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Moving Out


Nowyou outlive t Kodak introduces new Eastman Color Print 5384 and 7384 - simply the best color release print film available today. Under normal storage conditions this new film will hold its color 10 times longer than its predecessors, and under carefully controlled conditions could well remain color-stable for generations.

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This dramatic breakthrough in color stability is due to a superior cyan dye stabilising process developed by the Kodak laboratories. So you can be sure, that whatever you shoot, your brilliance will never fade. It might just give you the last laugh over the critics. KdH Kodak M otion Picture Film KODAK (Australasia) PTY. LTD. (Incorporated in Victoria.)

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South Australian Film Corporation


Was Marilyn an d Ron Delaney’s ____ decision to move ____ to new prem ises a t Neutral Bay a negative one?

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Film Corporation Western Australia Ltd.

1981 We Of The Never Never Co Production with Adams Packer Films

1982 Running On Empty 1983 The Winds of Jarrah

Eighth Floor, Guardian Royal Exchange Building, 248 St. George's Terrace, Perth, Western Australia. Telephone: (09) 321 7466, Telex: AA93179 Eighth Floor, Guardian Royal Exchange Building, 248 St. George's Terrace, Perth, Western Australia. Telephone: (09) 321 7466, Telex: AA93179


O u r d u b b in s co u ld tu r n o u t to b e m e m o st su ccessfu l ‘f eatu re’w ^v e w orked o n to d ate. Colorfilm is the leader on m ost o f Australia's leading feature films, but weve worked on a few IB B l features of our own to make sure we keep on top. Colorfilm’s new dubbing, mixing and viewing facility is one of the best in the business, now you can view your film and mix down the highest quality sound in real comfort. Colorfilm has Full Dolby sound, which is why the producers of M ad Max II came to Colorfilm to produce their sensational Dolby optical sound track (Australia’s first). Under the title ‘Road W arrior’ it is getting rave reviews in London and New York. Colorfilm has 20 tracks, the fastest rock and roll system available in the world plus all the film expertise that has kept Australia’s best film people walking through our doors. W hether you want to make a special feature or feature something special in your commercial, contact Colorfilm at _ _ I _ M’Inr> 35 M issenden Road, Camperdown 2050. Australia. C O IO n I Ii l l Telephone (02) 5161066 Telex: AA24545. Lo<>Burnett4.4109


Motion Picture Guarantors Inc. congratulates John Sexton, producer on completion of photography and the first cut of

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to be a Hoyts Distribution Release Produced by Jo h n Sexton. Directed by Simon Wincer. Executive in Charge of Production, Richard Davis. Director of Photography, Russell Boyd.

Motion Picture

■ invites ail Australian and New Zealand producers to visit us at the American Film Market in Los Angeles and at the Cannes Film Festival. .

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LOS ANGELES: (2 1 3 ) 271 9 8 8 0 TORONTO: (4 1 6 ) 361 1 6 6 4 Telex 0 6 5 -2 4 6 9 7 SYDNEY: Level 3 6 MLC Centre (02) 2 3 5 2 7 3 6 Telex A A 23917 Douglas Leiterman, Chairman. Liz Butterfield, Chief Production Auditor. • • .,/v ; ■- . ■■ ■ . - v'w v*-_.> v / ‘ •> . .

“Reinsured by Lloyds of London”


ISSN 0311-3639

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Articles and Interviews

Mel Gibson Interviewed: 12

8

Features

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Mei Gibson: Interview Margaret Smith John Waters: Good Bad Taste Mark Spratt Financing Australian Films G. R. Lansell Ian Pringle: Interview Mark Stiles Agnes Varda: Interview Jennifer Sabine All Creatures Great and Mostly Small: the Biography Industry. Part Two Brian McFarlane Changing the Needle Barbara Alysen Prospectuses: a Possible Solution Brendan Archer Copyright Michael Rickards

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The Quarter Letters Sydney Women’s Film Festival Christine Cremmen Picture Preview: The Sunbeam Shaft Second Glance: The Man From Snowy River Jack Clancy Film Censorship Listings New Products and Processes Fred Harden Production Survey Box-office Grosses

12

18 22

26 34 36 43

Financing Films Surveyed: 22

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Film Reviews John Waters Analyzed: 18

Moving Out Geoff Gardner The Year of Living Dangerously Debi Enker Ginger Meggs Geoff Mayer The Plains of Heaven Jim Schembri Cutter’s Way Margaret Smith Jazz Scrapbook Marcus Breen Turkey Shoot Geoff Mayer On the Road with Circus Oz Jim Schembri

63

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Plains of Heaven Reviewed: 65

