.S.A./Canada (2872.46 m) Lucky Lucky: C. Chung, Hong Kong (2513.00 m) The Misty Moon: Not shown, Hong Kong (2567.00 m) Murder by Decree: R. Dupont/B. Clark, U.K./Canada (3039.00 m) My Dear Brother: J. Wang, Taiwan (2386.00 m) Paule Paulaender (16 mm): R. Hauff, W. Germany (1102.00 m) Psychomania: A. Donally, U.K. (2454.14 m) Renaldo & Clara: Lombard Street Films, U.S.A. (6470.02 m) Shao-Lin Red Master: Not shown, Hong Kong (2342.59

m)

Skin Deep: Phase Three Film Prods, New Zealand (2753.70 m) Storming Attacks: A. Gouw/Goldig Film Co., Hong Kong (2733.02 m) Tatort—AE 612 Ohne Landeerlaubnis (16 mm): P. Schulze, W. Germany (1182.00 m) Tatort—Blechschaden (16 mm): W. Petersen, W. Germany (1245.00 m) Tatort—Kurzschluss (16 mm): W. Petersen, W. Germany (1035.00 m) Tatort — Wodka Bitter Lemon (16 mm): F. Worth, W. Germany (1030.00 m) Thirst: A. Ginnane/F & G Prod., Australia (2593.58 m) What To Do Without Love: A. Gouw/Goldig Film Co., Hong Kong (2649.00 m) The Winds of Autumn: C. Pierce Enterprises, U.S.A. (2834.00 m) 1. English subtitled version shown on August 1978 List.

For Restricted Exhibition (R) The Art of Gentle Persuasion: S. White, U.S.A. (1524.63 m) The Astro Zombies: T. Mikels, U.S.A. (2343.00 m) Black Deep Throat: D. Randall, Italy (2342.59 m) The Boxer’s Adventure: W. Yan/L. Hong, Hong Kong (2539.82 m) Call Girls: R. Shaw, Hong Kong (2432.88 m) The Carhops: J. Buckley/P. Locke, U.S.A. (2325.00 m) Fatihin Fermani Kara Murat: N. Baytan, Turkey (2438.00 m) The Last of the Knucklemen: T. Burstall/Hexagon, Australia (2538.00 m) Mikaella: J. Paris, Greece (2299.21 m) The Never Dead: D. Coscarelli/New Breed Prods, U.S.A. (2426.26 m) One Page of Love: T. Roter/N.R.H. Assoc., U.S.A. (2286.82 m) Over The Edge: G. Litto, U.S.A. (2649.00 m) Saturday Night at the Baths: D. Buckley/S. Ostrow, U.S.A. (2231.04 m) The Visitor: O. Assonitis, U.S.A./ltaly (2844.58 m) What’s Up, Superdoc?: M. Green, U.K. (2539.82 m) Young Playthings: S. Grankvist, Sweden'(2077.00 m) Special conditions: For showing not more than twice at 1979 S ydney/M elbourne/B risbane/P erth a nd /or Adelaide Film Festivals and then exported. Adela Jeste Nevecerela (Nick Carter in Prague):

Concluded on P. 580 Cinema Papers, September-October — 533


28th MELBOURNE FILM FESTIVAL 1979 m

Keith Connolly

Melbourne’s 28th annual film festival was a less than notable one (It could hardly have come up to 1978). Never­ theless, there were some significant elements: a group of independent Ameri­ can social-realist features, good new work by leading European directors, several interesting mavericks, and a valuable collection of “ missed master­ pieces” . And, of course, the festival opened for the first time with an Australian film — Paul Cox’s Kostas1. The American independents made the greatest impact, if not the biggest splash (that was left to Paul Schrader’s very commercial Hardcore, the inclusion of which is no doubt explained by the presence of another Schrader film Blue Collar and the writer-director’s unful­ filled undertaking to attend in person). Actually, Blue Collar — now in com­ mercial release — belongs among the American social-realist collection. One of the most effective fiction features ever made about American workers on the job, it is a world apart in source (Uni­ versal) from the independent origins of the other five. Of course, it is significant that three of the four are about American racial minorities, while another comes from Bolivia. (Australians sometimes need to be reminded that the U.S. is one among 23 nations on the American continents.) The most impressive, John Hanson and Rob Nilsson’s Northern Lights, is a worthy fulfilment of the writer-directors’ aim of “ making films about real people in a real social context” . The chiaroscuro of Judy Irola’s black and white photography effectively delineates the quiet lives of these Scan­ dinavian migrant families riven by adver­ sity and exploitation. The screenplay draws upon a little-known episode in American political history — the brief surge to power of a rural populist move­ ment in North Dakota just over a half­ century ago. A fictional story about participants in this movement is told with a spare, com­ 1. Reviewed in Cinema Papers — issue 22, July-August 1979, p.463.

pelling authority that doesn’t need the authenticating framing device provided by documentary shots of a veteran sur­ vivor of the movement. Other migrants undergoing even tougher times in the U.S. today are the Mexican itinerants who cross the border illegally to find work as agricultural laborers. Robert M. Young’s Alambristal (the Spanish word means, literally, tight­ rope-walker) is a colorful, engaging, witty odyssey in delusion and disappoint­ ment. Although Young’s script has its

lapses into the facile, he conveys with wry solicitude the edgy, often sordid, lives of illegals hounded by the authori­ ties and ripped off by cynical employers. An ironic closing sequence, in which a young woman sneaks into a customs sta­ tion to give birth north of the border, sar­ donically implies the conflicts of the poor Mexican “so far from God, so close to the U.S.” . Ethiopian Haile Gerima contributed one of the hits of the 1977 Melbourne festival, Harvest, 3000 Years, about sur­

John Hanson and Rob Nilsson’s Northern Lights: chronicling the lives of three Scan­ dinavian migrant families riven by adversity and exploitation in rural North Dakota.

viving feudalism in his native land. His Bush Mama, made in Los Angeles in 1975, is an explosive examination of what it’s like to be poor, black and female in the land of the free. Gerima’s disturbing film, a stylish complexity ranging from detached naturalism to the fervidly surreal, is greatly enhanced by its dynamic, multi­ level soundtrack. Ralph D. Silver’s On the Yard falls between rom anticized Hollywood pseudo-realism and the gritty verismo of the other American social-realist films. One expects a James Cagney or George Raft to show up Malcolm Braly’s screen­ play, based on his own experiences, as it follows those patterns of prison life made so familiar by a score of features from The Big House to Fortune and Men’s

Eyes.

Paul Schrader’s Blue Collar: one of the most effective fiction films ever made about American workers.

534 — Cinema Papers, September-October

The film’s older-style melodramatic narrative is updated by Silver’s coolly uncommitted attitude to inmates and warders (“we are all victims” runs the not-exactly-apocalyptic theme). The obligatory escape scene, nuttily reminis­ cent of Charlie Bubbles, equals the glos­ sy color of Alan Metzger’s photography for incongruity. Bolivian Antonio Eguino’s Chuquiago represents an important trend in the cinema of Latin America. Most of the social-realist filmmakers of the Americas have suffered heavily in recent times for daring to depict things as they really are (Eguino was himself jailed) and this director has obviously concluded that half a loaf of social observation is better than suppression, exile or worse. Par­ ticularly if it permits the filmmaker to go on slicing away at his subject.


28th MELBOURNE FILM FESTIVAL

Andrzej Wajda’s Man of Marble: recalling the Stalinist past ”

Yet Eguino’s lively, colorful, episodic film manages to say quite a lot within four slight sketches about people in Bolivia’s biggest city La Paz (Chuquiago is the Inca name). The stories, moving through the social strata from a wide-eyed Aymara boy to a wealthy girl student dabbling in radical politics, survey the state of the nation without leaning too heavily on the sensitivities of Bolivia's ever-temporary regimes. Of the other Third World nations represented, Tunisia and India provided impressive new works, while an unusual­ ly simplistic stinker came from Cuba. Rida Behi’s Sun of the Hyenas, a Tunisian-Dutch co-production, didactic­ ally describes the corruption and disinte­ gration caused to a Mediterranean fishing village by mindless tourism. A hotel for European holidaymakers, established with the aid of palm-greased local politician-businessmen, devastates the village community. The well-off visitors unwittingly traduce everything they touch, reducing the local people to humiliating servitude. The writer-director shows an inven­ tive capacity for establishing his visual symbols amid stunning scenic composi­ tion, though some of the imagery is a mite obvious. A Ritual, the first feature of 29 year-old Indian Girish Kasaravalli is reminis­ cent of the earlier films of Satyajit Ray. Its spare exposition, measured pace and S. Ramachandra’s limpid black-and-white photography put one in mind of Ray’s Devi, also an attack on religious super­ stition and intolerance. Kasaravalli develops an affecting poignancy in the story of a young woman destroyed by in­

human dogmatism. The shocker from Cuba, Sergio Giral’s Slave Hunter, is a pseudo-western, preposterously heavy-handed in its depiction of cowboy-like bounty hunters tracking runaway slaves in 18th Century colonial Cuba. The contrast between this simple-minded hokum and the sensitive depths of Gutierrez Alea’s The Last Sup­ per, a 1978 festival highlight, was positively painful. This year’s less-than-lustrous line-up gained some distinction from new works of four leading European directors — Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi, Claude Chabrol and Rainer Werner Fassbinder — in top form. Poland’s Wajda led the way, harking back with the wry hindsight of chastened maturity to the heady days of Ashes and Diamonds. His Man of Marble, signifi­ cantly, is a story within a story. A young contemporary Polish film­ maker, ambitiously embarked upon a difficult subject for her diploma film’— a documentary on the life and times of a now-forgotten shock-worker of the Stalin era — is obstructed at every turn. The project is finally vetoed, after she has made some startling incursions into re­ cent history and upset a number of peo­ ple who would rather forget what hap­ pened in the 1950s. Wajda’s film, made in 1977, itself ran into trouble and was suppressed for a time. But just as his great early films benefited from an official thaw, so Man of Marble, Wajda’s best work for a long time, has surfaced in the wake of another round of liberalization. The film is ingenious and audacious. It recalls the Stalinist past through flash­ backs during interviews conducted in the present, gradually revealing that, while the subject himself has disappeared, his family, friends and enemies have made accommodations of some sort with ex­

isting reality. The young filmmaker is last seen be­ ing led to the long-sought meeting with the unseen protagonist. The implica­ tions of this skilfully extended tracking shot — it counterpoints another at the film’s beginning, when she scurries in the reverse d irection through an art museum, searching for the forgotten hero's statue — remain, like other ques­ tions the film raises about present-day Poland, tantalisingly open-ended. Wajda’s compatriot, Zanussi, is also deeply concerned with the human con-

Robert M. Young’s Alambrista: depicting the plight of illegal Mexican immigrants in the U.S.

dition, but in a far more personal way. Spiral takes a bleakly caustic, if not whol­ ly unsympathetic, view of human kind, returning to the fatalism of Illumination in its story of a man who knows he has a terminal illness. The anti-hero of Spiral, however, reacts with self-pitying rage in a disturbingly unflinching chronicle that re­ jects the chin-up pap dispensed in most

Rida Behi's Sun of the Hyenas: describing the corruption and disintegration caused to a Mediterranean fishing village by mindless tourism.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 535


28th MELBOURNE FILM FESTIVAL

works of fiction — and often in real life. Zanussi stresses the patient's emo­ tional wretchedness with frenetic (often hand-held) shots of him lurching aggres­ sively around a holiday chalet and, later, a hospital. A surreal epilogue reminds us of the transience of human existence as the retreating figure of the man we have just seen die, flickers out between frames. Another East European director with fresh vigor is Zoltán Fabri, one of the great survivors of Hungarian film. Fabri’s Hungarians, a shrewd parable which twits his .countrymen as well as their Soviet big brother, describes the experi­ ences of a band of wartime guestworkers in Nazi Germany. There is not much doubt about the target of a quip delivered by an old man, discussing Ger­ many’s impending defeat, who says: “That’s what happens when you pal up with the Hungarians!” But there is also a chiding note in the paranoia of another expatriate farm­ worker when, after a run-in with the German masters of the multi-national volunteer and conscripted workforce, he demands: “Why do they always pick on us?” The Marriage of Maria Braun is one of the best Rainer Werner Fassbinder films yet seen in Australia. Untypically, the script isn’t his (although he is credited with the dialogue of Peter Marthesheimer and Pia Frolich’s screenplay). Moreover, the story of an enigmatic woman making it in postwar Germany is unusually thick with socio-political allegory. The dark fluency of style, however, is unmistakably Fassbinder. It begins in the last years of World War 2, when Maria’s wedding to a soldier is farcically disrupted by Allied bombing. Surviving postwar chaos, American occupation and a murder charge (her unexpectedly returned husband takes the rap), she hustles to the top of the business world, then perishes in an explosion caused by a preoccupation with material concerns. Maria (played by Fassbinder stock company stalwart Hanna Schygulla) may be seen as a metaphor for West Ger­ many. Each turn of the fanciful plot matches events of the past 35 years, from the amoral opportunism of recon­ struction and the economic miracle to the terrorist-torn present. In step with all this is Maria’s ambivalent loyalty to the husband she scarcely knows and marriage vows honored in the breach. An intriguingly layered film, it can be taken as romantic melodrama, philoso­ phical parable, or even a mixture of both. The most unusual fiction feature of the festival was Michel Deville’s Le dossier 51, based on the novel by Giiles Perrault.

It is, in a sense, a gimmick film, a ‘oncer’ like Robert Montgomery’s Lady in the Lake with its doggedly subjective camera. Deville combines the ambivalent at­ titudes of The Conversation and Investi­

gation of a Citizen Above Suspicion

(which manifest a grudging admiration for the skills of the clandestine inquisi­ tors) with a distanced, but no less palpable, condemnation of their trade, in the manner of Peter Watkins. Dossier 51 is a file built by agents of a super-power (one presumes the CIA, but it might just as easily be the KGB), about a French economic expert they seek to recruit. The pseudo-documentary narra­ tive is told through impersonal official reports, delivered as voice-over com­ mentary on scenes of the agents in the field and at conferences in which the pro­ ject’s progress is assessed. All very detached, but quite effective. The agency coolly ransacks the man’s private life in pursuit of an Achilles heel by which he may be suborned. Even­ tually they find one, only to destroy their quarry in employing it. The ultimate callousness of their “oh well, back to the drawing board” reaction to his death epitomises the film’s 1984-ish tone. Yet Deville (until this film known for light comedies) doesn’t present a completely defeatist prospect. Big Brother’s minions are less than omnipotent; they occa­ sionally fumble their tasks, fight among themselves, and fall prey to everyday temptations. In this frailty is a glimmer of humanity, however debased, and, there­ fore, hope. Recent American essays in socialrealism were interestingly contrasted by the Festival’s program with names and works from the great days of Italian neo­ realism. Visconti haunted the “ missed masterpieces” section with his land­ mark Ossessione and the verismo clas­ sic La terra trema, while a new film, Salvatore Nocita's Ligabue was co­ scripted by the great apostle of neo­ realist theory, Cesare Zavattini (from his own book). Ligabue, the Italian ‘primitive’ painter, achieved recognition only in the last years of a solitary life spent chiefly in hermit­ like squalor on the banks of the Po. The film portrait of this more-than-half-mad natural genius occasionally verges on Tatiesque satire, but is, in the main, mov­ ing and convincing. Cinematographer Roberto Geradi makes striking use of village and river backgrounds, while, in its more poignant passages, the script is reminiscent of Umberto D. A far less successful chronicle of the Italy of recent times, German director Werner Schroeter’s The Kingdom of Naples, has a certain Teutonic kooki­

ness, as if a Vittorio de Sica film has been remade by Erich von Stroheim. An inco­ herently politicized pageant of the Nea­ politan lower depths from 1944 to the present, it lashes out Left and Right at demagogues and dogmas, idealizing the symbolic characters and glossily simpli­ fying the situation. Another film about Italy, Salvatore Samperi’s Ernesto, is as knowingly arch as Schroeter is fervidly rhetorical. A wry fable about role-playing and role imposi­ tion, it is also cutely exploitative in frank scenes of homosexual love-making in a pre-permissive society. Samperi and cinematographer Camillo Bassoni invest these episodes with a romantic lyricism which is at odds with an otherwise sar­ donic tone. A final freeze-frame of the young manipulated man who has learnt to be a manipulator summarizes the film’s bland cynicism. Three contrasting feature documen­ taries in the program also merit discus­ sion. Former Melbourne filmmaker Michael Rubbo’s National Film Board of Canada production, Solzhenitsyn’s

Children are Making a Lot of Noise in Paris, is glibly facile, while Spaniard Gonzalo Herralde’s two films, Race, the Spirit of Franco and The Murder of Pedralbes, are thoughtfully complex. Rub­ bo’s deft but shallow exercise in pic­ torial journalism toys with the latest intel­ lectual preoccupation of the French Left without looking beyond the more digest­ ible catch-phrases tossed his way by a string of brilliant polemicists. Rubbo tears about Paris on the motor­ cycle of a young French-Canadian poli­ tical journalist, interviewing France’s New Philosophers, who seem to have concluded that, because many prac­ tices in the USSR and China are incom­ patible with Marxism, the theories of Marxism are thereby invalidated. Such superficiality is, of course, Rubbo’s do­ ing. He quickly bares his own less-thanZoltan Fabri’s Hungarians: a shrewd parable which twits Fabri’s countrymen and their Soviet big profound grasp of the questions involved brother. ~ and embarrasses his companion by crass, third-degreeing of luminaries like 536 — Cinema Papers, September-October

Werner Schroeter’s The Kingdom of Naples: an incoherently politicized pageant of the Neapolitan lower depths from 1944 to the present.

Bernard-Henri Levy (“the Mick Jagger of the brainy bunch” ), Andre Glucksman and Paul Ellenstein. Rubbo plays the credulous innocent on behalf of the audi­ ence, a role for which, after his Waiting for Fidel, he is clearly suited. Herralde’s technique in Race, the Spirit of Franco is also a mite gimmicky (he uses a formidable octogenarian in Pilar, sister of Franco, as her brother’s unwit­ ting accuser), but his didactic purpose is consistently discernible. The film ob­ viously would have great emotional significance for newly-emancipated Spanish audiences, tutored for genera­ tions to revere Franco, in its subtle revelation of the Caudillo’s closest fan­ tasizing. Not long after the civil war ended in 1939, Franco ordered the making of a patriotic feature film, Race, a family saga extolling the fascist vision of the virtues of the Spanish people. Franco ghosted the script himself — Alfred Mayo, the now elderly star, describes how fresh pages would be delivered on the set each morning by official limousine — and in­ dulged his personal fantasies to the hilt. Heralde intercuts a recent no-nonsense monologue by Pilar, recounting the true, and less than immaculate, Franco family history with scenes from the 1940 film, showing how the family story provided the basis of the plot, with the facts twisted into an idealized conception which achieved, for Franco, a unique form of wish fulfilment. Herralde’s intention in The Murderer of Pedralbes is less apparent. He employs a similar technique in probing a virtually inexplicable double murder. Interviews with the convicted killer and old as­ sociates raise many questions, without pointing up many answers, about crime and punishment, social values and responsibility. ★


26th SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 1979

Features

Askndrie . . . lie? (Alexandria . . . Why?), by the prolific Egyptian director,

One of the unexpected delights of the 1979 Sydney Film Festival was Legend of the Mountain, by Hong Kong director King Hu. Partly based on a Sung Dynasty story, the film is an elaborate romance about a scholar who retreats to a remote fort along the Great Wall to copy a sutra which will help wandering souls find their next reincarnation; he meets a group of ghosts who scheme to steal it from him, and falls in love with two of them. Like many recent Asian films, Legend of the Mountain is a positive feast of cinematic entertainment unified by a complex and gripping narrative. It is as though the love story itself has passed through a magic kaleidoscope, giving off a dazzling variety of emotional shades and tones, and passing us back and forth, from laughter and lyricism to sad­ ness and terror; while the spectacular beauty of the finely-controlled photo­ graphy holds us, like an inspired display of fireworks, in a timeless, hypnotic state. Lino Brocka’s Insiang, about a young girl in an urban slum who shares her mother’s lover for revenge, is a strong social realist film muted by a heavy dose of melodrama injected to get the film past the Filipino censors, insiang was made roughly and quickly, and it shows; but its savage, documentary insistence on the smallest details of life in the over­ crowded cardboard shanties gives it a power whose impact survives, despite the slightly syrupy overtones of the drama between mother, daughter and lover.

Youssef Chahine, is another example of a highly entertaining and creative film blended from an almost overwhelming multiplicity of different elements. It is a study of life in Alexandria during World War 2, and the bustling complication of social and political affairs in the muchoccupied and much-disputed city is cap­ tured by Chahine’s web of several plots and sub-plots, mixture of styles, odd juxtapositions and cheering sense of comedy. The theme which holds it all together is the influence of American film mythology on a young boy who dreams of going to the U.S. to study drama. The French films at this year’s festival were, on the whole, very disappointing. Jacques Doillon's La femme qui pleure (The Crying Woman) is a pale and blood­ less affair, in which the wife cries, the mistress is strong, and the man in the middle has doubts and anxieties. Every­ one is beautiful, intense, and apparently well-off. The triteness of sentiment in this film is rendered (almost) offensive by its pious pretension to examine the situa­ tion of the abandoned woman, when it is rather a hymn to the fascinations of female masochism. Alain Cavalier’s Martin et Lea is also an essay on the life and loves of the beautiful people. Lea is a Vietnamese woman kept by a wealthy man in ex­ change for providing him with young girls. One of them kills herself, so Lea decides to settle down happily with Martin, a worker with a passion for clas­ sical singing, and the close of the film sees everything resolved with a preg­ nancy.

Claude Berri’s In a Wild Moment: a breath of fresh air after the emptiness of many of the Festival’s films.

Both films seem to suffer from a kind of emptiness which cannot be put down to the critical vision of the respective directors, since the central characters are presented to us with a caressing seriousness which is all too revealing.

In contrast, Claude Berri’s standard bourgeois comedy Un moment d’egarement (In a Wild Moment) was a breath of fresh air. Pierre and Jacques are middleaged men on holiday with their daugh­ ters. Pierre allows himself to be seduced by his friend’s daughter Francoise, and is terrified of the consequences while hypo­ critically maintaining the pose of a stern father with his own daughter Martine. The comedy is very much at the expense of the men and the absurdity of their moral system; but it is without a trace of meanness or simple-minded reduction of their feelings, and, as a result, Berri’s film is as moving as it is amusing. Michel Deville’s Le dossier 51 is a film with an idea which is fascinating on paper, but rather boring in its realiza­ tion. A rising diplomat is treated as the object of an investigation by an agency planning to recruit him as a spy. Every­ thing is seen through the eyes of the investigators, so that the audience is placed in the position of the intelligence organization, and never that of the victim. However the frightening implications of the information industry, and the disturb­ ing experience of seeing everything through its eyes, are repeatedly under­ mined in the film by gratuitous switches to crude spy comedy of the Get Smart variety; the tension dissipates, and one becomes acutely aware of the film’s ex­ cessive length. Overkill is also a characteristic of Swiss director Alain Tanner’s Messidor. Like his earlier films, Le salamandre and Jonas, Messidor explores a situation in which young people have a great deal of rebellious energy combined with prob­ lems of purpose and direction. In Mes­ sidor, two girls set out to travel around Switzerland living off their wits, simply for the sake of doing so, and keep going un­ til it ends in tragedy. One of the most interesting things in the film is the way the legendary beauty of the scenery becomes, through repeti­ tion, the image of a trap of deadly monotony. The smallness of the territory open to the girls makes the very idea of seeking freedom on the road a con­ demnation to suffocating circularity. Nevertheless Tanner’s film, like its heroines, keeps going long after the theme’s potential has been exhausted. At the other end of the spectrum of

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Alain Tanner’s Messidor: the tale of two girls travelling around Switzerland living off their wits.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 537


26th SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL

Swiss society from Tanner’s d is­ contented youth are the public officials pilloried in Rolf Lyssy’s Die schweizer­ macher (The Swissmakers). Max Bodmer and his reluctant assistant, Moritz Fischer, are special investigators entrusted with assessing applicants for Swiss citizenship; and through their fre­ quently absurd and distasteful activities, Lyssy satirizes the narrowness, stupidity and conformity inherent in a certain nationalistic view of Swiss superiority. Although The Swissmakers has some funny moments, it is very heavy-handed; and it tends to be a film which en­ courages complacency — the assured laughter of those who do not see them­ selves in the petty official — as much as it deflates it in the person of Bodmer himself. The political limbo of the young in Italy today is the theme of Nanni Moretti’s Ecce bombo. Teasing, ironic, and always only half-satisfying, Ecce bombo is a loose and open study of a group of young people worrying about everything, in­ cluding the sense of futility and detach­ ment at the heart of their anxieties. The film has something of the form of the consciousness-raising sessions under­ taken by the central character (played by Moretti) and his male friends; rambling and undirected, but in the process dis­ tilling a powerful sense of a malaise which is all the more disturbing in its acutely self-conscious pointlessness. Ecce bombo is a film about a state of bewilderment in which humor is the only possible saving grace. One of the problems confronting the youth in Moretti’s film is that, increasingly in Europe, traditional left and far left politics are seen as sources of past and present disaster, rather than of hope for the future. Michael Rubbo’s documen­ tary Solzhenitsyn’s Children are Making a Lot of Noise in Paris explores the in­ tense arguments about the role of the Communist Party which took place in France before the 1978 elections. Rubbo’s film is more entertaining than informative, and falls into a rather facile form of Paris-watching; a posture which the filmmakers openly and cheerfully ad­ mit, but which allows the seriousness of the upheavals taking place on the left in Europe to be underestimated. Phil Mulloy’s In the Forest is a curious example of some recent directions in British radical cinema. An attempt to question the narratives of bourgeois history, and therefore of historical film, In the Forest combines a stark and power­ ful imagery with a didactic voice-over — the form of which would not be out of place in any lecture hall, and which ruins the overall effect of the film. While In the Forest affirms a history centred on the experience of a peasantry abject and oppressed through the cen­ turies, in I tembelides tis eforis kiladas (The Idlers of the Fertile Valley) Nikos

Panayotopoulos takes the more con­ ventional approach of satirizing the culture of the wealthy. A family of four men go to a country estate to live off their inheritance, equipped with a maid to take care of all their needs. Their idleness gradually invades their lives, until they take permanently to their beds. Panayotopoulos’ moral tale is mildly amusing for a while, then becomes increasingly soporific. The point being belabored begins to look alarmingly like the virtue and virility inherent in hard work. Bourgeois culture is also the theme of Anja Breien’s Arven (Next of Kin), about the crisis triggered off in a family by the inheritance left by a man who has bound their lives together in various ways, not all of which are known to everybody at the beginning. Next of Kin is an un­ inspired addition to the canon of films about family crisis; it lacks the energy of Breien’s Wives and the subtlety of her

Games of Love and Loneliness. Anders Refn’s Slaegton (The Baron)

examines the near-feudal conditions of life on a large estate in late 19th Century Denmark. Traces of social unrest are beginning to show, and the baron him­ self is a brutal weakling who terrorizes those around him, but is unable to face up to the consequences. The Baron is a rich and satisfying film, with a fine attention to detail in even the most minor of its characterizations, and with excellent performances by Jens Okking as Baron Helmuth, and Bodil Udsen as his irascible and magnificent mother.

Hullabaloo Over Georgie and Bon­ nie’s Pictures is a delightful fusion of a number of themes dear to the cinema of James Ivory. The Indian palace of this film is the meeting place of the present with several layers of Indian pasts, per­ sonal and cultural memories. Gathered together to squabble over a collection of ancient art treasures are an American collector, a buyer from the British Museum whose India is still that of the Empire, the Maharajah who takes no interest in his pictures but thinks they should stay where they are, his sister who thinks only of the money they could bring, an assortment of tourists, and a ghost. Their convergence produces a superbly delicate comedy, decom­ posing the workings of nostalgia in the manner which has all the lightness of Autobiography of a Princess and Rose­ land, but which is joyful and affirmative where the earlier films have an acidic undertone. John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 is a fine thriller from the maker of Dark Star and Halloween. It has the remarkable quality of being amusing, through a wealth of cinematic allusions, and absolutely terrifying. The assault in question is undertaken by an inter-racial gang, armed to the teeth and cruising

Stanley Donen’s Movie Movie: lovingly observing the narrative and visual processes of old Hollywood films. 538 — Cinema Papers, September-October

round for a good night’s killing. Where a film like The Warriors works by humanizing the gangs, dividing them conventionally into individual heroes, villains and fools, Assault on Precinct 13 exploits to the full the potential of the urban gang image as the essence of blind, irrational violence; an image which, summoning as it does all our fears of obscure forces of uncontrollable destruction, is one of the few truly effec­ tive modern representations of evil. Humorously enough, at the same time, the nice old-fashioned murderer finds himself on the side of reason and justice. Jan Halldorf’s film Chez Nous is also billed as a thriller, but is in fact the story of the political education of Maria, a young investigative reporter working for a Swedish exploitation newspaper. While only mildly interesting, the major sur­ prise of Chez Nous is that Maria is so startled at the corruption she discovers — given her place of employment — that she is unaware of her impending death. Meaghan Morris

This year’s Festival highlighted new films by two established American direc­ tors: Stanley Donen’s Movie Movie opened the Festival with a few laughs, while Robert Altman’s A Perfect Couple closed it without sensation. Movie Movie is a parody of a Holly­ wood picture show of the 1930s, con­ sisting of two hour-long features, com­ plete with trailer between. In the first, Dynamite Hands, a young would-be lawyer becomes a prize-fighter to pay for his sister’s eye operation. The black and white photography used by Donen underscores the moral simplicity of Dynamite Hands, and lines like, “ My sister’s eyes are below the belt” , lam­ poon the earnest sentimentality of the old films. Donen has lovingly observed the narrative and visual processes of the old Hollywood films, except here he turns them back on themselves to appeal to cynicism rather than sentiment. As the second part, Baxter’s Beauties of 1933, a colorful Busby Berkley-style musical, thunders to its ludicrously happy ending, it becomes obvious that they don’t make them like that anymore. But perhaps Donen has been a bit too successful in pointing this out. Robert Altman’s A Perfect Couple traces a computer-matched couple try­ ing to fall in love in spite of their differ­ ing backgrounds. Alex (Paul Dooley) is the scion of a wealthy tradition-bound Greek family. Sheila is a live-in singer with a band playing under the appro­ priately ambiguous name of “ Keeping ’em Off the Streets” . A lth ou g h, as always, A ltm a n ’s observation of behavior is impeccably detailed, and the couple are believable, they are simply not interesting. A Perfect Couple will be a disappointment for

Altman fanciers, even though it is crafted with his usual control and conciseness. The three West German features screened this year fulfilled, and even sur­ passed, the expectations audiences have come to have of films from that country, i he staggeringly prolific Rainer Werner Fassbinder had two very different works, The Marriage of Maria Braun and In a

Year with 13 Moons. In a Year with 13 Moons plays out a grisly but fascinating prelude to a suicide — a theme not new to Fassbinder — as we fo llo w sex ch an ge c a s u a lty Erwin/Elvira (Volker Spengler), over the last five days of his life. Sexually and socially dislocated, with no memory of childhood, he is relentlessly trapped in the present. Each encounter with his wife, and the man for whom he became a woman, further dissolves his links with his past and himself. Every so often there are years with 13 new moons, and Fassbinder asserts that, when this occurs, those whose lives are ruled by their emotions are subject to devastating consequences. 1978, the year in which the film is set, was one such year. In a Year with 13 Moons is based on the last days in the life of a lover of Fass­ binder’s, which explains the film’s darkly subjective nature. Dealing with an un­ usual and singular history does not, however, detract from the forcefulness of this testament of how the weak are devoured. Reinhard Hauff’s Knife in the Head is every bit as incisive as its title implies. A man is shot in the head when he visits, what the police suspect to be, a terrorist hideout. In hospital, although completely incapacitated, he is placed under heavy guard as the police try to establish a case against him. Bruno Ganz’s interpretation of a man reconstituting himself from a vegetable into a person capable of irony and demanding dignity, is nothing short of brilliant. An intricate and subtle study of paranoia in contemporary West Ger­ many, the film was voted the most pop­ ular at the Festival. In an interview with Festival organizer David Stratton, Czech director Oldrich Lipsky quaintly observed: “ Czech humor is very particular” , and one is irresistibly drawn to agree. But what, in particular, is it? In the case of Oldrich Lipsky’s Nick Carter in Prague, a pastiche of every screen detective from Sherlock Holmes (especially) through to Inspector Ciouseau, it proved to be highly spirited and eclectic. However Jiri Menzel’s

Those Magnificent Men and their Crank­ ing Machines bears out the supposition

that although Czech humor is not altogether unamusing, it is relatively unsophisticated; perhaps you have to be a Czech. Barely 24 hours after its Festival screening, Peter Weir’s tele-feature The

Oldrich Lipsky’s Nick Carter in Prague: a pastiche of screen detectives 4tom Sherlock Holmes to Inspector Ciouseau.


26lh SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL

Peter Weir’s The Plumber: anatomy of a burgeoning paranoia.

Plumber made its small screen debut. On television it was luminescent by dint of the company it kept, but as cinema it fell short of expectations built up since

The Last Wave.

W eir’s anatomy of a burgeoning paranoia, although painstakingly drawn, doesn’t quite wash. A pretty but repres­ sed (or is she?) anthropologist Jill Cowper (Judy Morris) has her erudite solitude ruptured by the unexpected arrival of Max (Ivar Kants), campus plumber (or is he?), and odd and pro­ tracted things happen in the bathroom. Her nervousness would seem credible if the interloper really were a menacing animal presence. While he is con­ vincingly annoying, one wonders why she

simply doesn’t chase him out with a broom when he starts to take showers and renders her convenience a plumb­ ing nightmare. Metaphor, social com­ ment and enigma hurtle about out of control in The Plumber as the spectre of The Last Wave gurgles ominously in the background. O th e r A u s tra lia n p ro d u c tio n s screened at the Festival included Albie Thom’s first narrative film, Palm Beach, as well as episodes from the Film Aus­ tralia documentary series The Russians and The Human Face of China. With the latter, as each patently pre-arranged shot replaces the other, it becomes clear that documentary filmmaking, with its usually implicit candor and freedom, has not been possible. Perhaps screening the series in their entirety (thereby revealing the scope of the projects) may have rendered them more impressive. Nagisa Oshima’s Empire of Passion was the only Japanese film screened at

Reinhardt Hauffs Knife in the Head: carrying an urgent message for people in all countries.

this year’s Festival. Following In the Realm of the Senses, Oshima again relates the tale of a consuming love, but this time he does not linger on the nature of physical passion; rather its implica­ tions. Resorting to more traditional story­ telling techniques, Oshima introduces the notions of morality and retribution, blending them with supernatural ele­ ments. Although not as exquisitely crafted, or as sensational as its pre­ decessor, Empire of Passion certainly demonstrates Oshima’s rare faculty for creating a palpable and poignant ‘other reality’. Sue Adler

Errol Morris’ film debut, Gates of Heaven, raises some pertinent ques­ tions about the morality of a style of documentary filmmaking which turns people into clowns for the benefit of the camera.

Morris’ theme is the pet burial busi­ ness. Floyd McGuire stumbles through a jumbled tale involving his dream of a fit­ ting end for family pets, and the found­ ing of his own cemetery. He mumbles about canine devotion and the horrors of the nearby rendering plant, to which many unfortunate animals are con­ signed. M c G u ire ’s cem etery, however, becomes embroiled in human squabbles and goes downhill. All his little cadavers are dug up and moved to another estab­ lishment run by Carl Harberts. Harberts has evolved his own brand of Christian­ ity (The Bubbling Wells Church of Uni­ versal Love); it admits animals to the brotherhood of man. On such truths are dynasties founded. Ned Burgess’ languid camerawork in Gates of Heaven pins speakers to the screen. Between monologues Burgess hovers around a couple of middle Ameri­ cans fretting over th eir departed Trooper, before meandering over to a cluster of niches bearing testimonials to four-legged friendship (“God is Love, Backwards it's Dog”). Undoubtedly the Harberts, who owe their success to exploitation of human loneliness, deserve every veiled insult the film makes about them. But the audience is encouraged to laugh at the petty senti­ ments of people whose only crime is in­ coherence, and whose only foible is to in­ vest their love in animals. They give Morris candor and he serves it up as farce. It is an unsettling form of humor. Politics and sex dominated the Spanish entries, which included two chilling examinations of the violent con­ flict between left and right in that country — The M.P. and Blindfolded — and one misogynist diatribe posing as a thriller entitled Bilbao. Like Knife in the Head, The M.P. and Blindfolded carry an urgent message for people in ail countries where there are marked political divisions. The two films explore the superficiality of human and civil rights rhetoric, and make it clear that political violence touches everyone. Director Eloy de la Iglesia’s pro­ tagonist in The M.P. is Roberto Orbea (Jose Sacristan), a young Kennedy-style left-wing politician married to an attrac­ tive and ambitious woman. He is also covertly homosexual, and as his election to the position of secretary-general of his party becomes likely, this is used by the right-wing to destroy him. The daintier elements of the story have something in common with the Jeremy Thorpe case in Britain: the hint of homo­ sexuality is enough to destroy a political career. But the most terrifying aspects of The M.P. are not those detailing sexual repression, or even its consequences (though this is frightening enough), but rather those which illustrate that the repression is officially sanctioned. Concluded on P. 580

“ Nagisa Oshima’s Empire of Passion: another tale of consuming love.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 539


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GUIDE FOR THE AUSTRALIAN FILM PRODUCER:

PART 16

AN INTRODUCTION TO FILM MERCHANDISING In this 16th part of a 17-part series, Cinema Papers contributing editor Antony I. Ginnane, and solicitors Ian Baillieu and Leon Gorr dis­ cuss merchandising techniques and practices as­ sociated with the production and release of a feature film.

Introduction Traditionally, film merchandising activities have performed two main functions: firstly, they have been seen as an adjunct to the marketing and advertising of a film; and secondly, through the exploitation of ancillary rights, they have contributed to a film’s income. Until recently, however, the income-earning potential of merchandising activities has not been fully ex­ ploited, and a film’s primary spin-offs — books and soundtrack — have been used primarily for promotional purposes.1 In the past three years this position has changed markedly. Now, not only the pro­ ducers of hit musicals like Saturday Night Fever and Grease, but also the makers of every type of product from Star Wars to the James Bond films, are engaged in the exploitation of an­ cillary rights. The major studios have moved into an area which had previously been exploited only by Disney Studios and a few independent producers; and which, in Australia, had only been taken advantage of by the Reg Grundy Organization (with their Australian-Swedish joint venture Abba) and the South Australian Film Corporation (with the merchandising of Storm Boy and Blue Fin). New areas of merchandising have rapidly been developed by producers, and have yielded profits, which, in certain instances (for example Star Wars), exceeded the revenue derived from the initial theatrical release of the film.

Traditional Merchandising Traditionally, two items have been the object of film merchandising: firstly, merchandising relating to the literary basis of the film, the screenplay; and secondly, merchandising relating to the musical basis of the film, the soundtrack. (1) The Screenplay In his screenplay contract with the writer, a producer should have acquired all ancillary rights related to the script, either on an out­ right basis or on some profit-sharing arrange­ ment with the writer. Then, either directly or through a literary agent, the producer will approach various publishing houses to survey interest in either: 1. With the exception of hit musicals like The Sound of Music, where the soundtrack has been fully exploited.

(a) a novelization of the film script; , (b) the publication of the screenplay itself (if the film is from a play, or has other serious literary merit); (c) the publication of a new edition of the book on which the screenplay is based (in soft-cover or hard-back, featuring scenes from the film on either jacket or cover); (d) the publication of a picture book, featur­ ing drawings of the film or stills from it, or; (e) combinations of the above. Normally, the publisher will pay the pro­ ducer an advance against royalties and a percentage of profits once the royalty has been recouped — which differs according to the various ways the book is released. The pub­ lisher may acquire worldwide rights to pub­ lication, although it is probably better for Australian producers to separate non-Aus­ tralian rights, as foreign distributors, particu­ larly American distributors, may want to in­ clude novelization rights in their licence agree­ ments. In any event, American and European publishers will often pay twice as much for novelization rights as Australian publishers do for world rights. A typical advance by an Aus­ tralian publisher for novelization rights varies between $1700 and $6000, depending on the topicality of the material. The producer who assigns literary right to a publisher should ensure that the book’s cover, and/or jacket, features the film’s logo and other artwork. It may also be possible to arrange for the publisher to spend a certain amount of money to launch the book, and for the book’s advertising to promote the film. In general, the more cross plugging of the book and the film, the better. (2) The Music and the Soundtrack As previously noted, except for musicals, the intrinsic value of a soundtrack recording is extremely limited, and the importance of an LP to a producer lies in the promotional applications. Frequently, the producer will license the film’s soundtrack to a record com­ pany, forfeiting a cash advance for a percent­ age of sales revenue, in return for the recording company advancing the cost of pro­ ducing an album. In this instance, the pro­ ducer should ensure that the film’s logo, artwork, and other promotional material are featured on the record sleeve. The producer should also ensure that he has made a suit­ able arrangement with the composer of the film’s soundtrack for royalties received from the sale of an LP. Frequently Australian com­ posers will have a ‘residuals’ clause in their contract. In Europe, producers frequently do not in­ clude the costs of recording the soundtrack in the film’s budget because the composer’s

record company will pay all costs in return for a better deal on publishing and other rights. Some European composers (for example, Ennio Morricone and Francis Lai) have so much influence that their records sell on the basis of their names alone. Recently, the joint promotion of Saturday Night Fever and its LP involved the film’s trailer plugging the album. This sort of cross­ over between the cinema and recording in­ dustries promises to become a permanent feature of film and record exploitation.

New Merchandising Areas Many new merchandising areas have been opened up recently, and one of the most signifi­ cant has been licensing. As already noted, Walt Disney Productions and a number of indepen­ dents have explored this area from time to time, often with great success. In Australia, the Reg Grundy Organization, and others, have ap­ proached producers for the right to exploit various merchandising activities. To the authors’ knowledge, no merchandiser has paid any Aus­ tralian producer an advance upfront, and, with the exception of Abba, large sums have not been involved. In general, the merchandiser attempts to sell characters or exploitable elements in a film to clients whose sales targets tie in with the film’s intended audience. Everything from games, toys, and clothing are designed according to various aspects of the film. Licensees pay advances to exploit these commodities, and the merchandiser takes a commission of between 15 and 40 per cent of sales revenue. The producer’s agreement with the merchan­ diser should provide for the producer to be ad­ vised of all commercial exploitation which is in progress, and to approve or disapprove of any proposed licences. It should also provide that any articles created under licence featuring the film should be of a high standard in quality and appearance. It is unlikely, however, that Australian pro­ ducers will receive large sums from merchandis­ ing activities until they become involved in larger scale international productions.