64 65 65 67 67 69 71

Book Reviews Film Biographies Reviewed: 36

Sexual Stratagems: the World of Women in Film Sue Tate Recent Releases Merv Binns

Managing Editor: Scott Murray. Publishers: Peter Beilby, Scott Murray. Contributing Editors: Tom Ryan, Ian Baillieu, Brian McFarlane, Fred Harden. Sub-editor: Helen Greenwood. Research: Jenny Trustrum. Proof-reading: Arthur Salton. Design and Layout: Ernie Althoff. Business Consultant: Robert Le Tet. Office Administration: Patricia Amad. Secretary: Anne Sinclair. Office Assistant: Jacquelyn Barter. Advertising: Peggy Nicholls (03) 830 1097 or (03) 329 5983. Printing: Waverley Offset Publishing Group, Geddes St, Mulgrave, 3170. Telephone: (03) 560 5111. Typesetting: B-P Typesetting, 7-17 Geddes St, Mulgrave, 3170. Telephone: (03) 561 2111. Distributors: NSW, Vic., Old, WA, SA: Consolidated Press Pty Ltd, 168 Castlereagh St, Sydney, 2000. Telephone: (02) 2 0666. ACT, Tas.: Cinema Papers Pty Ltd. U.S.: T. B. Clarke Overseas Pty Ltd. * Recommended price only.

73 75

Moving Out Reviewed: 63

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, No. 42, March 1983.

Front cover: Vince Colosimo as Gino in Michael Pattinson’s Moving Out.

CINEMA PAPERS March — 7


Tax Changes Scott Murray reports-. On January 13, the Minister for Home Affairs and the Environment, Tom McVeigh, announced proposed changes to the income Tax Assessment Act, as relating to investment in film production. This is covered in full on p.25 of this issue. McVeigh also announced new, more restrictive guidelines as to what con­ stitutes an eligible Australian film (see p.24). These guidelines, which reek of the same white Anglo-Saxon fervor of Equity’s new policy (see story below), have already been labelled “ xenophobic protection” . In The Australian of January 24, 1983, an editorial stated: “ By removing some of the sillier con­ ditions of the previous tax con­ cessions to the film industry, the government seems to have gone overboard to the other extreme. “ There are good reasons for objecting to the tax concessions which the government offers the film industry, not least of which is they favor the better-off. . . “ The new guidelines, which apply under a different part of the Act, might be easier for local producers and investors but they are very stringent about foreign talent appearing in any way in the production of an eligible film. “ In fact, the conditions outlined by Mr McVeigh are almost xenophobic. He says, for example, the ‘producer and director would normally be expected to be Australians, as would the writer and the principal actors’. “ In effect, the government is trying to turn the film industry into a closed shop — unless Mr McVeigh decides to bend the ruies. “ The best chance the Australian film industry has to grow is to make a name for itself in other countries. The new guidelines help actors, producers and investors but they do not guarantee a better film industry.” What McVeigh, in his hurry to please the industry by acting quickly, has not done is to canvass industry opinion. All it seems he did was to listen to various interested parties (from Sydney) which visited him and whose opinions clearly affected his final decision. One may argue that if other groups or members of the industry wished their views to be heard, they should have made representation to Canberra. But that ignores a basic principle of demo­ cratic government: that it is the govern­ ment’s responsibility to solicit opinion, not the voters to proffer it.

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Actor Activity Scott Murray reports: Actors Equity has announced a new “ defence of employment policy on imported actors in motion pictures” . Effective as from January 1, 1983, the policy states (in part) that: “ Imported artists will not be con­ sidered for films based on literature which is considered part of Australia’s national culture heritage or films based on Australian historical fa c t. . . unless the character as written originally in the case of literature [,] or in fact in the case of history, is of an ethnic background which cannot be cast within Australia.” 1. It is hard not to see a racist overtone in the above statement (otherwise, why single out people with an “ ethnic background” from those classed as “ Australians” ?). Not only un­ pleasant, such a view ignores the very history of the European founding of Australia — let alone the original settlers. “ Ethnic” groups are singled out

8 — March CINEMA PAPERS

again when the policy states a producer cannot go overseas to cast “ on racial or ethnic grounds” unless he “ has attempted to cast the part through the Multi Cultural Artists Agency” . 2. A second major concern of the new policy is the inherent incentive to inflate production budgets. The policy states that, (i) No imported actor is allowed in a film budgeted at under $3 million, except in “ most excep­ tional circumstances” ; (ii) There is a maximum of one imported actor in a supporting role for a $3-$5 million film; and a (iii) Maximum of one imported co­ lead or two supporting actors in films budgeted at more than $5 million. This means a producer of, say, a $2 million film who wants a foreign actor in a supporting role will have to up the budget to $3 million. If he wants a foreign co-lead, he will have to increase the budget to $5 million. This inflationary hike is not hypo­ thetical; several producers have already increased their budgets solely to become eligible to use foreign talent (subject to additional criteria, naturally). Of course, one may be tempted to question what a budget-and-foreignactor formula has to do with “ defence of employment” . Does Equity hope some producers won’t inflate budgets to get what they want? If so, the film may not be made and people will be out of a job. Does Equity hope producers will inflate budgets? If so, the strain on a limited amount of private money will mean less films can be made, which means less jobs for everybody. Either way, actors will lose out financially. They will also lose out artistically. Various actors have commented on the value of working with experienced overseas actors. One remembers Jack Thompson’s c o m m e n ts on th e le a r n in g experience of acting with Edward Woodward in Breaker Morant. More recent is Mel Gibson’s experiences with Michael Murphy, Linda Hunt and Sigourney Weaver in .The Year of Living Dangerously. “ I learnt a lot just by working with a whole range of people — Asian, American . . .” 3. A third problem of the new policy has been the reaction of actors here and overseas. There is already talk of the Screen Actors Guild of America bringing in a similar policy in protest at Australians keeping out Americans and then using the U.S. industry to promote their own fortunes. Such a move by the Americans, while as deplorable as Equity’s stand, would at least bring home to supporters of the present hypocritical policy that embargoes can work both ways. But if there is dissent among American actors, there is even more in Australia, where a rival Screen Actors Guild has been formed recently. Headed by actor-producer Ted Hamilton, the new guild aims to give actors a choice of union philosophy. Unlike the Actors and Announcers Equity Association of Australia, it only includes actors, and is intent on forming policies in con­ ju n c tio n w ith p ro d u c e rs and directors. The SAG feels the present union problems should be suffused, and actors and filmmakers brought together to concentrate on pursuing the growth and betterment of the Australian film industry. Naturally, Equity spokesmen have attacked the SAG on all sorts of grounds and a stand-off is inevitable. This will lead to problems of demarcation (“ You can’t use any of my members if you use any of t h e ir s ” , and o th e r c h ild lik e nonsense). No one knows how important the Screen Actors Guild will become, and

many feel it is only short-lived. No matter, it is at least the start of a dissension about policies that many people see as u n n e ce ssa rily restrictive, if not counter-productive.

To Market, To Market G. R. Lansell reports: In the U.S., the marketing budget for a feature sometimes can exceed the pro­ duction budget. In Australia, there may not even be financial provision made — or, more likely, any money left in the kitty — for this crucial marketing push. The basic problem is that the other­ wise generous terms of Division 10BA (“ Australian films” ) of the Income Tax Assessment Amendment Act 1981 (No. 111) are not very generous when it comes to marketing expenses. Market­ ing moneys are regarded as revenue expenses and accorded the usual 100 per cent tax deduction, not the 150 per cent accorded production or capital costs. Yet, unless the film is marketed properly, investors are unlikely to receive their 150 per cent deduction. It would be “ madness” for investors not to provide proper marketing moneys (a bare minimum of, say, $100,000) in the initial investment deed, to “ protect their investment” , advises Mike Harris, ex-Sydney Variety bureau chief and now the Australian Film Commission’s repre­ sentative in North America, the world’s biggest marketplace for film. Harris, together with Ray Atkinson, the AFC’s representative in London, David Field (ex-international publishing), their local marketing and distribution director, and Rob Webb, their film festival expert, blitzed Melbourne and Sydney on January 12 and 13 respec­ tively. Their marketing seminar covered the cashing in (or at least the attempt) at major international marketplaces and festivals such as AFMA, Asia (in Seoul this year), Berlin, Cannes (still No. 1), London Multi-Media, Manila, MIFED, MIP-TV, Monte Carlo, Moscow, NATPE, and Vidcom — each with its own character, advantages and disadvan­ tages. In the early- to mid-1970s, Australian films lived off their festival reputation; the sales came later. These days, there is a cross-over between festival and marketplace (the former, incidentally, being much more selective than the latter), especially at Cannes, the greatest bunfest of them all. The main emphasis, in these hard times, seems to be increasingly and understandably not on garnering cultural laurels but on making money and getting into the black — tax breaks notwithstanding. Australian films are still riding high overseas. They are presently a generic brand for tasteful art-house product (having displaced the French), “ just like Kleenex” , cracks Harris. However, corny Australiana, presumably such as Alvin Purple and The Adventures of Barj7 McKenzie (as well as current affairs in documentary material), is another — and unwelcome — kettle of fish. But, if the momentum has been lost because of an unacceptable product, it is going to be a long, hard haul to regain it. Bad Australian films, with no “ rele­ vance” or with “ internal problems” , revolving around the prod u ce r’ s fantasies of being an unrecognized Irving Thalberg, are just like “ tainted fish” in this cut-throat international market. Basically, the producer has only one chance anyway: he can’t recut a film because the bad word gets about swiftly. And, the naive producer can’t possibly hope to manipulate one potential buyer against another. The Americans, particularly, want “ instant market­ ability” . They crave “ acceptability” and don’t want any bother. As Harris color­ fully puts it, “ They do know shit from Chopin.” (Perhaps the distinction