The Future American film producers involved in high budget productions are now shaping their pack­ ages to include merchandiseable elements in the story and screenplay, and merchandising organizations are buying rights to suitable films and television series now in production. It is like­ ly that the 1980s will see income from merchan­ dising become a new source of sales finance.★ Cinema Papers. September-October — 541


Its»

»1 7 IJ U jU ^ lIk lU l %

Based on the famous Boer War incident in which three Australian soldiers were court-martialled by the British Army as political scapegoats, and later executed. CAST

Top: Morant and Handcock are executed on the African veldt.

Above: Morant (Edward Woodward) and Taylor (John Waters): tough soldiers in the Rushveldt Carbineers.

Morant (Edward Woodward) leads a counter attack against the Boers

542 — Cinema Papers, September-October

Lt. Harry M orant. . . . Edward Woodward Lt. Peter Handcock ...............Bryan Brown Lt. George Witton . . . . Lewis Fitz-Gerald Major Thomas ................ Jack Thompson Major Bolton........................ Rod Mullinar Capt. Taylor ........ John Waters Lord Kitchener ........................Alan Cassell

CREW Producer.................................. Matt Carroll Director .............................. Bruce Beresford Script .............................. Jonathon Hardy, David Stevens Photography............................................. DonMcAlpine E d ito r........................................................ BillAnderson Art D irector......................David Copping

The defending council, Australian solicitor Major Thomas (Jack Thompson) questions Witton (Lewis Fitz-Gerald), while Morant (Edward Woodward), and Handcock (Bryan Brown) look on.


Compiled by Terry Bourke U.S. Stuart Rosenberg has replaced Bob Rafelson as director on Brubaker, with Robert Redford. Rafelson apparently came to blows with a 20th Century-Fox official on location. Alan Parker is directing newcomers Irene Cara and Lee Curreri in MGM's Hot Lunch; Norman Jewison has cast Al Pacino and John Forsythe in And Justice For All; and Jeannot Szwarc is to direct Christopher Reeve and C h ris to p h e r P lum m er in U n iv e rs a l’s Somewhere In Time.

Jerry Schatzberg is directing Warner’s Honeysuckle Rose, in which recording artist Willie Nelson makes his acting debut; Sidney J. Furie will direct Neil Diamond in The Jazz Singer. Following the success of Love at First Bite, George Hamilton will feature in another spoof entitled Zorro, the Gay Blade. John Cleese will star in Mel Brooks’ next comedy The History of the World, Part One; Robby Benson and Charles Durning in Jeff Werner’s Die Laughing; Tuesday Weld in Bill Persky’s The Serial; and Robert Stack and Lloyd Bridges in Abraham Zuckers’ Airplane. Charles Jarrot is in Hawaii directing Genevieve Bujold and Ricky Schroeder in Walt Disney's Last Flight of Noah’s Ark; while at the Disney studios, Michael Nankin is directing David Naughton in The All-Night Treasure Hunt.

John Travolta will return to the screen in Urban Cowboy, directed by James Bridges. Robert Hammer is to direct Hollywood Strangler; Andrew J. Fenady The Man With Bogart’s Face; Claude Jutra Surfacing, starr­ ing Joseph Bottoms; W illiam Friedkin Cruising; Ron Maxwell Little Darlings; and Cliff Reynolds A Day of Judgment for producer Earl Owens by. Mike Newell has cast Charlton Heston and Susannah York in Awakening; Rita Moreno and Madelaine Kahn are to star in Richard Brenner’s Happy Birthday, Gemini; Peter Boyle is to star in Where The Buffalo Roam for Art Lindon; and Mark Lester is directing Linda Blair in Roller Boogie. Australian singer-actor Lionel Long is in Los Angeles and New York seeking U.S. involve­ ment in his rock music-fantasy The Guitarist, scheduled for shooting in New South Wales and Victoria next January. Alan Arkin will go to Brazil some time this year to direct Arigo; Walter Bernstein is directing Little Miss Marker; Martin Brest has cast George Burns and Art Carney in Going In Style; Floyd Mutrux will direct Hollywood Knights for Columbia; Michael Schultz is shooting Scavenger Hunt; and John Gallagher is completing Down the Shore. Hollywood producer Dan Tana has signed Yugoslav writer-director Vlatko Gillie to make Days of Dreams in Prague early next year; Bob O’Niell is back in The Philippines writing and directing Ladyfingers, starring Yvette Mimieux, Jack Palance and Nancy Kwan; and Richard Brander is In Los Angeles completing Malibu Summer.

Don Taylor is to direct Kirk Douglas, Katherine Ross and Martin Sheen in The Final

Canada

Yves Boisset will star Miou-Miou in The Woman Cop; and Pierre Zucca has cast Maria Schneider in Isabelle Eberhundt.

Sandy Howard is continuing to use Canada as a production base, and is following City on Fire with Death Ship, also being directed by Alvin Rakoff. Howard again signed Sydney stuntman Grant Page for Death Ship, which stars George Kennedy and Richard Crenna with locations in Montreal and Quebec. Rakoff will go on to make Spy Games, starring Elliot Gould, again shooting in Montreal and Quebec. Producer Claude Leger’s Canerum Films, which is associated with French director Just Jaeckin, and produced Girls, has announced that Andrjz Zulawski will direct Possession in Toronto. John Trent is directing Bruce Dern and AnnMargret in Middle-Age Spread; Robin Spry is directing Suzanne, based on actor Donald Sutherland’s novel Show Lark; Les Rose is directing Graduation; and David Cronenburg is completing Fast Company, which stars William Smith. Donald Sutherland will star in the AIP production of Nothing Personal for George Bloomfield; Alfred Sole will direct Tanya’s Island on locations in Toronto and Puerto Rico; and John Vernon will star in Mark Warren’s Crunch in Montreal.

Jean-Claude Tramont has been signed for an English-language version of Carol Sobieski’s historical novel Colette, formerly billed as a Herbert Ross production. French government officials have approved the Australian-French co-production treaty, and now await final signatures from the respective unions in the two countries. The treaty should become effective by the end of September. Unifrance (the French film promotion body) plans a week of films in Peking in early December.

Countdown.

Jerry Lewis is directing That’s Life, starring Red Buttons and Danny Thomas. It is the second of three films he is making in Florida.

Britain Richard Marquand is directing Birth of the Beatles on location in Liverpool and Hamburg

for producer Dick Clark. At Lee International Studios in Middlesex, Bob Brooks is directing The Knowledge, and Mike Newell The Awakening; Otto Preminger has started The Human Factor, with Richard Attenborough and John Gielgud; and Sir Laurence Olivier is starring in Desmond Davis’ Clash of the Titans.

Cary Grant, last seen in Walk, Don’t Run (1965) will make a comeback in Nightwatch later this year; and Jack Gold is to direct David Hemmings in Euston Films’ Charlie Muffin. Euston has also engaged Jim Goddard to direct Peter Vaughn in Fox. Val Guest is directing Trevor Howard and Robin Nedwell in The Shillingly Blowers.

David Wickes is directing David Essex for Rank Films in Silver Dream Racer; while producer Jeremy Thomas and director Nicholas Roeg are winding-up the other Rank production, Illusions. Don Siegel is shooting Rough Cut, starring Burt Reynolds; and Andrew McLaglen’s Esther, Ruth and Jennifer (starring Roger Moore, Anthony Perkins and James Mason) has been re-titled North Sea Hijack.

France Jean-Luc Godard is preparing Every Man For Himself, to star Isabelle Huppert (who has just completed Heaven’s Gate for Michael Cimino).

Italy Production has slumped, and a number of studios may be forced to close. The crisis is the result of seven major films, now before the cameras, opting for locations in the country­ side or abroad. Court trials also are hampering the distribu­ tion of four costly films, and filmmakers fear provincial magistrates will come down heavily because of political pressures. Despite legal wrangles, director Bernardo Bertolucci is the “ presenter” of a costly new film, Personal Effects, being directed by his younger brother Giuseppe, and produced by their cousin Giovanni Bertolucci; 20th CenturyFox have invested in the film. Maro Ferreri is directing the French-ltalo co­ production Chiedo aslo; Giorgio Capitanio is directing Lobster For Breakfast; Enrico Maria Salerno stars in II Corpo della ragasso for

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BOX-OFFICE GROSSES Mad Max

RS

The Odd Angry Shot

RS

SYD.2

MLB.

PERIOD

18.3.79 to 19.5.79

PTH

(7*)

(2*)

N/A

N/A

(5)

(3/4*)

(4/2)

35,264

42,632

GUO

(2)

(3)

6,869

23,710

The Night The Prowler

OTH

(2)

(2)

11,648

6,433

In Search of Anna

GUO

G*) 8,838

6,855

(2*)

(1 )

Blue Fin

RS

3,556

Patrick

FW

3,678

Snapshot

FW

Australian Total

BRI.

26,535

Dimboola

Dawn!

ADL

(1 )

3,017

(1 )

(2)

(1 )

2,358

N/A

HTS

(1 )

53.890

74,620 &

7,234 ☆

Foreign Total0

1.750,020

Grand Total

1.803.910 1,671,211 1.004)100

(1 *)

N/A

N/A

N/A

45,649 ☆

N/A

539,705

463,801

* Figures exclude N/A figures. • Box-office grosses of individual films have been.supplied to. C in e m a P a p e r s by the Australian Film Commission. o This figure represents the total box-office gross of all foreign films shown during the period tn thè àrea specified. •Continuing into next period NB: Figures in parenthesis above the grosses represent weeks In release. If more than one figure appears, the film has been released in more than one cinema during the period.

Total $

Rank

N/A

1

104,431

2

30,579

3

18,081

4

15,693

5

6,573

6

3,678

7

2,358

8

N/A

9

181.393 ☆

SYD.

5.482.727

PTH

ADL

BRI.

(5*)

101,217 (8 *)

(9*)

(3/6)

106,362

89,228

43,854

(1 )

14,128

5,864

(3)

(3)

28,631

16,372

162,898 234,842 ☆ 2,918,821

MLB.

Total $

Rank

101,217

2

239,444

1

14,128

5

5,864

7

45,003

3

49,718

N/A

952

151,123

N/A

721,077

722,029

8,083.820

3,081,719 2,370.629 1,200,841

708,602

448,410^

(1 ) Australian theatrical distributor only. RS — Roadshow; GUO — Greater Union Organization Film Distributors; HTS — Hoyts Theatres; FOX — 20th Century Fox; UA — United Artists; CIC — Cinema International Corporation; FW — Filmways Australasian Distributors; 7K — 7 Keys Film Distributors;. COL - Columbia Pictures; REG - Regent Film Distributors; CCG - Cinema Centre Group; AFC - Australian Film f wnCfm n f rn ÌÌÌ t a i a n h of America: S Sharmill Films; OTH — Other. (2) F|9 ures are drawn from capi,al cl,y and mner suburban firs< release hardtops only.

BOX-OFFICE GROSSES

Cinema Papers. September-October

L n -L L n

Distributor

TITLE

PERIOD

26.5.79 to 7.7.79


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The Sullivans and The JohnSullivanStory “ The Sullivans” is one of the most successful television drama series ever pro­ duced in Australia. Since the first episode went to air in November 1975, the nightly screenings of the program have commanded more than a third of the total viewing audience. The series, which deals with the trials and tribulations of an Australian family during World War 2, was conceived by Ian Jones for Crawford Productions, and more than 500 episodes have been produced for the Nine Network. “ The John Sullivan Story” is a tele-feature based on events in “ The Sullivans” series. It was broadcast recently in Melbourne and Sydney and set a record for a tele­ feature, staggering observers by attracting more than half the total viewing audience. Produced by John Barningham and directed by David Stevens, from a script by Tony Morphett and Brian Wright, “ The John Sullivan Story” relates the events which occur between the disappearance of the pacifist John Sullivan (Andrew McFarlane) at sea, and his re-appearance in London nearly two years later. In the following report, David Stevens, a writer and director of “ The Sullivans” series, and the director of “ The John Sullivan Story” , talks to Cinema Papers.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 547


DAVID STEVENS W RITER/DIRECTO R Writing When I first heard about The Sullivans a pilot script had been written and was being hawked around the television stations. At that stage the channels were unwilling to invest a large amount of money in what was, really, a radical departure for Australian television serials. Eventually Channel 9 came in, and the producer, Henry Craw­ ford, asked me if I would write for the series. I agreed, and within a week I met Ian Jones, who was the major creative force at that stage, Jock Blair, who co-wrote the experimental pilot, and the other three writers. I was given the second episode, The Declaration of War, to write — which was the first after the pilot. How many episodes were planned? There was a contract for 13 weeks — 65 episodes. How far ahead were you writing? About four months ahead of the start of production. Was the entire series planned before you began, or did it evolve from episode to episode? It was really only planned in detail for the first six. On a series you usually find that the person who conceived the program regards it very much as his baby, and in the early stages has a very firm idea of how he wants it to go. It’s a bit like a big feature film script, except the person at the helm usually isn’t the person who is going to direct it. Gradually, however, as ideas run out, or people are replaced, there is much greater freedom. Now, I regard writing The Sullivans as one of the major joys of being a drama­ tist in Australia, because if you can persuade the script editor and story editor into an idea, then you can really talk about alm ost any concept. I have discussed death, for example, in quite detailed terms in The Sullivans. I even did a sort of Norman Lindsay pastorale involv­ ing the character of Geoff, played by Jaime Higgins, and it turned out to be one of the favorite episodes I had written.

D avid S tev en s' career began on the stage in B ritain , book which gives us all the trivia of w here he worked as an actor, director, and im presario daily life for that corresponding month in the year. The episodes I before m igrating to N ew Z ealand in 1966. am writing now are set in 1944, and H e joined the N ew Z ealand B roadcasting C o m m issio n from the book I can find out how to becom e a producer o f radio dram a, th en m oved into much mushrooms cost at the telev isio n where he soon estab lish ed h im se lf as one o f the m arket, what was on in the cinemas, what tram fares were, leading directors in the country. In 1972, S tev en s w as invited to jo in Crawford Pro­ what was in the newspapers . . . all the trivia of daily life you need to ductions in A u stra lia , and after directing “ H o m icid e” , he know if you are writing about turned to w riting. H e has sin ce w ritten more th an 60 people. Most people’s lives are hours of dram a, including episodes o f “ H om icid e” , expressed in trivia: while our inner­ “ D iv isio n 4 ” , “ M atlock P o lice” , “ T he B o x ” , and “ T he most thoughts are preoccupied with S u lliv a n s ” , and a feature film script from the play the ‘deep’ things in life — which we don’t reveal to anybody — we run Breaker M orant , for the South A u stralian F ilm Corpora­ around worrying whether we have tion . enough money to pay the tram fare H e has also directed “ T he S u lliv a n s” , as w ell as home, or whether there is a film we episodes of “ T he B o x ” and “ N um ber 9 6 ” , and the te le ­ want to see. These trivial things are featu res, “ R oses B loom T w ice” , and “ T he John S u lliv a n what a writer must know about, or try to imagine. S tory” . S teven s and lon g-tim e associate H enry Crawford have Is much freedom taken with the form ed a production com pany, M ariner F ilm s, and are actual historical situations? now w orking on a telev isio n series based on N e v il S h iite ’s Some. In The John Sullivan A Town Like Alice. Story, for example, the actual S teven s w as interview ed in M elbourne by Peter B eilby Yugoslavian political situation was shortly after the N in e N etw ork broadcast “ T he Joh n so complicated that to present it in S u lliv a n Story” . In th is interview , he ta lk s about w riting accessible terms would have been virtually impossible. And because I and directing “ T he S u lliv a n s ” , and the m ak in g o f “ T he believe that drama is not docu­ Joh n S u lliv a n Story” . mentary, and that it is made for people, I felt it was necessary to reduce the political situation to its essentials — as it affected John Sullivan. I think this is the only line to take unless one is going to make a documentary series like The World at War. I am concerned with how my characters see the situa­ tions: subjective drama as opposed to objective drama. How does an individual script for “The Sullivans” evolve?

How much research goes into writing an episode of “The Sulli­ vans”? A great deal. We get a monthly 548 — Cinema Papers, September-October

David Stevens (centre) directing Vera Plevnik and Frank Gallacher in The John Sullivan Story.

A writer is usually contracted to do two episodes — which is the maximum load a writer can carry at any one time and still keep reasonably ahead. Once the script is commissioned a plotting meeting is held with the producer, the story editor, two or three script editors, and a researcher if necessary, and the story is thrashed out. Depending on the wit or want of the writer, he can either just sit there and nut out a general story line with the others, or, if he has a story which he really wants to tell, he can take over and say, “That’s the story I want to tell; that’s what I’m going to do” , and if it’s good they all say, “Terrific, go and do it.” Once the story is agreed upon it is usually hammered into a twopage form by one of The script editors — probably the person who


PRODUCTION REPORT

will edit it. Then the writer is given a week to 10 days to write a scene breakdown, which is what he plans to do with the story in a structural form. This will then be kicked around by the script editors, and if they have any major objections they will voice them then. If they feel the writer hasn’t fulfilled what he originally set out to do, they will comment on it. The writing usually takes me about two weeks — although once it took eight weeks, and another time three days. The script and story editors appear to play a key role in developing a script . . . Largely because of the volume of material being developed. The system we use was perfected by the BBC, the greatest television production house in the world, and I think you will find that until the auteur theory raised its head, it was also used on films — only the role of the script editor wasn’t credited. The BBC really took an extant system and developed it. The function of the script editor is a vitally important one, and I am convinced that the scripts of several Australian films could have been vastly improved if a decent script editor had been working on them. But then , you run smack into the auteur theory. I think one of the major differences between film and television is that it is very hard to make television an ego trip, because there are too many people pricking your ego all along the line. Is it common for a producer to request changes to a script once it is completed? If he feels it’s necessary. A director may also request changes. I have been very fortunate with my producers and directors, and very seldom has a script of mine been changed. But I also think a writer must have the ability to evaluate the merit of his own work, although I would never want to be without a script editor — just as in novels one never works without a story editor. In a recent interview' Ian Coughlan said he thought that one of the reasons Australian serials, like “The Restless Years”, were so successful was because of the strength of the characters. Do you agree? Yes. I think it’s true of all good drama. Basically, people are interested in people. We are con­ stantly told that audiences only want action on television, and in the days of the police shows there was very heavy pressure to make them as action-filled as possible; but, in fact, the big-action series aren’t nearly as popular as the people series. Do you think weak characteriza1. C inem a P a p ers , No. 22, July-August, p.449

The Sullivan family in Crawford Produc­ tions’ long-running television series The Sullivans.

tion is a flaw in Australian feature films? Yes. Most people who are involved in feature films in this country have absolutely no train­ ing in drama. There is a vast differ­ ence between shaping a one-minute commercial and shaping a 90minute drama. There is also a great deal of difference directing an actor in a one-minute commercial and shaping a performance over 90 minutes.

Paul Cronin as Dave Sullivan (right) and barman, Jack (Reg Gorman), in The Sullivans.

the first script or two, then suddenly everybody stops writing for that character. They are given words to say, but they are mean­ ingless. Then there is a desperate attempt to put life back into the character, but it becomes clear that the role inherently lacks dramatic conflicts — and that’s what writers need, conflict upon conflict upon conflict. Some characters serve a wonder­ ful function for a period, but then they cease to do so, and unless a new situation creates a new func­ tion, they stagnate.

Is the development of a character any easier in a series which con­ tinues week after week? Are there many restrictions on the subject matter in “The Sullivans”? If you are dead lucky. But whether a series is a goer or not is Not really. They once touched on governed by the quality of the first homosexuality in The Sullivans, episodes; so you have to define at which is not a subject which would least some aspects of a character have been readily accessible to very quickly — as you must do in a someone in Camberwell at that feature film. time. But it was dealt with lightly and with great taste. I think an aud­ Are there any formulae writers use ience that has been exposed to The to create characters an audience will Box and Number 96 can cope with respond to immediately? anything. The reason I work in television is None at all. Although there is an because I reach a. mass audience; I organization in the U.S. which can put across messages, however devised a whole series using a com­ sugar-coated. If you treat the puter programmed with details on audience as intelligent adults you all the series which had been can go a long way. But if you think successful in the past. But as far as you can give them the lowest crap I am concerned, there is no guaran­ and get away with it, then you are tee that what has been successful in insulting the audience and your own the past will succeed in the future; work. an audience is always attracted by the new and vibrant. Why do you think “The Sullivans” has been so successful? Have you devised characters which just haven’t worked, and had to be One of the most important ‘eliminated’? ingredients of success in television — or in films — is timing, and The Yes. Sullivans was perfectly timed. When the first episodes hit we were How do you know when the aud­ in an economic depression, which, ience isn’t responding to such a for many people, was the most character? severe financial crisis since World War 2. They were being shown a You sense it very quickly. You family in a situation they could devise what you think is an exciting relate to: recession, war, survival. character, everybody has a ball for I also think that within the

development of Australian film and television it was the first time that period had been touched upon. In features, we had the initial succes­ ses with sex comedies like Alvin Purple and Barry McKenzie; it proved we could make films people wanted to see. Then the audiences wanted to know more about their past. And the historical films that were made were necessary for the audience to catch up on its own past, which it had always been denied on film or television. Grad­ ually the past came closer, and now we have cries for contemporary material, and the audience is ready for it. The Seven Network uses a program evaluation service called TAPE to test audience reaction to a script. Has this ever been done at Craw­ fords? Seven has the prerogative on TAPE in this country, and I don’t think there is an equivalent organization used by the Nine Net­ work. There are a lot of arguments for and against TAPE; I think any comment on a script is worthwhile if it comes from people you respect. TAPE has made some very strange decisions though. They said Solo One wouldn’t go, and the channel believed them. But when it went to air it got an astronomical rating for a 7 o’clock Friday night time-slot. I believe “The Sullivans” went into production without a pilot episode being made, which meant it was untested before going to air . . . Yes. But pilots are a problem too. It’s very expensive to make a pilot, and the costs have to be amortized across the entire series, which can’t always be done. And by the time a pilot is made and the audience is tested, it can be nine months before it all comes together again. GTV-9 had the very good sense to realize the problems a pilot Cinema Papers. September-October — 549


PRODUCTION REPORT

presented for The Sullivans, so it gave the go-ahead without one.

Directing Did you write any of the episodes of “The Sullivans” you directed? No, they have been from other people’s scripts. Have you ever been tempted to re­ write or re-shape them? Yes. It’s the director who has to take it on the floor and make it work. I always try to go on the floor totally satisfied that the script I am working from is viable, and the last thing I will do, if I can possibly avoid it, is change one line of the dialogue while I am direct­ ing. Do you encounter any difficulties being only one of four or five people directing episodes of a series? Not really. When I am given a script to direct — either my own or someone else’s — I concentrate on that particular story. I divine what the essence of it is, and treat it as a film in its own right; the fact that other directors work on other episodes doesn’t affect what I do. lighting for one. However, I seldom work with Is there collaboration between the three-camera video. I tend to use directors of a series like “The Sulli­ video like film, and edit in any vans”? inserts during the cutting. On the other hand, doing a seven or eightWell, in the case of Homicide minute scene with multiple cameras which I was very intimately on videotape in one clean sweep is involved in, Paul Eddey, Igor wonderful for the actors. You can Auzins and I knew each other very feel the tension of the perfor­ well, but we never actually sat down mances going across, and this is and said, “ Right, what is the policy very difficult to get on film. line we’re taking?” We knew our personalities would be reflected in Given the tight shooting schedules the episodes we did, and left it at on a series like “The Sullivans”, do ' that. The same is true of writers. you find you have to sacrifice There are writers with whom I will rehearsal time with actors? discuss aspects of The Sullivans, and writers I won’t. The rehearsal time with video­ tape is minimal, but there is one. Television series like “The Sulli­ vans” still use a mixture of film and Is there a tendency to cast charac­ videotape. Do you find it difficult ter actors who require less rehear­ switching between the two media? sal? Yes, it’s a problem because the two things just don’t match. Nobody has ever found a way to _make them match, and nobody ever will. There is a strong move in Britain now for a program to be shot either completely on film, or on video­ tape. I think that’s the only answer.

John Sullivan (Andrew McFarlane) and Nadia Mose (Vera Plevnik) in The John Sullivan Story.

It is essential, therefore, that I am involved in all the key casting deci­ sions, although I don’t always get my way. In the very early days of The Sullivans I felt the characters were too highbrow, and I pushed very strongly for the family to be slightly lower class. I still believe my idea would have worked. Television series like “The Sulli­ vans” don’t seem to get the same critical attention that feature films do in the print media . .. The biggest problem we face in television is that nobody outside takes our work seriously. For

example, The John Sullivan Story is a reasonably major event — in terms of the money spent on it if nothing else. And yet there has not been what I would call one serious review of it; one intelligent, highminded rationalization of the film. If it had been a feature film, there would have been very few articles devoted to its financiers. But reading some of the reviews it did get, it would seem that Hector Crawford not only wrote and direc­ ted it, but also financed it and played most of the parts. The priorities are all wrong. The Age in Melbourne, for example, does not have a television review column half as serious in intent as it has for books, theatre or film. I think most critics look at tele­ vision expecting it to be mediocre, so you start off with a disadvan­ tage. Whereas with a feature film the critics generally go wanting it to be good, they will accept a lot of punishment before they decide it is not. It’s part of the double stan­ dard that seems to exist. I have no idea why people hold these attitudes. We are in charge of the greatest medium in the world for shaping the way people think — for more than films — but can’t command serious critical atten­ tion. There is a sort of middle-class snobbishness about television. I can remember the early days when many upper-middle-class families refused to have television in their homes. It may be a hangover from those days.

The John Sullivan Story How did the idea of a tele-feature from “The Sullivans” come about ? Well, Forraine Bayly, who plays Grace Sullivan, wanted to go away for a 'while, and, in working out ways of writing her out of the series, it seemed like a good time to resolve the question of what had happened to John Sullivan in the period between the shipwreck and his sudden appearance in London.

T h at’s the lowest common denominator. If you are going to break down a performance an actor first presents to you, then you have to be damn certain you have enough time to build it up again. For expediency, one will always cast the obvious, but we try and avoid this — although it’s not always possible.

What are the main differences between working on film and video­ Are you always closely involved with tape? the casting? The different look of film and tape is the main thing. That can, in part, be traced to the fact that tele­ vision generally uses three cam­ eras, and film only one. When you are lighting for three cameras simultaneously, it’s harder than 550 — Cinema Papers, September-October

Totally. This is one of my first arguments with any management I work for. There are some actors who are very good, and I can work with, and some I can’t. There are also actors who are considered not so good, but whom I can work with.

Olivia Hamnet as the British commando, Captain Meg Fulton in The John Sullivan Story.

Hector Crawford and David Stevens


PRODUCTION REPORT

So, Brian Wright was asked to do a four-page summation of what could have happened, given that he had disappeared in the Eastern Mediterranean. It was terrific, everybody liked it, and so it was presented to the Network. They too liked it, and it snowballed from there. I didn’t come into it until much later. I was working on a feature called The Two of Me, which fell through and I went to Los Angeles for a while. Hector phoned me and asked if I was interested in coming back to direct a tele-feature based on The Sullivans, and I said yes. When I came back, Tony Morphett’s final draft had been com­ pleted and was about to be edited. I read it and liked it, although I had reservations about shooting it in the scheduled three, five-day weeks!

That’s not much time, compared to industry are saying that film­ an average feature film . .. makers have to perfect naturalism before they do anything else; as far That’s another of the advan­ as I am concerned, I went through tages of working with an organiza­ that a long time ago. tion like Crawfords. It’s a very sophisticated structure that allows Did you ever think of casting actors you to do things quickly and effi­ with box-office appeal in “The John ciently. Sullivan Story”?

Was “The John Sullivan Story” No, because I don’t believe there conceived as an extended episode of is any such thing. There isn’t one the series, or did you want to be Australian ‘star’ who actually puts different? bums on seats on the strength of his or her name. In fact, I don’t I don’t believe a similarity would think there is such a thing as a have helped it in any way. An aud­ guaranteed financial name in the ience responds to something that is world. individual, not something that is the And I am glad there weren’t any same. If The John Sullivan Story pressures put on me to use ‘name’ had looked like three episodes of actors, because I may not have The Sullivans joined together it found Vera Plevnik who played wouldn’t have had the same impact. Nadia. I approach my work, and see it Was it conceived as a big budget for what I believe it to be; I take it You said earlier that when you get a from that point. That’s the only script you divine the essence of the feature? way I can work. This is probably story, and mould the way you direct No, 1 don’t think so. It probably why I have not made a feature film. around that. What did you see as the wouldn’t have happened if they On the three occasions I agreed to essence of “The John Sullivan thought it was going to be expen­ direct features, I have listened to Story”? sive. It was conceived as being a the producers’ point of view and little out of the ordinary though. tried to correlate that to the script, When I first heard of The John Everyone thought it was a fun idea, then said, “Well, I think it should and something that should be done. go this way” , and we have parted Sullivan Story I thought it was going to be a great war epic, and for This is one of the great beauties of ways. a while my thinking was along working at Crawfords: when Hector thinks it’s a good thing, he So you find it easier to work in a those lines. I thought of doing will spin along with it, and give you more collaborative atmosphere — things like using stock footage showing the Yugoslavian army like at Crawfords? a great deal of freedom. retreating across the snow, and Yes. I don’t have the sort of ego cutting in our own close-ups. Then Was there more freedom working on the tele-feature than on the series? that can play the politics that is one night I applied my own fairly necessary to get a feature film off rigid rules and decided it was Yes, though on the series he exer­ the ground. I think I would have simply about John Sullivan. It was cises greater influence. But on the functioned very well under the old about the war seen from his point of tele-feature, he just phoned me one Hollywood studio system. When a view; he wouldn’t see 2 0 ,0 0 0 night and said, “ Well, okay, you whole stack of films is being pro­ people, only the group immed­ have the score, now take over the duced, you don’t have the glare that iately around him. So basically, it was about a one-off feature filmmaking is orchestra” . exposed to. I think the pressure a pacifist caught up in the war, Did you have a long pre-production lot of feature filmmakers are under involving concepts of humanism denies them the right to make mis­ and religion. If it had been a true period? takes — which is the right of every story, John Sullivan may well have been canonized, because the quali­ Good grief, no! I started work on artiste. ties he displays seemed to me to be In television there is so much it at the beginning of February, and commenced shooting towards the scope for experiment and impro- the true stuff saints are made of. end of March. So we had eight vization. You can do an impres­ weeks to get the whole thing sionistic work, an expressionistic Although the story is set in the thick together — from completed script work, or a naturalistic work. A lot of the war, there are only a couple of of people in the Australian film fighting scenes. Was the amount of to the first day of shooting. action restricted by the budget?

on the set of The John Sullivan Story.

One of the spectacular action sequences in David Steven’s The John Sullivan Story.

attack and before the retreat, to set the mood for the succeeding scene between John Sullivan (Andrew McFarlane) and Stipra (Frank Gallacher), in which you care very much about them because you have seen what they have been through. There is quite a mixture of lang­ uages in the story — Yugoslavian, English and German. Why did you decide to dub rather than sub-title? I think I must have had more memos about the accent problem than any other aspect of the film. I made up my mind fairly early in the piece about how we should handle it. I had looked at some ’40s war films and saw how Hollywood coped with it then, and frankly, it seemed to me to be the most access­ ible way to do it. The whole point of acting in films is to tell the story in the simplest way, creating the greatest effect on the audience. Sub-titles are distracting; they real­ ly belong to documentaries. Andrew McFarlane’s performance in the film is very powerful . . . I have known Andrew since he first came out of NIDA, and he has developed into one of the best actors to work with. He now has the technical equipment to do just about anything he wants. In the sequence where he gives himself up to the Germans, the gut feeling breaks through all his tech­ nique; yet his technique gives him the discipline to carry on acting, even though, inside, the man is breaking up. He walks off-camera at the end of that shot and we freeze frame. In fact, what happened was that he came off-camera, fell into my arms and just cried for about three or four minutes — and not one of the crew or cast thought it was extraordinary to see a grown man crying in another man’s arms. Andrew’s part in the film is an extremely difficult one, because he doesn’t have any violent outlets. And yet he has to maintain aud­ ience interest and the credibility of the character. Many of the scenes in “The John Sullivan Story” are quite violent. Were you restricted in the depiction of violent events?

No. People are basically interes­ ted in people, and a large part of the audience watching The John Sulli­ Violence is a difficult thing — van Story is interested in the action only to the extent that it affects the like the subject of sex — because central character. It’s like a car what is suggested is often far more chase; I have never been moved to powerful than what is not. The laughter or tears by a car, but I ampuation sequence deeply dis­ may be moved to great concern and turbs a number of people, but, in compassion about the person in the fact, all you see is a rather well­ made-up leg, and everything else is car. So, in The John Sullivan Story we left to your imagination; the effect concentrated on developing the is completely by implication. In the characters, and never considered big Nazi air attack you don’t see the action in terms other than how anybody get killed, but it’s an it related to John Sullivan’s dis­ extremely violent scene. appearance. For example, there is a There are two shots in the film I silent scene of the Partisan army, in was asked to change — one was the aftermath of the Nazi attack, deleted altogether and the other which I felt was necessary, drama­ tically, after the big ‘up’ of the Concluded on P. 575 Cinema Papers, September-October — 551


W e are proud to rep resen t these people! LIDDY CLARK Ride on Stranger Blue Fin

JOHN ARNOLD Sam Prisoner

Cop Shop

STEPHEN CLARK

Prisoner

20 Good Years Sullivans

MARIA MERCEDES

Skyways

IRENE HEWITT

Thirst Melbourne Theatre Company

RON CHALLINOR

Sullivans

Melbourne Theatre Company

KATE TURNER

ALAN HARDY

Dimboola

PETER BYRNE

ROSIE STURGESS

Patrol Boat Prisoner

SUE DEVINE

Sullivans Prisoner

Skyways

LOUISE PHILIP

Skyways

COLLETTE MANN

GAYNOR MARTIN

BRIAN GRANROTT

ANDREW McKAIGE

Melbourne Theatre Company

KEVIN COLEBROOK

GILLIAN SEAMER Melbourne Theatre Company

Sullivans

BURT COOPER

LISA CRITTENDEN Sullivans

NEIL McCOLL Sullivans

JANE SCALI Young Talent Time

FOR ALL CASTING REQUIREMENTS

ACTIVE CASTING AGENCY

( 0 3 ) 20 4582


ONE, TWO, THREE, UP

E d ito r.................................... David Plumber GRENDEL GRENDEL GRENDEL C om p o se r.............................................RobinLevinson Prod, c o m p a n y ......... Animation Australia Exec, producer .................. Robin Levinson P ro d u ce rs............................ Phillip Adams, Assoc, p ro d u c e r............................ Max Slee Alexander Stitt Prod, co-ordinator ........................Max Slee D ire c to r................................. Alexander Stitt Prod, manager .......................... Jerry Elder S c rip tw rite r............................Alexander Stitt Prod, secretary ................Maxine Levinson Based on the novel by . . . . John Gardner 1st Asst d ire c to r...................................Jerry Elder THE BLUE LAGOON Designer ...............................Alexander Stitt 2nd Asst director ............... Steve Newman For details see Issue 22 C om poser.......................... Bruce Smeaton 3rd Asst d ire c to r................................... GaryThomas Animation director .............. Frank Hellard Continuity .....................................Eila Harris Principal animators ......... David Atkinson, C asting................................. Sagittarius Film Gus McLaren, and Television Productions To ensure the accuracy of your HARLEQUIN Ralph Peverlll Casting consultant .................Roma Salsby entry, please contact the editor of this Recording s tu d io ................ A & M Studios Prod, company . . . . F.G. Film Productions Camera operator ....................Ray Bartram column and ask for copies of our Pro­ Recording supervisor ................. Alf Bean for Far Flight Investments Focus p u lle r.............................................. IanMcDermat duction Survey blank, on which the Laboratory ....................................... VFL Ltd P ro d u c e r......................... Antony I. Ginnane Clapper/loader ............. Paul Worthington details of your production can be B u d g e t.............................................$550,000 D ire c to r..................................Simon Wincer Camera assistant .................Ian McDermat entered. All details must be typed in Key g r ip .................................................. John Brock SOMEONE LEFT THE CAKE OUT IN S c rip tw rite r.......................Everett de Roche Length ............................................. 90 mins. upper and lower case. Shooting s to c k ........................Eastmancolor Additional dialogue ............... Jon George, Asst grip ................................... Dennis Hunt THE RAIN The cast entry should be no more Voices: Peter Ustinov, Keith Michell, Arthur Neill Hicks 2nd unit photography ........... Peter Smith than the 10 main actors/actresses — Prod, company . . . Vega Film Productions Dignam, Ed Rosser, Bobby Bright, Ric Script e d ito r............................ Russell Hagg Boom operator .................... Phil Kennihan their names and character names. The P ro d u ce r....................................John Weiley Stone, Julie McKenna. Based on an original Idea Art d ire c to r.............................................GaryThomas length of the synopsis should not D ire c to r..................................... John Duigan Synopsis: A version of the Beowulf story in b y ................................ Everett de Roche Make-up ..............................Natasha Mallen exceed 50 words. S crip tw rite r................................John Duigan which the roles of the chief protagonists are P hotography........................ Don McAlpine Wardrobe ................................Miki Caspers Entries made separately should be Photography...............................Tom Cowan reversed and Grendel becomes the central, Sound recordist ..................... Gary Wilkins Ward, a s s is ta n t................................ MichaelBurdon typed, in upper and lower case, Synopsis: A contemporary drama depicting sympathetic character. E d ito r..........................................Adrian Carr P ro p s ............................................... Max Slee following the style used in C in e m a the fleeting relationship between a onceC o m p o se r..............................................BrianMay Special e ffe c ts .......................................JohnBrock Papers. radical survivor of the 1960s and a French MAN AT THE EDGE OF THE Exec, producer ................ .William Fayman Set deco ra to r......................................... GaryThomas Completed forms should be sent to: political activist, set against the back­ Assoc, p ro d u c e r................................... JaneScott FREEWAY Set construction ....................Gary Thomas ground of the uranium issue. Prod, co-ordinator ...................Jenny Barty Musical director ........................ Paul Both Production Survey, Prod, c o m p a n y ........Palm Beach Pictures Prod, manager ...........................Jane Scott Sound editor ................................Bob Allan Dist. company ......................................Hoyts Cinema Papers Pty Ltd, D raftsperson...................Virginia Bierteman Stunts co-ordinator ............... Dennis Hunt P ro d u c e r............................................... DavidElflck THE PROMOTION OF MR SMITH 644 Victoria St, Prod, accountant ...................... Lyn Barker S tu n ts.................................................. DennisHunt D ire c to r......................................................IanBarry (Working title) North Melbourne, Vic., 3051 1st Asst director ........... Michael McKeag Still photography.................................. Chris Bain, S criptw rite r................................................ IanBarry 2nd Asst, d ire c to r................................GrantHarris P ro d u ce r............................................RichardBrennan Telephone: (03) 329 5983 John Brock Based on the original idea 3rd Asst d ir e c to r............................... JennyMiles Director ............................. Stephen Wallace R unner.....................................................AlanLove by ................................................Ian Barry Continuity ......................... Caroline Stanton S crip tw rite r.............................................. BobJewson C atering.............................. Raymond Jones P hotography.......................................RussellBoyd Producer’s assistant.......... Sylvia Van Wyk Photography..........................................GeoffBurton Laboratory ..................................... Colorfilm Sound recordist ....................Lloyd Carrick E d ito r.................................................. HenryDangar Casting c o n s u lta n ts ___Marvin Paige and Length ............................................. 90 mins. E d ito r......................................................JohnScott Prod, d esig n er.....................Lee Whitmorp Associates (USA) Gauge -----16 mm for blow-up to 35 mm Prod, designer...................Graham Walker 1st Asst d ire c to r................. Mark TurnbOII Camera operator .....................Peter Moss Shooting s to c k ........................Eastmancolor Exec, producer ..................... George Miller Continuity ..........................Caroline Stanton Focus p u lle r............................................. JanKenny Cast: Harold Berrett (Mullah Abdullah), Prod, manager ....................... Lynn Gailey C asting.................................. M & L Casting Clapper/loader .................Jeremy Robbins David Robertson (Gool Mahomed), Lyn Unit m anager.................Tobias Sheppard Camera operator ...................Geoff Burton Key g r ip ....................................RossErickson Semmler (Alma Cowie), Russell Manyon Prod, accountant .....................Penny Carl G a ffe r................................ Brian Bansgrove Asst g r ip ................................Robin Morgan Casting................................................... MitchCasting (Clary O'Brien), John Rand (Bill Shaw), Art d ire c to r..................................Kim Hilder G a ffe r...................................................... MickMorris Fiona Guthrie (Lucy Shaw), Steve Verrall Camera operator ...................... John Seale Wardrobe ................................ Edie Kurzer Boom operator ................. Mark Wasuitak Wardrobe ....................... Norma Moriceau (Kodaram), Maurice Howie (James Craig), Props b u y e r..........................................AnneBrowning Art d ire c to r.......................... Bernard Hides Anne Cole (Mrs Baker), Erik Michielsen Props b u y e r........................................ LissaCoote Standby p ro p s ...................................... ClarkMunro Make-up .............................. Lois Hohenfels (Mike Denton). S tu n ts.................................................... GrantPage Special e ffe c ts ...................................... Chris Murray Hairdresser.......................................... CherylWilliams THE EARTHLING Synopsis: A dramatized re-enactment of R unner....................................Louise Ferrler Set construction ................. Herbert Pinter Wardrobe ................................... Terry Ryan B u d g e t.............................................$450,000 the true events which occurred at Broken Prod, c o m p a n y -----Earthling Productions Length . . '...................................... 100 mins. Ward, a s s is ta n t..................................... Vicki Rowland Hill on New Year’s Day, 1915, when a P ro d u c e r.................................. Elliot Schick Length ............................................. 90 mins. Gauge ............................................... 35 mm Props b u y e r......................................... OwenPatterson Turkish patriot and an Indian butcher D ire c to r.............................. Peter Collinson Gauge ...............................................35 mm Standby p ro p s ...................................... Clark Munro Shooting s to c k ........................Eastmancolor declared war on Australia. S c rip tw rite r...........................................LannyCotier Shooting s to c k ........................Eastmancolor Cast: Bryan Brown (China), Max Phipps Special e ffe c ts......... Conrad C. Rothmann Photography........................ Don McAlpine Synopsis: A horror-thriller about a scientist Special effects (Phillips), Peter Hehir (McIntosh), Phil Sound recordist ................... Don Connolly who is immersed in liquid nuclear waste Motherwell (Alby), Sid Heylen (Old Bob), assistant ..............................Chris Murray a n d u n d e r g o e s a F r a n k e n s t e in E d ito r.................................. Mick Beauman BLOOD MONEY Tex Morton (The Governor). Set construction ..................Steve Courtley transformation. Exec, producer ............. Stephen Sharmat (Softly Fell the Rain) Dubbing editor .........................Adrian Carr Synopsis: Set in a men’s prison, the Prod, s u p e rv is o r..................... John Weiley fictitious film questions the social effective­ Best boy ...................................Reg Garside Prod, c o m p a n y ........... Lunar Productions Prod, manager ............................ Les White ness of the prison system as it has evolved R unner.................................................... DaroGunzberg P ro du ce rs.....................Tom Broadbrldge, Prod, secretary .......................... Jenny Day over the past few hundred years. Unit publicist ...................Lynette Thorburn Chris Oliver Prod, accountant ................... Trish Ghent Mixed at .................................United Sound Director ..................................Chris Fitchett 1st Asst d ire c to r.................. Mark Egerton Laboratory ..................................... Colorfilm S criptw riters........................ Chris Fitchett, Producer’s assistant...........Su Armstrong PACIFIC BANANA Lab. lia is o n ................................................BillGooley John Ruane, Casting c o n s u lta n ts ...........M & L Casting Prod, company ................... Pacific Banana Length ............................................. 94 mins. Ellery Ryan Art d ire c to r............................Bob Hilditch Dist. company ............................. Roadshow Gauge ................................................. 35mm Photography.............................. Ellery Ryan Costume designer ............. Judy Dorsman THE BATTLE OF BROKEN HILL P ro d u ce r............................... John Lamond Shooting s to c k ........................Eastmancolor Sound recordist ...................Lloyd Carrick Length .......................................... 100 mins. D ire c to r................................. John Lamond Release date .. Domestic—February 1980 Prod, company .................Sagittarius Film E d ito r..................................... Emmil Priebe Gauge ............................................... 35 mm S criptw rite r............................Alan Hopgood Foreign—Cannes 1980 and Television Productions Prod, manager ............. Tom Broadbridge Shooting s to c k .......................Eastmancolor Based on the original idea Cast: Robert Powell (Gregory Wolfe), David P ro d u c e r............................ Robin Levinson Unit m a nager............... Andrew Freedman C ast: W illia m H olden (Foley), Ricky b y .......................................John Lamond Hemmings (Nick Rast), Carmen Duncan D ire c to r.............................. Robin Levinson 1st Asst d ire c to r........................Chris Oliver Schroder (Shawn). (Australian cast to be Photography......................................... Garry Wapshott (Sandra Rast), Broderick Crawford (Doc S criptw rite r........................ Robin Levinson Continuity ................................. Sadie Loosll announced.) Sound recordist .....................John Phillips Wheelan), Gus Mercurio (Mr Bergler). Based on the original idea Camera assistant ........................Phil Cross Synopsis: A story of survival: an old, dying E d ito r........................................... Ray Daley Synopsis: A 1980 version of the Rasputin by ....................................Robin Levinson Key g r ip ..................................Robert Grant man finds a child lost In the bush and Prod, d esig n er......................Herbert Pinter legend. Photography............................ Ray Bartram Boom operator .......................Simon Boyle teaches him to survive, first as an anim al. . . Exec, producer ................ William Marshall Sound recordist . . . .Soundtrack Australia Special e ffe c ts .......................Brian Pearce but primarily as a man. Assoc, producer ................ John Pruzanski Prod, su p e rviso r................................... Judy Whitehead Unit m a na g e r..........................John Chase LEONSKI Prod, accountant ...................Norman Bell Continuity .......................... Judy Whitehead Prod, company ................................ Leonskl Key g r ip ................................... Ray Thomas P ro d u c e r............................... William Nagle Boom operator ......................... Ray Phillips D ire c to r................................ Dick Richards S tu d ios...................................................SAFC S c rip tw rite r............................William Nagle Mixed at ............................................. SAFC Based on the novel b y ........William Nagle Laboratories.................Cinevex (Australia), M u s ic ........................................Glenn Mliler MGM (U.S.) “ Serenade in Blue” Length ............................................. 90 mins. B u d g e t............................................. $820,000 Gauge ............................................... 35 mm Gauge ............................................... 35 mm Shooting s to ck........................Eastmancolor Synopsis; the film deals with the events Cast: To be announced. leading to the trial of Edward Joseph Synopsis: The bawdy adventures of two Leonski, a private in the U.S. Army, who airline pilots and their friends as they cavort arrived In Australia in 1942. Leonski was around the South Pacific. charged in connection with the Brownoul murders, was tried and executed. A study ol the events which occurred when U.S. military Justice was applied In an allied country. The following films to be produced by Reg Grundy Productions are in pre-production. Details will be given in Issue 24: MONKEYGRIP Breath of Vengeance The Captives Prod, c o m p a n y ........... Clare Beach Films Canberra behind an Open Door P ro d u c e r.............................. Patricia Lovell Every move you Make D ire c to r.................................. Ken Cameron Getting There S c rip tw rite r............................ Ken Cameron The Johnny O’Keefe Story Based on the novel b y ....... Helen Garner Kill or be Killed Gauge ............................................... 35 mm R & R Murders (working title) Shooting s to ck ........................Eastmancolor Synopsis: "Smack habit, love habit — what’s the difference? They both can kill you.” Nora’s addiction Is romantic love; Javo’s is hard drugs. They are trapped in a desperate relationship. The harder they pull away, the tighter the monkey grip.