The Quarter

should be between saleable schlock and unsaleable shit.) A m e ric a n s w ill m ake c e rta in demands, according to Field. Though they can easily cope with the potpourri of American accents, they are still not attuned to the fairly slovenly Australian drawl. And Australian colloquialisms, such as the use of the word “ fag” in an anti-smoking documentary, present certain problems in an American con­ text. Such problems can be remedied effortlessly at script level rather than expensively in post-production. Pushing this pre-production point further, the AFC’s overseas representa­ tives say that, though they cannot resurrect a turkey, they can help before­ hand. This can be done by fielding out scripts to studio executives and distri­ butors, by “ pre-packaging” and “ pre­ selling” films (especially features) — the present isolationist policies of Actors’ Equity notwithstanding? — and by creating a “ market awareness” of a forthcoming product through stills, videotapes, “ proper publicity material” (not photocopies or roneos, Atkinson stressed), as well as targeting potential audiences (documentaries that editorial­ ize and seek to impose themselves on any audience come-what-may are one of their particular banes). Back home, official financial assist­ ance for marketing takes basically two forms: marketing loans (not grants or investment) from the AFC, and export incentives from the Export Development Grants Board (EDGB). The former are available at current rates, and are deducted off the top — that is, before the investors’ return. As for the latter, the EDGB returns 70 per cent of all eligible expenditure, to a maximum of $200,000 per claimant. It is a complicated bureaucratic, procedural system, to be worked out in conjunction with specialist lawyers and accountants. But, in Webb’s words, the grants are “ substantial” and can make a great difference to the profitability of a film. In fact, export incentives should be taken into account when framing the abovementioned marketing provision in the initial investment deal. As Field advised, a mistake at this point could cost investors a lot of money. The film industry is no longer a cottage industry: it is now big-time investment. Yet, unfortunately, all this is still a piecemeal marketing approach and (except for Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior) one with fairly modest returns that pale into insignificance against the American majors. The reason is prob­ ably more simple: Americans want main­ stream American films, not off-centre Australian curios. As a matter of interest, in Variety’s annual “ Big Rental Films of 1982 (U.S.Canada Market Only)” list, Mad Max 2 has made $10.5 million, The Pirate Movie $4.5 million, and Gallipoli (re­ issue) $2.6 million. The Man from Snowy River in their “ 50 Top-Grossing Films” list for the week ending January 5 has made $1.3 million. Mad Max 2 and The Pirate Movie are the only Australian or, rather, semi-Aus­ tralian films that also figure on Variety’s “ All-Time Film Rental Champs (of U.S.Canada Market)” list, which has a cut-off point of $4 million. For some reason, Breaker Morant, listed on Variety’s “ Big Rental Films of 1981 ” at $5 million, does not get into this all-time list, nor did it appear in Variety’s alphabetical listing of 1981 successes in mid-May 1982. The above figures and more can be found in the 77th Anniversary Edition of Variety (New York), Vol. 309, No. 11 (January 12, 1983).

Corrigenda The distributor of Francesco Rosi’s Tre fratelli (Three Brothers) is Rosa Colosimo and not as listed in the review

Obituary: Syd Wood The death in January of Syd Wood has severed another link with our film history. Syd served with Movietone News for 34 years, from 1931, when he began as an office boy, until 1965 when the newsreel had come to an end as a form of weekly news and entertainment. Syd and his brother, Ross, were the basis for the film Newsfront and Syd acted as a technical adviser on the film, teaching actors Bill Hunter, Chris Haywood, John Ewart and P. J. Jones how to function as two Newsreel camera teams. Hunter modelled his character on Syd using photographs from Syd’s albums as reference and bore an uncanny resemblance in the film to Syd as a younger man. Syd volunteered for service in World War 2 and as a cameraman photo­ graphed the New Guinea and South Pacific theatres of the war. He returned to New Guinea after the war to photo­ graph the first color documentary for Movietone on the Trobriand Islands. In the 1950s, Syd, a man who loved adventure, covered all of the major news stories, including the Redex ’round Aus­ tralia car trials, the Mount Hagen volcano, flying over the top as it erupted, and, what I consider to be his finest story, the Maitland floods with his young camera assistant Mark McDonald. Unlike his fear of bushfires, where “ the bastards have a nasty habit of jumping over the top and surrounding you” , Syd had no fear of floods. Syd, like his brother Ross, was a member of the Bronte Surf Club, and a swollen and flooded river was to Syd like the rip in a surf on a big day. His footage of Maitland, much of which is used in Newsfront, took the viewer into the middle of a flood, not merely observing from the edge. Syd was the driving force in setting up and organizing the Cinesound Movie­ tone Archive and has left it his photographic albums. Syd Wood was a man of great humor and courage who has captured on film some of the great events of our past. David Elfick

credits in the previous issue (No. 41, p.563). On the first page of Ian Wilson’s interview with Julian Ellingworth (No. 41, p.545), the photo credited as being of Ellingworth is of an AAV technician. The error was made by Cinema Papers and not Wilson. Cinema Papers apologizes to Ellingworth for the error. In the article, “ What is a Documen­ tary?” (No. 40), Stanley Hawes, former producer-in-chief at Film Australia, is quoted as to his views on what con­ stitutes a documentary (P.443). Hawes feels the subbing of his quote altered the meaning and has requested his supplied quote be reprinted: “ Documentary seeks the dramatic pattern in actuality. A documentary film has a theme, which it dramatizes not necessarily by actors and a story, but by a p p ro p ria te cam era and sound technique. It should be interesting, able to hold the attention of the audience for which it is intended; it must have integrity and not distort reality; and desirably it should make some social comment. “ Basically a documentary film is made in the service of the community, in the belief that the responsible spread of information between the people of different countries and between the people of different parts of the same country cannot but improve the human condition. “ Note: This is a personal definition of the original concept of documentary. Documentary in this sense describes the method of approach to the material of the film, not the material itself. The word

is widely used now in a less precise sense to include any film which deals with actuality rather than fiction.”

A F IA GM The 22nd Annual General Meeting of the Australian Film Institute was held at the Longford Cinema, Melbourne, at 11 a.m. on December 18, 1982. Scott Murray reports:

The Build-up In October 1982, a group of con­ cerned AFI members met to discuss various aspects of the AFI’s policies. In particular, the group felt: 1. That films cut by the censor should not be screened by the AFI; 2. That concern be expressed over the “ apparent destruction of the National Film Theatre1” ; and 1. The National Film Theatre of Australia used to be independent of the AFI, running three nights a week in Sydney and two in Melbourne. Attendances at their peak averaged 100 people a session. Then during a period of rationalization, the Aus­ tralian Film Commission (which funded both bodies) instructed the NFTA to merge with the AFI. The NFTA managed to continue with more or less its own identity and, after a difficult period, had nearly regained its early 1970s attendance in 1980. The AFI then changed the NFT, both in programming and pro-

3. That there was a lack of confidence in the Board of Directors2 and the executive director, Kathleen Norris. In order to ensure these and other issues were discussed at the AGM, one of the group contacted the AFI to find out the correct procedures for having motions raised. He was told by the then business manager, Keith Lumley, that business at the AGM was determined by the AFl’s Articles of Association. A copy of the Articles was subsequently posted to the group. When the Articles arrived, however, they were found to have the pages on the conduct of the AGM missing. This meant another call to the AFI, after which the missing pages were sent. From these, the group learnt that all motions to be put at the AGM had to be approved by the Board of Directors, which had the power to veto any motions.

Concluded on p. 86 motion (no more NFT bulletins, but posters, etc.). When Norris became execu­ tive director, the NFT changed again, firstly becoming the National Screening Circuit, a seemingly unnecessary change of name, and then taking the form it has today: three one-week seasons in capital cities. Once 150-odd days of screening in Sydney, it is now 21. In Melbourne, the NSC has been relocated from the State Film Centre to the Longford, where it will be seen as just another part of that cinema’s multi­ structured programming. 2. The Board at the time was Senator David Hamer (chairman), Julie James-Bailey, Ray Edmondson, John Flaus, Don McLennan, Michael Pate and Albie Thoms.