PRODUCERS, DIRECTORS AND P R O D U C T IO N COMPANIES

Prod, company .........................Ross Wood Productions P ro d u ce r.................................. Henri Safran D ire c to r....................................Henri Safran S criptw rite rs.....................Graham Gifford, Henri Safran, Kit Denton Based on the story by . . . .Graham Gifford Length ........................................... 9 3 mins. Gauge ............................................... 25 mm Synopsis: An adventure/comedy based on a true story about an attempt to start an il­ legal airline in the South Pacific in a con­ dominium ruled by the French and the British.

PR O D U CTIO N

F E A TU R E S

P R E-P R O D U C TIO N

P O S T-P R O D U C TIO N

Bruce Beresford’s Breaker Morant; now in post-production.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 553


Stunts co-ordinator ........... George Novak S tunts..................................... George Novak, Chris Anderson Still photography.......................John Ruane Laboratory ..................................... VFL Ltd Length .............................................72 mins. Gauge .............................................16 mm Shooting sto ck ...................... Eastmancolor Cast; John Flaus (Pete Shields), Bryan Brown (Brian Shields), Chrlssle James (Jeannie Shields), Peter Stratford (Curtis), Peter Curtain (Dan), Sue Jones (Doctor), John Proper (Jack), Michael Carman (As­ sistant manager), Jay Mannerlng (Jim), Caroline Cassidy (Lisa). Synopsis: Peter, a criminal, is dying of cancer. After five years absence he returns to Melbourne to settle a few old scores.

Elizabeth Alexander (Liz Corbett), Sam Nelli (Rex M ilfo rd ), C aro l Raye (M a gg ie Nicholson), Jane Harders (Wendy Morris), Michelle Jarman (Susie Morris), Bud Tingwell (Sid Mitchell), Penne HackforthJones (Gillie Griffiths), Frank Wilson (Vic Parsons), Martyn Sanderson (Bert). Synopsis: A wry comedy about a likeable journalist.

IN R ELEASE KOSTAS

BREAKER MORANT

Prod, company .........................Kostas Film Productions Dist. co m p a n y ......................Victorian Film Corporation P ro d u ce r..............................Bernard Eddy D ire c to r...........................................Paul Cox S criptw riter..........................Linda Aronson Based on the original idea b y ................................................ Paul Cox Additional script material .. Helen Bogdan Takls Emmanuel Photography........................ Vittorio Bernini Sound recordist ....................Lloyd Carrick E d ito r..................................................... JohnScott C om poser...................... Mikls Theodorakis Exec, producer .................Kostas Kalergls Assoc, producer . . . Tony Llewellyn-Jones Unit m anager............................. Bob Kewley Prod, accountant ....... .........Sonny Naidu Prod, assistant...................................... Judy Whitehead 1st Asst d ire c to r........................Bob Kewley Continuity .......................... Judy Whitehead Clapper/loader ........................... Phil Cross Camera assistant ...............Nino Martinetti 2nd camera assistant ......... Ian Davidson Key g r ip ................................. John Twegg G a ffe r..................................... Ray Thomas Boom operator ............... Bruce Lampshed Art d ire c to r.............................................AlanStubenrauch Make-up ................................Carol Devine Wardrobe ..............................Carol Devine P ro p s ................................. Paddy Reardon Asst editor ..........................Jackie Horvath Theme m u s ic .................Mikis Theodorakis Music performed by . Margaretha Zorbala Sound transfers......... John Phillips Sound Still photography..................Julie Millowlck Best boy ............................. Paddy Reardon R unner..................................................AdeleSztar P ublicity................................Helen Bogdan Unit physician ...................... James Khong Laboratory .......................................Cinevex Length ........................................... 105 mins. Gauge ............................................... 35 mm Shooting sto c k ....................... Eastmancolor Release date ................... August 16, 1979 First released............................. Melbourne, Academy Valhalla, City Cast: Takig Emmanuel (Kostas), Wendy Hughes (Carol), Kris McQuade (Jenny), Chris Haywood (Martin), Tony LlewellynJones (Tony), Dawn Klingberg (Landlady), Ahmet Ozirmak (Turk), Amalia Vassiliades (Anna). Synopsis: Set in Melbourne today, Kostas concerns the love affair between a Greek and a middle-class Australian divorcee. Divided by barriers of culture and language they come together in what is a sensitive love story.

Prod, company ...............South Australian Film Corporation Dist. company ............................Roadshow P ro du ce r................................. Matt Carroll Director ........................... Bruce Beresford S criptw riters.................... Bruce Beresford. Jonathon Hardy, David Stevens Based on the play by ....... Kenneth Ross Photography..........................Don McAlpine Sound recordist ................. .Gary Wilkins E d ito r..............................William Anderson Prod, manager ................Pamela Vanneck Prod, secretary .................... Barbara Ring Prod, accountant ..............Harley Manners 1st Asst d ire c to r.................. Mark Egerton 2nd Asst directors ............. Chris Williams, Ralph Storey 3rd Asst d ire cto r.................. Toivo Lember Continuity ................................Moya Iceton Producer’s assistant...............Moya Iceton Casting................................... Alison Barrett (S.A. Casting) Camera operator ................. Peter Moss Focus p u lle r..............................David Burr Clapper/loader .................... Simon Smith Key g r ip ................................Ross Erickson Asst grip ................................. Rob Morgan G a ffer......................................... Rob Young Location manager..................... Jenny Day Boom operator .......................... Jim Currie Don McLennan’s Sam: in post-production. Art d ire c to r...........................................DavidCopping Costume designer ..................Anna Senior Make-up .................................... Judy Lovell Camera operator ___Zbigniew Friedrichs Best boy ....................................Paul Moyes Focus p u lle r............................................PhilCross H airdresser.....................Catherine Lamey Runner................................. Wayne Nichols Ward, a ssistan t............. Ruth de la Lande Clapper/loader ................. Virginia Brooke Publicity............................O.B. Productions Key g rip .............................. Rod McLennan Props b u y e r......................................... Chris Webster Unit publicist ...........................Mary Moody G a ffer..........................................Gerry Lock Standby p ro p s ......................................ClarkMunro C atering..............................John Faithfull Boom operator ...............Chris Goldsmith Special e ffe cts .................................... MontyFieguth, Studios...................Fontana and Supreme Chris Murray Art d ire cto r...........................................AnneMoir Mixed at .................................. Atlab Sound Make-up ............................... Carol Devine Set dresse r..............................................KenJames Laboratory ...........................................Atlab Hairdresser........................................Renarti Carpenters .................... Peter Templeton, Lab. lia is o n ........................ James Parsons ALISON’S BIRTHDAY Glen Finch, Wardrobe ........................ Penelope Hester Length .............................................95 mins. Prod, company . . . David Hannay Lee Carey Still photography............. Maxine Rosewall Gauge .............................................. 35 mm Productions Set construction .................. Herbert Pinter Catering................................. Liza Rosewall Shooting sto ck...................... Eastmancolor P roducer......... . . . David Hannay Asst editor .........................Jeanine Chialvo Laboratory ..................................... VFL Ltd Cast: Joanne Samuel (Alison), Lou Brown D ire c to r........... — Ian Coughlan Pete H ealey), B unny B ro o k e (A u n t Musical arranger.....................................PhilCunneen Length ............................................ 90 mins. S criptw riter___ . . . . Ian Coughlan Music performed by ....... Tanunda Brass Gauge ............................................ 16 mm Jennifer), John Bluthal (Uncle Dean), Sound recordist .............Phil Judd Shooting sto ck....................... Eastmancolor Band Vincent Ball (Dr Ball), Brian Blain (Cousin E d ito r............... .. .Timothy Street Sound editor ................ William Anderson Cast: Tracy Mann (Sam), Kim Rushworth Richard), Marion Johns (Grandma Thorn), Prod, designer. .. Robert Hilditch (Tim), Kirsty Grant (Debbie), Penelope Belinda Giblin (Isabelle Thorn), Ralph Editing assistant ...........Catherine Murphy Com posers___ ......... Brian King, Stewart (Raelene), John Arnold (Wally), Mixer ............................................. Phil Judd Cotterill (Mr Healey). Alan Oloman, Hilton Bonner (Frank), Tony Barry (Barry), S tu n ts....................................................HeathHarris, Synopsis: A young girl is puzzled by a Ian Coughlan Bill Hunter (Brady), Max Cullen (Newman), Tony Smart sequence of strange events which occur Exec, producers . . . . ......... Ric Kabriel, Jack Allen (Father). Still photography...................................MikeGiddens, during the days leading up to her 19th John Sturzaker Synopsis: A young girl from the back Peter Richards birthday. Slowly, and with growing horror, Assoc, producer . . . . ..Michael Falloon W ra n g le r.............................................. HeathHarris streets of Melbourne, who Is jailed for she becomes aware of the celebrations Prod, executive....... ........... John Wall armed robbery, becomes a fashion model Best boy ............................... Colin Williams which her "relatives" have planned for her. Prod, manager ....... .Pamela Vanneck R unner.......................................Jenny Miles after she is freed. The film follows her life . .Susanne Newell from the time she was first involved in Prod, se c re ta ry ....... P ublicity...................S.A. Film Corporation . . . Venda Sollars Prod, accountant . .. crime. Unit publicists .......................David Sabine, THE JOURNALIST MY BRILLIANT CAREER 1st Asst d ire c to r___ . .Michael Falloon Jacqui Sykes Prod, company ...................Edgecllff Films 2nd Asst director . . . ......... Pennle Hill Prod, com pany.........Margaret Fink Films C atering............................Movie Munchies 3rd Asst d ire cto r___ .Andrew Williams Dist. company ............................Roadshow Dist. com pany....... GUO Film Distributors Studios....... S.A. Film Corporation Studio WRONSKY P ro du ce r................................. Pom Oliver Continuity .................. ........... Linda Ray Producer..............................Margaret Fink Mixed at ............................................... Atlab D ire c to r.......................... Michael Thornhill Script assistan t......... ........... Linda Ray Director.................... Gillian Armstrong P ro du ce r................................... Ian Pringle Laboratory ........................................... Atlab S criptw riters................... Michael Thornhill, Lighting .................... .Brian Bansgrove Scriptwriter................... Eleanor Witcombe D ire c to r..................................... Ian Pringle Lab. lia ison .............................................. Jim Parsons Edna Wilson Camera operator . . . ........... Kevin Lind Based on the novel by — Miles Franklin S criptw riters..............................Ian Pringle, Length ............................................. 90 mins. Photography............................................DonMcAlpine ___Russell Dorlty Photography............................................DonMcAlpine Doug Ling Focus p u lle r.............. Gauge ...............................................35 mm Camera tra in e e ......... Sound recordist .................... Tim Lloyd ......... Mark Owen Sound recordist ................Don Connolly Photography............................................Ray Argali Shooting sto ck........................Eastmancolor E d ito r....................................................... TimWellburn ......... Ray Brown Editor...................................................... NickBeauman Sound recordist .................. John Cruthers Key g r i p ................ Release date .......................February, 1980 Asst g r ip .................... Prod, manager ........................ Pom Oliver ........... Ron Croft Prod, designer...................Luciana Arrighi E d ito r................................... Tony Paterson Cast: Edward Woodward (Harry ‘Breaker’ Location m anager................................ BrianRosen . . . John Simpson Assoc, producer........................Jane Scott Prod, manager ........................ Mike Walsh 2nd unit photography M orant), Jack Thom pson (M a jo r J.F. G a ffer.......................... . Brian Bansgrove Prod, secretary ...................Su Armstrong Prod, supervisor........................Jane Scott Prod, assistants.................... George Tossi, T h o m a s ), B ry a n B ro w n (L t P e te r Electrician.................. Prod, accountant ............. Penny Carl ......... Simon Lee Location manager............................... ToivoLember Jennifer Darling Handcock), John Waters (Lt Alfred Taylor), 1st Asst d ire c to r....................B ria n Rosen Boom operator ......... .. .Jack Friedman Unit manager....................................... ToivoLember 1st Asst d ire c to r___Tommy Psomatragos Charles Tingwell (Lt Col Denny), Terry Art d ire c to r................ 2nd Asst director ................. Steve Andrew ....... Lu Kanturek Prod, secretary.........Helen Everingham Continuity ................................. Jenni Scott Donovan (Lt Simon Hunt), Alan Cassell Costume designer .. . 3rd Asst d ire c to r................ Chris Maudson ........... Bob Lloyd Prod, accountant ................ Treisha Ghent Camera assistant .................... Lisa Parish (Lord Kitchener), Ray Meagher (Sgt Major Make-up .................... Continuity ..................................Lynn Galley ....... Leslie Fisher Bookkeeper ...................: ___ Pam O’Neill G a ffer............................ Adam Briscombe Drummond), Lewis Fltz-Gerald (Lt Witton), Wardrobe .................. Casting..................................................HilaryLinstead ........... Bob Lloyd 1st Asst director.................................. MarkEgerton Boom operator ........... James Dunwoodle Rod Mullinar (Major Charles Bolton). Focus p u lle r.......................... . David Burr P ro p s .......................... — Robert Jones 2nd Asst director . . , ........... Mark Turnbull P ro p s ................................... Jenny Meaney Synopsis: Based on the famous Boer War Clapper/loader ........... Richard Merryman Standby p ro p s ........... . Michelle Mahrer 3rd Asst director..................................SteveAndrews Length ............................................ 70 mins. Incident, In which three Australian soldiers Special effects Key g r ip ............................................Graham Lietchfleld Continuity ............ Moya Iceton Gauge .............................................. 16 mm were court-martlalled by the British Army as photography........... . . . John Simpson G a ffe r.............. Robbie Young Casting........... M & L Casting Consultants Shooting sto ck.......................Eastmancolor political scapegoats and later executed. Boom operator ............... Joe Spinelli Children’s dialogue Cast: Ross Thompson (George Wronsky), Scenic a rtis ts ............. .. Ivan Sofilkanlc, Art d ire c to r.............................. Jenny Green Billy Malcon coach.......................... Michael Caulfield Miranda Brown (Catherine), Doug Ling Costume designer ..................Anna Senior Camera operators .................. Louis Irving, (Bill), John Flaus (Spaniard, Farmer), Phil Carpenter ................... . . . Danny Burnett Set construction ....... SAM Make-up ........................... Deryk de Nlesse ....... John Denton Peter Moss Dagg (Mick), Frank Walsh (Ted), Rob Asst editor ................. ....... Karl Kabriel Hairdresser........................Deryk de Nlesse Focus puller..............................David Burr Jordan (Ricardo), Lisa Parish (Claudia). Prod, company ........................ Uklyo Films Neg. m atching........... Wardrobe buyer .....................Marina Gray . . . Gordon Poole Clapper/loader ........... Richard Marryman Synopsis: The story of a young man’s quest Dist. company .......................... Uklyo Films Musical director ........ ....... . .Brian King Standby wardrobe . . . Robyn Schuurmans Key grip................................................. RossErickson to find his father. P roducers.......... ..................Hilton Bonner, Sound editor ............. Asst editor .................................... Jo Lyons .. .Timothy Street Asst g r ip .......................................... GrahamLitchfield Zbigniew Friedrichs Dubbing editor .......................Dean Gawen Editing a s s is ta n t....... , ....... Peter Seigl Gaffer...............................Brian Bansgrove D ire c to r.............................. Don McLennan Mixer .......................... Asst dubbing e d ito r....... Shirley Kennard ............. Phil Judd 3rd electrix.............................................Paul Moyes S criptw riters.......................Don McLennan, Asst m ix e r.................. 2nd e d ito r................................................RonWilliams ___Phil Heywood Generator operator ......... Sam Bienstock Hilton Bonner Stunts co-ordinator . . Still photography...................................Mike Giddens . Peter Armstrong Boom operator ........................ Joe Spinelli Photography............... Zbigniew Friedrichs Runner................................. Rosslyn Hawke Art director..............................................NeilAngwin S tunts.......................... Peter Armstrong, Sound recordist ...................Lloyd Carrlck C atering....... .-........................................Keith Heygate Glen Davis, Costume designer ..................Anna Senior E d ito r.......................... Zbigniew Friedrichs Transfers................................................PalmStudios Bob Hicks, Make-up .................. Jill Porter Assoc, p ro d u c e r.................... Sonny Naidu Laboratory ................................... Colorfilm Alan Doggett Hairdresser........................Cheryl Williams Prod, manager .....................Rod McNicol Length .............................................85 mins. Still photography .Kevin Broadrlbb, Wardrobe ................................. Terry Ryan Prod, accountant ................. Sonny Naidu Gauge .............................................. 35 mm Jan Reid Ward, assistant................ Melody Cooper 1st Asst d ire c to r.................... Rod McNicol Shooting s to c k ...................... Eastmancolor O p tica ls............. — Ken Hoffman Standby wardrobe ...................Robyn Hall Continuity ..................................Julie Cutler Title Opticals . , . Cast: Jack Thompson (Simon Morris), .O.B. Productions Props bu yer......................»... David Whan

AW AITING RELEASE

554 — Cinema Papers, September-October


Asst props buyer ............. Sally Campbell Asst editor .............................. Ken Sallows O p tic a ls ...................... Optical and Graphic P ro d u c e r................................................ John Leake Shooting s to c k .......................Eastmancolor Standby p ro p s .........................Clark Munro Dubbing editor .Edward McQueen-Mason W ra n g le r.................... Brian Beaverstock D ire c to r............................ David E. Barrow Choreography .......................... Keith Bain, Progress .......................... Awaiting release Asst dubbing e d ito r........... Peter Burgess Best boy ............................ Colin Williams, S c rip tw rite r........................................StanleyHawes Cast: Lorna Lesley (Cath), Sam Neill (Mike), Michael O’Reilly Assembly editor ................. Peter Burgess Ian Dewhurst Photography...........................................John Leake M artin Vaughan (Father), Ian Gilm our Set d re sse r.........................Sue Armstrong Mixer ......................................Peter Fenton R unner................................ Craig Emanuel, Sound recordist . . . Berry van Bronkhorst (Steve), Judi Farr (Mother), Lou Brown Scenic a r tis t.......................... Bill Malcolm Still photography................. Des Sheridan, Tony Shift E d ito r......................................Peter Fletcher (John), Jackie Dalton (Jenny), Lisa Kidney Animal standby p ro p s ..............Harry Zettel Robin Copping P ublicity..............................................LynetteThorburn C om p o se r.................Christopher Nicholls (Susan). Construction m a nager............................KimHilder Best boy ................................ Ian Dewhurst C atering.................................................. KeithHeygate Exec, producer ...................Richard Davis Synopsis: A contemporary drama depicting C onstruction.....................Ken Hazelwood, R un n e r...................................Des Sheridan (Cecil B. de Meals on Wheels) Consultant producer ......... Stanley Hawes a young woman’s conflicts with her parents; Paul Martin, Studios......................................... Cambridge S tudios.........................................Cambridge Studios, Prod, manager .....................Mardi Palmer a love affair at school; her marriage to her Danny Daems Mixed at ................................ United Sound Universal Workshop Camera assistant .................Steven Mason former teacher; their separation, and her Asst editor ................... Frans Vandenburg Laboratory ............................................ Atlab Music s tu d io ........................ AAV Australia G a ffe r................................................. WarrenMearns subsequent suicide. Neg. m a tch in g ................. Margaret Cardin Length ............................................. 9 3 mins. Mixed at ............................... United Sound Mixer ......................................Ron Gubbins Musical director .................... Nathan Waks Gauge ............................................... 35 mm Laboratory ....................................Colorfilm N a rra to r.................................................. John Downs Standby co nstruction..................Phil Worth Shooting sto ck......................Eastmancolor Lab. lia is o n ................................ Bill Gooley Mixed at .......................... APA Leisuretime P a in te r....................................Ned McCann Release date .........................July 12, 1979 Length ............................................. 98 mins. THE LAST GOODBYE International Dubbing editor .......................... .Greg Bell First released Gauge ...............................................35 mm Laboratory ............. Colour Transcriptions Asst dubbing e d ito r ............... Helen Brown Prod, company .............................Paragate (city and cinema) ........................ Sydney, Shooting s to c k....................... Eastmancolor Length ............................................. 25 mins. Still photography.................. David Kynoch Dist. company .................. South Australian Hoyts Entertainment Centre Release date ........... September 28, 1979 Gauge ..................................................16mm Animal/vehicle w ra n g le r........... John Baird Experimental Film-makers Cast: Gerard Kennedy (Tarzan), Mike Cast: Chantal Contouri (Kate Davis), David 'Shooting s to c k ........................Eastmancolor P ro du ce rs..........................Salik Silverstein, Saddle horse wrangler .. Harold Greensill Preston (Pansy), Peter H ehir (Tom), Hemmings (Dr Fraser), Henry Silva (Dr Progress ....................................... in release Best boy ................................ Paul Gantner Andrea Grey Michael Duffield (Methusalah), Dennis Gauss), Max Phipps (Mr Hodge), Shirley Cast: Elisabeth Kirkby (Jenny Walker), R unner..................................... Cathy Barber D ire c to r............................... Salik Silverstein Miller (Horse), Stephen Bisley (Mad Dog), Cameron (Mrs Barker), Rod Mullinar (Derek Tom Farley (Bill Walker), Jone Winchester S c riptw rite r..........................Salik Silverstein Unit publicist ............................ David White Michael Caton (Monk), Stewart Faichney Whitelaw), Walter Pym (Dichter), Robert (Mary Ainsworth),Lynne Murphy (Jane Based on the short story C atering................. John and Lisa Faithfull (Tassie), Steve Rackman (Carl), Saviour Thompson (Sean), Rosie Sturgess (Lori), Wilson), John Faassen (Retired man), Nat Laboratory ..................................... Colorfilm b y ..................................... Salik Silverstein Sammut (Cook). Amanda Muggleton (Martha). Nixon (Wife of retired man), David Bradley Lab. lia iso n ................................................BillGooley, Photography............................................ GusHoward Synopsis: Set in the outback of South Synopsis: The macabre story of an attempt (U nhappy m arried man), June C ollis Sound recordist ....................James Currie Dick Bagneli Australia, it is the story of a gang of wild-cat by a secret society to brainwash a young (Unhappy married woman), Harry Lawrence E d ito r..................................Cynthia Connop B u d g e t............................................. $830,000 miners. The boss of the gang is Tarzan, who (Jack Dunn), Brian Anderson (Joe Finn). and beautiful career woman into believing C om p o se r........................................... RobertParker Length ............................................100 mins. rules his undisciplined, violent men by that she is an heiress of their ghoulish tradi­ Synopsis: A film designed to show that Prod, manager .......................Andrea Grey Gauge ............................................... 35 mm force. He is the last of the knucklemen . tions. retirement can be a satisfying period of life Unit m anager........................... Andrea Grey Shooting s to ck........................Eastmancolor especially if adequate preparation is made Prod, accountant ................... Andrea Grey Release date ................... August 24, 1979 for it. First released Continuity ................................ Andrea Grey Casting........................................... Paragate (city and c in e m a ).................. Melbourne, THIRST Creative consultant...........Peter L. Nelson Russell Complex; For complete details of the following feature Camera assistant ..................Martin Turner Sydney, Pitt Centre Prod, company . . . F. G. Film Productions films see Issue 22: DOWN UNDER DOWNUNDER!?! Art d ire c to r............................Joanna Seidel Cast: Judy Davis (Sybylla Melvyn), Sam Dist. co m p a n y ........GUO Film Distributors In Search of Anna Prod, company ..............Sydney University Asst art director ...........Helen Hollinshead Neill (Harry Beecham), Patricia Kennedy P ro d u ce r........................Antony I. Ginnane The King of the Two Day Wonder Filmmakers’ Society Costume designer ...................Drawstrings (Aunt Gussie), Wendy Hughes (Aunt Helen), D ire c to r....................................................RodHardy Snapshot P ro d u c e r................................... Peter Cribb Make-up .................................. Chris Wilson Robert Grubb (Frank Hawden), Max Cullen S criptw rite r............................. John Pinkney Tim D ire c to r.................................................. GaryO'Donnell P ro p s ..................................... Joanna Seidel (Mr McSwat), Aileen Britton (Grandma Bos­ Based on original idea S criptw rite r............................................ GaryO’Donnell Standby p ro p s ...............Helen Hollinshead sier), Peter Whitford (Uncle Julius), Carole b y ........................................ John Pinkney Photography.........................Robert Bondy' Neg. m a tch in g ................................Colorfilm Skinner (Mrs McSwat). Photography......................................VincentMonton Sound recordist ............. Greg McFarlane No. of s h o ts ............................................. 196 Synopsis: A love story, based on the novel Sound recordist ........................ Paul Clark E d ito r....................................... Tim Segulin Musical director ...................Robert Parker E d ito r......................................... Philip Reid by Miles Franklin, about a girl divided Prod, manager ........................ Peter Cribb Sound editor ......................... James Currie between the stirrings of passion and her C om p o se r...................................Brian May Continuity ..................................Kate Gould Mixer .......................................James Currie need-for self-fulfilment. Exec, producer ................. William Fayman Camera assistant ............... Greg Burgman Still photography..................Iris Wakulenko Assoc, p ro d u c e r...................................BarbiTaylor Boom operator ................... Peter Leonard Animation ...........................Salik Silverstein Prod, manager ........................ Jenny Barty Laboratory ..................................... Colorfilm O p tic a ls ...........................................Colorfilm secretary ..........................Ann Pierce THE LAST OF THE KNUCKLEMEN Prod, B u d g e t.................................................. $2300 Title d esig n er.....................Alicia Coleman A BOY ON THE WING Prod, accountant ..............Michael Roseby Length ........................................... 5’/z mins. C atering.......................... Jennifer K. Nikolic Prod, c o m p a n y -----Hexagon Productions Prod, assistant.......................................VickiRowland Prod, company ............. Ankh Productions Gauge ...............................................16 mm Mixed at ........................... South Australian Dist. company . . . . Roadshow Distributors 1st Asst d ire c to r....................Tom Burstall P ro d u c e r.....................................................AlKemp Shooting s to c k ......................................... Fuji Film Corporation P ro d u c e r.................................................. Tim Burstall 2nd Asst director ................. John Hipwell D ire c to r.......................................................AlKemp Progress .............................Post-production Laboratory ..................................... Colorfilm D ire c to r.................................................... Tim Burstall 3rd Asst d ire cto r....................Stuart Beatty S criptw rite r................................................. AlKemp Synopsis: A satirical glimpse at the way B u d g e t...............................................$10,000 S c rip tw rite r.............................................. Tim Burstall Continuity .............................Joanna Weeks Photography............................ David Budd Australians, Americans, and Europeans Length ............................................. 15 mins. Based on the play by ......... John Powers Camera operator ..................... Louis Irving Sound recordist ........................ Judy Cann look at themselves. Gauge ................................................ 16 mm Photography............................................ DanBurstall Focus p u lle r......................................... DavidBrostoff E d ito r........................................... Kamel Pen Shooting s to c k ........................Eastmancolor Sound recordist .....................John Phillips Clapper/loader ............................ Ian Jones 1st Asst d ire c to r.................... Henri Bartnik Progress .............................Post-production E d ito r................. Edward McQueen-Mason Key g r ip ...................................... Noel Mudie Continuity ....................................Moira East I CHING ON A DOUBLE BED Release date ................. September, 1979 Asst g r ip s ............................................. Terry Jacklin, C om p o se r...........................Bruce Smeaton G ra p h ic s ..................................Steve Mason Cast: Kendal O. Bird (Henley), Deborah Assoc, p ro d u c e r............... Byron Kennedy Geoff Richardson Lighting ......................................... Peter Bull Dist. company ..................................... Roma Seidel (Samantha), John Crouch (taxi Aerial photography............................... TonyHoltham Prod, co-ordinator ................ Christine Suli P ro d u ce r.............................. Lesley Tucker Clapper/loader .....................Mike Nicholls driver), Peter L. Nelson (Dr Von Zietgiest), G a ffe r......................................................TonyHoltham Unit m anager...................................... JamesParker Camera assistant ................... Sally Bowles D ire c to r..................................... Tom Cowan Owen Wills (businessman). Prod, secretary .......................... Jenny Day Boom operator ......................... Phil Stirling S criptw rite r.......................... Lesley Tucker Key g r ip ....................................... Don Mason Synopsis: Henley periodically finds himself Art d ire c to r...............................................JonDowding Prod, accountant .......................Patti Scott Boom operator ........................David Nolan Based on the original idea lying on the floor, not in bed. Samantha tries Asst art director .......................... Jill Eden 1st Asst d ire c to r....................................TomBurstall b y ........................................... Tom Cowan Still photography...................Henri Bartnik, to understand, but finally leaves him. Photography.............................. Mike Edols Continuity .................................. Jo Weekes, Make-up ................................ Jose L. Perez Robin Woods Henley tarns himself inside out with anxiety Make-up assistant ......................Leo Reyes Jill Taylor Length ............................................. 20 mins. Sound recordist ....................Lloyd Carrick in an effort to catch her and send a last Prod, designer...................Larry Eastwood Focus p u lle r................... Peter van Santen H airdresser.....................Ursula Wertheim Gauge ................................................ 16 mm goodbye. Clapper/loader ........................... Tim Smart Wardrobe ........................Aphrodite Jansen Shooting s to c k ........................Eastmancolor Wardrobe .................................... Jo Collard Progress .............................. Pre-production Key g r ip ................................................. DavidCassar Ward, a ssista n t.....................................GarySmith Progress .......................... Awaiting release Asst g r ip ................................................. PaulHolford Props b u y e r................. Georgina Greenhill Cast: Dorethy Barber, Catherine Steel, S y n o p s i: A love s to ry in v o lv in g an G a ffe r.............................. StewartSorbyStandby p ro p s ............. Georgina Greenhill LIFECLASS Luke Smith, Bridgette Cheffins, Caroline independent and spirited woman and a film Boom operator ........................ Phil Stirling Special e ffe c ts ....... Conrad C. Rothmann, Poulton, Debbie Chaloupka, Murray Van director, who meet in London and return to Prod, company . . . Dramafilm Productions Art d ire c to r........................................... LeslieBinns Chris Murray Luyn, Nigel Goode, Gerald Burns, Kathie Australia in an attempt to realize their Dist. company . . . . Dramafilm Productions ambitions. Set construction .......................... Ian Doig, Asst art director .................... Peter Kendall Hough, Jacqui Levinson. P ro du ce r..................................John Laurie, Geoff Richardson, Make-up .............................. Lois Hohenfels Synopsis: A boy and his love for a seagull. Madelon Wilkens Clive Jones Asst make-up ........................... Joan Petch Director ..................................... j 0 hn Laurie JUST OUT OF REACH Wardrobe ................................Kevin Regan, Asst editor .............................Ken Sallows S criptw rite r................................John Laurie (Portrait of a Diarist) Neg. m a tch in g ............................... MargaretCardin Norma Pollard Based on the short story A FACE OF GREEKNESS Sound editor .......................Terry Rodman, Ward, a ssista n t.........................................Jill Eden Prod, company .....................Portrait Films b y ....................................... Vance Palmer Standby p ro p s ................... John Powditch Peter Burgess P ro du ce r................................................ RossMatthews Prod, company .................Australian Film Photography.................................... Malcolm Richards Mixer ..................................... Peter Fenton Special e ffe c ts ............... Geoff Richardson Commission Director ....................................Linda Blagg Sound recordist ....................Lloyd Carrick Stunts co-ordinator ..................Grant Page Fight co-ord in ator..........Graham Mathrick S criptw rite r................................Linda Blagg Dist. company ...................Australian Film E d ito r......................................... John Laurie Fight a s sista n t........................................MattBurns S tu n ts......................................... Grant Page, Institute Based on the original idea Prod, manager ............... Madelon Wilkens Phillip Brock, Karate s tu n tm a n ............... Richard Norton b y ........................................... Linda Blagg D ire c to r......................Michael Karaglanidis Prod, assistants........................ Mick Horan, Set construction ............................Ian Doig, Dale Aspin S criptw rite r..................Michael Karaglanidis Photography............................ Russell Boyd ~ ^ Pat Longmore Keith Handscombe Still photography................................... SuzyWood Photography.............. Michael Karaglanidis Sound recordist .................. Kevin Kearney Continuity ............................Annie McCloud E d ito r.............................................Ted Otton E d ito rs .......................... Christopher Oliver, Camera assistant ........... Justine Rottman Michael Karaglanidis Prod, designer.................... Grace Walker Key g r ip ................................... David Cassar C om poser.......................................... William Motzing C om poser.......................................... SavvasChristodoulou G a ffe r........................................... Sam Zaid Wardrobe ....................Anna Hadjimouratis Prod, manager ....................Barbara Gibbs Boom operator .......................... Kai Dineen No. of s h o ts ............................................. 160 Prod, assistant........... Stephanie Richards Art d ire c to r.............................. John Reeves 1st Asst d ire c to r...................................MarkTurnbull Music performed by ___Larry Kean jun., Costume designer ........... Sue Armstrong Rudy Brandsma, 2nd Asst director ...............Chris Maudson H airdresser........................ Cheryl Williams George Pietas Continuity ..........................Therese O’Leary Wardrobe ........................ Charon Freebody Casting consultants ........... M & L Casting Title d esig n er.....................David Atkinson P ro p s ................................................ Geòrgie Greenhill Camera operator .................. Nixon Binney Set decorators..........................Mick Horan, Laboratory ..................................... VFL Ltd B u d g e t..................................................$4000 Clapper/loader ................Kim Batterham John Reeves G a ffe r................................Brian Bansgrove Length ............................................. 12 mins. Still photography............. Claire McGowan E lectrician............................................... PaulMoyes Gauge ..............................................16 mm Runners..................................... Mick Horan, Boom operator ................. Andrew Duncan Shooting s to c k ............Kodak B/W reversal Pat Longmore Art d ire c to r.............................Grace Walker B u d g e t............................................. Progress ..................................... In release $13,000 Cast: Teena Stylianou (The Girl), Ilia Asst art director .......................Edie Kurzer Length ............................................. 3 0 mins. Make-up ................................. Sally Gordon Gauge ............................................16 mm Z a c h a ria s (T h e B r o th e r ) , G e o rg e H airdresser............................................ Sally Gordon Dimitriadis (The Rapist), Andrew Nestoras Shooting sto ck...................... Eastmancolor (Hood No. 1), Nick Christodoulou (Hood No. Wardrobe .................................. Edie Kurzer Progress ...........................Awaiting release Special effects in 2). Release date ........................ August, 1979 make-up .............................. Bob McCarron Cast: Chris Saunders (Andy), Susan Weis Synopsis: A modern Greek tragedy of a teenage girl who is raped; the emotional Asst editor ...................... . Kathy Sheehan (Kirsten). effects which are inflicted upon her and her Neg. m a tch in g ................. Margaret Cardin Synopsis: A woman life-class teacher's fa m ily by a c o ld c o m m u n ity w hich Sound editor .............................. Ted Otton relations with her students, and the events subsequently rapes them emotionally. Mixer ........................................Peter Fenton before, at. and after, an end-of-term party Best boy .................................... Paul Moyes held by one of the students. R unner.......................... Stephanie Richards C atering................................................. JemsCatering CHALLENGING YEARS Mixed at ................................ United Sound LUCK OF THE DRAW Prod, company ...................Motion Picture Laboratory ....................................Colorfilm Associates Lab. lia is o n ............. „ ................Bill Gooley Prod, company .......................Arrow Films Dist. c o m p a n y ___NSW Film Corporation B u d g e t............................................. $42,000 D ire c to r................................. Emmil Priebe and NSW Council on the Ageing Length ............................................ 62 mins. S criptw rite r............................ Emmil Priebe Gauge ............................................... 16 mm Photography............................. Ellery Ryan

SHORTS

Rod Hardy’s Thirst; for release in late September.