CINEMA PAPERS March — 9


Screenplay by . . . Dear Sir, 1 refer to your December 1982 issue (Cinema Papers, No. 41), featuring a preview of The Year of Living Danger­ ously, and to articles on the same film in The Motion Picture Yearbook 1983J In both places, the credit for the screenplay reads “ from a screenplay by David Williamson, based on the novel by Christopher Koch and on additional material by Alan Sharp” . This is entirely incorrect. The screenplay credit formally agreed to by all parties, and appearing on the screen, is one shared equally by Williamson, Weir and myself.2 Alan Sharpes name has been dropped, since so little was left of his version of the screenplay in the end that a credit could no longer be justified. I assume that your information came from the producers during the period of the film’s production. Publicity put out by them at that time, before the final credits were decided, constantly and ungener­ ously referred to David Williamson alone, so that an impression was created that he was producing an entirely new screenplay. That this was not so is made clear by the final credit, but the misapprehension persists. I hope that you will give me space to set the record straight once and for all, since the matter has some professional importance to me, and has attracted a certain amount of comment in the press and in the industry. The article on Peter Weir by Brian McFarlane (MPYB 1983, p. 236) makes reference to a rift between Weir and myself over the development of the script. Clarification of the three-year history of this project may be of some interest. I have not made specific comment on it until now. Peter W eir, when I o rig in a lly approached him to direct the film, asked me to write a screenplay from my novel, collaborating with him in re-structuring the material. This I did, going through a number of drafts, in 1979-80. Weir at that stage was proposing that he and I take the script through to its completion, although this proposal tended to wax and wane. I was always prepared for another writer to take over, provided he respected the material; although I have slowly become convinced that the ideal situation for a great film is one where a single writer and director, working in real harmony, see the film to its completion. This was not to be in our case. Weir pronounced himself satisfied with my screenplay, and in 1980 took it to CBS in America. They wanted Peter Weir; they wanted the novel; but not the script. As Americans so often do, they plainly had plans to debauch the prop­ erty along commercial lines. Weir informed me that Alan Sharp, a Los Angeles writer of Scots origin, was to do a “ polishing job” , at the request of CBS. This polishing job turned out to be a total rewrite. It left nothing of my original novel but the names of the characters, and in my opinion it resembled a comic strip. I believe I am a professional in my approach to writing, and I am not your sensitive novelist who thinks his book ought to be preserved in toto, as a film. Weir asked me for a new opening and a new end, for example, and I gave them to him: they remain intact. I say all this to put things into perspective when making the comment that the Sharp script was a total, talentless betrayal of the book, and of the film I had envisaged. When I pro­ tested, however, my protest was dis­ missed in a telegram, and Weir has ever since refused all contact with me: a situation not of my choosing. 1. Peter Beiiby and Ross Lansell (eds), Aus­ tralian Motion Picture Yearbook 1983, 4 Seasons, Melbourne, 1982. 2. Exact wording: “ Screenplay by David Williamson, Peter Weir and C. J. Koch.”

10 — March CINEMA PAPERS

What apparently happened next was that Weir reworked the Sharp script, puting back into it much of my original script. CBS then dropped the project. Weir then hired David Williamson to rework the material. Only a few lines of Sharp now remain; and by my estimate the final proportions are about 55 per cent Williamson/Weir, and 45 per cent Koch. I was happy, after the Sharp horror, to see an Australian writer take over, and that David did so was particu­ larly gratifying. I had one more contact with the script: at the post-production stage I worked on some of the voice­ over material taken from my novel: a request from Weir conveyed via David Williamson. For this I received no thanks from the Master, but I was happy with the result. David and I had unofficial con­ tact throughout his term of duty, and I believe he did a fine job under trying circumstances. He would be the last to wish the erroneous impression of some of the publicity to continue. It remains to be said that the finished product, despite what I see as dialogue deficiencies, has all the imaginative and visual power I always knew Peter Weir would bring to it. I remain an admirer of that aspect of his talent. Yours sincerely, C. J. Koch

Companies Code Dear Sir, The government’s recent decision to extend the time period for completion of qualifying films to be an effective three years, and to allow tax deductions to be claimed in the year in which the investment is made, has alleviated one of the local film industry’s biggest problems. That is not to say that those investors who flocked to U.A.A. and others will now flock to the local pro­ ducers; I believe their motives were pre­ dominantly of a tax nature rather than one of investing in films. Nevertheless, serious investors will now find an added attraction in local films, and producers will have more time in which to produce a quality product. Coupling these factors should result in a greater number of quality productions in the months/years ahead. One wonders why the Treasurer took so much convincing. However, overcoming the rigidities of the Income Tax Assessment Act has not eliminated the industry’s financing problems. Certainly, as far as the smaller pro­ ducer is concerned, amendments to the Act will not provide much of a benefit at all. Why? Because he/she is still con­ strained by the Companies Code, specifically Division 6, covering Pre­ scribed Interests. This division details the circumstances under which the public can be invited to invest in any “ prescribed interest” , a term defined in the Code, and which includes the pro­ duction and marketing of films. My concern is not for the larger pro­ ducer who has, by now, established the necessary public company and formats for the trust deed and prospectus, and who is seeking anywhere from $1 million to $5 million from the public, although they certainly had my sympathies in the early days. No, the persons most affected are those looking for smaller amounts in the order o f $50,000 to $250,000. While such amounts could probably be obtained by setting up a syndicate of 10 to 20 people, such a syndicate is pro­ hibited by the Code. In fact, if a prospec­ tive producer required $50,000 and found one investor prepared to front up, and if that investor went beyond the range of the producer’s immediate family, then technically he has breached the provisions of Division 6. Discussions with officers of the Corporate Affairs Commissions indicate that, in the

absence of any guidelines, definitions are being drawn as widely as that. What is required, in my opinion, is a change to the Code or in its interpreta­ tion. At the moment, there is a numerical test to separate public and private com­ panies; why not create a number of investors, below which the Code would not apply? For example, the Code could exempt, from its application, situations where the number of investors (counting “ associated persons” as separate) in any scheme is less than 50 (or 100, or whatever). Alternatively, or perhaps in conjunc­ tion with the foregoing, schemes which involved amounts below a certain thres­ hold would also be exempt from the Code’s application. Or perhaps, in these circumstances, the requirements are relaxed. The industry has shown itself capable of responding to a need. Is this a need? Should there be a response? Yours faithfully, Brian Tucker

Not Registered Dear Sir, I refer to the Quarter Item, “ The Travelling Film Festival” (Cinema Papers No. 41, p. 503), and desire to advise that I registered “ The Travelling Film Festival” in Victoria as a business name in October 1981 without any inten­ tion to create difficulties for the Travel­ ling Film Festival established in New South Wales. The fact is that party hadn’t registered their name in Victoria. Subsequently, following an approach from the Travelling Film Festival, I elected to transfer the name I had regis­ tered to them. The decision was taken primarily because there was no intention on my part to deprive that organization of their name in Victoria. That action does not mean that there shall not be a touring Film Festival throughout the State of Victoria in 1983. Yours faithfully, Graeme Orr

The Efftee Legacy Dear Sir, I enjoyed reading Chris Long’s article “ The Efftee Legacy” in the December issue (Cinema Papers, No. 41, pp. 521-23, 582-83). I agree with Chris that we are indeed fortunate that the prolific output of Efftee has survived nearly intact. These films form a precious and fascinating part of Australia’s film heritage and Chris is to be congratulated for his efforts over many years in chronicling the Efftee story. I would like to amplify Chris’ com­ ments on the technical quality of viewing prints of Efftee titles in the National Film Archive. Like other material from the nitrate era, Efftee holdings fall into three main groups: 1. 35 mm nitrate negatives and/or release prints; 2. 35 mm acetate preservation copies made from these (master positives or dupe negatives); and 3. acetate viewing copies, mostly 16 mm, and usually struck from pre­ servation copies. One of the besetting problems faced by all film archives, but especially by the National Film Archive, is how to appor­ tion a limited budget across the com­ peting demands of preservation and access. The more one spends on making viewing copies the less is left for making preservation copies of films in imminent danger of decay. Inevitably, one economizes on viewing copies, making them as cheaply as possible with a minimum of technical fuss. Often the answer print made to check the


Letters

characteristics of a preservation copy must in turn serve as the viewing copy. The cost of an additional corrected release print cannot be justified. Further, some of the Archive’s viewing prints are quite old and are technically inferior even by current “ answer p rin t” standards. Therefore, while a viewing copy is a guide to the content of the preservation copy from which it derives, it is not necessarily a guide to its quality. On the one hand a preservation copy is — if not itself the “ original” — as exact a replica of the original as available tech­ nology allows, and incorporates the best possible picture and sound quality. The National Film Archive’s standards for preservation copies are among the world’s highest, so it always has the potential for producing first-rate release copies. As regular users know, much material in the National Film Archive is in­ adequately listed and inaccessible (indeed viewing copies exist for only about 15 per cent of its 50,000 titles), topics which are dealt with in the August 1982 Cinema Papers and in a recent book, The Documentary Film in Aus­ tralia. The Efftee output is a good example of a collection which was saved from dis­ persal, or worse, by the intervention of the National Film Archive. Under the terms of acquisition copyright, all Efftee material is vested in the National Library. All of the features and some of the shorts are also distributed on 16 mm through the National Film Lending Collection to non-theatrical film users. Yours sincerely, Ray Edmondson, Director, National Film Library