Cinema Papers. Septem ber-October — 555


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Sound recordist ................ Brett Southwick E d ito r..................................................... PeterSchmidt No. of shots .............................................150 Musical director ...............Michael Lawler Gauge ............................................... 16 mm E d ito r...................................................... BrettSouthwick Prod, d esig n er.....................................RogerHealey Musical director ....................Bob Hughes Prod, facilities .....................George Pallos Shooting s to c k................................Various Continuity ............................. Jennifer Reed, C om p o se r..............................................PeterSchmidt Music performed by .............Bob Hughes Aerial effects ........................Peter Walker Progress ..................................... In release Heather Love Exec, producer ......................... Glenn Long Sound editor ............................Doug Craig Special e ffe c ts .................Edwin Jay Gould Synopsis: The film shows the dry island with Camera assistants -----Michael Pattinson, Prod, manager ............... Elisabeth Russell Best boy ..................................Ian McKellar Special assistants.....................Indy Shriner, its red kangaroos, parrots and reptiles; the Andrew De Groot Lighting cameraman ........... Fabio Meloni B u d g e t..................................................$9000 eastern highlands where lyrebirds, platypus David Kopsen G a ffers.................................. Chris Fitchett, Camera operator ...................... Lisa Fraser Length .............................................26 mins. Underwater assistants....... John Lindsay, and echidna are common, together with the Chris Oliver Focus p u lle r.....................Andrew Hickman Gauge ...............................................16 mm Great Barrier Reef and Phillip Island. Dale Chapman Boom operators ................... Simon Boyle, Clapper/loader ................ Duncan Holland Shooting sto c k.......................... Ektachrome Still photography............... Warwick Gibson E x tr a c ts a re s h o w n fro m n a tu r e Jacqualine Fine Camera assistant ...................... Lisa Fraser Progress .............................Post-production Additional photography . . . . Simon Cotton, photographer David Corke's works. C atering.............................................JenniferReed, G a ffe r....................................................Julian Allan Release date ........................ October, 1979 Walter A. Starck Heather Love Art d ire c to r........................Euan McClaren Cast: John Stone (Doug Smith), Glen Special advisers ...................... Blake Paul, Post production s tu d io s ........Mike Reed’s Asst editor ................................ Julian Allan Mason (Richard Keane), Ben Gabriel Charlie Chambers AUSSIES ALL Post Production Co. Neg. m a tch in g ....................................... CineServices (Mortimer), Michelle Chappie (Mrs. Stone), Laboratory ............................................Atlab Laboratory ....................................... Cinevex (Working title) Musical director ...................Peter Schmidt Bob Ellis (Tinhat), Rob Dallas (desk clerk), Lab. lia is o n .................... Neil Lutherborrow Length ..............................................30 mins. Music performed by ............... Glenn Long Bill Hunter (Sgt. Jones), Jill O’Brien (Alison Prod, company ..................AVEC Film Unit B u d g e t...............................................$88,000 Gauge ............................................... 16 mm Mixer ....................................... Don Hawkins Grant), Dennis Scott (Ray). Dist. c o m p a n y ..................... AVEC Film Unit Length .............................................93 mins. Shooting s to ck ........................Eastmancolor Still photography...................... Julian Allan, Synopsis: A “voxpop” is a term in television Gauge ...............................................16 mm P ro d u c e r.............................. Barbara Boyd Progress .............................Post-production Alfredo Meloni journalism for the process by which the Shooting s to c k ........................Eastmancolor Director .................................. Barbara Boyd Cast: Jay Mannering (Charles), John Flaus Laboratory .............................Cine Services reporter confronts the man in the street Progress ............................Awaiting release S criptw rite r.......................... Barbara Boyd (Hackery). Lab. lia iso n .............................. Beverly Bull without notice and asks his opinion. In this Synopsis: A story of a black m arlin Asst d ire cto r..................................Ivan Gaal Synopsis: Charles, a mysterious stranger, B u d g e t.................................................. $4000 film a man is hounded and intimidated into gamefish with a will, determination and Gauge ................................................ 16 mm briefly stumbles into Hackery’s life. When Length ............................................. 20 mins. desperate action. Shooting s to c k ........................Eastmancolor stamina similar to that of a wild stallion. The he leaves, it is not without consequences. Gauge ............................................... 16 mm Progress ............................ Pre-production film is told and seen from the marlin's point Shooting sto ck........................Eastmancolor S y n o p s is : T h e f ilm d e p ic t s th e of view, related through the dramatized Progress .............................Post-production relationships, interactions, complexities voice of a ‘spirit’ that returns to tell the story Release date ...................September, 1979 and inconsistencies Inherent in Australia as of a fight with a gamefisherman. For details of the following films see Issue SLACK VANGUARD Cast: Glenn Long (Ernest Bluntpencil), Ann a multi-cultural society. 22 : Garvin (Natasha Geditovski), John Forster Prod, company . . . Black Star Illumination Best Each Way (Doctor Thunderballs), Lisa Dockrill (The P ro d u ce r.............................................. OliverRobb B.O. Monster), Niel Spark (The Evil Agent), Con Man Harry and the Others Director ......................................Oliver Robb AUTISM, WHO CARES? TO FIGHT THE WILD Susan W eldrick, Sim one Boyce (The Concerto for Ads and Heads S c riptw rite r...........................................OliverRobb Prod, company ................. Horizontal Films Prod, company ......... Richard Oxenburgh Assassins). Cosmic Art Photography......................................Andrew Vial, Dist. company .................Victorian Autistic Productions Synopsis: An off-beat James Bond-type, Fall Line Oliver Robb Children’s Association Dist. c o m p a n y ....... Artis Film Productions Ernest B lu n tp e n cil, on a m ission in In Their Crooked Machines Sound recordist ................. Trevor Prouse P ro d u c e r................................................. IvanGaal P ro du ce rs...................Richard Oxenburgh, Australia, becomes inextricably embroiled Low Flying E d ito r.................................................... OliverRobb Director ......................................... Ivan Gaal Rachel Percy in a bionic monster, operated by the evil Oxide Street Junction Mixer ............................................Ian Adkins S criptw rite r.................................... Ivan Gaal S criptw rite r..............................Rachel Percy Doctor Thunderballs. Sarah B u d g e t.................................................. $3051 Photography..............................Leigh Tllson Photography.......................................... KeithLoone The Island of Nevawuz Length ............................................. 25 mins. Sound recordist ........................ Ron Brown Sound recordist .............. Roland McManis Two Steps Behind Gauge ............... Super 8 to be distributed E d ito r...................................... RonBrown E d ito r......................................................... BillMcCrow on %” video C om poser......................... Franciscus Henri C om posers......................................... RobertLagette, Shooting sto c k .......................... Agfachrome Exec, producer ...............Jennifer F. Coller VOXPOP Norman Wilkinson Progress ............................. Post-production Prod, manager ........................... Kevin Duff L y ric s ........................................Rod Ansell P ro d u ce r...............................................DavidO’Brien Synopsis: What doesthe future hold for Camera operator .................... Leigh Tilson Prod, s e c re ta ry...................... Peggy Limb D ire c to r.................................................DavidO'Brien Australia’s unemployed? An experimental Neg. m a tc h in g ................................VFL Ltd Camera assistant ................Michael Harley S criptw rite r....... : ................................. DavidO'Brien examination of some options. Sound editor ..............................Ron Brown Additional photography...............Paul Tait Based on the original idea Title d esig n er........... Louise Merryweather Jan Kenny by ........................................David O’Brien P ublicity.............................Jennifer F. Collar Asst editor ............................Chris Benaud Photography......................................... DavidPerry Laboratory ..................................... VFL Ltd Mixer ..................................... Phil Heywood Sound recordist ................. Steve Williams THUNDERBALLS! B u d g e t..................................................$5000 Re-recording ...................... Dubbs and Co. E d ito r.....................................................DougCraig GRENDEL GRENDEL GRENDEL Length ............................................. 20 mins. P ublicity................................................. BerryWilliams Prod, company .................. Talented Artists Vehicle d e sig n e r............... Steve Manners See details in Features — Production this Gauge ................................................ 16 mm Recording studios................................ Atlab Promotions C om poser................................................BobHughes issue. Shooting sto c k ........................Eastmancolor Laboratory ..................................... Colorfilm P ro du ce rs................................ Robyn Tolot, Prod, manager .......................Paul Bugden Progress .............................Post-production Length ............................................ 93 mins. Peter Schmidt Prod, secretary ....................... Nicky Moors THE LSTTLE CONVICT Release date ...............November 30, 1979 Gauge . . . . 16 mm for blow up to 35 mm Director ................................ Peter Schmidt Prod, accountant ....... Dieter Wendemuth Synopsis: A documentary surveying the ac­ Shooting s to c k ....................... Eastmancolor Details will be listed In Issue 24. Assoc, director .................Christine Pickett Continuity ............................Caroline Neave tivities of the Victorian Autistic Children’s Progress .......................... Awaiting release Assoc, producer ..................Alfredo Meloni Casting consultants .. .Cameron’s Agency Association's centres in the area of special Cast: (as themselves) Rod Ansell, Luke Mc­ S criptw rite r...........................Peter Schmidt Focus p u lle r............................................ RodHines education and the care of autistic children. Call, Rupert Wodidj, Raphael Thardim, Based on the original idea PUSSY PUMPS UP Camera assistant ....................... Rod Hines Joanne Van Os. b y ................................................... Alfredo Meloni, 2nd unit photography ................Rod Hines P ro du ce r.......................................Antoinette Starkiewicz Chris Pickett Make-up .............................. Bob McCarron Director ................... Antoinette Starkiewicz Synopsis: In 1977, Rod Ansell had an acci­ BORN TO LEAD dent while fishing in the remote Queen’s Photography......................................... FabioMeloni Special e ffe cts.................... Bob McCarron Photography............................................ KimHumphries Prod, c o m p a n y ......... Pan Pacific Pictures Channel off the coast of northern Australia. Sound recordist ........... .David Crocombe Set d eco ra to r............................................ Jill O'Brien Asst to A n im a to r.................Gailyn Gadson D ire c to r.............................................NormanGodbold He paddled up the Fitzmaurice River until B u d g e t.............................................$10,000 S criptw rite r.......................................NormanGodbold he found fresh water, and was rescued two Length ...............................................7 mins. Photography.................................... Malcolm Richards months later. In this story of survival, events Progress ................................... Production are recreated by the people involved in the Sound recordists ................ Ian Jenkinson, Release date ........................ August, 1979 Don Boardman Synopsis: Pussy finds herself too small In locations where they occurred. E d ito r..................................................... ChrisFitchett the male world of muscles. To gain atten­ Prod, manager .......................... June Weir tion, Pussy pumps up . .. and up. Camera assistant ................. Robert Powell G a ffe r..................................... Stewart Sorby Title d esig n er...........................................JeffPiatkowski SERIES Laboratory . . . . Cinevex Film Laboratories Length .............................................13 mins. Gauge ...............................................35 mm Shooting s to c k...................... Eastmancolor Progress ......................................In release A HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA Synopsis: A documentary on a Guide Dog’s Prod, company ................ Shopfront Films life, from birth, through training, to meeting FEATURES Dist. company . . . . Vega Film Productions his master. P ro du ce rs................................. Edwin Batt, Gayle Hannah, Garry Patterson BUILD AND DESTROY D ire c to r.............................. Garry Patterson THE HUNTER AND THE HUNTED Research............................ Garry Patterson Prod, company .................AVEC Film Unit Dist. company ........................ Audio Visual Prod, company .....................Phonic Films E d ito r................................. Garry Patterson Education Centre in association with Pact Productions N arra to r..............................Garry Patterson P ro d u ce r.............................. David Hughes for the Seven Network Laboratory ................................ MediaVision D ire c to r................................David Hughes Dist. company ....................... Richard Price Lab. lia is o n ........................Gayle Hannah S criptw rite r.....................G. M. Teychenne Television Associates Length ..................................... 7 x 60 mins. Exec, producer ............................ Jim Tate P ro du ce r................................ John Oakley Gauge ....... Super 8 for transfer to video Length .............................................20 mins. D ire c to r.................................. John Oakley Shooting s to c k .................Kodachrome 40, Gauge ...............................................16 mm S criptw riter.............................Bill Bemister Ektachrome 7244 sound Progress .............................. Pre-production Photography..............................Phil Murray Progress .............................Post-production Synopsis: A documentary for upper secon­ Sound recordist ...........................Phil Judd Synopsis: The film showing a chronological dary geography students, showing the fo r­ E d ito r..................................... Ron Williams coverage of places, events and people mation of erosional and depositlonal landExec, producer .................... Bob Sanders along Highway 1, seen in the light of the forms on the Victorian coast. Assoc, p ro d u c e r................... Bill Bemister narrator’s historical perspective. German adviser..............................Ute Rose Laboratory ...............Color Transcriptions . . . BUT NOT BY CHANCE Length .............................................90 mins. Shooting s to c k ...................... Eastmancolor Prod, c o m p a n y ......... Pan Pacific Pictures SHORTS D ire c to r............................ Norman Godbold Progress ...........................Awaiting release Synopsis: A documentary on the search for S criptw rite r...................... Norman Godbold Nazi war criminals. Filmed in Israel, Austria, Photography................................Phil Pike, Germany, France and South America, it in­ Malcolm Richards cludes secret footage of two of the most Sound recordists ................ Ian Jenkinson, ANIMALS OF AUSTRALIA wanted war criminals still living, and inter­ Paul Clark Prod, secretary .......................... June Weir views with members of the Israeli in­ Prod, company ........... Educational Media Australia telligence services, Jewish Nazi hunters, Camera assistant ............ Kevin Anderson m em bers of executed war c rim in a ls ' Dist. company ...............Educational Media Key g r ip ............................ Paul Ammitzboll Australia Gaffer ...................................... Paul Gantner families and war crime victims. P ro du ce r.......................... Ken Widdowson E lectrician............................................... PaulDickenson Photography.......................... David Corke, Make-up ....................................... Nola lies Edric Slater, Musical director ............... Bruce Rowlands STALLION OF THE SEA Bern Hunt, Laboratory -----Cinevex Film Laboratories P ro du ce r.............................. John C. Fairfax John Shaw, Gauge ...............................................35 mm D ire c to r................................ John C. Fairfax Alastair Traill, Shooting s to c k ...................... Eastmancolor S criptw rite r...........................John C. Fairfax Peter Bruce Progress ............................Post-production Based on the original idea E d ito r..........................................David Corke Synopsis: A documentary showing the by ............................Paulette McDonagh N a rra to r..................................Fred Parslow range of services of the Melbourne and Photography.........................John C. Fairfax Mixed at ......................................... VFL Ltd Metropolitan Board of Works, particularly Sound recordist .......................... Cliff Curl Laboratory ..................................... VFL Ltd the laboratory services. The film features E d ito r..................................... Tim Wellburn Length .............................................18 mins. Noel Ferrier. Peter Schmidt’s Thunderballs!: in post-production.

ANIM ATION

D O CUM EN TAR IES

m

■■ Cinema Papers, September-October — 557


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Mixer ..............................................Kim Lord THE COUNTRY EDITOR Animation ................................ Modelmatlon Synopsis: A documentary on a bushwalking THE JOHN SULLIVAN STORY N a rra to r..................................Rick Rodgers Neg. m a tc h in g ...................The Neg Room tour, through the south-west of Tasmania, Prod, company . . . Rob Brow Productions Still photography....................John Ogden Mixed at ......................................Crawfords Prod, company . . . . Crawford Productions by students of two country secondary for Film Australia O p tic a ls ................................... Larry Wyner Laboratory ..................................... VFL Ltd, Dist. company ........................Nine Network schools in Victoria. Dist. company .......................Film Australia Title d esig n er..........................Don Telford P ro d u c e r........................ John Barningham Cineco Holland P ro d u c e r...............................Peter Johnson P u b licity................................... John Gereili B u d g e t............................................. $45,000 D ire c to r..................................David Stevens D ire c to r.................................................... RobBrow Mixed at ......................................ABC Perth Length ............................................. 50 mins. S criptw riters........................ Tony Morphett, S criptw rite rs......................................... NoelField, Laboratory ....................................Filmlab 7 Gauge .............................................16 mm Brian Wright Geoff Taylor For details of the following films see Issue Lab. lia iso n ..............................David Dukes Lighting cameraman ....... Ross Berryman Shooting s to c k .......................Eastmancolor Based on the original Idea 22 : B u d g e t............................................. $30,000 Sound recordist ....................Paul Maloney Progress .......................... Awaiting release b y ............................................. Noel Field Length ............................................ 25 mins. . Release date ........................ August, 1979 Quietly Shouting (In release) E d ito r......................................... Philip Reid Photography.............................. Peter Sykes Gauge ............................................... 16 mm Prod, d esig n er...................... John Johnson Synopsis: A film which looks at the work of The Snowy — Mountains for Four Seasons Sound recordist ................. Ian Jenkinson Shooting sto c k ....................... Eastmancolor (In release) Exec, p ro d u c e rs ........... Hector Crawford, the Dutch airforce in recovering Allied and E d ito r......................................David Hipkins Progress ......................................in release Jock Blair German aircraft shot down during World West Coaster '78 (In release) C om p o se rs...................................... C o b b e r s Release date .............................. May, 1979 Prod, co-ordinator ......... Judy Whitehead Who Owns Schools? (And what are they War 2 in the Zuider Zee. It shows the Prod, manager ................... Robert Kewley Synopsis: Highlights of the B.P. World Prod, manager ...............Kendal Flanagan doing about it?) (In release) recovery of a B.24 Liberator and five of the Camera assistant ............... Robert Powell Laser Championships held in Perth, in Unit m anagers.................... Stewart Wright, crew who died on December 22, 1943, and Non-Compliance — The Hidden Health Key g r ip ................................ Tony Sprague January-February, 1979. Hazard (Awaiting release) Mike Mato examines the effects of notifying next of kin. 2nd unit photography ........Barry Malseed 1st Asst d ire c to r...................Peter Gawler G a ffe r......................................................BrianAdams The following films are in pre-production. Continuity ....................................Jo Weeks E lectricia n .............................................. BrianAdams For details see Issue 22: MY SURVIVAL AS AN ABORIGINAL STAR-SPANGLED ILLUSIONS Casting.................................... Helen Rolland Music performed by ...................... C o b b e r s Birth Clapper/loader ................. Tony Cavanagh Dist. c o m p a n y ........... Sydney Filmmakers Prod, company . Macclesfield Productions Editing assistant .......................Felicity Cox Camera assistant ................. David Connell Co-operative Dist. company .. Macclesfield Productions Discovery 4 Title d e sig n e r.............................Ray Strong Drama Is Key g r ip .................................. Ian Benallack Director ....................................Essie Coffey P ro d u c e r............................... Robert Martin Laboratory ......................................VFL Ltd Asst grip ..............................Steve Haggerty S criptw rite r.............................. Essie Coffey D ire c to r................................. Robert Martin Length ..............................................25 mins. G a ffe r........................................Ian Dewhurst Assistants ...........................Martha Ansara, Photography.......................................Jordan Adams, Gauge . . . . 16 mmfor blow up to 35 mm E lectrician.........................David Parkinson Annmarie Chandler, Lee Spencer, Shooting s to c k ........................Eastmancolor Boom operator ............... Andrew Ramage Rosalie Higson, Lenny Whitman Progress ............................Awaiting release Make-up ...............................Kirsten Veysey Alec Morgan, E d ito r..................................... Tony Stevens Synopsis: A week in the hectic life of the H airdresser.......................Annie Pospischil C om poser............................... Tony Naylor Kit Guyatt editor of a country newspaper, T h e B o o r t Wardrobe .......................... Julie Constable, M u s ic ......................................Essie Coffey, Neg. m a tc h in g ................................ WarwickDriscoll a n d Q u a m b a t o o k S t a n d a r d T im e s , and the Karen Donnelly Fred Edgar, Music performed by ............. Tony Naylor influ e n ce the pap e r and the e d ito r's P ro p s ........................................... Barry Hall Mixer ....................................... Darryl Davis Zac Martin remarkable personality have on the town. Special e ffe c ts .........................Brian Pearce Length ............................................. 50 mins. Visual e ffe c ts ........................................KevinWilliams THE BUSH BUNCH Set d eco ra to r................... Harvey Mawson Shooting sto c k .......................Eastmancolor Mixed at ......... Film Soundtrack Australia For details see Issue 22 Set construction . . . Crawford Productions Synopsis: Forced from their tribal grounds, Laboratory ......................................VFL Ltd IMPRINTING IN DUCKLINGS Asst editor ............................... Ken Sallows the Murrawarri people were dumped onto a B u d g e t............................................. $23,000 Sound editors .....................Terry Rodman, tiny reserve on the fringe of a town Length ............................................. 24 mins. Prod, c o m p a n y ........... Educational Media STUART WAGSTAFF’S HERITAGE Glenn Martin, dominated by whites. Essie Coffey, black Gauge ............................................. 16 mm Australia activist and musician, resident of “ Dodge Wayne Robinson Shooting s to c k ...................... Eastmancolor Dist. company ...............Educational Media Mixer .................................... David Harrison City” , shows the conflicts of living as an Progress ............................Awaiting release Prod, c o m p a n y ....... Samurai Productions Australia S tudios...................................................GTV9 Aboriginal under white domination. This Synopsis: A documentary exploring the P ro du ce r................................. Terry Bourke P ro d u c e r.......................... Ken Widdowson Mixed at ................. Crawford Productions film is part of her effort to make her effect of the U.S. on a group of young D ire c to r................................... Terry Bourke S c rip tw rite r.......................... David Morgan Laboratory ..................................... VFL Ltd community proud of their black identity in S criptw rite r..............................Terry Bourke Australians: reality versus illusion. Educational consultant ......... Academy of Length ......................................... 100 mins. their struggle for survival. Photography.......................... Ray Henman Science School Biology Project Gauge ............................................. 16 mm Sound recordist ...........................Cliff Curll Photography............. Gakken Productions Shooting s to c k ........................Eastmancolor E d ito r...................................................... AlanLake WE BUILT SOME GREAT SHIPS E d ito r..........................................David Corke ROBIN CAMPBELL — Progress ....................................... In release Exec, producer ...........................Allan Grey Mixed at ........................................... VFL Ltd P ro d u c e r................................. Peter Green OLD FELLER NOW Release date .......................August 5, 1979 Prod, assistant............. Roy Harrles-Jones Laboratory ....................................... VFL Ltd D ire c to r................................... Peter Green Cast: Andrew McFarlane (John Sullivan), Continuity ...................... Barbara Burleigh Dist. c o m p a n y ........... Sydney Filmmakers Length ............................................. 20 mins. Sound recordist ....... Michael Sutherland Olivia Hamnett (Capt. Meg Fulton), Frank Location lia is o n ........................ Vic Ramon Gauge .................................................16 mm Co-operative E d ito r....................................... Peter Green Gallacher (Stipra), Ronald Lewis (Marko G a ffe r................................John Cummings D ire c to r...................................................Alec Morgan Shooting s to ck ............... Fuji (master pos.) C om p o se r.............................. Ray Sowerby Koradjic), Jonathan Hardy (Vlad), Roger S criptw rite rs.....................Robin Campbell, Synopsis: W ell-presented experiments Camera operator ...................Mike Rogers E lectrician................................ Ted Williams Oakley (Major James Barrington), Carol Boom operator ...............Chris Goldsmith Alec Morgan demonstrate the phenomenon of “ im print­ Music performed by ........Ray Sowerby, Burns (Biljana), Peter Carroll (Petrovic), Make-up ................................. Cherie Harris Photography................... Martha Ansara ing", first described by Nobel Prize winner, John Hannah Ronald Falk (Lt. Ranke), Vera Plevnik Sound recordist ....... Annmarie Chandler Dr Konrad Lorenz. Editing assistant ............... Peter Lawrance Asst editor ................................... Lee Smith (Nadia). Mixer .......................... Alisdair Macfarlane E d ito r............................ Ronda MacGregor Mixer .......................................Allan Kidston Synopsis: After his troopship is sunk in Still photography....................... David Miller M u s ic ............................. Ralph Schneider, N arrators.............................................RowanForster, 1942, John Sullivan is saved by members of John Marshall Peter Green Title designer..........................Peter Newton I THINK I CAN . . . the Yugoslavian group, the Chetniks. He is Mixed at ................................Palm Studios Prod, manager ...................Rosalie Higson Mixed at .....................La Trobe University later sold by them to the opposing group, Laboratory ............................................Atlab I KNEW I COULD Prod, assistant.................... Albert Coffey Media Department the Partisans. This is his life as a medic in (Working title) Length ............................................. 25 mins. Laboratory ......................................Cinevex, Length ............................................. 26 mins. civil war-torn Yugoslavia. Shooting s to ck.......................Eastmancolor VFL Ltd Gauge ...............................................16 mm Prod, company .................. AVEC Film Unit Progress ........................................In release B u d g e t..................................................$4000 Shooting s to c k ........................Eastmancolor Dist. company ......................... Audio Visual Cast: The people of the A b o rig in a l Length ............................................. 25 mins. Progress .......................... Awaiting release Education Centre Cast: Stuart Wagstaff, Stanley Lipscombe, THE PROPHECIES OF com m unity in Brewarrina, New South Gauge ...............................................16 mm P ro d u c e r........................................Ivan Gaal Wales. NOSTRADAMUS Shooting s to c k ...........................Ektachrome Mary Savnik, Barry Donnelly. D ire c to r..........................................Ivan Gaal Synopsis: Stuart Wagstaff introduces the Synopsis: Robin Campbell, an old man of Progress ......................................In release S criptw rite rs............................................ IvanGaal, Prod, company ..........................Paul Drane world of Stanley Lipscombe, a prominent the Murrawarri tribe of the far north west of Release date .............................. July, 1979 Barbara Boyd Productions New South Wales, lives out his days on the Cast: John S pence, B ill P a rfltt, Ray antique dealer. It includes a dramatic re­ Additional script material .. Jean Holkner, Dist. c o m p a n y .....................................SevenNetwork enactment of pirates and buried treasure, fringe of a town with a predominantly white Sowerby. Sue Dunstan, P ro du ce r..................................... Paul Drane and segments on Australian artists in the population. Although he is an “ old feller", he Synopsis: A documentary study of Whyalla Laurie Hastings D ire c to r.......................................Paul Drane still has his memories. The film emphasises in 1978. The closure of the shipyard and its Art Gallery of New South Wales, a 400 yearPhotography..........................................LeighTilson S criptw rite r.......................... Alan Hopgood Robin Campbell’s special relationship to the effects on the lives of three skille d old Urbino vase, and the Tempus Fugit anti­ Sound recordist ................... David Hughes Photography........................ David Haskins land of his birth. tradesmen are examined in the light of the que shop in Sydney. Narrator, Wagstaff will E d ito r............................................. Ivan Gaal Sound recordist ........................ Ian Wilson introduce different guests and their worlds indifference of the Government and BHP. Exec, producer ............................ Jim Tate E d ito r............................... Scott McLennan each week. Prod, manager ................... Barbara Boyd Prod, designer...................................Robbie Perkins A SECRET PLACE Continuity ............................Laurie Hastings C om poser.......................................MargaretByrne THE WETLANDS PROBLEM Lighting cameraman ...............Leigh Tilson Prod, manager .................. Margaret Byrne Prod, company . . . COA Film Productions G a ffe r.................................... Rob McCubbin Lighting cameraman ......... David Haskins P ro d u ce r........................ Nicholas Oughton Prod, c o m p a n y ........... Educational Media Make-up ............................... Lois Hohenfels D ire c to rs ................. , ............ Kim Cardow, Key g rip s .......................... Paul Ammitzboll, Australia Music performed by ............... S u p e r t r a m p Sue Jones Greg Wallace Dist. company ............. Educational Media Sound editor .........................David Hughes S criptw rite rs..............................................PatRoberts, Make-up .......................................Nan Dunn Australia Laboratory ....................................... Cinevex Mixer ...................................... David Hughes Pat Paterson P ro d u c e r.......................... Ken Widdowson Sound recordist ........................Jan Murray Mixed at ........................................... VFL Ltd Length ............................................. 90 mins. S c riptw rite r.......................... David Morgan Laboratory ....................................... VFL Ltd E d ito r....................................................... BobBlasdal Gauge ...............................................16 mm Educational consultant ......... Academy of Prod, su p e rviso r...................................... Pat Roberts Shooting s to c k ........................Eastmancolor Length ..............................................25 mins. Science School Biology Project THE DOLEBLUDGERS Camera operator ...................Tracy Kubler Gauge .................................................16 mm Progress ......................................Production Photography............................. David Corke Prod, company .. Australian Broadcasting Asst editor ............................... Kim Cardow Shooting sto c k ........................Eastmancolor Cast: Richard Butler (Nostradamus), Bob Sound recordist .................... David Corke Commission Mixer ......................................... Bob Blasdal Ruggiero (soldier), Roy Edmonds (soldier), Progress ...................................... Production E d ito r.........................................David Corke Director ....................................David Zweck Ray Chubb (soldier). Cast: Ian Gilmore, Barbara Boyd, Jean N a rra to r....................................................RitaWiggan M u s ic .......................................................Folkmusic S criptw rite r............................................ JohnMartin Synopsis: Based on the writings of 16th Holkner, Sue Dunstan, Lance Balchin, Length ............................................. 11 mins. Mixed at ...........................................VFL Ltd Sound recordist ...................John Boswell Century prophet, Nostradamus, which Sacha Wood. Gauge ............................................... 16 mm Laboratory .......................................VFL Ltd Prod, designer...................... Colin Gersch looks at past accurate predictions . . . and Synopsis: Tony recalls the frustrations and Shooting s to ck.......................Eastmancolor Length ............................................. 25 mins. Exec, producer ........................Keith Wilkes things to come. Progress ............................Post-production failures of his past caused by his illiteracy. Gauge ................................................ 16 mm Prod, manager .................. Lorraine Collett The documentary shows how he is taught to Synopsis: The natural playground provides Shooting s to c k...................... Eastmancolor Unit m anager........................................PeterBaroutis overcome this failure, and how he begins to an outlet for the creative imagination. A Progress ..................................... In release 1st Asst d ire c to r...................................JohnMarkham WILD ASS OF A MAN feeling of freedom permeates such an area re a d a nd w rite th ro u g h la n g u a g e Synopsis: The Murray Darling River System 2nd Asst director ..................Peter Murphy experience. and allows a child to learn to appreciate and Prod, company .. Australian Broadcasting provides a study of man’s relationship with Producer’s assistant........... Ann McFarlane enjoy the wonders of nature. his environment. The demands placed on Casting...................................................CarolClarke, Commission Director .............................Norman Johnson this river system for navigation, irrigation Pauline Sell IT’S A NICE FEELING TO BE THE S criptw rite r........................... Michael Boddy and water supply have altered it, so that we Lighting cameraman ...............Chris Davis SOME OF OUR AIRMEN . . . WINNER Based on the play by ........ Barry Oakley may never derive the same benefits from Camera operator ......................Ron Hagan the river system. Sound recordist .........................John Ryan ARE NO LONGER MISSING Prod, company ............................ Filmwest Wardrobe designer ................. Jane Howat Prod, designer.....................Alwyn Harbutt Dist. c o m p a n y .............................. Filmwest Prod, company ...................... Nomad Films Make-up ............................ Denise Southall, Exec, producer ............... Oscar Whitbread P ro d u c e r...................................................Jon Noble International, Robert Creshmen Prod, manager ..................... Frank Brown D ire c to r.....................................................Jon Noble Andromeda Productions Wardrobe co-ordinator Norma Londregan 1st Asst d ire c to r............................... GlendaByrne WHY WILDERNESS S c rip tw rite r............................... Robin Gibbs Dist. c o m p a n y ................................... NomadFilms Still photography...............Richard Durham 2nd Asst d ir e c to r___Walter Dobrowolski P hotography.............................................JonNoble, International Prod, company ........... Educational Media P ublicity..................................................Keith Synnott Producer's assistant....................Sally Irwin Alex McPhee P ro d u ce r.......................... Douglas Stanley Australia Length .............................................70 mins. Casting.......................................Carol Clarke Sound recordists ................ Wayne Harley, D ire c to r............... .............Douglas Stanley Dist. company ............. Educational Media Progress ......................................Production Lighting cameraman ......... Ian Warburton John Ogden S criptw rite r............................................ John Clive, Australia Cast: Diane Smith (Debbie Price), Paul Camera operator .....................Ron Hagan E d ito rs .....................................Robin Gibbs, Fred Folkard P ro d u c e r................. Seymour High School Jones (Sheepdog), Tim Robertson (Mr Costume designer ..............Margaret Kriss Carollen Van Der Gaag S criptw rite r........................................... DavidCorke Based on the original idea Price), Val Lehman (Mrs Price), Carol Burns Make-up ............................ Linda Hamilton, Prod, secretary .................. Julleanne Mills (Shirley). b y ........................................................John Clive, Photography................................... SeymourHigh Paddy Opwald Prod, accountant ............... Richard Michel Douglas Stanley School students S ynopsis: A study on the p lig h t of Wardrobe co -o rd in a to r....... Joyce Imlach Script assistant .. .Carolien Van Der Gaag Australian teenagers seeking work. Photography........................................... Alex McPhee E d ito r.....................................................DavidCorke Still photography.............................. RichardDurham, Camera assistant .................... John Ogden Mixed at ....... I ............................... VFL Ltd Sound recordist .............Laurie Robinson Murray Case, Laboratory .....................................VFL Ltd 2nd unit photography ........... John Ogden E d ito r............................... Guye Henderson David Parker Neg. m a tch in g ...... ............ Maureen Keast Assoc, p ro d u c e r................................... JohnClive Length ............................................ 13 mins. P ublicity.............................. Georgina Howe Music performed by ................. Peter Levy Prod, manager ..................... Kate Faulkner Gauge ...............................................16 mm Studio s o u n d .....................John Beanland and Bruce Varley Prod, secretary ........................Val Webster Shooting s to c k ........................ Ektachrome Length ............................................. 70 mins. with the group C h a m p a g n e Mixer ................................... .David Harrison Progress ..................................... In release Progress ......................................Production

TE LEV IS IO N PILO TS

TE L E -F E A T U R E S

Cinema Papers, September-October — 559


Cast: Max G illies (James M uldoon), Cornelia Frances (Slbellla), Carlilo Gantner (De Neefe). Synopsis: Set In Melbourne, the story of a young school-teacher for whom nothing goes right.

Standby p ro p s ......................Mervyn Asher, (George Tippett), Joanne Samuel (Kelly Mixed at .................Crawford Productions THIS FABULOUS CENTURY Chris Wyldeck, Morgan), Bruce Barry (Capt. Doug Stewart), Laboratory ........................................... Atlab David McLelland Bart John (Nick Grainger), Kris McQuade Prod, company ......................... Peter Luck, Length ................................... 13 x 46 mins. Hanna-Barbera Productions OB unit: (Faye Peterson). Gauge .............................................. 16 mm Dist. company ......................... Peter Luck, Cameras ................................Ross Milligan, Synopsis: A series set In an Australian Shooting sto ck....................... Eastmancolor Hanna-Barbera Productions Ian Marden international airport, and the many crises Progress ..................................... In release Exec, producer .......................... Peter Luck Sound .......................................John Bourn faced by the people who work In it. Release date .................September, 1979 P ro du ce r.................................David Salter Vision co n tro l............................David Pike Cast: John Hargreaves (Peter Ramsay), D ire c to r...................................David Salter Electrics........................ Richard McManus, Serge Lazareff (Ray Turner), Louise Howitt Based on the original THE SULLIVANS Steve Bailey (Cassie McCallum). idea by ................................... Peter Luck Grip ................................................ Ken Hey Exec, producers ........... Hector Crawford, Synopsis: The adventures of a country Studio unit: Jock Blair Sound recordist .................... Brian Morris veterinarian — second In a television series. E d ito r................................ Michael Chlrgwin P ro du ce r........................ John Barningham Cameras ................................Geoff Wilkins, Asst editor ............................. Les Fiddess Assoc, p ro d u c e rs......... David Hinrichsen, Doug Livermore, Paul Montgomery, Alan Hardy Assoc, p ro d u c e r.....................Neil Balnaves WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE Research assistant................. Peg McGrath Script e d ito rs ........................ Brian Wright, Mick Walter Prod, c o m p a n y ....... Shotton Productions Wendy Jackson, Unit m anager.......................Cathy Flannery AND HERE COMES BUCKNUCKLE Electrics.................................Zahir Tawfik, Lighting cameraman .............Tony Wilson P ro du ce r.......................... John D. McRae Lotsi Lukas Barbara Masel, Prod, company .. Australian Broadcasting D ire c to r..................................... Igor Auzins Sound .................................. David Rothwell Peter Gawler Camera operator .................. Tony Wilson Commission Mixed at ...............................................Atlab Vision m ix e r..................................... MichaelFlintD ire c to rs ................................Pino Amenta, S criptw riter.......................Michael Jenkins, P roducers..............................Keith Wilkes, Laboratory .......................................... Atlab, Vision co n tro l.................... Ray Sutherland, Eleanor Witcombe Greg Shears, Norman Johnson Colorfllm, Based on the novel Lex Van Os, Bruce Llebau D ire c to rs............................... Keith Wilkes, K. G. Colorfllm M usic/effects..........................Ron Marton b y ..........................Sumner Locke Elliot John Dommett Norman Johnson Lab. lia is o n .............Gary Jackson (video), Script e d ito r..........................................JohnCroyston Photography...........................Dan Burstall Program s e creta ry...............Fay Smorgon S criptw riter..........................Alan Hopgood Andrew Mason (film), Original m u s ic ................................... Arnold Butcher Prod, accountant ....................... Patti Scott Research........................... Barbara Gange, Prod, manager .................Lorraine Collett Don Autred Recorded by ABC Melbourne Show Band 1st Asst d ire c to r................... Tom Burstall Alison Nisselle Length .................................... 6 x 30 mins. B u d ge t.........................................$1 million Art d ire c to r............................... Tracy Watt C asting...................................Jennifer Allen Producer's assistant....... Kendal Flanagan Progress ............................ Pre-production Length ................................... 37 x 30 mins. Costume designer ......... Bruce Flnlayson Prod, secretary .......................... Lyn Knight Art d ire c to r............................... Tracy Watt Cast: Peter Curtain (Acky Jones), John Gauge .................16mm for transfer to 2” Make-up .....................................Jose Perez Length ..................................... 4 x 50 mins. Cameraman ........................David Connell Bluthal (J.J. Forbes), Noni Hazlehurst (Lil). Shooting stock....................... Eastmancolor H airdresser............................................ JosePerez Progress ....................................... In release Asst cam eram an......................................IanJones Synopsis: The hopes and trials of Acky Progress .....................................In release Studios................................... AAV-Australia Release date ........................ July 15, 1979 Clapper/loader .................... Jamie Doolan Jones as he sets an u nlikely horse, Release date .................February 18, 1979 First released Length ..................................... 9 x 60 mins. Grip ................................... Steve Haggerty Bucknuckle, to win the Melbourne Cup. G a ffer.....................................John Brennan First released.............................. Television, Gauge .............................................. 16 mm (city and cin e m a )..........ABC Television Channel 7 nationally Best boy .................................... John Irving C ast: L id d y C la rk (S h an n o n), Noni Shooting s to c k....................... Eastmancolor (City and cinema) Sound recordist .................... John Rowley Hazlehurst (Beryl), Warwick Sims (Damien), Progress .............................. Pre-production PRISONER Synopsis: A film history of Australia in the Boom operator ...................... Phil Adams Peter Carroll (Mervyn Leggatt), Barbara Synopsis: The story of a group of people Prod, company .The Grundy Organization Wyndon (Edith), Henri Szeps (Vincent Unit m anager........................John Seebold 20th Century, incorporating archival film w h o s e liv e s , th r o u g h tim e a nd from 1896 to the present day. It includes Dist. company ...................... 0-10 Network Sladder), John Bluthal (Joseph Lltchin), 1st Assistants........................................TonyWade, circumstance, are entwined in several ways P ro du ce r................................... Ian Bradley M ichael Aitkens (John Terry), Moya — from love to murder. David Clarke footage from the Cinesound and Movie­ tone newsreel libraries, and 210 Interviews Directors ................................... Leon Thau, O'Sullivan (Ada Jones), Ron Graham (Darcy Set d resser........................................ HarveyMawson Marcus Cole, Jones). Asst set dresser ............. Stewart Crombie with famous Australians. Leigh Spence, Synopsis: Set in the 1930s, the series Standby p ro p s ..................................... DavidHolmes, Phil East follows the life and loves of Shannon Jones, Bob Steel YOUNG RAMSAY S criptw riters..........................Sheila Sibley, a country girl who comes to the city and Props maker ..........................Brian Pearce For details of the following television series Michael Brindley, Prod, company . . . . Crawford Productions leads a life, not without spice and variety. A rm ourer.......................... Robin Saunders see Issue 22: Denise Morgan, Dist. co m p a n y........... The Seven Network Special e ffe c ts .....................................RobinPearce, Golden Soak Ray Kolle, Robin Saunders P ro du ce r............................... George Miller Stax John Upton, Script e d ito r...................... Graeme Farmer Costume design ....................... Robin Hall The Oracle Margaret McClusky, Lighting cameraman ....... Ross Berryman Costume standbys ........... Karen Donnelly, SHIRL’S NEIGHBOURHOOD Dave Worthington, Cheyne Phillips Sound recordist ................... Paul Maloney Ian Bradley Prod, company .................. HSV Channel 7 Make-up ...................................Kathy Foley, E d ito r.......................................... Philip Reid Based on the original idea Dist. co m p a n y.....................HSV Channel 7 Ross Denby Exec, producer ...............Hector Crawford b y ........................................... Reg Watson Assoc, p ro d u c e r................................. KevinPowell P ro du ce r..............................Jennifer Hooks Hairdresser.............................................PamWright Sound recordists ....................Gary Hayes, D ire c to r..........................Don Fitzsimmons Film editor ................................. Jan Eldred Prod, manager ........................Irene Korol Rob Saunders, S criptw riter..........................Jennifer Hooks Asst film editor ................... Jenny Lawther Unit m anager...........................Ralph Price _ David Keates 1st Asst d ire c to rs ...............Ross Hamilton, Photography.............................. John Carter Music e d ito r...................................... WayneRobinson E d lto rs ...................................................KeithElliott, E d ito r................................... Jack Cressick Stewart Wright Effects and tra n s fe r........................... FrankLipson, David Jaeger Continuity .....................................j 0 Weeks Exec, producer ................... Richard Bence Brian Gilmore Prod, designer............................ IanCostello Assoc, p ro d u c e r........................ Ron Mueck Casting..................................................Helen Rolland Neg. m atch in g .................................. SharynMartin C om poser.................................Alan Caswell Clapper/loader .......................... Chris Cain Prod, assistant......................Yvonne Collins Length ................ 25 mins. Monday-Frlday PROJECT DEVELOPMENT Exec, producer .................Godfrey Philipp Director's assistant................. Jenny Reece Camera assistant ......... Peter van Santen Progress .......................................In release BRANCH Prod, co-ordinator ......... Fay Rousseaux Laboratory ......................... HSV Channel 7 Key g r ip .................................................... |anBenallack First released (city Prod, manager .....................Valerie Unwin Length ............................................ 23 mins. G a ffer...................................Stewart Sorby Projects approved at the AFC meeting in and cinem a)........... Television — GTV9 Prod, assistant............................Maura Fay May 1979. Gauge ...................... 16 mm, 2" videotape Cast: Paul Cronin (Dave Sullivan), Steven Electrician...................................Laurie Fish 1st Asst d ire c to r................... Bruce Dunlop Boom operator ...............Andrew Ramage Shooting stock . . .................. Ektachrome Tandy (Tom Sullivan), Richard Morgan Script Development Casting................................. Suzette Jauhari Progress ..................................... In release (Terry Sullivan), Susan Hannaford (Kitty Art d ire c to r........................................ HarryZettel Camera operators .................. Peter Hind, Release date ........................ April 2, 1979 Sullivan), Jamie Higgins (Geoff Sullivan), Asst art director ........................Julie Skate Ted Prior (NSW), for a first draft script of Ken Mulholland, First released The Purple Ring — $800 Michael Caton (Harry Sullivan), Annie Make-up ..............................Kirsten Veysey Noel Penn (studio), (city and cinema) .. Television — HSV7 Byron (Lou Sullivan), Vlvean Gray (Mrs Wardrobe ................................. Phil Eagles, Alan Lowery and Michael Brindley (NSW), Joe Battaglia, Cast: “ S h irle y” Strachan, Norm the Gall Mayes for an extended treatment for Gabrielle — Jessup), Megan Williams (Alice Watkins), Steve Man (location) P ro p s .....................................................JohnStabb $1000 Kangaroo, Claude the Crow, o r Possum, Norman Yemm (Norm Baker), Vikkl Boom operator ..............Paul Covington Set decorator....................................... BrianHolmes Greenfinger the Garden Gnome. Hammond (Maggie Baker). Projects approved at the AFC meeting in Make-up .................. Vivienne Rushbrook, Synopsis: Children’s television series. A Synopsis: The continuing story of an Set construction . .. Crawford Productions June, 1979. Adrienne Lee magazine-style program set in a cubby Asst editor ...............................Ken Sallows Australian family during World War 2. Tech, a d v is e r.................. Christine Powell Hairdresser................Gilbert of Broadway house, from which the host and characters Script Development Wardrobe ...................... Jennifer Carmen, make excursions into the neighborhood. Best boy ..........................David Parkinson Jan Petersen Runner.................................................. PeterDickVoyager Films (NSW), for a third draft script of Starstruck — $9950 P ro p s ................................. Stephen Walsh Studios.................... Crawford Productions Set construction .............. Peter Barbados SKYWAYS Musical director .............. William Motzlng Prod, c o m p a n y __ Crawford Productions Music performed by .................Australian Dist. co m p a n y........... The Seven Network Screen Music P ro du ce r............................Graham Moore Sound editor ......................Greg Gurney Lighting cameraman ...............John Gilby Still photography.........................Ray Hand Sound recordist ........... Julian McSwinney P ublicity........................Felicity Goscombe Exec, producers .................. Ian Crawford, C atering......................... Anne Dechaineux Jock Blair Studios..........................................Channel 0 Assoc, p ro d u c e r.....................................TimSwallow Length ........................2 x 50 mins, weekly Prod, co-ordinator ...........Judy Whitehead, Progress .....................................In release Joanne Parker Release date .................... February, 1979 Prod, manager ......................... Mick Mills First released Unit m anager....................Don Samuelnok (city and cinema) National 0-10 Network Prod, secretary .................Ingrid Dewhurst Cast: Val Lehman (Bea), Patsy King (Erica), 1st Asst d ire c to r.............. Chris Langman Pelta Toppano (Karen), Colette Mann Continuity ........................Gair Amina-Cone (Doreen), Barry Quin (Greg), Elspeth Script assistants ......... Karinda Parkinson, Ballantyne (Meg), Gerard Maguire (Jim), Mark Joffe, Sheila Florance (Lizzie), Fiona Spence Jan Marnell (Vera), Lesley Baker (Monica). Casting................................... Helen Rolland Synopsis: Drama on life in an Australian Key g rip ....................................... Bill Baxter women's prison. G a ffer......................................... Lex Martin Boom operator .................... . .Ray Phillips Art d ire c to r........................ Robbie Perkins RIDE ON STRANGER Make-up supervisor.............................. NanDunn Prod, company ...................... ABC Sydney Hairdresser.................... Gilbert Broadway D ire c to r...................................Carl Schultz Wardrobe ................................. Anna Jakob S criptw riter......................... Peter Yeldham Ward, assistants...............Annie Johnson, Based on the novel b y ....... Kylie Tennant Julie Constable Video-tape E d ito r................ Trevor Miller P ro p s ................................. Ruby Patterson, Prod, designers.................... Quentin Hole, Andrew Freidman George Llddle Set decorators.................................... Jamie Legge, Exec, p ro d u c e r...................... Alan Burke David Smith Tech, p ro d u c e r...................... Bill Dayhew Set construction . . . Crawford Productions Prod, manager .................Michael Collins Mixer ................................... David Harrison Unit m anager..............................Peter Fisk Best boy ............................John Wilkinson 1st Asst d ire c to r........... Peter Macdonnell Studios........................ Cambridge Studios 2nd Asst director .................. John Rooke Length .............................................46 mins. Producer’s assistant___Elizabeth Steptoe Shooting sto ck.............................Videotape Lighting ............................... Ted Reynolds Progress ..................................... In release Make-up ............................ Suzie Clemo, Release date ..............................July, 1979 Christine Balfour Cast: Tony Bonner (Paul MacFarlanej, Tina Wardrobe ............................... Jim Murray, Bursill (Louise Carter), Bill Stalker (Peter Beverley Powers Fanelli), Deborah Coulis (Jacki Soong), Ken Props b u y e r.................... Ross Hornibrook James (Simon Young), Brian James

TELEV IS IO N SERÍES

AUSTR ALIAN FILM COMMISSION

Bea Smith (Val Lehman), Martha (Kate Jason), and Monica (Lesley Baker) in Prisoner.

560 — Cinema Papers, September-October


m

Production Investments Roger Whittaker (NSW), In Search of a Vanishing Culture — $7615 Projects approved at the AFC meeting in July 1979.

Project Branch Script and Produc­ tion Development Investments Pattie Crocker, additional investment for a firs t draft script of The Shoem aker’s Children — $6500 Darrell Lass, additional investment for a third draft script of Chooks — $3500 Leon Saunders, for a first draft script of The Adventures of Bobby Shappo and the Bandicoot Fire Brigade — $2100 Glyn Davies, additional investment for a second draft script of The Executioner — $2500 Ted Prior, for a third draft script of The Ghost at the Fort — $400 Excalibur Nominees Pty Ltd (PIFT), for a treatment of Falcon Island — $18,900 John Burney and Philip Cornford, for a first draft script of The Bagman — $7775 Deborah Ehrlich, for a second draft script of Down to Earth — $2700 Alan Lowery and Michael Brindley, for a first draft script of Gabrielle — $4500 Ric Blakeney, for a first draft script of The Sisters of the Royal Hotel — $4800 Roger Simpson Productions, for a second draft script of Squizzy — $5000 Michael Moses, for a first draft script of Street Album — $12,500 Palm Beach Pictures, for a treatment of Come in Spinner — $2000

Project Branch Package Develop­ ment Investments Limelight Productions Pty Ltd — $57,980 Focal Films — $39,000 Brian Williams Productions Pty Ltd — $5000

Project Branch Production Invest­ ments Far Flight Investments Pty Ltd, Harlequin — $250,000 Cash Harmon Associates, for one feature film only of Tomorrow Today, or Brainstorm or A Special Place — $250,000 Reg Grundy Productions Pty Ltd, The Secret Valley — $60,000 Reg Grundy Productions Pty Ltd, The Toothbrush Family — $13,000

Project Branch Loans Malcolm Douglas Films, for television production assistance for Return to Niugini — $5200 M alcolm Douglas Films, for television production assistance for The Western Desert — $5200 Paul Drane P ro du ctio n s Pty Ltd, fo r television production assistance for The Prophecies of Nostradamus — $30,000 Far Flight Investments Pty Ltd, completion guarantee for Harlequin — $120,900 Reg G ru n d y P ro d u c tio n s P ty L td , completion guarantee for The Secret Valley — $19,500 '

CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT BRANCH Projects approved at the AFC meeting in June 1979. Script Development Fund Terry Larsen and Nadia Wheatley (NSW), for a first draft script of How Are You — $2000

Geoffrey Beak (NSW), for a first draft script of Mick — $1200 Mark Stow Smith (NSW), for a treatment of Narcissus — $400 Christine Schofield (NSW), for a first draft script of Paradise — $500 Gillian Leahy (NSW), for a documentary script about strip-mining in the Upper Hunter Valley — $950 Andrew Pike (ACT), for a first draft script for The Invasion of .New Guinea or the Fuzzy Wuzzy War — $2580 Mario Andreacchio (SA), for a first draft script of Juva — $1800 Production Fund Geoff Bennett (NSW), The Monster’s Back — $1860 Philip Bull (NSW), The Tender Trap — $8036 Peter Butt (NSW), Man of the Earth, script development — $700 Alessandro Cavadini and Carolyn Strachan (NSW), Borroloola investment — $42,849 City Films (SA), Working Title — $8206 James Clayden (Vic), Investigations — $10,949 Jeff Doring and Susan Bowden (NSW), Morris Louis investment — $13,421 Ivan Durrant (Vic), Sculpture or Landscape — $8614 Kathy Fenton (Qld), Box Flat — $3556 Jacqueline Fine (Vic), His Masters Voice, test scene — $400 Helen Gaynor (Vic), untitled drama — $3540 John Hughes (Vic), untitled documentary — $15,747 Richard Lowenstein (Vic), Evictions — $3131 B r ia n M c K e n z ie ( V ic ) , R a c c o lt o d ’inveno/W inters Harvest — $4231 Richard Maude (NSW), Something beginn­ ing with A rt — $5307

J

David Noakes and Brian McClelland (WA), Wagerup Weekend, script development and additional material — $2113 Susan Sandison (Qld), Glimpses — $1953 Shopfront Theatre Co-op (NSW), untitled children's television pilot test scenes — $870 W.E.S.T. Film/VIdeo (Vic) and Jane Oehr (NSW), Just an Ordinary Life — $14,610 Geoffrey Wright (Vic), Lame Duck — $3284 Felicity Venning (Qld), The Selfish Giant — $2367 Post-production Peter Campbell (NSW), Play Faces — $1556 ' John Laurie (Vic), Life Class — $3720 Ian Pringle (Vic), Marco Polo recut — $800 Peter Schmidt (Tas), Thunderballs — $1935 Salik Silverstein (SA), The Last Goodbye — $3679 Peter Tammer (Vic), Mallacoota Stampede recut — $ 2 0 0 0

FILM A U S TR A LIA

GOONAWARRA PROJECT P ro d u c e r.......................David Bilcock sen. P hotography................. David Bilcock sen. Exec, producer .................Kent Chadwick Length ............................................. 25 mins. Gauge ...............................................16 mm Progress ....................................Production Synopsis: A documentary on the building of a m a jo r h o u s in g d e v e lo p m e n t, p rog re ssively film ed over two years. Produced for the Housing Commission.

LIFE. BE IN IT Prod, company ................................Al Et Al P ro d u ce r.........................................Alex Stitt Length ............................................... 8 mins. Gauge ................................................ 35 rnm Progress ............................Post-production Release date ..............................July, 1979 S ynopsis: An anim ated film fo r the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation ‘Life. Be In It’ program.

LIFE GAMES

C om p o se r............................Bruce Smeaton Exec, producer .................Kent Chadwick Length ............................................. 17 mins. Gauge ............................................... 16 mm Progress .............................Post-production Release date ........................ August, 1979 Synopsis: Documentary on the Port Phillip Sea Pilots — past and present. A saga of the sea. Produced for the Marine Board.

WINNING S criptw rite r................................Nina Syme Exec, producer .................Kent Chadwick Length .............................................17 mins. Gauge ............................................... 16 mm Progress ............................ Pre-production S y n o p sis: P r o file s o f tw o y o u n g intellectually-handicapped people. Their d a y - to -d a y life , th e ir h is to r y and aspirations. The documentary follows a week in their lives, and is set against a background of new care available for the treatment of the mentally handicapped. Produced for the Health Commission.

E d ito r.............................. Mike Woolveridge A s s is ta n t................................Posie Jacobs C om p o se r.............................. Richard Mills Orchestra ................Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Length ............................................. 17 mins. Progress ............................. Post-production Synopsis: A review of the harvesting and potential of Tasmania’s marine resources. Produced for the Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority.

MENTAL HEALTH Dist. company ...................Tasmanian Film Corporation P ro d u ce r.............................Anne Whitehead D ire c to r...............................Anne Whitehead S criptw rite r......................... Anne Whitehead Length .............................................25 mins. Progress ............................ Pre-production Synopsis: A dram atized docum entary e x a m in in g th e c a s e h is t o r y o f a schizophrenic patient in a mental health institution. Produced for thé Mental Health Commission.

Prod, company .. Ian Macrae Productions P ro du ce r............................................Andrea Way MRS HARDING TEACHES Director ..................................... |an Macrae S criptw rite r........................ Kent Chadwick RESOURCEFULLY Photography....................... Keith Wagstaff No up to date details available. Dist. c o m p a n y .................. Tasmanian Film Sound recordist ........................Geof White Corporation E d ito r................................. Brett Southwick P ro du ce r................................................ John Honey Exec, producer ................. Kent Chadwick BOWEN PARK Director ..................................... John Honey Length ............................................. 10 mins. Dist. company ...................Tasmanian Film S criptw rite r.......................... John Patterson Gauge ................................................ 16 mm Photography.......................... Gert Kirchner Corporation Progress ....................................... in release P ro d u ce r........................................... DamienParer Assistant ........................John Jasiukowicz Release date ............................ June, 1979 Sound recordist ...........John Schiefelbein D ire c to r................................................. BarryPierce Synopsis: A film about enjoying yourself S criptw rite r........................................... BarryPierce Prod, assistant.....................John Patterson and taking advantage of the unused Photography.....................Russell Galloway Grip ......................................Gary Clements For details of current productions see Issue outdoor resources of a city to do it. Assistant ........................ John Jasiukowicz E d ito r....................................... Kerry Regan 22 . Produced for the Department of Youth, Production assistant . . . .Daphne Crookes Length .............................................20 mins. Sport and Recreation ‘Life. Be In It' E d ito r.............................. Mike Woolveridge Progress ....................................... In release program. Synopsis: A new teacher arrives at a high Length ............................................. 10 mins. school and finds its resource materials Progress ............................Post-production hopelessly disorganized. She sets about Synopsis: Part of a presentation for visitors MEMO MELBOURNE doing something about it. Produced for the to Bowen Park, the first landing place by the Prod, company .. B & C Film Productions British in Tasmania. The film traces the Tasmanian Education Department. Director ........................ David Bilcock jun. h is to ric a l aspects of d evelopm ent in Photography......................... Peter Bilcock Tasmania. Produced for the National Parks Sound recordist .................Russell Hurley PET CARE CHILDREN AND SAFETY and Wildlife Service. E d ito r........................................ Peter Lamb Prod, company ................. Tasmanian Film Scriptw riters............... Margaret McClusky, Length ............................................. 12 mins. Corporation Russell Porter Gauge ...............................................16 mm CALIBRATING SPRAY EQUIPMENT P ro du ce r................................Damien Parer Exec, producer .................Kent Chadwick Progress ....................................in release Dist. company ...................Tasmanian Film S criptw rite r........................ John Patterson Length ........................................ 4 x 5 mins. Release date .............................June, 1979 Length ............................................. 15 mins. Gauge ...............................................16 mm Corporation Synopsis: A documentary on Melbourne’s P ro d u ce r..................................John Honey Progress ............................ Pre-production Progress ............................ Pre-production commercial and industrial resources. Director .................................. Jack Zalkalns Synopsis: A community awareness film Synopsis: A series of four films on children Produced for the Department of State S criptw rite r.............................................JackZalkalns about pet care. Produced for Uncle Bens of and safety in the home. Produced for the D e v e lo p m e n t, D e c e n tra lis a tio n and Australia. Photography..........................................ChrisMorgan National Safety Council's Victorian division. Tourism. Assistant ................................... Jan Dallas Sound recordist .................George Goerss PITFALLS IN HOUSE-BUILDING CHILDREN AND THE LAW E d ito r.............................. Mike Woolveridge SHRINE Length ............................................. 15 mins. Dist. company ................... Tasmanian Film S criptw rite r.......................... Russell Porter Prod, company ...............Cambridge Film Progress ........................... Post-production Exec, producer .................Kent Chadwick Corporation ■ Productions Synopsis: A film showing farm ers an P ro du ce r..................................John Honey Length ............................................. 25 mins. P ro d u ce r................................................JohnDixon efficient method of getting the best out of Director ................................. Jack Zalkalns Gauge ............................................... 16 mm D ire c to r..................................................JohnDixon their spray equipment. Produced for the S criptw rite r............................Jack Zalkalns Progress ............................ Pre-production E d ito r................................................ Jill Rice Tasmanian Department of Agriculture. Dir. of p ho tog ra ph y....... Russell Galloway Release date ........................ October, 1979 Exec, producer .................Kent Chadwick Sound recordist ........... John Schiefelbein Synopsis: A documentary on children who Length ............................................. 25 mins. E d ito r.................................................... KerryRegan are faced with various legal situations. GLIMPSES Prod, assistant..........................................IanBerwick Produced for the Department of Com­ Gauge ................................................ 16 mm Progress ............................ Post-production Dist. company .................. Tasmanian Film Continuity .......................... Adrienne Elliott munity Welfare Services. Synopsis: A documentary on the history Grip .................................... Gary Clements Corporation and c o n te m p o r a r y s ig n ific a n c e of P ro d u ce r.............................. Damien Parer Length .............................................20 mins. M elbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance. Directors ........................ Alistair Matheson, FOLLOWING IN FATHER’S Progress ................................... Production P roduced for the D epartm ent of the Cast: The Tasmanian Puppet Theatre. Barry Pierce, FOOTSTEPS Premier and the Department of Crown Synopsis: A puppet film. Sally and Sam John Bale, Prod, company ................Filmpartnership Lands. decide to build a project house on their Di Nettlefold P ro du ce r.............................. Mike Brayshaw piece of land. When things go wrong, they Photography.................... Russell Galloway, D ire c to r................................. Karin Altman are saved by the Building Fairy. Produced Gert Kirchner Photography........................ Mike Brayshaw SMOKE for Consumer Protection, Tasmania. Sound recordists .............. Peter McKinley, Sound recordist .................. Ian Jenklnson S criptw rite r...................Solomon Shulman John Schiefelbein E d ito r..................................................... PeterBray Exec, producer .................Kent Chadwick Camera assistant ..........John Jasiukowicz Exec, producer ................... Kent Chadwick Length ............................................. 15 mins. SHIPPING Grip ......................................Gary Clements Prod, manager .. ............... Barbara Boyd Gauge ...............................................16 mm Presenters............................Judith Storey, Dist. company ...................Tasmanian Film R esearch.............................. Barbara Boyd Progress ............................ Pre-production Suzannah Fuchs Corporation Length ............................................. 25 mins. Synopsis: The immediate short-term effects Length ..................................... 20 x 5 mins. P ro du ce r.......................... Anne Whitehead Gauge ...............................................16 mm of smoking as a deterrent to early addiction. Progress ................................... Production D ire c to r................................ Don Anderson Progress ........................... Post-production The documentary is aimed at the young Synopsis: Magazine items on aspects of S criptw rite r...........................Don Anderson Release date .......................... August, 1979 teenage consumer. Produced for the Tasmania. Produced for the Department of Length ............................................. 15 mins. Synopsis: Documentary on the changing D e p a r tm e n t o f Y o u th , S p o r t a nd Tourism. Progress ............................ Pre-production nature of the workforce, with profiles of Recreation. Synopsis: A look at Tasmania's ports and women in unusual jobs. Produced for the shipping fa c ilitie s . P roduced fo r the Department of the Premier (Women's MAP READING Transport Commission. Affairs Section). TAPESTRY WORKSHOP Dist. c o m p a n y ...................Tasmanian Film Prod, company ................. Perfect Pictures Corporation P ro d u c e r..................................................IvanHexter SLIPPERY SLIDE P ro d u ce r.......................... Anne Whitehead FRESHWATER FISHING IN D ire c to r...................................................Paul Jansen Director ................................... Barry Pierce Dist. c o m p a n y ................. Tasmanian Film VICTORIA Photography............................................IvanHexter S criptw rite r.............................. Barry Pierce Corporation S crip tw rite r.......................... Russell Porter E d ito r..........................................Tim Lewis Photography........................................... GertKirchner, P ro du ce r................................Damien Parer Exec, producer .................Kent Chadwick C om p o se r........................................... Arthur Greaves Russell Galloway Director and Length .............................................18 mins. Exec, producer ................... Kent Chadwick Sound recordist ........... John Schiefelbein S criptw riter................... Donald Crombie Gauge .............................................35 mm Length ............................................. 11 mins. E d ito r..............................Mike Woolveridge Length ............................................. 47 mins. Progress ............................ Pre-production Gauge ...............................................35,mm Prod, manager .....................Sherry James Progress ............................ Pre-production Synopsis: The native fishing resources of Progress ..................................... In release Prod, assistant...................Daphne Crooks Synopsis: A documentary on adolescence Victoria’s rivers and the need to conserve Release date ............................ June, 1979 Key g r ip .................................................. GaryClements and delinquency in today's society. them. Produced for the Department of Synopsis: A documentary on the Victorian Length ..................................... 5 x 1 2 mins. C onservation,, Fisheries and W ildlife Tapestry Workshop and the transformation Progress ............................ Post-production Division. of a Roger Kemp painting into a tapestry Synopsis: D ram atized docum e n ta rie s WOMEN AND SPORT which will hang in the National Gallery of taking actual situations in which map­ Dist. company ...................Tasmanian Film Victoria. Produced for the Ministry of the reading is crucial. Produced for the State GIPPSLAND LAKES Corporation Arts. Emergency Service. P ro du ce r............................................... AnneWhitehead Prod, company .. Australian Broadcasting Director ............................. Anne Whitehead Commission S criptw rite r..................................... Christine Schofield THROUGH THE RIP Length ..................................... 4 x 30 mins. MARINE RESOURCES Length .............................................20 mins. Gauge ...............................................16 mm Prod, c o m p a n y ......... F. Stop Productions Dist. company ...................Tasmanian Film Progress ............................ Pre-production Progress .......................... Awaiting release P ro d u c e r........... Edward McQueen-Mason Corporation Synopsis: A documentary to encourage Release date ................. September, 1979 D ire c to r..............................Terry McMahon P ro du ce r............................... Damien Parer girls to take a more active interest in sport Synopsis: A documentary on the Glppsland S criptw rite r........................ Terry McMahon Director ..................................Roger Lupton and other physical pursuits, and to create Lakes region of Victoria. Produced for the Photography — ................. Peter Bilcock Commentary w rite r............. John Patterson awareness of the conditioning that inhibits Department of Conservation for television Sound recordist ................... John Phillips Photography.......................................RussellGalloway their physical self-expression. Produced for release in conjunction with the ABC. E d ito r..................Edward McQueen-Mason Sound recordist ........... John Schiefelbein the Education Department. ★

TASM AN IAN FILM CORPORATION

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Cinema Papers. September-October — 561


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The Last of the Knucklemen

Hibberd’s Dimboola) have tapped the size­ able pool of quality material available. Yet, it is with mixed feelings that one approaches Tim Burstall’s adaptation of John Powers’ lively, though limited, The Keith Connolly Last o f the Knucklemen. This three-act drama, set on a north-west drilling site (the Australia experienced an explosion of film changes the locale to Central Austra­ theatrical talent in step with, but a little lia), is simplistic, but interesting enough ahead of, its film renaissance. By the time within narrow confines, although it our cinema was launched upon the fruitful degenerates in the last act into rough-house 1970s, playwrights like David Williamson, soap opera. (Compellingly, though. I well Alexander Buzo, Jack Hibberd, John remember my surprise at the rapturous Romeril and Dorothy Hewett (to name only reception the sophisticated Melbourne the front-runners) were shaking the stage opening-night audience accorded its jejune with fresh, vivid insights into contemporary climax in 1973.) Australian life. On the face of it then. The Last of the Little of this dramatic outpouring has Knucklemen is ideally suited to Burstall’s reached the screen. Nobody wants to see proven facility for depicting the Australian Australian film swamped by productions male animal in all his pristine vainglory derived, as the Academy of Motion Picture (Stork, Petersen, Alvin Purple). Too ideally, Arts and Sciences pompously has it, “ from perhaps, and time after time, the film another medium’', but it is a pity that, so far, whoops the superficial naturalism of the play few films (the notable exceptions being Tom t into comic-book bathos. Jeffrey’s The Removalists and Bruce Beres-! Burstall’s screenplay is surprisingly faith­ ford’s Don’s Party, both by Williamson, and ful to the ascending theatrical pitch of the Jo h n D u ig a n ’s ex p an d ed version of original, but the film’s trouble lies not so

much in the script as in the tenacity with which, in almost every expository scene, he goes for the dramatic jugular. The excep­ tions to this stridently elemental approach help prove the point. The best thing in the film is a high-stakes card game between Methuselah (Michael Duffield), a sick old gambler, and Pansy (Mike Preston), the camp stirrer — characters granted a greater dimension in Burstall’s conception (and very well played). When Methuselah — Duffield, who created the role on stage, gives it a nice blend of pathos and irony — enunciates his limited remaining ambitions only to see them blighted in one hand of poker, the film gains in warmth and substance. By comparison, the other characters, even that of Tarzan (Gerard Kennedy), the legendary knuckleman of the title, are patently basic theatrical devices. Tarzan, the crew foreman, is fiercely possessive of his ‘turf, a squalid little domain he dominates by force of personality and reminders of his fading physical prowess. As Methuselah explains to newcomer Monk (Michael Caton), knucklemen like Tarzan are relics of

“ the old days” when the riff-raff had to be held in check by men good with their fists. Still very much the top dog, Tarzan announces his staff-relations policy after the apparently non-unionized, cowed, crew display a rare solidarity (when the fore­ man’s back is turned): “ Any of this bullshit about all for one and one for all and you’ll be booted down the road. This isn’t General Motors or BHP! You’re day laborers on a wildcat mine . . . you’re not hired to be smart alecs or talk-back merchants!” As Tarzan storms away after this harangue (there is a lot more) the workers are trans­ fixed like Greyfriars fags who have been dressed down by the head prefect. One hesitates to even mention Ken Hannam’s Sunday Too Far Away in this context, for fear of appearing to equate two superficially-similar films, but a compari­ son between the essential authenticity of Hannam’s shearers and the ambivalent Tim Burstuil’s The Last of the Knucklemen: a morality tale in which flawed but humane Good triumphs over cracked and sneaky Evil.

Cinema Papers. September-October — 563


THE LAST OF THE KNUCKLEMEN

docility of Burstall's drillers is, invidiously, inevitable. If there really are groups of outback workers like the drilling crew, I am sure Lang Hancock would like to hear from them. At bottom, and that’s not far beneath the frothy surface, Knucklemen is an artless morality tale in which flawed but humane Good triumphs over cracked and sneaky Evil. It's not hard to identify the Good Guys; they smile more, swear less and are passing fair in appearance. The baddies scowl darkly, curse horribly and probably pull the wings off live flies. What’s more, one of them, Carl (Steve Rackman), is a German of quite grotesque Hunishness (again un­ typically, only two new Australians are sighted throughout the film). Carl is brought to the camp by Pansy to "do” Tarzan with big money wagered on the result. Both baddies get their come-uppance when the enigmatic Tom (Peter Hehir), a fugitive payroll robber and karate expert, fights in Tarzan’s stead, proving that nice guys can finish first — if they have a black belt. (The ugly racism of the Carl episode is matched by the primitive sexism inherent in a sequence depicting a visit to the area by a mobile brothel). In the main, Knucklemen is commend­ able, if unadventurous technically. Leslie Binns' functionally theatrical bunk-house set is sparsely claustrophobic, as befits the cock­ pit of nearly all significant action. The tensions and temper of the plot originate there and Burstall wisely confines most of the exterior sequences to background authentication — the men at work, visits to the small town, swimming in a muddy stream. While Dan Burstall’s camera is out of doors (glowing, perhaps inescapably, with picture-postcard hues) Burstall briefly dis­ cards montage. A crucial discussion among the workers on the job is shot in a single take, the camera moving back and forth among the participants. The music, scored by Bruce Smeaton, features a plinking banjo motif implying red­ neck heartiness, while a yowling, wordless vocal, probably less unintentionally, is appropriate to the general thematic blank­ ness. In sum, Knucklemen is disappointing, not for any marked defect of rendition, but rather because Burstall (who, of course, knows precisely what he is doing) keeps his sights so low. The Last of the Knucklemen: Directed by: Tim Burstall. Producer: Tim Burstall. Associate producer: Byron Kennedy. Screenplay: Tim Bur­ stall. Director of photography: Dan Burstall. Editor: Edward McQueen-Mason. Music: Bruce Smeaton. Art director: Leslie Binns. Sound recor­ dist: John Phillips. Cast: Gerard Kennedy, Mike Preston. Peter Hehir. Michael Duffield, Dennis Miller. Production company: Hexagon Produc­ tions Ply Ltd. Distributor: Roadshow. 35mm. 93 mins. Australia. 1979.

My Brilliant Career Brian McFarlane Just when it seemed that 1979 was not to be a good year for Australian films, My Brilliant Career arriv ed to restore confidence and take its place with the six best films this country had produced in the liveliest decade of its cinema history. Gillian Armstrong’s film is, with one ex­ ception, wholly true to the spirit of Miles Franklin’s semi-autobiographical novel, and, in my view, greatly improves on the letter of that exuberant but over-exclamatory work. There are limits to the allowances one is in­ clined to make for the youth of the author (22 when the book was published in 1901) and she often mistakes girlish gush for zest. But it does have a tough-mindedness that

564 — Cinema Papers, September-October

MY BRILLIANT CAREER

Sybyllu (Judy Davis) and Aunt Helen (Wendy Hughes) in Gillian Armstrong's My Brilliant Career.

flashes out intermittently and stays with us at the end. The strength of Eleanor Witcombe’s screenplay is in grasping and holding to the vitality and independence of Franklin’s vi­ sion and shearing away its jaunty excesses. She keeps the heroine’s likability and deter­ mination, and eschews the irritating slanginess and self-conscious romanticism that clog the book. In doing so, she has given director and star something really substan­ tial and coherent to work on, and has con­ siderably surpassed her own efforts in The Getting of Wisdom. The film’s explicitness about its heroine is very much Miles Franklin’s. When Sybylla (Judy Davis) says to her suitor: “ Give me a chance to find out what’s wrong with the world, with me, with everything” , or, in finally refusing his proposal, “ I can’t lose myself in someone else’s life till I’ve lived my own” , the words may be Witcombe’s, but their tone and emphasis are Franklin’s. They might make us wince if the Sybylla, created by the Armstrong-Witcombe-Davis combine, were less attractive and credible; she is a good deal more so than Franklin’s wearying high-spirited heroine. The film, like the novel, is framed by its protagonist’s autobiographical intentions. Plain white credits on a black background give way to a bleak, lovely Australian land­ scape with a single corrugated-iron house. As wind and dust blow through open win­ dows and doors, Sybylla, with endearing egotism, begins to read the story of her brilliant career, oblivious of the uncongenial surroundings. The film ends with the early-morning freshness of long shafts of light falling between trees and behind Sybylla as she con­ signs her finished manuscript to Black­ wood’s, Edinburgh. As she leans on a sliprail gate, the audience is left on a note of quiet optimism. Between these framing images, the film

briskly pursues Sybylla’s career as she moves from the genteel poverty of home, to the more gracious comforts of her grand­ mother’s house, to the opulence of Harry Beecham’s property, Five-Bob Downs, to the slab-built squalors of the McSwats’ where she goes as a governess, and back home again (if not, one feels, for long). As it recreates these changes of setting and their importance in Sybylla’s growth, the film emerges as a triumph of mise en scene. It’s not just a matter of that loving at­ tention to detail that evokes the limited pleasure of recognition. Rather, much of the film’s meaning is made in the impact of changing scenes on Sybylla; in the tensions created between her and the places she finds herself in. In the early scenes at home, for instance, the recreation of the Victorian period

through ornately-framed photographs, and the jangling of the piano (as Sybylla plays) against the background of family chores es­ tablishes her separateness from — and, in­ deed, opposition to — her environment. By contrast, and it is a dramatic contrast in that she works towards the expansion of Sybylla’s consciousness, are the alert, economical scenes establishing the comfort and abundance of Caddagat, her grand­ mother’s home, with its soft interiors beautifully lit (Don McAlpine excelling himself), its more formal, gracious manners, and its superior piano which Sybylla plays, properly listened to this time. As the camera cuts from Sybylla’s delight in her room (her mother’s old one) at Cad­ dagat — luxurious white rugs, pretty wallpaper, canopied bed — to her mother working in her dingy kitchen at home, the


MY BRILLIANT CAREER

audience is not just being asked to admire Luciana Arrighi’s art direction, though they certainly should do so. A point is being made about what the girl has escaped from: that is, from the debilitating poverty that has made her mother (Julie Blake) careworn and com­ plaining, a poverty that cannot find time or place for the life of the kind which Sybylla craves. Caddagat is an opening up of pos­ sibilities for her. The lush natural background, at Cad­ dagat and at Five-Bob Downs, sets off and helps to account for the social graces within. In this gentler, more yielding landscape, the film suggests, it is easier to be cultivated and independent. In contrast with the swirling dust racing through open doors and windows at home, here we get views of verdant gardens lightly beckoning as seen from cool interiors. This kind of natural receptiveness to man is epitomized in an exquisite long-shot: the composition of this scene, in which fencerails cross the foreground and Sybylla’s red sunshade dominates the dappled, leafy greenness of the middle-ground through which the river runs, achieves a Monet-like impressionism. The shot seems not merely artistic, but about art and people in harmonious set­ tings. The scene has a nicely-judged anti­ climax as Sybylla chucks the bunch of flowers brought her by the pompous English jackaroo in the river. The film’s visual style has been stressed here because it is more than a style; it is the chief source of the film’s coherence. The grandeur of the Five-Bob Downs colonnade recalls the shot of the verandah of the country pub to which Sybylla had earlier gone to find her drunken father. However, where the camera passes through the colon­ nade to yet more elegance within, in the earlier scene it pulls back from the verandah to subvert our notions of the pub’s charm by revealing its ugly squatness. The striking overhead shot of Sybylla dancing, somewhat wildly, at Caddagat, contrasts with the decorum of the breakfast scene the next day, or with the soft fireside interior at Five-Bob Downs. These later scenes, suggesting the constraints that work on Sybylla, resonate with the recollection of the earlier one. The idea of Sybylla being wrenched out of the pleasures of Caddagat to go to work for the McSwats is underlined *in the way this unpleasant news cuts into the serene image of the girl in the blossom tree. The extent of this break is made in tersely-effective visual terms: “ Do her the world of good — make her think of other people,” says Granny (Aileen Britton) complacently in her com­ fortable sitting-room, and the camera cuts to the filthy McSwat children. The congeries of broken-down huts that is the McSwat farm is caught in a brilliant long-shot that suggests all the worst kinds of slothful in­ competence; it is juxtaposed to a prettilycomposed scene of Granny and Aunt Helen (Wendy Hughes) on the terrace at Caddagat. If I am making the film’s procedures sound too schematic, I don’t mean to do so. What I want to point to is the intelligent way one scene is enriched by contrasts or parallels with another; the ways in which recollection of one image informs another. Sybylla’s final meeting with Harry (Sam Neill) at a dam-side, where she is trying to pull a sheep out of the mud, recalls the idyllic punting scene at Five-Bob Downs. Judy Davis makes something very affecting of her efforts to explain why she can’t marry Harry, and part of the tension of the scene is due to our recalling that earlier scene of pleasantness between them. The film’s sense of relationships is also reassuringly firm-minded. The feeling between H arry and Sybylla deepens satisfyingly from the first meeting which has a tension that’s comic and sexual to the last

DAYS OF HEAVEN

when, half-reluctantly, she dismisses him. Much will probably be made of Miles Franklin’s ‘feminism’ here (and of woman director and scriptwriter), but the Film’s strength is less to be found in a proselytizing approach to a cause than its sympathetic un­ derstanding of a character and a personality struggling to establish and assert itself. The film is therefore equally generous in its treatment of Harry: he is allowed an im­ pressive stillness and maturity that make his love worth having. For Sybylla, this cannot be enough, though she is aware of how near­ ly it is so. Gillian Armstrong has chosen her stars well: Judy Davis and Sam Neill create a relationship that is wholly believable in its suggestions of sexuality, in the feelings chief­ ly withheld, but occasionally expressed in a burst of activity like the dancing at Five-Bob Downs, and in its Final emotional inequality. The one major blot on the film is the ab­ surd pillow-fight between Sybylla and Harry which begins in the house and continues through garden and paddocks. It seems no more than an opportunity for a camera­ man’s virtuoso display. If it is meant to suggest a sense of sexual release for the two young people, it is incredible given the stage of their relationship. It has nothing to do with Miles Franklin, or with the rest of this lovely and touching film. The film’s other relationships are well­ handled. Because they bear directly on S y b y l l a ’s g r o w t h , they c o n t r i b u t e significantly to the film’s coherence. Much of her growth can be traced through her relationships with her mother, her grand­ mother, her Aunt Helen whose husband has left her, Harry’s Aunt Gussy (Patricia Ken­ nedy), and the slatternly Mrs McSwat (Carole Skinner). What she learns from her dealings with each of these is unobtrusively realized and each has her role in the drama of Sybylla’s growing self-awareness. All these roles are perceptively written and played, but Wendy Hughes is outstan­ ding: reminiscent of the early Geraldine Fitzgerald, she brings the right grace, warmth, and suppressed sadness to Aunt Helen.

Brooke Adams as Abby in Terence Malick’s Days of Heaven. ,

Gillian Armstrong has kept her eye, and her mind, firmly on where this film is leading us. It is always sumptuous to look at, marvellously lit and composed, but doesn’t suffer from Creeping Beauty; Nathan Waks’ score, using Schumann’s Scenes from Childhood, helps to create that tone of blended poignancy and resilience which is part of the film’s meaning; and the editing works constantly to reinforce the film’s imagistic patterns. My Brilliant Career is essentially about a girl’s determined movement towards a maturity that will suit her, and almost everything in the film works towards delineating this process. My Brilliant Career: Directed by: Gill Armstrong. Producer: Margaret Fink. Associate producer: Jane Scott. Screenplay: Eleanor Witcombe. Direc­ tor of photography: Don McAlpine. Editor: Nick Beauman. Music: Nathan Waks. Art director: Luciana Arrighi. Sound recordist: Don Connolly. Cast: Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Patricia Kennedy, Wendy Hughes, Robert Grubb. Production com­ pany: Margaret Fink Films. Distributor: GUO Film Distributors. 35mm. 100 mins. Australia. 1979.

Days of Heaven Meaghan Morris Terence Malick’s Days of Heaven won the award for best direction at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, as well as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Award for best cinematography. And, indeed, it is a film of extraordinary beauty; an exceptional film, which leaves one directly confronting the grubby conven­ tionality of the language of lavish praise. For beauty, these days, is too saccharin a term for a film like Days of Heaven. While each image flauntingly displays an almost outrageously excessive offering of visual

pleasure, the film as a whole is regulated by a strong and severely abstract system of recurring elements. It’s an ancient system: fire, water, earth and air, and the themes of the film itself are composition and movement. The alchemy of Days of Heaven is in the tension of op­ posites, which exist, not in conflict, but in paradoxical combination. It’s a film about industrialization structured by a pre­ industrial cosmology; a film of rich sen­ suality tempered by distance and detach­ ment; and a series of perfectly-composed tableaux in which nothing stays still. The social tensions of the world of Days of Heaven are elemental, and the story they engender is a simple one which carries a haunting sense of predictability — and deja vu — at every step. Bill (Richard Gere), his lover Abby (Brooke Adams) and his little sister Linda (Linda Manz) materialize from a series of sepia stills and sketches, a jumble of signs of an American past of European immigrants and industrial slums, which we now want to interpret as the beginning of a nostalgia film. This expectation breaks down fairly quickly. The exact period of the film seems vague and difficult to identify — a train crowded with vagrants suggests a Holly­ wood Depression, but the clothes are wrong — and the setting, for a while, is anywhere that a train ride can lead, from a city of fur­ naces to a grand and anonymous expanse of grain waiting to be harvested. A long way into the film we are dropped, nonchalantly and unmistakably, into a specific place and time — Amarillo, 1916. Meanwhile, we have been confronted with a vision of the space and time lived by the nomadic poor. The film is narrated by Linda, who names the time of the events, at the beginning, as “ a time of suffering and pain and hunger” . . . Of the present in which she tells the story, we have no idea. At times the distance between the ageless urchin voice and the girl on the screen seems minimal (“ Sometimes I feel very old”); at others she seems to be looking back over an immense distance, which has little to do with time at all, but rather wisdom and detach­ ment. But at every moment, everything, for her, has already happened. Bill is working in a factory in Chicago. He has a fight with some kind of boss, and ap­ parently kills him. We cannot hear what is said over the roar of the furnaces, and miss details of the action in the flicker of flame and shadow. What is said and how it’s done are quite unimportant; the situation itself is primary and needs no such reassuring rein­ forcement. The three of them ride a train to somewhere, stop at a place where a wealthy farmer (Sam Shepard) needs sackers for his harvest. The farmer sees Abby, and asks her to stay. He is said to have only a year to live. Bill, travelling as her brother, urges her to accept so that they can all have a chance to enjoy the farmer’s money. Abby marries the farmer. A tragedy slowly prepares itself inside this unstable combination of itinerants and sett­ lers, who experience different modes of in­ security and exclusion. Abby’s affections shift. Bill stands out in the cold, looking up at the house and the warm square of light at the window pane. He leaves; then a year later the workers come again from the train for the harvest. Bill returns too, but on a motor-cycle. The farmer stands on the top of his turrets, lending his wind-vane, and looks down to see a brief caress; a farewell he does not under­ stand. The coming of the nomads heralds the disaster of a locust plague. The fragile balance between fixture and the forces of movement explodes; the fields go up in flames, and the farmer dies by violence before nature can have its way. But tragedy, however, belongs to the culture of settlement; loss and disaster as-

Cinema Papers, September-October — 565


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DAYS OF HEAVEN

sume an absolute proportion for those rooted in possession, cultivation, prosperity and permanence. The tragedy is that of the farmer, and the foreman (Robert Wilke) who cherished him like a son, and has nothing left at the end but revenge. For the itinerants, the meaning of loss is different. Bill is shot, and the women grieve; but they move on, find other affections, with no sense of finality or pre-ordained end. Their relationships are intense and loyal, but always potentially fleeting. There is an overpowering sense of distance in Days of Heaven: the distance of huge spaces which contain and nurture move­ ment, which hold out shifting possibilities of menace and pleasure; as well as a strange kind of emotional distance, a shifting per­ spective on the human beings who alternate­ ly loom huge on the screen in their painful particularity, and shrink to tiny indistin­ guishable silhouettes dwarfed by their sur­ roundings. Throughout the film we too are held at a distance by the intervention of the retrospec­ tive narration. When Linda’s insistent, lilting voice stops, we are drawn into the characters, templed to identify, and lured into the tragic mode; but then the voice begins again, imposing its commentary and inflecting all emotion in a rise and fall of resignation. Linda calmly discusses the composition of human beings, sees no harm in the lonely farmer who takes Abby from her brother, finds that “ Nobody’s perfect . . . you just got half devil and half angel in you” . But for the farmer, Abby has to be an angel. For as long as she seems to be one, the three wanderers live their days of heaven; playing with cultivation, throwing food on the ground for fun, laughing in the water, far from the fur­ naces of Chicago. One image captures the fragility of this paradoxical time, in which the heaven of the pleasures of security and permanence is measured in days which are numbered; a wine glass, glinting under the water, dropped carelessly by Bill and Abby on a night stolen together while the farmer sleeps. Days of Heaven is composed of classical images of heaven and hell, good and evil, ex­ ploiting the ambiguities of flame and darkness; of the river which gives pleasure and death; of the earth and the wheat-fields which are spaces of pastoral delight and cruel labor; and of the wind which ruffles Abby’s hair, and brings plague. This imagery is curiously de-moralized in the film, given a historical and social mean­ ing, and used to order a world in which sub­

TIM

jective experience is not of good and evil in the ethical sense, but of the alternation of pain and pleasure, insecurity and safety, threat and tranquillity. Clear-cut moral dichotomies, also, belong to the farmer’s world, in which we are never allowed to become fully involved. Instead, the symbols of evil — the insects, the scarecrow, the grotesque and chattering wind-vane (with a chicken that might be the envy of Werner Herzog as its natural companion) — become bearers of indefinable menace. The sense of menace is linked to disrup­ tion, to a change in the winds, to the in­ evitable breaking of an equilibrium, a state. Everything in Days of Heaven returns to motion; a motion which is at work in the very finest details of the film. Roland Barthes once said, with remark­ able simplicity, that the primary force of Eisenstein is due to the fact that “ no image is boring” .' In those terms, a comparison with Malick’s film is tempting. But the gulf is even more striking, and it is something to do with the politics of the meaning of move­ ment. Barthes also argued that Eisenstein’s ‘tableaux’ required a fetishist subject to cut them out, and that in the long run this point of meaning is always the law. However that may be, the Eisensteinian beauty of ordered lines of tractors harmonizing in moving diagonals would be impossible in Malick’s fiIm. Instead, we have the shot of the laborers moving in front of the farmer’s house. The house itself is a fantastic construction, poised hugely off-centre in the horizon; and the darkened figures move about below it, going to and fro in different directions, drifting slowly through the fields. The narration of Days of Heaven begins with a memory of a time when the apocalypse was predicted; when people awaited a world which would go up in flames. It ends, however, not with the fire that destroys the farm, or the gunshot which ends Bill’s life, but with a memory of an un­ named girl; a stray good friend, who didn’t know where she was going or what she was going to do. At the end, the film itself simply lets things go, and imposes no sense of finality, closure, or absolute break. In the place of the last apocalypse is a kind of muted and fragile triumph of the nomads — a triumph of those who expect no final victory at all but to pass on and start again. I. “ Diderot, Brecht. Eisenstein” , in Image-MusicText., Fontana, p.72

The in-laws meet in Tim: Dawn’s fiance Mick (David Foster). Mrs Melville (Pat Evison) and Mick's mother (Margo Lee).

Days of Heaven: Directed by: Terrence Malick. Producers: Bert Schneider, Harold Schneider. Executive Producer: Jacob Brackman. Associate producers: Michie Gleason, John Chesko, Michael Burns, Leslie Cox. Screenplay: Terrence Malick. Director of photography: Nestor Almendros. Editor: Billy Weber. Music: Ennio Morricone. Art director: Jack Fisk. Cast: Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard, Linda Manz. Production company: Paramount Pictures. Distributor: Cinema International Corporation. 35mm. 93 mins. U.S. 1979-.

Tim Dorothy Hewett Advertised as “ a love story of an older woman and a younger, intellectually han­ dicapped man” , the idea behind Tim sounded interesting; but unfortunately the film pussyfoots around the subject with a shallow and sentimental script, and the result is basically dishonest. There is so much left unsaid that should have been explored in Tim, and so much is overstated that fails to make its point that the actors, struggling to develop some sort of veracity, are left with egg on their faces most of the tirrie. This applies in particular to Tim (Mel Gibson), the spunky laborer who is not, as he and his father put it, “ the full quid” , and Mary Horton (Piper Laurie), the “older woman” , a well-heeled American who runs her own business, reads books, listens to classical music, teaches Tim to read Wind in the Willows, falls in love, and eventually marries him for a presumably “ happy ever after” ending. The amount of time Mary spends eyeing Tim ’s magnificent torso and muscular thighs, as he mows her lawn or runs along the beach fronting her holiday home, makes it fairly obvious what she is thinking, although she doesn’t seem to know. It’s the “ lady and the laborer” story all over again; but this time the laborer is a slow learner as well. Without knowing quite what else to do, Mel Gibson looks magnificent, and plays Tim as a stupid, overgrown, ox-like nature child with wide smile and lots of physical ac­ tion. Piper Laurie’s Mary is a strange mix­ ture of self-sufficient career lady and in­ hibited spinster. The audience never learns why she is unmarried, why she is so emotionally-inhibited, or why she has such a divided view of herself. If these things were explained she would be much more in­ teresting. Tim is, in fact, much closer to a tele­

feature than a feature film. In an attempt to make the subject palatable for general audiences, the situations involving real con­ flict are glossed over. Tim’s sexual maturity, allied to his intellectual handicap, doesn’t seem to give him any trouble at all until the moment of truth in the sand dunes. Tim and Mary’s awkward first night, which, of course, only happens after marriage (it’s 1979, but nobody in this film ever entertains any other solution), is treated with lots of misty close-ups and soft dis­ solves. It’s all like an ad-man’s concept for promoting toilet paper, right down to Eric Jupp’s sugary score, which comes in at all the appropriate moments. Even the a t t e m p t to m a k e Tim cosmopolitan, rather than Australian — with an eye, I suppose, to overseas markets — only succeeds in further clouding the script. Sometimes the film does attempt to move into Australian social realism, par­ ticularly in the scenes showing the workingclass family in the pub, around the TV, and having a pre-wedding round of champagne in the hotel with the daughter’s middle-class in-laws (one of the best scenes in the film — although it seems to have strayed in from another script, as indeed do Alwyn Kurts and Pat Evison playing Tim’s parents). Pat Evison’s heart attack is also completely, and horrifyingly, believable. Why then does this kind of reality evade the scenes involving Tim and Mary? I suspect it is precisely because the real issues in the script are evaded. The film’s rather loose and slow-moving story is organized around family rituals which are set in a different world from the evolving relationship of Tim and Mary. There are many attempts to show them mov­ ing in a world apart from the social conven­ tions that surround them, and they are con­ tinually placed in Eden-like situations: gar­ dening together, walking by the sea, alone at the beach house. Their marriage, a liberated civil ceremony conducted by a woman celebrant, takes place in the garden; whereas Tim’s sister, Dawnie (Deborah Kennedy), is married to her middle-class lover, Mick (David Foster), with four bridesmaids, and, as she says, “ the works” . However, there is no real attempt to place a value judgment on the two weddings, ex­ cept that Dawnie and Mick are the only real critics of Tim’s friendship and marriage to Mary. Everybody else seems to be tickled to death — a situation which is hard to believe would exist in Australian suburbia. Perhaps we are vaguely being asked to compare the pressures behind the marriage of Dawnie

Tim (Mel Gibson, centre) tells Mick (David Foster, left) and Ron (Alwyn Kurts) that he is upset by the family's reaction to Mary (Piper Laurie).

Cinema Papers, September-October — 567


MY SURVIVAL AS AN ABORIGINAL

and Mick with the relative freedom of Tim and Mary’s friendship. Tim does attempt to deal with one forbid­ den Australian subject: the sexual life of the middle-aged woman. In the opening shots, Mary sees herself as an ageing woman; her dress, her movements, her conversation and reactions all reveal this.But Mary is obvious­ ly sexually attractive, self-reliant, and in­ tellectually and socially well above average. Even though she has lived in Australia for 20 years, she is an American who has presumably seen something of the world, and is therefore less likely to fall for Aus­ tralian stereotypes. Tim tells her, at their first meeting, that he has never met anyone like her. How could a woman of her intellectual abilities and background ever manage more than a night or two with Tim? I have an uneasy feeling that the film may be saying that for the middle-aged woman, sex and love are only possible, or acceptable, within a maternal context, with an innocent who is “ not the full quid” . And this uncertainty underlines all the grey areas, evasions, and pulling back in the script. Perhaps this, and the uneasiness with the Australian background, are a reflection of the original Colleen McCullough novel. Popular writers, aiming at the general market, often set their novels in ambiguous physical and moral landscapes. Prudish, and weirdly old-fashioned, Tim fails to make an honest exploration; instead, it is prurient, embarrassing and glossy. Which is a pity, because the Australian Film industry badly needs honest, perceptive and modern scripts about love in 1979, par­ ticularly love in the forbidden areas, outside the sexual stereotypes. Tim: Directed by: Michael Pate. Producer: Michael Pate. Associate producer: Geoffrey Gar­ diner. Screenplay: Michael Pate. Director of photography: Paul Onorato. Editor: David Stiven. Music: Eric Jupp. Art director: John Carroll. Sound recordist: Les McKenzie. Cast: Piper Laurie, Mel Gibson, Alwyn Kurts, Pat Evison, Deborah Kennedy. Production company: Pisces Productions. Distributor: GUO Film Distributors. 35mm. 100 mins. Australia. 1979.

My Survival as an Aboriginal and Robin Campbell — Old Fellow Now Bobbi Sykes In the black community, My Survival as an Aboriginal is known simply as “ Essie’s film” . It was directed by Essie Coffey, shot

FEDORA

by Martha Ansara, and the editing was done under Coffey’s supervision — often from 1000 km away. Coffey also composed the music and sang the three songs which feature in it. Robin Campbell — Old Fellow Now is the brainchild of Alec Morgan. Unlike My Sur­ vival, which centres around Coffey, and where the drive to raise the funds and make it came directly from her, Robin Campbell became the willing subject of Morgan’s enthusiasm. Robin Campbell is a terrific old man, an elder of the Murrawarri tribe, which is also Essie’s tribal group.1 Campbell is 75 and, considering the short life expectancy of Aboriginal people, this is a feat in itself. He lives in a corrugated-iron shack after work­ ing for more than 50 years as a shearer, drover, and country hand. Campbell used to carve emu eggs, too, but as he says, “you need good eyes for that” , possibly without realizing that the skilful craft of egg-carving is becoming as rare as emu eggs. He carves wood figures now, and his friends visit him to yarn the day away. Since Campbell’s speech is affected by his old age, Bill Reid of Bourke provides the narration. Reid is one of the few remaining egg-carvers. The script for Robin Campbell was written by Morgan from the words of Robin Camp­ bell, and the film is about Campbell’s memories of the old days — including things he saw and learnt as a child and a young man. Many of these recollections are acted out in the film using his young relatives. In one, the legend of the Blue Crane when it was a woman is re-enacted. For this scene the actors wore period costume, which, unfortunately, detracts a great deal from the validity of the presentation. I am not sure how this type of problem can be overcome — perhaps using flesh-colored leotards and kangaroo or possum skins might work — but it is definitely disconcerting to see the Blue Crane wearing a government-issue blanket at a time, supposedly, before it was even a bird. Despite this, Robin Campbell works. The camp fires on dark nights, the stories, and the excellent performances of Campbell’s untrained relations, all add to the authen­ ticity of this old man’s memories of a time now passed. On the other hand, My Survival makes a clear social statement, but not in a political manner. The film is about 38 year-old Essie Coffey who lives in a dilapidated house that has no hot water or sewerage. The walls are broken, the roof leaks, and there are holes in the floor. Coffey shares this two-bedroom 1. My Survival and Robin Campbell were shot in the same place at the same time.

Alec Morgan’s Robin Campbell — Old Fellow Now: about Robin Campbell’s memories of the old days.

568 — Cinema Papers, September-October

Essie Coffey surrounded by some of her family in My Survival as an Aboriginal.

dwelling with 18 other people. (She is married and has 18 children, 10 of them adopted.) The audience, however, is not told about this. Nor does Coffey say how difficult it is for her to live in these conditions. They merely form a backdrop for the real story: how Aboriginal culture and tradition have survived, despite efforts, over 200 years, to obliterate it. Coffey lives in West Brewarrina, across the Barwon River, away from where the white folk of the town live. This black sub­ urb is known locally as Dodge City. Her efforts to preserve Aboriginal culture are depicted in scenes where she is shown teaching bushcraft to groups of children — the same bushcraft she learnt from her parents as a little girl. Coffey passes on her knowledge of the culture, and leads the children on a successful tracking expe­ dition, which brings its own reward in the form of an earth-baked porcupine — still an Aboriginal feast. Coffey also instils in the children a sense of pride: “This is your land” , she says, though it is likely — as often happens in Brewarrina — that they could be arrested for trespass while hunting on it. My Survival is full of contrasts. For exam­ ple, in a class-room scene where, shortly after the return from the hunting expe­ dition, the white school teacher gives the children a lesson in Australian history — white style. Coffey managed to get the co-operation of a surprising number of people during the making of My Survival. Even the local police continue with their usual arrests, even though they know the cameras are on them. Her real support is most evident, however, in the scenes filmed in and around her house. A sense of ‘family’ abounds, particularly when Coffey lines up the members of the household and explains her relationship to each with great affection, while the small children swing on her skirts. There is no acting, no dressing up for the occasion, nor any camera-induced bonhomie. Coffey is the focus of the film, moving through it as she moves through her life, with a word of kindness here, a word of help­ ful advice there, a word of explanation — and even a very straight word where it is needed too! Despite C offey’s obviously heavy domestic workload, we see her holding a birthday party for one of the members of the household, and the relaxed casual air at the barbecue puts away any idea that it might have been contrived. Of course, it is not the usual ‘snags and beer’ barbecue; a fresh catch from the river is laid on the coals alongside the Aboriginal favorite, ‘johnny cakes’.

All the usual things white people associate with Aboriginals are there in My Survival, including dilapidated houses, overcrowding, and drinking, but the film also presents a rare insight into the ‘hows and whys’ of this lifestyle. And, of course, Essie Coffey’s very presence denies that these bedraggled people end up that way just because it is inevitable. Coffey has a firm grasp on the complex­ ities of the European way of life, and of the sophisticated tactics (witness this film) re­ quired for our continued survival. Yet her outlook on life is simple. She is mother to her brood, and a friend to all who need one. Her positions on the Aboriginal Legal Ser­ vice in Brewarrina (of which she is co­ founder) and the Aboriginal Land Trust (NSW) are an extension, as she sees it, of her concern for her family and neighbors. My Survival as an Aboriginal received the Documentary of the Year Award and the Rouben Mamoulian Award at this year’s Sydney Film Festival. My Survival as an Aboriginal: Directed by: Essie Coffey. Screenplay: Essie Coffey. Director of photography: Martha Ansara. Editor: Kit Guyatt. Music: Essie Coffey. Fred Edgar, Zac Martin. Production company: Goodgabah Productions. Distributor: AFI, Sydney Filmmakers Co­ operative: 16mm. 50 mins. Australia. 1979. Robin Campbell — Old Fellow Now: Directed by: Alec Morgan. Screenplay: Robin Campbell, Alec Morgan. Director of photography: Martha An­ sara. Editor: Ronda Macgregor. Music: Ralph Schneider. Nic Lyons, Johnny Marshall. Sound recordist: Annmarie Chandler. Cast: The people of the Brewarrina Aboriginal community, New South Wales. Production company: Goodgabah Pro­ ductions. Distributor: AFI, Sydney Filmmakers Co-operative. 25 mins. Australia. 1979.

Fedora Richard Brennan The prospect of losing touch with an audi­ ence is a source of anxiety shared by most filmmakers. This fear must increase as a filmmaker gets older and his tastes increas­ ingly differ from those of a younger audi­ ence. And it takes more than intelligent film­ making or a knowledge of audience taste to guarantee a film’s success. Interviewed by Film Comment early this year, the director of Fedora, Billy Wilder, said: “ If you are a composer of waltz tunes and you notice that the dance floor is empty, you may try to give them rock and roll or disco. But I can’t do it. They would know that it is phony and they still would not come out and dance.” Just over 12 months ago, Wilder and actor William Holden expressed, on separate occasions, doubts that Fedora had sufficient elements contemporary audiences could res­ pond to. “Can’t you see the captions now?” asked Wilder. “Fedora is old hat.” Richard Schickel’s review in a recent issue of Time magazine is headed “ Old Hat”*. Their appre-


FEDORA THE PLUMBER

hension seems to have been vindicated. The a zoom lens.” The irony is not that he is film was financed over a long period and approaching his project wrongly, but that took a year to find a distributor. there no longer exists an audience for well­ The similarities between Fedora and made, old-fashioned films like his proposed Wilder’s earlier Sunset Boulevard are 'quite remake of Anna Karenina. marked — the fruitless quest for immor­ Holden, of course, is a major touchstone tality, the obsession with youth, and the with the earlier film. His performance in grand exit. Sunset Boulevard (a part written with Mont­ Sunset Boulevard dealt with the old Holly­ gomery Clift in mind) led to an Academy wood — one which no longer exists in the era Award nomination. After 12 years of play­ of Fedora. Both films begin with an image of ing irrepressible naval ratings and cheerful violent death. In Sunset Boulevard, Los cowboys, he was put on a path of stardom. Angeles motor-cycle police roar towards the His next nomination was successful — the camera while Joe Gilíes (William Holden) lead role in Stalag 17, also directed by floats dead in the swimming pool of an age­ Wilder. When they worked for the last time ing silent screen star (Gloria Swanson), his in the middle-50s, (on Sabrina) Holden was voice-over intoning: “ You will read about it probably the world’s most popular actor. in the late editions I am sure — because an His career slumped in the ’60s, but revived old-time star is involved — one of the big­ slightly in the ’70s with The Wild Bunch and gest.” Fedora begins with an old-time star, Network. Presumably he accepted the part Fedora (Hildegarde Knef) flinging herself in Fedora, of a down-and-out independent under a train. Once again Holden, as Barry producer, hoping that the chemistry was Detweiller, is at the funeral, but this time he still there. is not the corpse. As the guests file past the In fact, Holden has always had the man­ casket his voice-over again leads the audi­ ner of an executive, and when he has acted ence into a flashback: “They’d done a good against this type he is least convincing. As job on her — considering. At least she was the old and unathletic Detweiller, his face going out in style.” ridged with lines of exhaustion, the former It is surprising that a number of leading man of action is unable to protect the hope­ critics have given the film such short shrift. less Fedora, or himself. His nearest brush Perhaps Fedora, like Alfred Hitchcock’s with real stardom was a one-night stand with Vertigo and John Ford’s The Searchers, will Fedora, on one of the films he had worked as not be fully appreciated till well after its an assistant director. It is an excellent per­ release. Certainly, in years to come it will ac­ formance. quire a special status among Wilder’s work. Actors are often neurotic and vain, but As in Vertigo, the identity of the central they pay a terrible price for the stealthy rob­ female in Fedora is shrouded in a mystery bery of their identity, for which a screen per­ which is dispelled more than half an hour sona is substituted. And watching Holden before the end. The hostile response to this impersonate this failed and desperate, but structural oddity has caused the film to be likeable, man, one feels real compassion for widely disparaged. people trying to weave fantasies for an audi­ However, a resolution of how Madame ence with whom they are hopelessly out of Fedora has retained her ageless beauty is less touch. involving than Wilder's examination of Some films by Billy Wilder date badly. one concludes with the spectacle of the change, survival and decay. Fedora is por­ One, Two, Three, with its references to defeated Detweiller telling the audience in a trayed as a supreme star, synthesizing Greta former U.S. Secretary of State John Foster voice-over that: “ Six weeks later the Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Ingrid Bergman Dulles, Spartacus, Nikita Khrushchev’s countess died . . . the electric blanket I had and perhaps even Joan Crawford. Like shoe- thumping at the U.N., and Joan Craw­ sent her came back undelivered.” This Garbo her failure to win an Academy Award ford's links with Pepsi Cola, probably puzzle romanticism, disguised as cynicism, recalls is regarded as ironic, and she is remembered younger viewers when it turns up on a tele­ Double Indemnity, Ace in the Hole, Sunset particularly for a romantic screen pairing vision late show. Time will be kinder to Boulevard and Some Like it Hot. If this is to with Robert Taylor. Like Dietrich she is Fedora, which broods over the lost Holly­ be Wilder’s last shot, I hope that it is one bullied on set by an image-obsessed Euro­ wood of MGM, Robert Taylor, Clark day recognized as a good one. pean director, and her admirers are known Gable, Spencer Tracy and of course Garbo, to include Ernest Hemingway and Winston and recalls an era of sex in the back of con­ Fedora: Produced and directed by: Billy Wilder. Churchill. Like Bergman she has played Associate producer: I. A. L. Diamond. Screen­ vertibles with the voice of Nat King Cole on play: Billy Wilder, I. A. L. Diamond. Director of Joan of Arc and had an illegitimate child. the car radio. photography: Gerry Fisher. Editors: Fredric StdinA major criticism of Fedora has been the There is no evidence in Fedora that kamp, Stefan Arnsten. Music: Miklos Rozsa. Art casting of Hildegarde Knef and Marthe director: Alexander Trauner. Sound recordist: Wilder’s skills are notably diminished. But David Hildyard. Cast: Marthe Keller, William Keller — unequal in the eyes of many to at the age of 73, with no commercial hit Holden. Hildegard Knef, Jose Ferrer, Mario their Garbo-esquerales. When Detweiller since Irma la douce 16 years ago, and six Adorf. Production company: Geria Film, Bavaria says Fedora’s true story would make an ex­ consecutive commercial failures, the future Atelier in association with La Société Française de cellent script, the old lady concurs. She then Production. Distributor: Seven Keys. 35mm. 90 must look bleak. Film lovers would obvious­ mins. West Germany. 1978. adds the $64 question: “ But who would you ly like him to go out on a winning note: this get to play it?" In interviews, Wilder agreed that this was a stumbling block. However, Garbo was a brilliantly-photographed vehi­ cle for the romanticizations of trash: in com­ mon with the rest of the world, I like to watch her, but the source of her appeal really seems to have been her fantastically photo­ genic quality. In this context I found the two actresses’ performances in Fedora good, although neither was helped by what seemed to be extensive post-synchronization. Over the years Wilder’s production per­ sonnel have changed. After Sunset Boule­ vard, he never worked again with producer and co-writer Charles Brackett. Now he has become the producer and I. A. L. Diamond is his co-writer. John Seitz’ harsh images of Paramount circa 1950 have been replaced by beautiful vistas of Corfu, lit by Gerry Fisher, and Miklas Razsa’s portentous score sub­ stitutes for those of Franz Waxman. When Detweiller pleads with Fedora to star in a film from his script. The Snows of Yesteryear, his voice takes on a desperate edge: “This time we can do it right, wide­ screen, no censorship” , and he berates the Fedora. William Holden (left) as the ageing scriptwriter Barry Detweiller at the funeral of Fedora fact that “ the kids with beads have taken (Hildegarde Knef). over, just give them a hand-held camera and

Judy Morris as the bourgeois academic Jill Cowper, and Ivor Kants as Max, the plumber, in Peter Weir's The Plumber.

The Plumber Jack Clancy The program identification which sig­ nalled commercial breaks during the Nine Network’s screening of The Plumber showed a steam boiler gauge, accompanied by the sound of native chanting. Whether this was designed by Peter Weir or not, it gives a very effective clue to what The Plumber is about, and points to its strong thematic links with his last film. The Last Wave examined a middle-class family whose life is disrupted by their in­ ability to deal with an ‘alien’ culture, and its enigmatic and subversive manifestations. Their bourgeois existence, confronted with a culture which has firmer roots in the natural elements and the primeval rhythms of life, is revealed as vulnerable, and its imposed order is seen as tenuous and precarious. There is a similar clash of cultures in The Plumber. Again Weir focuses on middleclass life, in particular the life of an academic wife, Jill Cowper (Judy Morris), subordinated to her career-bound husband Brian Cowper (Robert Coleby). One of the many ironies of the film is that Jill is working on an anthropology thesis in­ volving the culture of New Guinea tribes. Although contemporaneous and not physic­ ally isolated, this culture is, in every other respect, as remote as one could imagine from her own. Into Jill’s life intrudes Max (Ivor Kants), the plumber, a tattooed, working-class young man, who frightens but excites her. He talks about being in prison, about being a burglar and delighting in stealing from the wealthy classes who, he says, are “ bludgers living off the workers — vampires” . He shouts and yells in ways that seem not too different from the primitive people she is studying. He complains about tradesmen be-.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 569


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THE PLUMBER

ing treated as peasants, and as “ mere trades­ men” . “Talk about discrimination against the blacks” , he says in the first of comments which disturb her ordered liberal views of a culture for everyone and every culture in its place. And where she mouths banalities about being free, he creates a song: I'm me not you I'm me Babe I'm free Babe I ’ve been to Babylon I ’ve touched the Golden Fleece I ’m me. Max has a strong imagination, the kind that is cheerfully able to invent a past for himself; but confronted by Jill’s wariness and fears, he accuses her of having “too much im agination.” Her imagination creates fears of a sexual threat, and yet allows her to agree, conspiratorially, with her friend Meg (Candy Raymond), that, “ having a spunky guy around the house is a turn on” . Jill retaliates against Max’s verbal attack on her, putting him down for saying “done” instead of “did” , and he responds, jeering at her husband for losing his hair and being an intellectual, dismissing her collection of New Guinea artifacts as “a museum” , and under­ mining her sense of order and of what is proper. But Jill cannot convince Brian that the plumber is a threat, because he is too busy building his career. In his work he is caught, ironically, between the simple scientific view that nutritional deficiences in New Guinea Highlands people can be explained in terms of the introduction of Western-style junk food, and his own suspicion that deeper cultural factors and practices have some­ thing to do with it. In another of the film’s many ironies, it is the results of the plumber’s work (and pretty amazing work it is; she has every reason to doubt that he is genuinely a plumber!) that turns the dinner-party for her husband into the success that will clinch Brian’s new appointment. It is, as he says, “collapsing bathrooms and cognacs” that made the night. But the most telling irony is an apparently insignificant remark made by Brian as Jill tries to explain her fear of the plumber: “ He’s not some sort of monster,” he says. And yet the plumber is, in a very real sense, a monster to her. He represents everything she has shut out of her life, everything she refuses to recognize, and everything that threatens her well-meaning, but protective wall of complacency. Surrounded by manu­ factured culture in an Italian restaurant she confesses to Brian: “ f felt like I was losing control. It had never happened before” . Brian is ignorantly reassuring in his reveal­ ing apology. “ 1 just had to be selfish” . The Plumber is a tight, carefully wrought, disturbing film; perhaps the more so because the Hitchcockian promise of its opening scenes (there are references, as in Weir’s earlier Holmesdale, to Psycho) is turned in an unexpected direction. We could have an­ ticipated familiar variations on the theme of the sexually-threatening male intruder in the house, but what in fact emerges is a com­ plex examination of the structure of middleclass liberal defence systems. The examina­ tion is, if anything, more effective than the one undertaken in The Last Wave, because the disrupting factor is less arcane and more believable. (Despite the evident absurdity of Max’s plumbing and the portentous sugges­ tiveness of much of his behavior.) The Plumber is also more densely and effectively scripted than The Last Wave. In keeping with the ironic complexity of its structure, much of the dialogue carries a charge of suggestive power. The last line of his vocally-strummed song is, “ Don’t turn your back on me Babe” , which is, of course, what she inevitably does. Almost the first statement Max makes to Jill is, “ Your pipes, if you’ll excuse the expression, are bug­

THIRST

gered” . And the multiple threat involved in those words is what finally forces Jill to take desperate and horribly dishonest measures in defence of their middle-class security that is so neatly represented in her white-wine, avocado, Mercedes, appointment-in-Geneva life. His scream, “ Bloody bitch” , leaves her aloof and secure, high up on the balcony of her apartment. The Plumber is a well-made, splendidlyacted, and important addition to the depressingly small number of Australian films which go beyond bland one dimen­ sionality. It marks writer-director Peter Weir as one of the few genuinely pioneering talents in Australia at present. The Plumber: Directed by: Peter Weir. Producer: Matt Carroll. Screenplay: Peter Weir. Director of photography: David Sanderson. Editor: Gerald Turney-Smith. Music: Rory O’Donohue. Art directors: Herbert Pinter, Ken James. Sound recordist: Ken Hammond. Cast: Judy Morris, Ivor Kants, Robert Coleby, Henri Szeps. Production company: South Australian Film Corporation. Distributor: Nine Network. 16mm. 72 mins. Australia. 1979.

Thirst Geoff Mayer John Pinkney’s script for Rod Hardy’s Thirst appears to be inspired by the legend surrounding the exploits of the Hungarian countess, Erzsebet Bathory, who is said to have kept herself young and beautiful by bathing in the blood of young virgins. This legend also provided the inspiration for H arry Kumel’s Le rouge aux levres (Daughters of Darkness — 1970) and Ham­ mer Films’ Countess Dracuia (1971). Thirst, however, has a contemporary Aus­ tralian setting, although it clearly remains within the Gothic tradition of the late 18th Century with its dominant theme of the per­ secuted woman. The film’s heroine, Kate Davis (Chantal Contouri), is kidnapped by a bizarre secret society, the Hyma Brotherhood, and taken to a research farm and processing factory (the contemporary equivalent of a Gothic castle). She is then subjected to a prolonged conditioning process to make her accept the

fact that she is a descendant of the Baroness von Kreutzner, a blood-taster from way back. The drinking of blood, as the Brother­ hood repeatedly stresses, is the ultimate aristocratic act, because this “ vital human essence” confers power on a superior race of people. Unfortunately, the makers of Thirst were not content to play around with the allegorical and atmospheric possibilities presented by this plot, and the film incor­ porates a number of other subsidiary narra­ tive threads. One of these in particular, a flashback to a distressed five year-old Kate being abandoned by her mother at a boarding school, only diverts the audience’s attention from the main theme. The rhythm of the film is also upset by the decision to begin the story during the early stages of Kate’s conditioning, and then revert back to her pre-conditioned phase. Apart from providing a rather quirky, con­ fusing opening, it also undermines any at­ tempt to build suspense when Kate is later abducted. The producers of Thirst, Antony I. Gin­ nane and William Fayman, must be con­ gratulated for attempting to break the pat­ tern set by the recent spate of bland Austra­ lian productions by producing entertaining genre films like Patrick and Snapshot, but their latest effort is needlessly repetitive and lacking in real tension. By revealing the con­ spiracy of the Brotherhood at the start of the film, dramatic potential has been sacrificed to concentrate on the techniques used by the sadistic Mrs Barker (Shirley Cameron) and Dr Gauss (Henry Silva) to break Kate’s resistance to the Brotherhood’s aims. Many of these — such as blood being siphoned from the catatonic ‘inferior species’ im­ prisoned on the farm, and the blood­ drinking ceremonies (performed in a church in liturgical fashion in the presence of devotees) — are repeated without sufficient variation to generate much excitement. More successfully executed, however, is Kate’s first escape attempt, and the scene in which blood runs from a shower faucet (a variation of the technique used in Jeff Lieberman’s excellent ‘shocker’, Squirm). Because a sameness pervades most of Thirst, one becomes immune to the intended

Dr Gauss (Henry Silva) about to get his grisly come-uppance in Rod Hardy’s Thirst.

shocks, and the ending of the film is never in doubt. Little time is spent developing the appropriate atmosphere for each scene and many suffer from ‘over-kill’. For example, during the climactic escape attempt, Dr Gauss grabs the landing bar of a helicopter as it takes off. Not content to show Fraser (David Hemmings) kick Gauss off when the helicopter has reached a substantial height, Hardy’s camera follows the downward path to where Gauss becomes entangled in high tension wires. Hardy then cuts to a shot of his body jerking from the electric shock, followed by a close-up of his mutilated face as he hits the ground. Technically, Thirst is good, and overall Rod H ard y’s direction is competent (although there are some excellent moments, like the one where Kate’s suffering is cap­ tured simply by an expression on Gauss’ face). But Brian May’s score (with the exception of the blood-drinking ceremonies in the church) and Vince Monton’s photo­ graphy are not able to realize their full potential because Hardy does not allow enough time to build the appropriate atmo­ sphere for each scene. Thirst has the basis for a successful horror-thriller. Many of the ideas — such as the slave farm’s ‘blood cows’, the all­ pervasive Brotherhood, and the suggested link between the advertising industry and the conditioning process used by the Brother­ hood — are excellent. Unfortunately, these are stifled by repetitive plot development and the unfailing attempts to convert Kate’s taste buds to accept a nice ‘heady’ red..I* Thirst: Directed by: Rod Hardy. Producer: Antony I. Ginnane. Executive producer: William Fayman. Associate producer: Barbi Taylor. Screenplay: John Pinkney. Director of photography: Vincent Monton. Editor: Phil Reid. Music: Brian May. Art directors: Jon Dowding, Jill Eden. Sound recor­ dist: Paul Clark. Cast: Chantal Contouri, David Hemmings, Henry Silva, Max Phipps, Shirley Cameron. Production company: F.G. Film Productions Pty Ltd. Distributor: GUO Film Distributors. 35mm. 98 mins. Australia. 1979.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 571


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The Australian Journal of Screen Theory School of Drama, University of New South Wales Recommended price: $5.50 (two issues a year) Editor: John Tulloch

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One hears a lot about film culture, and Australia, we are led to believe, is in the pro­ cess of developing such a culture. So, before looking at The A u stra lia n J ou rn al o f Screen T h eo ry , I will examine an example from overseas and try to suggest what film culture is, and what can be attained within it. In France, Eric Rohmer, who is not a young man, has announced he will join the avant-garde with Percival. Writers who were in the forefront of progressive literary styles in the 1950s have surfaced with extra­ ordinary modernist works like L’immortelle (Alain Robbe-Grillet) and India Song (M ar­ guerite Duras). Philosophers and historians (Gilles Deleuze, Michael Foucault) refer to the cinema on the same level as any other art or social phenomenon; and they are inter­ viewed by Cahiers du Cinema. Roland Barthes and Jacques Lacan write the occa­ sional film review for newspapers like L e Monde. Many French directors, as is well known, begiin as film critics. This is not some adolescent phase they manage to grow out of once they start making films. From JeanLuc Godard, in the early 1960s, to Jean Eustache, today, their work is fashioned around the climate of current debate. What is the common ground in these varied illustrations? There is no separation of theory and analysis on the one hand, and actual films on the other. The two are in a constant, productive relationship. And it was for that reason Noel Burch wrote Praxis du C inem a ( T heory o f Film P ractice).

In the Australian context, it is hardly sur­ prising that Jacques Rivette’s Celine et Julie vont en bateau (Celine and Julie Go Boating) or Louis Bunuel’s Cet objet obscur de desir (That Obscure Object of Desire) are treated superficially, almost bemusedly. One cannot talk about the Rivette film unless some­ thing is known about the debate on narra­ tive cinema —: in fact, one cannot even enjoy the film if unaware what its jokes refer to. And the Buñuel film will merely be some vague example of surrealism, unless one is acquainted with the psycho-analytical notiqns of voyeurism, sexual difference, and desire. Does John Duigan’s Mouth to Mouth demand such an active reading? No, it is a dull, conventional, backward realist film. It creates an illusory world th at can be regarded safely, passively. No one is threatened, despite all the anguished liberal concern the film exudes for its characters. But who dares voice such an opinion? The argument revolving around realism has not yet begun in this country, as it did years ago in France, and later Britain. In Australia, critical analysis, where it exists, inhabits a little corner. It carries labels like academic, elitist, hermetic, and (what these words finally imply) unneces­ sary. This attitude is only reinforced by the

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importation, by the Australian and Tele­ vision School and the Australian Film Commission, of Alexander Walker and Rex Reed, as specimens of “ international film critics” , for a series of seminars in Sydney and Melbourne. Walker, in an obviously rehearsed tirade, denounced semiological approaches to film in the most superficial and rhetorical way imaginable. Fortun­ ately, he did not go unchallenged. Those who attempt to teach film in Aus­ tralia find they must borrow concepts and debates from overseas, which inevitably appear contrived. Tertiary students of film are taught a certain critical language (often very sophisticated) to discuss the Golden Years of Hollywood or Sergei Eisenstein, and then go off to see Newsfront, where they think with another, more or less naive, language. The problem is to begin bridging such gaps; and the initial step is to admit their existence. Australian film culture has barely reached this point. Yet within this void resides The A u stra lia n Jou rn al o f Screen T h eory , which tries to cover “ the very broad spectrum not covered by existing journals like M e tro and C in em a Papers."' The two jo u rn a ls m entioned above warrant some comment in line with the argu­ ment I am suggesting here. C inem a P apers has attempted to secure the widest reader­ ship possible, and this has resulted in an emphasis on ‘the real thing’ — films in pro­ duction, briefs on the industry, and inter­ views with filmmakers. Even if it wanted to,

tralia hide within their own sphere of interest. Consequently, Sam Rohdie’s pre­ cise description of the narrative patterns in Now Voyager4 collides with Willian R outt’s misty-eyed assertions about Hollywood cinema,- barely concealing a nostalgia for the time when a love for its films went bliss­ fully unchallenged. B-films, genre films, comedies, series and star vehicles, Routt suggests, should be excused from receiving the label ‘classic illusionist narrative’ — then what of Letter from an Unknown Woman, Notorious, Run of the Arrow, and The Big Sleep; films that illustrate on every level the conventions and constraints of narrative cinema? Similarly, a concern with political femin­ ist analysis developed by Barbara Creed, in her article entitled “The Position of Women in Hollywood Melodramas” ,6 rubs uneasily against more conventional articles by Laurie Clancy7 and Tom Ryan* (on While the City Sleeps and A Time to Love and a Time to Die respectively), which are influenced by a humanist perspective. The important issue of ideology — where and how a film ‘speaks’ it — is swept aside. In Tom Ryan’s case, the article is five years old, and in that time his ideas on Douglas Sirk and melodrama have changed radically (as his writing in Cinema Papers shows.9 A situation that reflects the radical changes that have overtaken film criticism in a very short time. What then is the status of traditional Hollywood cinema today? How are we to re­ interpret and evaluate it? Responses to these questions in Screen Theory range from out­ right dismissal, to a patient, intelligent con­ sideration of how we might understand the films in question. Andrew Britton, a British critic, advances a brilliant ‘reading’ of Vin­ cente Minnelli's musical Meet Me in St. Louis, finding in it a tentative subversion of Cinema Papers could not single-handedly the bourgeois ideology of the family: “ One inject massive doses of elaborate critical needs to account for the discrepancy debate into the Australian film scene. A film between a dominant ideological project culture depends — and Britain provides the which is clearly there in the film . . . and the clearest example — on the proliferation of contradictory implications set up by the journals, small and large, each standing realization of the project.” 'n clearly for a particular position that dif­ Melodramas in particular expose, as ferentiates from neighboring positions. Laura Mulvey comments in the same issue, Cinema Papers, on its own, cannot make “ the impossibility of reconciling desire with much of a show of debating with itself. reality.” " A new awareness is created, pre­ M e tro works under similar constraints. I cisely at the points where these films break Addressed to people involved in secondary down and refuse to make sense, despite their education, the magazine gives the impres­ apparent effort to do so. sion of using the cinema to talk about every­ Much of the material published to date in thing but the cinema. Storm Boy inspires an Screen Theory has attempted to deal with issue on ocean studies.2 Superman provides cinema in relation to society — how a film discussion fodder on the social place of corresponds to its specific moment in comic books.2 And so on, to the point where history; to the culture that it is shaped by questions about film as film are made to and helps to shape. This is a controversial seem irrelevant; whereas even the most ele­ issue, because many people feel more secure mentary treatment of literature in schools in trying to decipher a film within the limits entails some discussion on the nature of it sets itself; the material images and sounds. language. But film is still, and will be for This, alone, is no easy task. some time to come, a poor cousin to litera­ Sociology too often jumps the gun, leav­ ture. ing the urgent task of textual analysis Screen T heory does not boast any identi­ fiable critical position. It is committed to an 4. The AustraiianJournal of Screen Theory No inter-disciplinary approach, and accommo­ 4. 1978. p. 19. ' dates almost as many different viewpoints 5. The Australian Journal of Screen Theory No 4. 1978. p. II. r' ' on the cinema as there are individual films 6 . The Australian Journal of Screen Theory No analysed — which range from Metropolis to 4. 1978. p. 27. y ' 20,000 Years in Sing Sing to Ma nuit chez 7. The Australian Journal ofScreen Theory No Maud to Ode to Billy Joe. 4. 1978, p. 33. 8 . The Austraiian Journal of Screen Theory No Sometimes this multiplicity of viewpoints 4, 1978, p. 49. ’ becomes disconcerting, acutely showing how 9. Cinema Papers. No. 18, October-November people who teach or write about film in Aus1978, p. 146. 10 .

I.

The AustraiianJournal ofScreen Theory

3, 1977, p. 6.

No

2.. 3.

Metro, Special “ Ocean Studies Guide” , Metro, No. 46, 1979.

1978

The Australian Journal ofScreen Theory. No The Austraiian Journal ofScreen Theory No

3. 1977. p. 18. 3. 1977, p. 30.

'

Cinema Papers, September-October — 573


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temporarily or permanently behind. The real world enters the film and swamps it. Conse­ quently, all films begin to look pretty much the same, because they perform the same social functions. A debate between Albert Moran and Geoff Mayer over 20,000 Years in Sing Sing crystallizes this problem. Moran’s fascina­ ting ‘reading’ of the film, modelled on the C ahiers d u C in em a text on Young M r Lincoln,'2 concludes: “ . . . it bears the marks of its intended intervention in American society in 1933, the worst year of the Depres­ sion, an intervention for the continuation of the existing order and on behalf of the new Roosevelt administration.” ' 1 Mayer points out that a genre such as the prison film uses recurring narrative elements that can be traced years before and after 1933. Perhaps the cinema has a more defused, even mythical social function, as Will Wright argues in his book Six Guns an d Society. In this article I have tried to evoke the general sweep of approaches and issues touched on in the first four editions of Screen Theory — a fifth is forthcoming.1 1324 But two articles need to be singled out because of the particular contribution they make to film criticism. Colin Crisp’s article on Eric Rohmer’s writings and films, “The Ideology of Realism” ,1561clarifies many of the scattered ideas on two essential areas: ideology and realism. It provides the finest ‘reading’ of Eric Rohmer’s work I have come across in English language publica­ tions. Lesley Stern’s “ Oedipal Opera: The Restless Years” is, the most important piece of criticism produced in this country; exciting and invaluable in the myriad of possibilities it opens up. “ In looking at The Restless Years” 1'’ she writes: “ I want to challenge the notion of the audience for soap operas as passive consumers . . . the pleasure derived from them may well have to do with the playful kind of work they invite from the viewer in producing meaning. “ Play, pleasure, the unconscious, the posi­ tion of the viewer . . . these concepts, used within the framework of psycho-analysis, are situated in a radical, feminist discourse that usurps the prevailing idea of ideology as ‘vague but defiantly dominant’ . . . the rela­ tionship between text and reader is fiction­ alised out of the social formation, out of the relations of production which determine the viewing and reading context.” 12. An English translation can be found in Screen, Vol. 13, No. 3. Autumn 1972. The Australian Journal ofScreen Theory, No. 3. 1977, pp. 36 and 59. 14. At the time of going to press the latest issue of The Australian Journal of Screen Theory was received by the editor. This issue will be reviewed in a coming issue of Cinema Papers. 15. The Australian Journal ofScreen Theory, No. 2. 1977, p. 3. 16. The Australian Journal of Screen Theory, No 4. 1978, p. 43. 13.

PRODUCTION REPORT

Stern’s analysis valuable because of the perspective it offers on conventional, tradi­ tional narrative forms, while suggesting an alternative practice: a radical avant-garde in criticism and film production. This alterna­ tive, far from, being im personal and academic — as current mainstream opinion would have it — involves everything that is most crucial: our place in society, our pleasures, our capacity to change and re­ work repressive structures. Is that too utopian an ideal for a future Australian film culture?

Recent Releases The following books were released in Australia between April and June 1979. All titles are on sale in Australian bookshops. The publishers are listed below the author in each entry, and the local distributor is shown in brackets. If no distributor is indicated, it denotes that the book is imported. Prices listed are for paperbacks, unless otherwise indicated, and are subject to variation between bookshops and states. This list was compiled by Mervyn R. Binns of the Space Age Bookstore, Melbourne.

Popular and General Interest

The Films of Tyrone Power Dennis Belafonte with Alvin H. Marill Citadel/Davis $22.50 (HC) Casts, credits, reviews and production notes on the films of Tyrone Power.

The Films of Laurence Olivier Margaret Morely, with an introduction by Michael Caine Citadel/Davis $22.50 (HC) Cast listings, credits and other reference material.

Four Fabulous Faces: Swanson, Garbo, Crawford, Dietrich Larry Carr Penguin/Penguin Aust. $14.95 (PB) The careers of these famous actresses portrayed through photographs.

The illustrated Encyclopaedia of the World's Greatest Movie Stars and their Films

Ken Wlaschin Salam andar/Ham lyn Aust. $9.50 (PB) More than 500 stars illustrated, with many rare photographs from the British Film Institute’s archives. Written by the program director of the London Film Festival.

John and Diana (A Love Story) Mary Ann Norbom Corgi/Gordon and Gotch $2.50 (PB) The story of John Travolta’s and Diana Hyland’s affaire.

The Non-Western Films of John Ford

J. A. Place Citadel/Davis $21.55 (HC) An illustrated text: each film is documented with cast lists and credits.

Biographies, Memoirs and Experiences in Filmmaking and Filmographies

The Actor's Life (Journals 1956-1976)

Charlton Heston Allen Lane/Penguiii $14.95 (HC) The diaries kept by Charlton Heston of his career from 1956-1976.

Behind Closed Doors

Diana Dors Wyndham/Rical $3.50 (PB) A collection of gossip.

The Films of George Pal

Gail Morgan Hickman A. S. Barnes/Remal Dist. $26.85 (HC) A study of the way in which fantasy is created in film. Based on the techniques of the legendary producer/director George Pal.

A companion volume to From Hollywood, con­ tinuing the story of the personalities who made Hollywood the film capital of the world.

The Western — From Silents to the Seventies

Kiss Hollywood Goodbye

George N. Fenin and William K. Everson Penguin/Penguin Aust. $6.95 (PB) A detailed history of the western, highlighting famous stars and directors.

The memoirs of Anita Loos.

Reference

Mommie Dearest (A Memoir)

The Illustrated Who’s Who in British Films

Anita Loos Penguin/Penguin Aust. $2.95 (PB) Christina Crawford Granada/M ethuen $14.95 (HC) The story of the relationship between a child trying to stay alive, and her mother, Joan Crawford, a ruthless, cunning, lonely woman.

Sophie: Living and Loving. Her own Story

Denis Gifford Batsford/W. Heinemann $30 (HC) A com prehensive u p -to -d ate biographical bibliography of British cinema.

Filmmaking, Acting Technique and Marketing

A. E. Hotchner Michael Joseph/Thomas Nelson $15.95 (HC) The account of how a skinny urchin from the slums of Pozzvoli became one of the world’s greatest film stars.

Movie Special Effects

Critical

Screenplay

American Film Now James Monaco Oxford/Oxford University Press $30 (HC) A lucid guide to the business and the art of the American cinema.

Black Film as Genre Thomas Cripps Indiana University Press $15 A survey of American films about Negroes.

Dark Dreams. The Horror film from Psycho to Jaws Charles Derry A. S. Barnes/Remal $25.50 (HC) A discussion of the three types of horror films that emerged in the 1960s.

Elements of Film

Jeff Rovin A. S. Barnes/Remal $23.85 (HC) A comprehensive text recreating the history and methods of special effects photography. Syd Field Delta $6.20 (PB) Step-by-step creative guidelines for writing a script.

Media and Education

Script Continuity and the Production Secretary in Film and T. V. Avril Rowlands Focal Press/Pitman $10.50 (PB) An excellent introduction to television production techniques.

The Technique of Television News

Ivor Yorke Focal Press/Pitman $20.50 (HC) A down-to-earth description of the different ap­ proaches to television news production.

Lee R. Bobker Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich/Ruth Walls $11.50 (PB) A distinguished writer and film editor provides technical information about the process of film­ making. (New edition)

Kit Denton Arkon/Gordon and Gotch $2.95 (PB)

History of the Film Industry and Accounts of Filmmaking

Burton Whol Bantam/Gordon and Gotch $2.75 (PB)

More From Hollywood

James Bond and Moonraker

Novels and Other Books Based on Films

The Breaker The China Syndrome

De Witt Bodeen A. S. Barnes/Remal $27.50 (HC)

Christopher Wood Panther/Gordon and Gotch $2.95 (PB)

Production Report

Not that I think with A Town Like Alice we would have had many problems convincing Crawfords or Grundys to do it. But we didn’t really think we were going to get the rights, because we just wrote off saying, “ How about it?” We were surprised when they said yes. It’s a story I really love, and which, again, says things about the humanist cause which I think are very important.

Continued from P. 551 was reduced in length — but I res­ pected the reasons for the request and went along with them. I am really against violence. The John Sullivan Story is about a pacifist, and it’s preaching the humanist cause to a wide audience. Within that it is necessary to give a sense of the sort of violence that surrounds the man.

M a rin e r F ilm s You are involved with Henry Craw­ ford in a company which has acquired the rights to “A Town Like Alice” . .. Henry Crawford and I have known each other since the Homi­ cide days. He is my business part­ ner and one of my closest friends. We set up Mariner Films, not to be in competition with major produc­ tion houses like Crawfords and Grundys, but rather to create a business structure to allow us, occa­ sionally, to do things we passion­ ately believe in — on the terms that we want to do them. I can’t see it giving me full-time employment, and I don’t want it to be that sort of structure. But there are things we love and want to do which we might have difficulty persuading other managements to let us do.

At what stage is it now? To date we have sold it for more than half its costs to the Seven Net­ work, and have also pre-sold it to the BBC for a good sum — the first time an Australian commercial production has been pre-sold to them. __ When is it scheduled to go into production? February or March. Will you be directing? I think so, but I never like to commit myself to anything until I have read the scripts. We are using one A u stralian w riter, Tom Hegarty, on the scripts, as well as Rosemary Anne Sisson, the British writer, who is probably one of the greatest television writers in the world. She has written, among other things, Upstairs Downstairs and The Duchess of Duke Street;* Cinema Papers, September-October — 575


TIM BURSTALL

Tim Burstall Continued from P. 496 when one moved from inside out into the real garden. This meant I didn’t have the fluidity going in and out that I wanted. Still, I was very pleased with the amount of movement I got into the film. A wheelchair is a wonderful thing cinematically: it has a lovely motion, and I was able to experi­ ment with many interesting moves. Several critics felt the ending was too obvious; by making Mark (John Waters) so patently the murderer, one knew it had to be the other . . .

for $135,000, but there is no way of telling if we would have got the same result. If I had made it for television, I could have picked up $80,000 at most from a television station and perhaps $25,000 from Bruce Gordon at Paramount. Now, that only gives you $105,000 — i.e., a deficit of $30,000.

star until six weeks later, on figure. She was essentially a con February 11. This delay cost woman, and I thought the possi­ $50,000, because Les Binns had bilities for satire were great. already started construction of the Looking back with the wisdom of sets, and so on. We then had to re­ hindsight, sending up history is not cost the budget, and allow for using what A ustralians are into at top stars — Susannah York who present. I think the public would cost $125,000, Trevor Howard have preferred to have seen “our $48,000, and John Castle $32,000. noble history” , rather than a comic This meant more than $200,000 on interpretation. This is probably Are we making a lot of tele-features foreign stars alone. Consequently, because we are a young country. on feature budgets? the revised budget became $750,000 One can, for instance, easily send plus $50,000 and $200,000 — i.e., up 18th Century British history Yes, and the reason is that it is $1 million. In the end, the film cost because there have been countless often easier to get the money to $1,200,000, which was 20 per cent serious interpretations, and the make a $600,000 feature film than over budget. That is about the public is ready to see something a $135,000 tele-feature. Distri­ percentage I went over on End different. butors are into feature films and, at Play. The budget on that started at I saw Eliza as a picaresque piece this juncture, television stations $244,000, moved to $260,000 and like Humphrey C linker, Tom aren’t very open to independent finished on $294,000. Jones, or any of those 18th Century Up until 1974, budgets were picaresque novels. I wanted to packages of tele-features. quite containable. But then things em phasize the ru m b u stio u s Because a producer’s salary is soared. To give you an idea, let’s quality of it. I see our black sense of usually linked to a budget, the look at what I paid the actors, humor as very 18th Century, and higher the cost the more the though one could do the same there are ways in which the crude producer gets. Some commentators exercise with technicians, equip­ ocker, with his larrikin sense of have suggested this situation tempts ment charges, etc. In March 1971, humor, is very close to the John producers to go for high budgets . . . when I did Stork, everybody was Bull Englishman of the 18th paid $200 a week. By the first Alvin, Century. That is a cynical interpretation, Blundell was up to $500 a week. Now, once the-press realized a but it is probably true in a couple of For Petersen, Jack Thompson was million dollars was being spent on a cases — I can certainly think of a on $ 1000 a week. By the time we hit period film, they automatically saw few. But a more important influ­ Alvin Rides Again, Blundell had is as a serious epic. I would repeat ence is the way our government also hit $2000 a week. For End till I was blue in the face that it was corporations work. They reason Play, George Mallaby got $1400 a a comedy, but no matter what I that although one is likely to lose week and John Waters $1000, but said, the press misled everybody’s $400,000 of a $600,000 budget, by Eliza, Waters was on $2000. Of expectations. there is still the chance that one can course, $2000 a week is minuscule, I think the film was insanely mis­ make the $600,000. On the com pared to paying Trevor understood, but not by the public. $135,000 tele-feature, as I said Howard $48,000 for 12 days’ work, After.all, it is my second most before, you are bound to lose at but it gives you an idea of the successful film. It grossed some­ least $30,000. Now for my money, I escalating costs in one area of film­ thing like $2.2 m illion, and would be making many more tele­ making. returned about $600,000. If we had features, letting them hit the deck made it for $750,000, as originally and writing off $30,000 a film. We Apparently there was dissension at planned, we would nearly have been would sure sort out a lot of film­ Hexagon over what sort of film in the clear by now. makers, and at a cheaper cost. “Eliza” should be . . . On the other hand, one of the The obvious question is, would it still things we need to do is raise the It is true that the script changed a have grossed $2.2 million without standards in television, and the lot from the original, but I was Susannah York? feature film industry is doing that. behind that. Originally, I had It is giving people the chance to intended the film to be a kind of I don’t know, but I believe it spend the right amount of time on Rashomon — i.e., three versions of would have. One thing I am certain rehearsing, on make up, special the incident told by three different of, though, is that you should never effects, etc. people. But, when Williamson and I make an Eliza Fraser or a Jimmie worked on it more, we felt Eliza Blacksmith without an overseas should become more a comic partner. There are two basic ways E liza Fra se r

Look at how the film opens. We begin by showing one brother killing a hitch-hiker. The key thing was that there were two cars, of the same make and . upholstery, but with different exterior colors. Now, we never show the face of the murderer; we just show the face of the girl. After he stabs her with the broken arrow, we then cut to Mark arriving at the house in a similar car. So, he looks suspiciously like the murderer. Then, by the time we show him carrying in the corpse, the au d ien ce is ab so lu tely convinced he is guilty. Once we have established he is the murderer, therefore, the tension of the drama is what is going to happen when Robert (George Mallaby) finds out what Mark has done. And, once he has to let Mark know he knows, what will Mark do to him? Will he kill him? Then there are the cops. Their line of questioning is at the brother who is ‘guilty’. Now the other, who is apparently innocent, appears to be protecting Mark from the cops, yet at the same time appears to be letting on. So, not only are the cops playing a kind of cat-and-mouse game, but so is Robert. When we audience-tested the film, only two people out of 100 twigged to who was the murderer in the first 20 minutes of the film. Their explanation was that they couldn’t accept the obvious. A few others also started to twig at Robert being guilty during the “ Eliza Fraser” is your most fight, but for my money it didn’t expensive film. What was its matter if people twigged at that late budget? stage. Two weeks before the planned start on January 2, 1975, the budget How successful was the film? was $750,000. The AFC had It has just broken even, so one invested $187,000, loaned us can’t really count it a success. It is another $187,000, and Hexagon No. 14 or 15, and did about as well had put in the rest. Then, at a meeting of the Hexagon Board — as Devil’s Playground. The film cost more than we and it was the mew board, Bilcock bargained. I originally budgeted it and Copping having pulled out — it at about $250,000, but it finally was felt that an international film needed international stars. I had cost $290,000. planned to make the film with The film rated very highly on tele­ Wendy Hughes, but Hexagon said vision. Was it perhaps a subject that no, and I flew to New Zealand to could have been done as a television meet C harlotte Rampling on Christmas Day, 1975. But I wasn’t film, and on a lower budget? keen on using her as I didn’t think In some ways I would have she was a comedy actress. As it turned out, I couldn’t find a preferred to make it a tele-feature 576 — Cinema Papers, September-October

Captain Fraser (Noel Ferrier) is watched by his wife Eliza (Susanah York) and tribal Aboriginals. Eliza Fraser.


TIM BURSTA-LL

Pansy (Mike Preston) does his best to revive Carl (Steve Rackman) after he has been beaten by Tom (Peter Hehir) in The Last of the Knucklemen.

of making a film: one is to make indigenous films, made solely for our local market and for less than $400,000, and the other is to make international films on larger budgets ($1 million or more). The international films can also be made in two ways: either with Aus­ tralian directors working in the U.S., or by producers setting them­ selves up like a Los Angeles independent producer-packager, but based in Australia. It would be a great pity, however, if our best people are siphoned off at the very point when we have to solve the problem of breaking into the international market.

High Rolling The next film was “High Rolling”, which you produced . . . One couldn’t describe High Rolling as a success, though it will finish breaking even four or five years after its release. I am very fond of High Rolling, although in some ways it doesn’t come off. There is a slight problem in Jo Bottoms’ performance, which goes over a bit, and the bonding aspect works only fitfully. Still, I think Igor Auzins is a fine director and the film only narrowly misses capturing the spirit of a good AIP road film. Mad Max is certainly handled better, but one can easily see the progression from Stone to High Rolling to Max Max. What happened to Hexagon in this period between “Eliza” and “Last of the Knucklemen”? If you compare what happened to Hexagon with the South Aus­ tralian Film Corporation, the difference is that while the SAFC may seem to have a comparatively-

one needs to maintain the claustro­ phobia of being locked in a horrible tin shed with eight characters, a million miles from nowhere. Like many Australian properties, Knucklemen is a story about a group, rather than an individual. Although it is called The Last o f the K nucklem en, Tarzan (Gerard Kennedy) isn’t the hero. The man who starts all the dramatic initi­ ative is Pansy (Mike Preston). Now, my first reaction was to take Tarzan and Methuselah (Michael Duffield) and make them into one character, thereby giving it a stronger dramatic line. After all, Methuselah is Tarzan 15 years hence. I also reduced the role of Tom (Peter Hehir), and even had Pansy finally replacing TarzanMethuselah as the knuckleman. But it turned out to be much less in­ teresting. I then tried starting with the robbery, but that just became successful track record, it probably another “bank robber on the run”, owes $5 or $6 million. If it were a and the whole mining aspect was commercial operation, it would be lost. So I stayed fairly close to the bankrupt, but it can go on because play, though I did try to flesh out the debts are presumably written certain characters and put more off by the South A ustralian action where there was dialogue. Government. There is probably only a third of However, it is significant that the the original dialogue in the film; I SAFC is moving closer towards a hope I kept the best lines. If there is a weakness in the film, c o m m e r c ia l p r o g r a m lik e H exagon’s. It is using John it is in the front half where one has Lamond and Alan Hopgood on to establish the characters. I think Pacific Banana, which is like our there are enough laughs to keep the Australia After Dark. You have thing moving, but the drama Bruce Beresford, who basically doesn’t really start till the scene of occupies the same position that I Methuselah down the mine. From occupied in Hexagon, doing a then on, it is all action. You are Williamson play, The Club. It is, in really saying, “ Right, those are the fact, moving into that mainstream cards in the pack, let’s get on with middle area of drama, with the the game.” emphasis on entertainment. It is trying to get away from the cultur­ Which characters did you flesh out? ally respectable stuff with which it made its reputation. Well, Pansy was to some extent changed. In the play, he was a stirrer, but really a coward, a The Last of the powder-puff. I felt he had to have Knucklemen real menace, and be a genuine threat to Tarzan. After “High Rolling” came “The There is also much more of Last of the Knucklemen”, which is a Tassie (Stewart Faichney) than in play that dates back to 1973. When the play. I introduced that he was did you obtain the rights for it? an alimony dodger with a little kid, and so on. I gave him a more inter­ Before we started on Eliza esting and coherent character. Fraser. I thought Hexagon should make a male bonding film, and the How successful have Australian three possibilities were R usty filmmakers been in creating an Bugles, The Odd Angry Shot and audience for their films? The Last o f the Knucklemen. We looked at them and felt Knuckle­ We were very successful n the men was the best. first three or four years, bu is we We were delayed in buying the moved away from the ockei as a rights, though, because the play had subject, we lost the connection we been put on overseas, and the had established with the audience. Melbourne Theatre Company, It is not just that we went arty, as which owned the rights, was trying that we forgot we were in show­ to sell it to the Yanks. Then that business. fell through and we inherited them. This connection is in the earlier films — and perhaps I show my How is the screenplay different from bias here — because they were the play? more confrontational. The newer films are more a lament for the The problem with a play like past, and for decency. They don’t Knucklemen is that one wants to have the necessary abrasive, open it out and show the desert confronting connection with their environment. On the other hand, audience.

Look, for example, at the number of films which amount to a resistance to change. The Irishman is about Clydesdales being replaced by a lorry. The Picture Show Man is about sound films replacing the man who carts his silent reels around in a horse and buggy. Newsfront is about the demise of the newsreel cameraman with the advent of television. I believe that a lot of this lamentation is sentimental, and a lot of it is untrue. I know, for instance, that the very worst report­ ing oh television is an absolute tri­ umph of integrity compared with the junk we saw coming out of Cinesound. The theme of News­ front is basically that old Labor Party vision of what Australia might have become — the lost future we were all deprived of. If you compare today’s films with those of the early days, you also find that the early ones had something which you could call hope. The film which marked the ch angeover from energy to reflectiveness was Sunday Too Far Away. It was, if you like, a Commonwealth Film Unit-type film and was the first to go for “good taste” at the expense of energy. The film performed well, but the tendency it exemplified turned out to be a killer on audiences. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in art. But to me art is the way in which one orders the material into the most concise, affecting and sharp way. But if art is seen, as it often is, as an absence of things that will offend people — i.e., “good taste” — then I reach for my gun like Goering. ★

Filmography Feature Films 1969 2000 Weeks — director, scriptwriter 1972 Stork — director, producer 1973 Libido (The Child episode) — director, scriptwriter 1974 Alvin Purple —• director, co-script­ writer (uncredited), producer 1974 Petersen — director, producer 1975 Alvin Rides Again — producer, script­ writer (uncredited) 1976 End Play — director, scriptwriter, producer 1977 Eliza Fraser — director, producer 1977 High Rolling —- producer 1979 The Last of the Knucklemen — director, scriptwriter, producer

Documentaries 1960-63 Australian Art — 13 10 min. tele­ vision films 1965 Painting People 1969 Sculpture — Australia 1970 Getting Back to Nothing

Shorts The Prize 1960 1962-63 The Adventures of Sebastian the Fox — television series 1964 Nullarbor Hideout 1966 Kropp’s Last Tape — made in the U.S. 1971 The Hot Centre of the World 1974 Three Old Friends 1977 Blues From the Jungle — made in the U.S.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 577


A Catalogue of Independent Women's Films

Tasmanian A Film C orporation 9

Listing 250 films and videotapes by women filmmakers in Australia and overseas, a vaila ble from the library of the Sydney Film­ makers Co-operative Ltd.

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Australian Film and Television School

HANDBOOK A comprehensive annual guide to AFTS • Fulltime Program diploma courses in film and television direction, production, editing, camera and sound. • Fulltime screenwriting course. • Open Program training in film, television and audio-visual pro­ duction, management, law, finance, marketing for the film and television industry, business, government, education and the community. • National Graduate Diploma in Media. • Library, technical facilities and resources. • Research, surveys, technical, media and training publications training films and video tapes. • AFTS Act, organization and staff, graduates, students. 213 x13 7 mm

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196 pages

M eet our Parrot, the latest addition to the m enagerie o f film logos In this country. Not as classy as, say, a lyre-bird, we adm it, but it does have certain advantages; and parrots do squaw k a lot. Its the sym bol o f the Australian C hildren's Film Foundation, the production w ing of the Perth Institute o f Film and Television, home of such high-flying num bers as "Falcon Island", a new children's television serial, and other childre n's television and cinema projects. U nder the Institute's ow n banner we're producing short film s by student and trainee film -m akers and special-interest docum entaries aim ed at general release. But they d o n 't get to use the parrot. P roduction is part o f the Perth Institute o f Film and Television 92 Adelaide Street, Fremantle, W.A. 6160 ph. (09) 3351055


CURRENTS IN JAPANESE CINEMA

Nagisa Oshima Continued from P. 501 course. I support those who are fighting for the basic issues of women’s liberation.

the class definition in Western thirties and forties. They don’t It would have been a good idea if Europe. In other words, the only believe things will or can change. you had read my book. thing that makes a class a class is But they seem to have become better the consciousness of being one. In at enjoying life . . . FILMOGRAPHY Japan, for instance, the workers Yes, I think so too. really don’t have a class conscious­ ness. Consequently, I have great In the Japanese mass media there is doubts whether even what may Do you think that is a positive Features 1959 Ai to kibo no machi (A Town of Love and often a reaction to particular words, appear as a class really is the same change, or is it just resignation? Hope) or terms, such as women’s lib. or as its European counterpart. 1960 Seishun zankoku monogatari (Naked Youth) Taiyo no hakaba (The Sun’s Burial) feminism . . . ’ I don’t think one can say that it is I960 1960 Nihon no yoru to kiri (Night and Fog over Although they may not be a class, either good or bad. It’s true that Japan) Because the term women’s lib. is this ‘mediacracy’, people who are there has been a change in that 1961 Skiiku (The Catch) 1962 Amakusa shiro tokisada (The Revolt) despised, it’s a good one. famous enough in Japan, have easy direction. That is to say, when it 1964 Watachi wa Belief (I Am Belief) access to the media to say anything comes to their relationship to the 1964 Chiisana boken ryoko (A Simple Adventure) 1965 Etsuraku (The Pleasures of the Flesh) For that reason? they want, voice opinions and have world around them, rather than 1965 Yunbogi no nikki (The Diary of Yunbogi) them recognized. Though not unique facing it and actively setting things 1966 Hakuchu no torima (Violence at Noon) 1967 Ninja bugeicho (Band of Ninja) Yes. Feminism on the other hand to Japan, it seems to me a particu­ in action, they have learned how to 1967 shunka-ko (Sing a Song of Sex) enjoy whatever the world brings 1967 Nihon has become an attractive term; the larly acute problem . . . Muri shinju nihon no natsu (Japanese Summer: Double Suicide) their way. So they have become women who support it are fakes. 1968 Koshikei (Death by Hanging) I am against, and angered by, good at seeking pleasure, as you 1968 Kaettekita yopparai (Three Resurrected Drunkards) Because.it is popular? manipulation from television in this say. But that’s neither good nor 1968 Shinjuku dorobo nikki (Diary of a Shinjuku era of propaganda overkill. But bad. Thief) No, not popular, but it has that is not the same as saying those 1969 Shonen (Boy) senso sengo hiwa (The Man Who Left become acceptable. Women’s lib. people have power. The Japanese How do you feel about the present 1970 Tokyo His Will on Film) was also a fad in a way, but it was reaction, as a homogeneous society, situation in Japanese cinema? 1971 Gishiki (The Ceremony) 1972 Natsu no imoto (Dear Summer Sister) disliked. Those who supported it is that we can’t do much about it. Ai no corida (Empire of the Senses). This film To put it in an extreme way, I am 1976 was were also hated by the male society. In other words, rather than have made in France and the French title is L’empire des sens. a different reaction to something not in the least interested in the 1977 Ai no borei (Empire of Passion) Do you think the situation will im­ than everyone else, people tend to Japanese film situation of today. Television films prove for women in Japan? be delighted that they have the 1962 Kori no naka no seishun (A Youth in the Ice) same one as others. That is the Are there any other contemporary 1963 Wasurerareta kogun (The Forgotten Army) Yes, in form it is getting better, greatest problem of Japan and the Japanese filmmakers whose work 1964 Hankotsu no toride-hachinosujo (Fort of Revolt) little by little, but in reality, it has a Japanese. If the people who actu­ interests you? 1964 Seishun no hi (A Tomb for Youth) long way to go. I am not sure young ally have power really are aware of 1965 Asia no akebono (The Dream of Asia) 1968 Daitoa senso (The Pacific War) I make my own films; I am not 1969 women today have the strength and it, then there may be more of a Mo taku-to to bunkadaikakumei (Mao Tseinterested in other films. determination to fight in the way chance for Japan. But they are not tung and the Cultural Revolution) that, for instance, the women of my conscious of it, and the people generation, who were struggling below them are not aware that Did you see any Australian films at Cannes last year? just after World War 2, did. The others exert power either. Sachiko Hidari form may improve — as far as Continued from P. 503 No, 1 don’t go to films. It’s as legislation for equality in jobs and Young people in Japan today seem so on is concerned — but whether to have a more resigned attitude simple as that. You are not part of any women’s the actual situation will improve for towards politics than people in their Are there any Japanese writers with movement4, even though you sup­ Japanese women is a different ques­ whom you would be interested in port women’s rights . . . tion. working? To participate in a movement Can “Empire of the Senses” be seen because it has become fashionable No. as a political film? is to be dishonest with oneself. You often use documentary material These movements have always been It’s not a film that directly takes in your films. How do you view the attracted to foreign cultures, but up political questions, but by the relationship between documentary they have not come to the stage very fact that it does not deal with where they produce something and fiction? politics, it can be seen as very poli­ from within and solve problems in tical. As for judging it, that’s A good film is a good film, their own way. entirely up to the public. I don’t whether it is documentary or think there is any need for me to drama. Only the method is differ­ How do you feel about the image of say whether it is political or not. women as presented in Japanese ent. I can’t generalize on that. films? It is often suggested that Japan is In future films, will individual not a class society, but recent years On the whole, it is the life of human relationships continue to have seen the creation of a new elite interest you — the suffering of a women as seen by men. or class through the mass media — As an actress, I have always single human being rather than the people who can use their access battled with directors over their social comment? to the media to establish a position images of women. There is always a of power, whose views are often Yes, I think so. I don’t care to conflict between the image of a heard on television, for instance . . . make any general social or politi­ woman as seen by a man, and as seen by a woman. cal comment. The Japanese really don’t think In The Far Road I had the oppor­ of power as something they have as Is there a specific problem, or kind tunity to portray men as seen by a individuals. Nor do they have a of person that interests you at the woman for a change. consciousness of it as a class. You moment — for your next film? can ask any Japanese, “ Do you 4. When The Far Road was screened in Aus­ have power?” and they will all say I am thinking about all sorts of tralia last year, Hidari was billed as “one they don’t. of the most militant feminists in Japan” . things at the moment, (long pause) 1 don’t think the people at the top This is slightly misleading. She is ex­ Have you read my book?2 You read in the mass media have a class con­ tremely clear and outspoken in her views Japanese, don’t you? of sexual inequalities in Japan, and the sciousness either. They may com­ way the rights of women have been sacri­ prise a class, but they are not aware ficed for economic progress, but she does Yes, but I haven’t read it. of it. not identify herself with any movement. In that sense, it is different from 5. Hidari was offered a major role in Nagisa I. These terms are used in English in Japan.

Eika Matsuda in Empire of the Senses.

2. Taikenteki sengo eizo ron (A Personal View o f Post-war Film), 1975

Oshima's Empire of Passion, but declined because of differences in approach.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 579


26th SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL

Sydney Film Festival 1979 Continued from P. 539

The M.P. depicts a Spain in which the left-wing is legal, but unprotected, and where its followers are harassed, beaten and killed with official indifference. In Blindfolded, directed by Carlos Saura, the resurgence of fascism is made an individual concern. Once again, the protagonists are elegant people one m ight consider beyond the reaches of crude, politically-inspired violence. Luis (Jose Luis Gomez) is a theatre director preparing to stage a play dramatizing the to rtu re of a wom an in fascist Latin America. Emilia (Geraldine Chaplin) is his leading actress. As the day of the p la y ’s o p e n in g a p p ro a c h e s , L u is receives a series of threats, which cul­ minate in him being beaten up. The narrative structure of Blindfolded ensures that the audience is continually aware of the possibility of violence, while the visual structure, which emphasises beauty and order, denies this. As a result, the film ’s clim ax is shocking, not only because it is brutal, but also because violence is juxtaposed with complacency. Bigas Luna’s Bilbao proves that m is­ o g yn y is s till fa s h io n a b le in som e quarters and, if made suitably tasteless, can actually pass as art. The film is a monotonous portrait of a grubby little psychopath who lives with his uncle’s mistress and lusts after Bilbao, a prosti­ tute. Much of the story bears a marked sim ilarity to John Fowles’ novel, The Collector, but where Fowles made his victim the object of our sympathies, Luna appears to side with his male character, Leo. Novelty alone, of course, is hardly an excuse fo r the pe rp e tra tio n of yet another dreary male fantasy, and it is hard to understand why this film was shown at this year’s Festival. Barbara Alysen

Shorts Perhaps m indful of the generally ap­ pa lling q u ality of su p p o rts in com ­ mercial cinemas, many Festival patrons tend to skip the shorts shown at festivals. Sadly, these are often among the better film s screened. The Waving Girl (West Germany) ad­

Censorship Listings Continued from P. 533 Oldrich Lipsky/Barrandov Studios, Czechoslovakia (2800.00 m) Ai No Borei — L.Empire De La Passion (Empire of Passion): Oshima Prods/Argos Films, Japan/France (2962.00 m) Alambrista: M. Hausman/lrwin Young, U.S.A. (2970.00 m) A Menesgazda (The Stud-Farm): A. Kovacs/Objettiv & Dialog Studio, Hungary (2743.00 m) Anari: i. J. Brothers, Pakistan (4247.00 m) Arven (Next of Kin): A. Breien/Norsk Film, Norway (2469.00 m) Assault on Precinct 13: J. Kaplan, U.S.A. (2496.00 m) The Asylum: Common Film Produktion, W. Germany (2518.00 m) Bajecni Muzi S Klikou (Wonderful Men With a Crank): J. M e nze l/B a rra nd o v S tudios, C zechoslovakia (2304.00 m) B rum ika (Th e Role): S. B e n e g a l/B la z e Film Enterprises, India (3841.00 m) Bilbao: P. Coromina/Figaro Films/Ona Films, Spain (2800.00 m) Black and White Like Day and Night: Filmverlag Der Autoren, W. Germany (2825.00 m) Bush Mama (16 mm): H. Gerlma, U.S.A. (1274.00 m) The Case of Cruelty to Prawns (16 mm): Thames Television, U.K. (676.00 m) Chameleon (A Formal Comedy in Four Chords): M. Bennett/J. Jost, U.S.A. (2469.00 m) Chez Nous: Bengt Forslund/Swedish Film Institute, Sweden (2743.00 m) Chuquiago: Ukamau Productora Cinematografica, Bolivia (2385.00 m) The Circus Tent: General Pictures, India (3566.00 m) The Consequence: Bemd Eichinger/Solaris/WDR, W. Germany (2729.00 m) The Crying Woman: D. Delorme/Les Productions De La Gueville, France (2496.00 m) Die Schweizermacher (The Swissmakers): M. Hoehn, Switzerland (3090.00 m) Dreamspeaker (16 mm): Canadian Broadcasting Commission, Canada (975.00 m) Ecce Bomb«: N. Morretti/AI Phabetafilm, Italy (2825.00 m)

580 — Cinema Papers, September-October

CENSORSHIP LISTINGS

ded to an already substantial number of films which have used Ravel’s “ Bolero” on the soundtrack. Consisting of a con­ tinuous rolling title set to music, The Waving Girl amused many members of the au dience who th o u g h t it was a parody of Albie Thom s’ Australian avant­ garde classic Bolero. On the closing night of the Festival part of Film Australia’s History of the Cinema s e rie s , Now You’re Talking was screened. A th o u g h tfu lly-re se a rch e d com pilation of Australian film s from the 1930s and 1940s, Now You’re Talking provides a sound introduction to an era of cinematic naivety, and comments on the social and political overtones of the film s that appeared on the screens du r­ ing that period. Last year the Festival screened Martha C oolidge’s Not a Pretty Picture, one of very few attempts to look at rape from the victim ’s point of view. Coolidge’s entry this year, Bimbo (U.S.), reveals the same sense of irony evident in her earlier work. Three male high school friends meet 12 years after graduation: one has become a man-on-his-way-up, unwilling to indulge the past; another is a suc­ cessful but unfulfilled businessman; and the third has joined the circus. Bimbo makes some oblique com­ ments about popular notions of success and failure, and shows that it is never too late to make a fresh start. Change of Life (Britain) is a charming, if not subtle, portrait of three m iddleaged spinster sisters. Two of the women find themselves conspiring to make the other conform as she tries to break out of a life-long mould. On reflection, Change of Life leans a little too far towards slap­ stick, and its portrayal of middle-age is tainted by a hint of malice. Other British shorts screened included News from Nowhere, an enlightening, and o b v io u s ly c o s tly b io g ra p h y of pioneer socialist, artist and eccentric, W illiam Morris; and a memorable drama, Begging the Ring, about a young man defying his call-up notice during World War 1, in the hope of becoming a local sporting hero. As usual, several excellent animated film s from Canada were screened, among them Special Delivery and The Bronswick Affair. The form er, a saga of passion, failed domesticity and man­ slaughter set in the suburbs, was voted the m ost po p u la r sho rt film by the Festival audience. Unfortunately, the only Canadian fea­ ture shown this year, Skip Tracer, lacked the inventiveness evident in many Cana­

El Diputado (The Deputy): Figaro Films, Spain (3173.00 m) ' Far From Home (16 mm): P rovobis Film, W. Germany/lran (987.00 m) For Your Pleasure: Swedish Film Institute, Sweden (2885.00 m) Gates of Heaven: E. Morris, U.S.A. (2332.00 m) George Segal (16 mm): Blackwood Prods, U.S.A. (700.00 m) Hullabaloo Over Georgy and Bonnie’s Pictures (16 mm): i. Merchant, U.K. (900.00 m) In a Year of 13 Moons: Filmverlag Der Autoren, W. Germany (3538.00 m) Insiang: Mariposa Prods, Philippines (2496.00 m) In the Forest: P. Mulloy/B.F.I., U.K. (2195.00 m) I Tembelides Tis Eforis Kiladas (Idle People of the Fertile Valley): N. Panayotopoulos, Greece (3240.00 m) Jeanne Dielman: Paradise Films/Unit Three Bruxelles, France/Belgium (5349.00 m) Kingdom of Naples: D, Geissler/Munic Films, W Germany (3838.00 m) Kondura/Anugraham (The Boon): S. Benegal/Raviraj Int., India (3457.00 m) Kostas: Illumination Films, Australia (2880.00 m) La Escojeta Nacional (The National Shotgun): A. Matas, Spain (2800.00 m) " Last Chants for a Slow Dance (Deadend) (16 mm): J. Jost, U.S.A. (1016.00 m) La Terra Trema: Universalia, Italy (5000.00 m) Le Dossier 51: Elefilm-SFP-Maran Film, France (2962.00 m) Ligabue: Rai-TV, Italy (3456.00 m) Long Shot (16 mm): M. Hatton, U.K. (980.00 m) Los Ojos Vendados (Blindfolded): C. Saura/Ellas Quejereta Prods, Spain (2990.00 m) Lynn Seymour — In a Class of Her Own (16 mm): Neilsen-Ferns Int’l, Canada (702.00 m) Macten (The Mine): Y. Ozkan, Turkey (2465.00 m) A Man Escaped (16 mm): Societe Nouvelie Des Establlssements Gaumont, France (1326.00 m) Martin and Lea: Les Productions De La Gueville, France (2387.00 m) Messidor: Y. Gasser/Y. Peyrot, Swltzerland/France (3292.00 m) Mig Og Charly (Me and Charly): Steen Herdel Film, Denmark (2810.00 m) The Murderer of Pedralbes: Figaro Films, Spain (2970.00 m)

dian shorts. Skip tracers are people who do the dirty work for hire purchase com ­ panies, and presumably only heartless fellows get involved in that line of busi­ ness. But Zale Dallen’s film presents a portrait of a hard-nosed businessman with a soft core; it reeks of moral indigna­ tion and ends on a bloody, but entirely foreseeable note. Barbara Alysen

The Greater Union and Mamoulian Awards There are four awards for Australian short film s m ade each year at the Festival. Three are part of the Greater Union Awards: the categories are Fiction, General and Documentary, and entries are judged by members of the film in­ dustry. The other, the Rouben M am ou­ lian Award, is judged by the Festival’s foreign delegates. Traditionally, the locals and visitors have disagreed on the most m eritorious films. This year was an exception, with the Documentary and Mamoulian awards going to Essie Coffey’s My Survival as an

Aboriginal.'

Sonia Hoffman’s Morris Loves Jack, produced at the Australian Film and Television School, won the Fiction Award. I gather the plot of Morris Loves Jack is supposed to come as a surprise: suffice to say here that while it doesn’t, the film is weil made, and features, as usual, convincing performances from John Hargreaves and Kris McQuade. The winner of the General Award, Brendon Stretch’s Payrole, combines optical printing and color tinting with languid dialogue, to describe the aim­ lessness that goes with being young and out of work. Evoking a fringe lifestyle rather than trying to analyse it, Stretch’s film has a good deal more to say than many of the documentaries available on the subject; but its form — which is uni­ que — also makes it inaccessible to many of those who should see it. Barbara Alysen

Forums There were 10 afternoon forum s held during the Festival. These involved dis­ cussions on a wide range of topics (from

women in film to film criticism ) accom ­ panied by screenings of film s that par­ ticularly warranted discussion, or fell out­ side the normal program ming. The W omen’s Film Forum was com ­ piled by Feminist Film W orkers, a col­ lective of independent film producers and distributors. It was the most tightly structured of the forum s and resulted in a stim ulating, if inconclusive, debate among the sizable audience. The session began with a screening of a collage of images from three Austra­ lian features (Caddie, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and Newsfront), which were con­ trasted with segments from the Austra­ lian short film We Aim to Please, by Robyn Laurie and Margot Nash, and John Berger's Ways of Seeing. These disparate images were tied together with a narration delivered by actress and director, Kerry Dwyer. The choice of clips paid too little respect to their original contexts, but they did highlight the all-too-com m on m anipulation of women for emotional im ­ pact. Unfortunately, the forunr) paid too much attention to deciphering the cine­ matic image of women and too little to strategies to end this manipulation. The Film Criticism Forum featured British reviewer Derek Malcolm (The Guardian), and American w riter and his­ torian Professor A lbert Johnson, as well as Australians Paddy McGuinness ( The National Times) and Meaghan Morris. Albert Johnson provoked envy among the A u s tra lia n s by a llu d in g to his generous deadlines, which allowed him time for research before he wrote. Derek M alcolm also revealed tha t he was allow ed co n sid e ra b ly m ore freedom from his paper than most of his Austra­ lian counterparts. But the fact that some foreign publica­ tions care enough about the quality of their film reviews to allow writers time to research, and remunerate their authors adequately, was confused with the w rite r’s own responsibilities toward the subject matter. Derek Malcolm also trod on a few toes by suggesting that Austra­ lian reviewers were irresponsible, and cited as an example the local reviews of The Night The Prowler — which he con­ sidered to be a gem of the Australian cinema. There was agreement among the pan­ el about the sort of film reviews that ought to be written, but most Australian writers are still hamstrung by their news­ papers, w hich generally give scant regard to the arts.

1. Reviewed in this issue. My Way Home: B.F.I. Production, U.K. (1975.00 m) Obyasnenie V Lubvi: Lenfllm, U.S.S.R. (3672.00 m) Okupacija U 26 Slika (Occupation in 26 Pictures): S. Kaplc, Yugoslavia (3100.00 m) Ossessione (16 mm): ICI, Italy (1456.00 m) Poltin (16 mm): B. Quinn, Ireland (700.00 m) Race, The Spirit of Franco: Septiembre P.C., Spain (2640.00 m) Rancheador (Slave Hunter): I.C.A.I.C., Cuba (2277.00 m) The Revelation:. Norsk Film Production, Norway (2673.00 m) 1 ' A Ritual: Suvarnagiri Films, India (3840.00 m) School Waltz: Central Studio, U.S.S.R. (2645.00 m) The Score: Europe Film/Ri-Film, Sweden (3237.00 m) Simplicio: Margarita Films C.A., Venezuela (3300.00 m) Skip Tracer: L. Dalen, Canada (2469.00 m) Slaegton (The Baron): J. Betzer, Denmark (3182.00 m)' Sleepwalkers: Profllmes S.A., Spain (2850.00 m) Spirala (Spiral): Zespoly Filmowe, Poland (2375.00 m) Stars in the Hair Tears in the Eyes: Bulgarofilm, Bulgaria (2993.00 m) A Story of Floating Weeds (16 mm): Shochiki/Kamata, Japan (1157.00 m) A Summer Tale: Romaniafilm, Romania (3402.00 m) The Temple of the Golden Pavilion: Y. Takabayashl Prod., Japan (3008.00 m) Those Wonderful Men With the Crank: Czechoslovak Film, Czechoslovakia (2304.00 m) Uccellacci E Uccellini (16 mm): Arco Film, Italy (943.42 m) ' Une Histoire Simple (A Simple Story): C. Berri, France/W. Germany (3018.00 m) Un Moment D’Egarement (In a Wild Moment): C. Berri, France (2312.00 m) V io le tte N o ziere: F ilm e l, FR3, C in e v id e o , France/Canada (3346.00 m) W ilm ington 10— U .S.A . 10,000 (16 mm): H. Gerima/Positive Productions, U.S.A. (1560.00 m) You Are Not Alone: S. Herdel Fllm-Produktion APS, Denmark (2580.00 m) Zerda’s Children (16 mm): Phoenix Films, U.S.A. (728.00 m) Zoo Zero: Pierre & Francois Barat, France (2800.00 m) Special Conditions: That the ‘For General Exhibition’ classification for these films shall apply only for the purposes of exhibition of the films at the Fourth International Film Festival for Children in Adelaide

Barbara Alysen during the period commencing on the thirtieth day of April 1979 and expiring on the fifth day of May 1979 (both dates inclusive). G e n tlem a n Boys: F ilm S tu d io B a rra n d o v , Czechoslovakia (2400.00 m) Stroakotanie Danubia: Slovak Film, Czechoslovakia (2016.00 m) Special Conditions: That the film be shown only to its members by the National Film Theatre of Australia. Gogodala: A Cultural Revival (16 mm): Institute of Papua Niugini, Papua Niugini (1100.00 m)

FILMS REGISTERED WITH ELIMINATIONS For Restricted Exhibition (R) Les Plaisirs Solitaires: F. Leroi/Cinema Plus, France (2370.48 m) Eliminations: 84.5 metres (3 mins 5 secs) Reason: Indecency

FILMS REFUSED REGISTRATION Devils in Mykonos (Reconstructed version)’ : N. Mastorakis, Greece (2779.00 m) Reason: Indecency and excessive violence. The Dirty Mind of Young Sally (Reconstructed version)2: B. Buckalew, U.S.A. (2123.90 m) Reason: Indecency. 1. Previously shown on May 1978 List. Previously shown on November 1978 List.

2.

FILMS BOARD OF REVIEW The Last of the Knucklemen: T. Burstall/Hexagon, Australia (2538.00 m) Decision reviewed: ‘R’ registration by the Film Censorship Board. Decision of the Board: Uphold the decision of the Film Censorship Board. Over the Edge: G. Litto, U.S.A. (2649.00 m) Decision reviewed: ‘R‘ registration by the Film Censorship Board. Decision of the Board: Uphold the decision of the Film Censorship Board. if "


INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTION ROUND-UP

International Production Round-up Continued from P. 543 director Pasquale Festa Campanile; Elio Petri has started shooting Le buone notizi; Virna Lisi and Max Von Sydow star in Stefan Rollo’s Una vita a tracolla; and Dario Argenta is writing and directing Inferno.

Hong Kong Shaw Brothers are among the major in­ vestors in Ronald Neame’s Meteor, which was plagued with special effects problems, but is now scheduled to start shooting in lateSeptember. Shaw Brothers are also backing Steve McQueen’s two-part Taipan. Shaw Brothers’ rival Raymond Chow is heavily promoting Roger Vadim’s Night Games, and has recently seen healthy box­ office results from Sidney Furie's The Boys in Company C. Chow is also planning an $8.3 million sea epic Shipkiller, and a horror thriller entitled The Rats, but is concentrating on the $12 million High Road to China, to be directed by John Huston, from the book by Australian author Jon Cleary. Arthur Penn will locate his latest film Cliks in Hong Kong and Tokyo for Columbia in January. German producer Wolfgang Hartwig will make his eighth Hong Kong-based film The Vultures in February. A spy-drama based on his own screenplay, The Vultures stars Virna Lisi, Franco Cerbi and Marc Golding.

be scripted by playwright Robert Lord, now liv­ ing in New York; and John O’Shea (Pacific) films are packaging several titles as a result of an overseas marketing trip to Britain, West Germany and the U.S. Hollywood filmmakers are now taking long, hard looks at the prospects of basing produc­ tions in New Zealand. However, David Lean and his backers are in two minds about New Zealand as a base for major sequences in the $40 million two-part blockbuster on the Bounty mutiny, following “big problems on taxation of cast and crew” . Lean’s executive team spent considerable time in New Zealand earlier this year trying to gain concessions on the salary tax of their visiting personnel when it was learned a double-taxation situation would prevail (which means the overseas cast and crew would be taxed on location and again in the U.S.). This would add to the already sub­ stantial budget if the producers had to pay. The New Zealand government says special legislation would have to be created to allow the concessions sought by the Lean ex­ ecutives, which would create legal and political problems with visitors and short-term workers in the country. The Bounty ship replica, built in New Zealand, has undergone successful sea-trials there while Lean and producer Phil Kellogg decide where to shoot two other films, The

Lawbreakers and The Long Arm. Anthony Hopkins has signed to play Captain Bligh, and Jon Voight will play mutiny leader Fletcher Christian. Lean plans a 42-week shooting schedule. Much-lauded producer Robert Radnltz has packaged a $1.6 million feature for New Zealand’s northern islands, based on Sylvia Ashton-Warner’s widely-acclaimed novel Teacher. Radnitz says a Hollywood company will team up with Michael Firth (Pentacle Films) and the Marac Corporation to make the film early in November. The NZFC advanced moneys for script development on the story which concerns the highly-successful educa­ tion techniques used by Ashton-Warner among Maori tribes in the north of New Zealand. Radnitz will sign a leading U.S. direc­ tor, but the bulk of the crew will be from New Zealand. The Thorn Birds’ associate producer Paul Hitchcock has surveyed several South Island locations, following reconnaissance In Italy and Australia, as Warner Bros and director Herbert Ross prepare for a November start on the $12 million screen version of Colleen McCullough’s bestseller. Jon Voight and Jane Fonda have been cast in the lead roles. Tony Williams, director-cinematographer on the New Zealand-Australian feature Solo — co-produced by Sydney independent film­

maker David Hannay — was invited to Hollywood to shoot location sequences for entertainer Kenny Rogers’ new special for the CBS network. Williams, the leading New Zealand commercials maker, shot some strik­ ing tour footage for Rogers when he was in New Zealand last year. The singer was greatly impressed and has asked CBS to fly Williams in for the exterior shooting of the big-budgeted show. Australian actor-writer Roger Ward will spend September in New Zealand finalizing packaging his drama Reflex, which will be located in and around Wellington, late In January. Ward and New Zealand barrister Richard Hughes have secured substantial private investment in the project and hope to involve the NZFC in the $455,000 production. Reflex will be shot in New Zealand, with a largely local crew and cast. Two other Australian actors, Bruce Spence and Tony Barry, will star in the comedy-chase Meatball, to be produced by Geoff Murphy and directed by Ian Mune. Locations “all over New Zealand” are planned. Seeing Red, a season of six Australian films by women directors, has toured New Zealand. The program was organized by the New Zealand Students Art Council through the Sydney Filmmakers Co-operative, and screened in all major cities. ★

Turkey Turkey’s once bustling film industry is slow­ ing down at an alarming rate, and fears are held for its future. Devaluation of the Turkish lire by 75 per cent recently caused economic havoc and had a widespread effect on film investment. Turker Inogbu, president of the Turkish Film Producers’ Association, says 20 production companies have closed down this year, and film production has dropped rapidly — from 287 in 1977 to 172 last year — and only 48 are expected to be completed this year. Inogbu said: “The various governments of late have ignored the filmmakers. They gave $12 million to the state theatre for opera, plays and ballet, but nothing to the film industry. They couldn’t care if we faded away.” Latest figures indicate film unemployment is nearing 12,000, and some prom inent producers and directors are leaving the country. At least three leading actors and two actresses have already migrated, including Desmir Trugat, the top box-office star from 1970 to 1977.

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New Zealand Feature film production in New Zealand is escalating each month, and with private invest­ ment becoming more readily available, follow­ ing the New Zealand Film Commission’s endeavors, local filmmakers have strong prospects of getting viable projects before the cameras. Paul Maunder’s Sons For The Return Home is in post-production after shooting in New Zealand, Western Samoa and London. A romance, it stars Uelese Petaia and Fiona Lindsay, and will be released by the Kerridge Odean Organization in October. Already in release is John Reid’s comedydrama Middle-Age Spread starring Grant Tilly, Dorothy McKegg, Donna Akersten and Sydney actor Peter Sumner. Geoff Steven's Skin Deep has done well in local release, and has been shown at the Longford Cinema in Melbourne. It also opened the 1979 Annual New Directors/New Films Festival in New York, and was invited to the Denver, Seattle, Melbourne and Lucarno Film Festivals. Director Roger Donaldson is preparing to shoot Smash Palace; Alan Lindsay is to direct Gunner Inglorious; David Blyth’s Angel Mine has been bought for theatrical distribution in London; and producer John Barnett has received a second script development ad­ vance from the NZFC for Beyond Reasonable Doubt. The NZFC's marketing director, Lindsay Shelton, reports several major deals for the eight features presented at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival, and several more are awaiting ratification. Shelton also revealed that there is genuine interest in New Zealand as a location for several European features. Talks are also in progress for at least three co-productions as a result of the NZFC presence at Cannes. Other features being developed in New Zealand include Michael Black’s Pictures, to

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1979 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

1979 Cannes Film Festival C o n tin u e d fro m P . 5 0 7

nuanced observation of all those subtle cultural collisions which make fo r the typically Jamesian. West G erm any’s com petitive entries also derived from im peccable literary sources, and both illustrated, in different modes, the hazards of literary adapta­ tion. W hile passages of Georg Buchner’s fragm entary W o y z e c k suggest several obvious affinities with Herzog’s Kaspar Hauser, Herzog’s film — and it’s all the more surprising from the maker of Heart of Glass and Aguirre — fails to provide a visual equivalent for the black, brooding and carnivorous nature which emanates from Buchner’s original text. Delft, with its toytown streets and tidy Flemish interiors, dominates the im ­ agery, reducing W oyzeck’s torm ents to a neat dom estic scale on which there is no place for the epic contortions of Klaus Kinski’s perform ance. Far from underlin­ ing the theme (of the rare individual hounded to destruction by a blinkered and corrupt society), the gap between Kinski’s Neanderthal prim itive hero and the social caricatures who surround him proves too great for a single film to sur­ mount. Herzog’s text proves fragm entary in a different m anner from the original — a succession of disjunctive moods punc­ tuated by some exquisite poetic m o­ ments. Thé adaptation problem s involved in S chlondorff’s Tin Drum are of a different order. This epically-am bitious project is m arred by its very fidelity to its source m aterial, by the fact that many a surreal image from the printed page becomes gross and literal when rendered visually, and by the fact that a fantastical narrative m ode (even when faithfully preserved in the stunted O skar’s com m entary) lacks the power to transcend or transform im ­ ages of real destruction. Reality kills surrealism, at least from the moment war breaks out. Before that, for the film’s first hour, The Tin Drum, is easily Schlondorffs finest achievement, its irony and caricatured figures enable him to achieve a distance and control often lacking from his more personal ex­ pressions of indignation. But while his style undergoes no violent shifts in the course of the film, his material does; as the images of destruction multiply, the film begins to sink under its metaphoric w eight, and the ironic detachm ent becomes a minus point. A literary adaptation, from Knut Hansun’s novelette Victoria, about the starcrossed love between a m iller’s son and the lord of the m anor’s daughter, also provided W iderberg with the material for what was certainly the nadir of the Can­ nes com petition: a junior-league Elvira Madigan, d u bb ed in to e xcru cia tin g

A m e ric a n d ia lo g u e , w h ic h s w iftly d e g e n e ra te s in to a s e n t im e n ta l travelogue of the Norwegian fiords. Scenery was also dom inant in Andrew M ikhalov-Kontchalovski’s Siberiade, an epic (210-minutes long) attem pt to trace the last 80 years of Russian history through the fortunes of several genera­ tions of inhabitants in a rem ote Siberian village: an attem pt to reflect the vast social changes, since 1900, through observation of the m icrocosm ic changes in village life. Nature and history are the film ’s p rin cip a l cha racters, w ith the human figures taking a secondary, anec­ d o ta l o r illu s tra tiv e ro le . T he film becomes an epic historical canvas, lack­ ing the foreground that m ight give it focus. The East European penchant for what might be described as the Fresco school of film m aking was also evident in Miklos Jancso’s latest diptych, Hungarian Rhap­ sody (Parts I and II), a folkloric abstrac­ tion of the history of Istvan Zsadanyi, an aristocratic officer who, after killing the people’s candidate in the 1911 elections, was to go on to become a popular resistance hero in W orld War 2. Jancso allows his now-fam iliar livery stable — of horses and bare-breasted maidens — to weave their balletic way through the pale shadows of the story, even adding in a few naked boys and the odd anachronistic hang-glider for good measure. Not even these innovations, however, can obscure the film ’s overall effect of d e j a - v u , of a style gradually refined of its subject m atter until it reaches the insubstantiality of a dream — o r a recurring nightmare. More meaty, if suffering from a similar case of excess choreography, was the Yugoslavian entry by Lordan Zafranovic, Occupation in 26 Pictures, which traces the impact of the fascist occupation through the shifting relationships between three youths — a Jew, a social climber and a staunch patriot. The film moves progressively from idyll to night­ mare (at a somewhat self-indulgent pace), but its impact is blunted by the fact that its scenes of sadistic repression proved, for this squeamish reviewer at any rate, to be literally unwatchable. One of the most encouraging trends to confirm itself in Cannes this year was the confirmation that the state-owned in­ dustries of Eastern Europe are now magnanimous or secure enough to ac­ commodate idiosyncratic and critical, if not actually dissident, voices. Z s o lt K e z d i- K o v a c s ’ The Nice Neighbour offered a marvellous complex p o rtra it of the kind of self-se eking m anipulator (a W h a t M a k e s S a m m y R u n ? with no real destination) who is ul­ tim a te ly a s o c ia l m e n a c e in any ideological context. As central to the story as its low-cunning hero is its set­

Andrzej Wajda's Rough Treatment: exploring the processes by which an individual finds that he has no control over the shape of his public or private life.

Werner Herzog’s Woyzeck: a succession of disjunctive moods punctuated by some exquisite moments. tin g , a ra m b lin g B u d a p e s t h o u se scheduled for dem olition. Its tenants seek to annexe and territorialize a max­ imum amount of space to qualify for larger premises when they are eventually re-housed. And w hile Janoz Zsom bolyai’s gracefully hand-held camera ex­ plores the building with a loving curiosity, the ‘good n e ig h b o r’ Dibusz (Laszlo Szabo) schemes his way to ever-greater territorial conquests — consigning his aged father to an old folks’ home, driving out his female neighbors with equally in­ apposite attempts at courtship and rape, denouncing an elderly music professor (possessor of a coveted three-room flat) as a homosexual. Two salient virtues redeem the film from schematization or easy moralizing: Dibusz can’t prevent himself developing genuine concern for the involvement with the very people he is exploiting, so that emotional losses constantly balance his te rrito ria l gains; and K ezdi-Kovacs avoids all easy sentimentalizing by show­ ing the monstrous egocentricity and causal meanness of which old people, even more than young self-seekers, are capable. Finally, and after the revelation last year of Man of Marble, it should come as no surprise to find Andrzej W ajda back in top form as he explores, in Rough Treat­ ment, the processes by which an in­ dividual finds that he has no control over the shape of either his public or his private life. As in Man of Marble, W adja is again concerned with the manipulation of public images, and the gap between image and reality; but this time his story is all the more chilling for having no par­ ticularly portentous ring. His hero here is a political correspon­ dent (a voyeur of other people’s political u p h e a va ls) w ho is firs t in tro d u c e d through a television profile which offers a coherent image of him as a professional success and securely happy fam ily man.

But from the m oment of the telecast ( w h ic h f in d s d i s f a v o r w ith th e authorities), the image begins to chip away: his wife leaves him for a young demagogue, his university classes are abruptly cancelled, his office desk is ap­ propriated by another journalist, he finds h im s e lf o s tra c iz e d fo r th o s e very qualities for which he had been honored. After energetic efforts to alter his situa­ tion, to change the new ly-rigidified at­ titudes of his wife and the authorities, he settles down to confront his pain (the Polish title of the film translates as “ W ithout Anaesthetic” ). And his most lethally-painful discovery is that the truth, whose cause he has confidently thought to serve, is an infinitely malleable sub­ stance: it is his divorce case which reveals to him the elastic nature of ‘facts’ and the diverse interpretations which can be wrought from them. It would, of course, be easy for anti­ socialists to read W ajda’s film as an in­ dictm ent of a system of governm ent in which the political purge, even if signed with a velvet-gloved hand, is still a fam iliar occurrence. But that would be to miss the universality of what it has to say and show (life in a Western television­ network being no more secure than that on a state-owned newspaper). W ajda’s greatness lies in the fact that he is the historian of an age, rather than of any particular ideology. He is aware that the age of the individual is dead, equally aware that the social machinery w h i c h c o n d i t i o n s , e x p l o i t s or manipulates all lives can, by each of us, only be experienced individually. And that, without the anaesthetic effects of a c o h e re n t r a tio n a liz a tio n , th e g a p between private feeling and public facts, is too painful for many to survive within. It is certainly significant that his discredited hero (sup erb ly played by Zbigniew Zapasiewicz) should die in an accident for which no one is to blame. ★

Cinema Papers. September-October — 583


AUSTRALIAN TELEVISION

Australian Television Continued from P. 515 Tariff Board did hear evidence from the tele­ vision licensees on the financial problems in­ volved in improving the quality of Australian programs, but it was not interested in recom­ mending s-ubsidies or tax remissions because it stated that the number of channels and hours which had to be covered by advertising revenue was far more than in most other countries. However, it did recommend that the govern­ ment film body should operate an agency to buy all overseas television programs and control their distribution equitably. In so doing it hoped that the reduction in costs of buying overseas programs passed to the stations would result in the latter allocating, its savings to program­ ming, thus raising the quality. The Senate Standing Committee took evidence for three years, providing a continuing forum for public criticism of broadcasting over that period. It also produced three reports31 which further opened up the debate on the struc­ ture and control of television, and recom­ mended a system of public radio broadcasting.

The F ailure of th e Labor governm ent The change in government in December 1972 brought all sorts of promises and a new Depart­ ment of the Media. The Government’s media policy was outlined at the Australian Labor Party Conference in July 1973 by the Minister for the Media, Douglas McClelland, a former member of the Vincent Committee, who promised that employment of Australians in film and television would be increased, that the Government would give priority to breaking up the monopoly of the airwaves, and would provide public access to the broadcasting medium. The pressure groups and unions waited for things to happen, but it was not long, however, before they were uniting to fight the Government they had fought so hard to put in. The Minister made key appointments to the new department from commercial television and this began to destroy the confidence the pressure groups had in him. He then abolished listeners’ licences (a possible method of freeing the ABC from direct government financial control) without any public discussion, and appeared to court Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Pic­ ture Association of America, who visited Aus­ tralia after the change in government, and who was on record as saying his objectives were to fight foreign governments which were attempt­ ing to strangle American motion picture business abroad. There was also no action on the early announcements of the revocation of one television licence in the four capital cities34, and no adequate discussions with the unions on the introduction of a points system to regulate Aus­ tralian content. The union pressure which had built up over the previous 10 years never left the Minister alone. The Film Industry Action Committee, formed to oppose the visit of Jack Valenti, became a strong force, and added a new film dimension to the media lobby. There was a growing feeling of distrust towards the Minister, 33. Australian Parliament. Senate Standing Committee on Education, Science and the Arts. Progress Report on “ All Aspects of Television and Broadcasting, including Australian content of television programmes” . October 1972. Second Progress Report, August-1973. Third Progress Report, April 1975. 34. Hall, S. Super toy: 20 Years o f Australian Television. Sun Books, Melbourne, 1976. Contains a detailed ac­ count of this period.

584 — Cinema Papers, September-October

The System Changes All the agitation for an inquiry, the changes in ownership and control, and the revocation of the points system persuaded the Control Board to set up an advisory committee to look into stan­ dards. The Committee was chaired by Dr Patricia Edgar, but did not report until Feb­ ruary 1976, after the change in government. Its report3* echoed the Tariff Board Report by link­ ing standards with the structure of the television system and its economics, and recalled the earlier promises of the Minister of the Media in the Labor government by recommending the revocation of a licence in each of the four capital cities. There were protests from the licensees who felt that under the new government (which was busily dismantling the Department of the Olivia Newton-John makes her debut on HSV-7’s HaDDV Media) they did not have to take the recom­ Show. mendations seriously. However, the Govern­ exacerbated by the lack of consultation about ment set up an inquiry, conducted by the new the legislation setting up the Australian Film Department of Posts and Telecommunications, Commission; the lack of action in relation to now made responsible for broadcasting. The breaking the media monopolies; and the lack of terms of reference were “to inquire into the Aus­ success with the points system, which resulted in tralian broadcasting system with particular the compilation of a dossier on the Minister regard to the machinery and procedures for con­ requesting his removal, and reorganization of trol, planning, licensing regulation, funding and the department. The campaign was successful and the Minister was replaced. But before the stitute of Political Science proceedings of the 41st Sum­ mer School, 1976. new Minister, Dr Moss Cass, could do any more ABCB. A report submitted to the ABCB by the Ad­ than suspend for two hours a commercial tele­ 38. visory Committee on Program Standards. February vision station in Hobart (TVT-6) for carrying too many commercials (the first time a tele­ vision licence had been suspended)35, the C h ro n o lo g y o f E v e n ts Government lost office. The Labor government’s achievements in the 1923 Introduction of Sealed System of Broadcasting. area of television were not very great. Certainly, 1924 Introduction of “ A” and “ B” class licences for radio. there was more Australian content and more 1927 Royal Commission on Wireless. money for experimentation, but greater public 1929 “ A” licences expire, and the Australian Broadcasting is given three-year programming contract. access to the medium turned out to be a few 1932 Company Australian Broadcasting Commission established. programs on the ABC; breaking the ownership 1942 Report of Joint Parliamentary Committee on Broad­ monopoly became setting up public radio casting (Gibson Report). First broadcasting legislation. stations; and greater employment led to a paper Australian Broadcasting Control Board established. war between the unions and the Minister about 1949 Government announces six national television stations the Control Board’s report on Australian con­ in the six capital cities. tent. 1950 New government announces one national television station in Sydney, and one commercial television sta­ The solid achievements were in radio and the tion each in Sydney and Melbourne. film industry, the setting up of the AFC, the A Television Advisory Committee announced. Australian Film and Television School, and the 1951 Television Advisory Committee reports to the Film Radio and Television Board, and the intro­ Minister. duction of public broadcasting. The first two of 1952 Government decides to shelve plans for television. 1953 Television Act enables commercial television. these, however, were in hand before the change 1954 Royal Commission recommends one national and two of government, and all were additions to the ex­ commercial television licences in Sydney, and same in isting system rather than changes to that system. Melbourne. The Labor government can fairly claim that 1955 Public hearings into the Sydney and Melbourne licences. its legislation to put teeth into the Control Board 1956 Television begins in Sydney and Melbourne. was blocked by the Senate,36but the need for this 1958 Public hearings, and two commercial television legislation was disputed by Senator James Mc­ licences granted in Brisbane and in Adelaide, and one licence in Perth and in Hobart. Clelland. The Government did appoint to the Public hearings into the third commercial television Board two strong, outspoken members — Dr 1963 licence in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Geoffrey Evans and Dr Patricia Edgar — but Second licence in Perth. failed to review or overhaul the broadcasting Report on Senate Select Committee inquiry into the encouragement of Australian productions (Vincent system. Senator James McClelland, who had in April 1966 Report). ABCB Advisory Committee on Educational Televi­ 1973 taken over the chairmanship of the Senate sion Services (Weedon Report). Standing Committee looking into broadcasting, 1970 “TV — Make it Australian” campaign. described the situation in January 1975 in a plea 1972 Senate Standing Committee into Broadcasting. Department of the Media established. for a Royal Commission. He said that the media 1973 Points system for Australian content introduced. was a disaster area, with the institutions in dis­ Report on Tariff Revision — Motion Picture Films array and the future murky, and added that; and Television. “The Australian Broadcasting Control Board 1976 ABCB Advisory Committee Report on Program Stan­ dards (Edgar Report). is a bad joke, the ABC is a dithering, timid old Postal and Telecommunications Department Report fuddy duddy, commercial television and radio into Australian Broadcasting (Green Report). foster mediocrity and decry quality and the Senate Standing Committee into Education and the Arts inquiry into the impact of television on the Department of the Media, if I may put it development and learning of children. neutrally, has yet to prove itself.”37 ABCB disbanded. 35. ABCB. Annual Report, 1976. 36. Australian Parliament. Parliamentary Debate House of Representatives 90, 1974; 91, 1974. Senate 62, 1974. 37. Major, G. Mass Media in Australia. Australian In-

1977 Australian Broadcasting Tribunal established. Report on Self-Regulation for Broadcasters. 1978 First television licence/renewal hearings in Adelaide. Task Force on National Communications Satellite System Report.


AUSTRALIAN TELEVISION

administration of the system.” pressure groups on the new legislation, and the Under its chairman, Fred Green, the secretary appointment of commercial broadcasters as of the new department, the committee took writ­ Tribunal members, again raised distrust about ten evidence from interested parties and pro­ the motives of the Government. The Tribunal’s duced a report in September 197639 which had a first task — to conduct an inquiry into self­ stormy reception. When it was properly ex­ regulation by the broadcasters — was therefore amined, however, the Green Report proved to be met with cynicism. a document which could provide a philosophy Still, the public and unions came forward in for broadcasting and a blueprint for reorganiza­ their hundreds, demanding more Australian tion. The Report stated that the inquiry had content, and more and better Australian child­ “ full appreciation of the need for the commer­ ren’s programs. The Tribunal reported to the cial sector to seek to serve community needs Government on self-regulation in July 1977 and, within the context of private enterprise opera­ to the surprise of its opponents, did not go all the tions, which have a responsibility to share­ way with the commercial broadcasters but holders to achieve an appropriate profit result recommended stronger control for children’s in relation to capital investment. . . However, programs, and the setting up of a Broadcasting in addition to directing their efforts to the Information Office to gather information and presentation of relatively stereotyped styles of represent the public at Tribunal hearings. programs which are known to attract high Throughout 1977 the public also gave numbers of viewers and listeners, it is most evidence to the reorganized Senate Standing desirable that the commercial sector should at Committee on Education and the Arts, which the same time attempt to introduce a measure was looking into “the impact of television on the of innovation and experim entation in development and learning behaviour of child­ programs catering to more sizeable, if not ren” . And by the end of 1977, the Government mass, audiences. This would also assist in had drafted legislation for public hearings into achieving a diversity of programming over all licence renewals. Then, in a surprise move, three sectors of the broadcasting system.” without any public discussion, it introduced a Within a year, the pressure groups which had new concept in broadcasting: the Special Broad­ supported the Labor government for its casting Service, a statutory authority which of­ promises, and then criticized it for not fered the possibility of providing yet another reorganizing the broadcasting system, now had a type of government-funded television service. government which had lost no time implement­ Those who welcomed a government which was ing one of the Report’s major recommenda­ prepared to provide, and stand by, a philosophy tions: namely, the dismantling of the Control and a blueprint for broadcasting, began to Board and the replacement of it with the Aus­ wonder whether action and reaction to pressure tralian Broadcasting Tribunal to provide a had not again taken over government policy. forum for the public voice over licence renewals — the linchpin of the Royal Commission The Future recommendations for improving programming, back in 1954. Last year saw the beginning of the Tribunal Lack of discussion with the unions and the hearings, the Government’s acceptance of the Self-Regulation Report (and, therefore, a Child­ 39. Postal and Telecommunications Department. Austra­ lian Broadcasting — a report on the structure of the ren’s Program Committee and the Broad­ Australian broadcasting system and associated matters. casting Information Office), the Report from September 1976. the Senate Standing Committee, “Children and Television”40 and the tabling of the Report, “ National Communications Satellite System” , written by the Task Force the Minister had set up.41 All of which raise these questions: (a) Will the Royal Commission’s 25-year-old concept of public hearings, as- part of a strategy to provide the public with a voice, be sufficient without the other part — a critical press? (b) Will the Broadcasting Information Office help the public train that voice, so that it is capable of making an independent con­ tribution, rather than providing the chorus for the media and union pressure groups? (c) Will the satellite provide commercial televi­ sion with the national network which was hoped for by some licensees in the early 1960s, but thwarted by the Government’s policy towards country station ownership? Perhaps the most important question which this history reveals, however, is when will all in­ terested groups and political parties stop looking for instant solutions and expedient palliatives, and discuss the real problems of broadcasting which Sir Richard Boyer identified in 1953 — namely, how to provide a service to all interes­ ted parties, commercial, educational, cultural, religious, political etc., who may now or in the future want to participate in television on a com­ mercial basis? ★

Graham Kennedy and Panda at the Big Barrel. In Melbourne Tonight, July 27, I960.

40. Australian Parliament. Senate Standing Committee on Education and the Arts. Report on Children and Televi­ sion. Inquiry into the impact of television on the development and learning behavior of children. 41. Australian Parliament. Commonwealth Government Task Force National Communication Satellite System Report. July 1978.

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Cinema Papers, September-October — 585


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‘C’ TELEVISION

‘C* Television Continued from P. 531 The other reason for committing stations to a fixed time slot was that the more creative, but expensive, fledgling children’s programs were thereby offered some protection from program managers who might choose to show cartoons in competition to them. It was expected that FACTS would empha­ sise economic considerations rather than the question of social responsibility about child­ ren’s television, although I believed FACTS was mistaken in taking a hard-line attitude. There was more to be gained from a softer and less stereotyped approach. One of the points that did not emerge in the press coverage of the recommendations was that the seven-member committee which prepared the guidelines included Rex Heading, managing director of Southern Television Corporation, Bruce Harris, chairman and managing director of SSC and B Lintas, and David Morgan of FACTS. So, the committee does not simply comprise people who know nothing about the in­ dustry as has been implied in recent media coverage. It is difficult to understand the logic behind the current criticism of the Children’s Program Committee’s function. It was clear from the time of the Self-Regulation Report, in July 1977, that if programs were to be classified ‘C’, some would be rejected. But no one referred to this until it happened. Then the rejection of pro­ grams was described as censorship, and “some of the most monstrous and undemocratic exam­ ples of government intervention” .11 FACTS’ statement on the classifications, made at this time by their Federal director, James Malone, said in part: “ For the First time in the history of broad­ casting in Australia, a Government agency has assumed full control of part of the broad­ cast day, dictating to viewers what they should see . . . Not even the Prime Minister demands or expects to be able to tell stations the time of day his addresses to the nation must go to air, yet the Tribunal has not hesitated to do so between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.” It is unfortunate that stations are not receiv­ ing full credit at a time when they are doing more for children’s television than they have in the past. FACTS views don’t represent the industry as a whole; historically it has tended to be dominated by the views of the Sydney stations. Privately, many station members disagree with the views FACTS state publicly on the child­ ren’s issue. Many stations accept the guidelines and are getting on successfully with the job of producing, buying, and commissioning child­ ren’s productions. In presenting its second report on the classi­ fication of children’s programs to the Tribunal in June this year, the Committee tried to clarify points it had made before, but which seemed to have been misunderstood in some quarters. It said: “ In classifying programs, the Committee is not deciding the suitability of programs for children; that is, it is not engaging in censor­ ship. The task which the Committee has been given is to decide the suitability of programs for presentation during that particular time of day which the Tribunal has decided should be set aside for programs specifically designed for children. The Committee’s decisions are made in the light of the guidelines which have been adopted for this particular purpose. The Committee recognizes that there are many 1. The News (Adelaide), July 11, 1979.

programs which are quite suitable for child­ ren to watch, and which may even, in some cases, be beneficial for them to watch; but un­ less a program has been specifically designed for children, in terms of the guidelines, these programs must be excluded from that par­ ticular time — from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on week­ days — which the Tribunal has in effect declared to be a ‘children’s hour!’ “ In classifying a program ‘C’, the Com­ mittee is not guaranteeing or predicting suc­ cess for that program. Further, it is not forc­ ing any station to present that program during the ‘C’ period, but it is merely stating that should a station wish to present it at that time, then it is a suitable program for that purpose. “There have been certain statements made to the effect that the Committee is interested in continuing school hours into after-school television, and that programs must have some formal educational qualities in order to gain a ‘C’ classification. The Committee considers that in view of the discussions which it has held with members of the industry, and the material which has so far been published, it would be clear that nothing is further from the members’ minds. We therefore repeat that programs must first of all be entertaining for children, and that didactic, formally-educational programs are not likely to meet this cri­ terion” . There was no press comment on the Com­ mittee’s second report. It will take time for expertise in children’s television to develop, but local production also needs funds, resources and ideas. It may be two or three years before we can be assured that high standards in Australian children’s programs have been achieved and are here to stay. The role of the Tribunal will be critical in this development. So far, against the predictions of many, the Tribunal has backed the Com­ mittee’s recommendations. This means there is now strong pressure on the Government from certain sections of the industry to remove Mr Bruce Gyngell from his position as chairman of the Tribunal. It appears this opposition has been strengthened because of his attempts to carry through the Tribunal’s policy on children’s tele­ vision. At the time of writing, the Government had not accepted Mr Gyngell’s offer to under­ take a second term. Should Mr Gyngell be replaced, then the future of children’s television would be uncer­ tain. For unless the Tribunal remains vigilant, there would be no reason, other than the good­ will of some stations, for children’s programs to be developed. And we all know what can happen to goodwill in the economic market place. The Children’s Program Committee was established as a result of years of work, lobby­ ing, research, and submissions to inquiries by many groups and individuals. If the end result of all this effort is to be conflict between these groups and the Committee, the Committee and the industry, and the industry and the Tribunal, then it is the children who will suffer. As one little girl wrote to me: “ Like many children in my age-group, I get sick to death of seeing re-runs, like Gilligan’s Island, McHale’s Navy and the Brady Bunch. “ Surely, there must be some more enter­ taining alternative than that second-rate rub­ bish! These shows may have been good when they first came out, but after showing them about 10 times over and over, you must agree it becomes rather monotonous. “This is only a short letter, but I hope I have made my viewpoint clear enough — I get bored to death with re-runs! But I’m sure you are doing something about this, well I hope you are anyway. “ If you’re allowed, could you tell me what

is in line for children’s television in the 1980 and ’81 seasons please?” I would like to be able to reply and say, “ By 1981, you will be able to come home from school, relax, and watch exciting, enjoyable, interesting and different television made es­ pecially for you” , because that is what the Tri­ bunal is trying to achieve. ★

The A u stralian B roadcasting Tribunal C h ild ren ’s Program C o m m itte e ’s recom m endations: 1. Programs produced for the 6-13 year age group should be shown between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Pre-school programs should be shown before 4 p.m. 2 . Stations should aim to broadcast one hour of ‘C’ classified material between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. each evening, Monday to Friday by a date to be determined by the Committee. 3. No program produced for a general audience will be given a 'C' classification. A 'C’ classification will be given only to programs produced specifically for children within the 6-13 year age group. The Committee has viewed programs designed for this age group, and believes that quality programs designed for children will have wide appeal as entertaining television. The Committee appreciates that there are programs which children enjoy that are not programmed for family viewing time. We are not saying these programs are not suitable for children, but that they are not specifically designed for children, and that the 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. time slot should be reserved for programs primarily designed for children. , 4. The Committee wishes to see produced a diversity of children's program types. Children's drama is regarded by the Com­ mittee as a high priority. The production of children’s drama will be encouraged by the Tribunal's "points system". 5. The Committee believes Australian children should be able to enjoy high quality Australian programs. It is therefore desirable that stations produce a high proportion of Australian pro­ grams. The Australian content will be Kept under continual review, and the Committee will report to the Tribunal on each station’s Australian content at licence renewal time. However, while encouraging Australian production, we do not wish to exclude high quality overseas programs which have been produced for children. 6 . The Committee wishes to encourage local (in-station) produc­ tion in city and country areas. We recognize that stations’ capacities for local production vary greatly, depending on their location. However, programs of a requisite standard will be ex­ pected of all stations. If particular stations do not have the resources to produce those programs, they should consider sharing experienced producers and resources so that local pro­ ducts are effectively produced. The Committee regards local production as an important part of a station’s community involvement, and therefore expects that serious efforts should be made to develop some high quality local production. . Until individual stations have developed the capacity to pro­ duce a proportion of ’C’ material they must be prepared to "buyin" and thereby support other producers in the production of more ambitious programs. 7. The producer of children's programs should be a person with a demonstrable knowledge of children’s needs and interests. When a program is submitted for 'C' classification, It should be accompanied by a statement of the producer’s credentials. This statement should not necessarily be construed as meaning that the producer should be specifically trained or experienced in making programs or educational material for children. Rather, it is Intended to ensure that the producer has the experience and status necessary to lift the quality of productions aimed at child entertainment. 8 . Stations should employ, on a full-time basis, a co-ordinator for all station activities involving children. The responsibility should be given to one person, so that he or she can develop expertise. Some regional stations will be exempted from this require­ ment, but they should obtain the services of a part-time co­ ordinator. 9. The Program Committee will meet on a monthly basis to classify 'C’ programs and review stations’ performance in this area. Meeting dates will be advertised well ahead of time, and sta­ tions will be expected to file monthly returns on their ‘C’ material on forms supplied by the Tribunal. These returns will include production details of all ‘C’ programs. 10. In order to inform stations and the public and assist quality pro­ duction, the Tribunal will publish, on a quarterly basis, a list of programs that have been viewed by the Children’s Program Committee indicating which have been accepted or rejected with the reason why. ' The Tribunal intends to ask the Children’s Program Committee to assist producers of ‘C’ material by commenting on ways they believe a program may be improved. We recognize that there are few qualified producers of child­ ren’s programs in Australia. Because of the difficulties involved in program makers gaining experience in this area, we suggest that stations be advised to send their children’s producer overseas to help him or her gain experience. To assist in­ experienced producers, we are publishing a paper on produc­ tion guidelines by Ian Fairweather, executive producer of Child­ ren’s Programming, NWS-9, Adelaide. To assist all producers in a better understanding of their child audience, a paper will be published which will be useful to those involved with children's television programs. This paper on child development is being written by Millicent Poole, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at Macquarie University. 11. The procedure the Program Committee intends to follow, is to examine material submitted to It for 'C' classification to fill the three-hour requirement from July 1, 1979. There should be no assumption that quota programs will automatically be granted a ‘C’ classification, as there are a number of quota programs on air which were not produced specifically for children and they have limited appeal for the 6-13 age group. When the Commit­ tee has made an assessment of the amount of quality material available, it will make a recommendation to the Tribunal on the date when stations should go to five hours a week with their broadcasting of 'C’ material. 12. Where the Committee believes that a program has the elements of a good children's program, but it does not yet fully meet the high standards required for a ‘C’ classification, a provisional ‘C’ classification will be given. 13. The Committee will be seeking public comment on 'C' pro­ grams on a regular basis and commissioning research which will inform the Committee of the public response, particularly children’s responses, to ‘C’ programs.

Cinema Papers, September-October — 587


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V

_______ Please allow up to lour weeks lor processing.

Surface (all zones):- SA0.80. Air - Zoned — SA2.80; Zone 2 - $A3.50; Zone 3 - SA4.20: Zone 4 - SA4.90 Zone 5 SA5.25. NB (1) All remittances in Australian dollars only. (2) Surface Air Lifted available to U.K., German Federal Republic, Greece, Italy and U.S.: (a) Subscriptions (per 6 issues) — $27.60; (b) per bound volume — SA32.80; (c) Back issues — add $2.60 per copy.


With Atlab, your overnight rushes donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t look rushed. The reason is sim ple; before it goes out, every print is carefully inspected by professionals trained to be critical. Put that with the finest printing, processing and grading and you've got the best overnight rushes in the business.

GIVING Q UALITY SERVICE TO THE M OTION PICTURE INDUSTRY. / |Y | I

Atlab Film and Video Laboratory Service, Television Centre, Epping, N.S.W. Telephone: (02) 858 7500. Telex: AA20250. Cables: Telecentre, Sydney.

R789


Queensland offers a magnificent diver; rflocations. Tropic islands, deserts, jungles, mountain ranges, endless white beaches. f l Queensland sun just shines on regardless, fhe mud crabs, mangoes and other / Queensland foods are superb. In short, Queensland’s got it all. And the Queens- II land Film Corporation can assist you with v

production finance, logistic help, concessiona transport allowance and many other tangible forms of film production assistance. *\ So if Queensland sound exciting, ï \ ’phone Debra Cole on (07) 224 8291 o h \\ Telex 43048, and find out more about I II putting picutres together in one of the ^ most diverse film locations in the world.

MÊÊÊ

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Cinema Papers September-October 1979  

Cinema Papers September-October 1979  

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