Educational Filmmakers Dear Sir, Inspired by the reading of the article in Cinema Papers No. 40, pp. 442-45, 487, 489, “ What is a Documentary” , and further convinced by the publicity cam­ paign, I purchased your latest publica­ tion titled, The Documentary Film in Aus­ tralia , 1 This book is the first of its kind in Australia and it is an excellent combina­ tion of historical background, theoretical papers, and of case studies from different areas of the functioning film and television documentary industry. It will give both the layman and the profes­ sional some new and valuable insights into documentary filmmaking in this country. As an educational documentary film­ maker for the past 11 years, naturally I read with interest the section I was most concerned with: “ 4 Case Studies — Specialist Film Units, Ross Campbell” by Robert Rothols. Educational documentary filmmaking has always been regarded as a “ poor relation” or as outside the mainstream of serious and entertaining documentary films. Filmmakers used it as the first stepping stone and, once confident, went into bigger and more lucrative film­ making. Not many people took it seriously; only a few with dedication and altruism stayed and produced/directed films for this very important purpose. Naturally, I was hoping that the Robert Rothols, Ross Campbell interview/article would at last demystify, explain, define and put in perspective the true role of educational documentary films, especi­ ally the ones made by the AVRB Film Unit. I was disappointed that this did not happen. Under-researched and partly inaccurate information presented further confuses the role of educational docu­ mentary films and filmmaking. As an active member of this Film Unit since 1972, I am compelled to extend 1. Ross Lansell and Peter Beilby (eds), The Documentary Film in Australia, Cinema Papers-Film Victoria, Melbourne, 1982.

the article and its content. As the title of the article suggests, it was to explore the working of a Film Unit, which means a group of people, not just one individual. The people who are working in this Film Unit are all filmmakers. Their films are mentioned and talked about in the article, yet they did not receive any credit for their work. It is a standard practice right through the book to credit people with their own productions. Why is it conspicuously absent in this article? To be fair to the members of this Unit, I would like to list their films in order of appearance: Graphic Communication — Alex Milsky Our Fragile Coast — David Hughes Circus Nomads — Ivan Gaal Schools Out — Alex Rappel Anyway . . . What is an Australian? — Barbara Boyd Anderson The Making of Anna — Robert Francis Naturally, these films represent only a small fraction of the output of the Unit. The people mentioned above and others before them have made many more suc­ cessful films on many more varied sub­ jects. Besides being entertaining, as is men­ tioned in the article, what other special qualities should a good educational film possess? If the meaning of the word education is to “ draw out” , then a good educational documentary film should do exactly that. First, it should draw the subject matter into your consciousness, make you aware of your ignorance or knowledge of it, and then it should motivate you to get up and start your learning process by yourself or in a group. While watching it, you should comment, think, analyze, experience and learn. The voice-over, or the “ voice of God” , is no longer necessary under these conditions. It must create a suit­ able mood and mental environment for an ongoing learning process. This cannot be done by presenting facts and figures alone, it must be achieved by using strong images, comprehensive sound effects and suitable music. It must never lull the mind but stimulate it. It must play a role in the intellectual, spiritual and emotional growth of the individual’s attitude towards his environ­ ment. It cannot cover everything about its subject matter, and it must not appear to talk above people’s heads or to be overly long, yet it cannot be superficial. It must never lie. Ideally, true learning should begin in the classroom when the film stops and the experiences are relived during the discussion conducted by the teacher. When an educational film pretends to have all the knowledge augmented by wonderfully “ distracting” film tech­ niques and pretentious editing, then it might have a chance of winning film awards but this certainly is not a guaran­ tee of success in the classroom. Many of our short documentary films in the past were made for primary school age children as language stimulus, and they were experimental in style. How­ ever, one of our latest documentary films in the making is on The Age cartoonist, Ron Tandberg. This film is using more conventional techniques like some of our other earlier productions, such as Schools Out: i.e., non-interventionist, observational techniques, emphasizing sensitivity to events, and producing a “ being in the right place at the right time” type of film. Making films for clients — i.e., for curriculum consultants, who are also the subject specialists — can be difficult sometimes. To convince these people that films educate differently to the written word can be difficult. They may want to include too many diverging messages and issues in a film, which can be detrimental to the overall effec­ tiveness of the project. It is essential to educational film­ makers that the rest of the industry understand the conditions we are work­ ing under and the aims we have to struggle to achieve. Ultimately, the real

judges are the kids in the classroom and the teachers in the schools, who choose to show our films. It has been said in the article how the borrowing record of our films through the AVRB Film and Video Collection stands up against commercial documentaries. In fact, our films are very popular indeed in Victorian schools and the latest figures indicate this order of preferences in borrowing and in popu­ larity: 1. Zoo (Gerry Hudson) 2. Lost in the Bush (Peter Dodds, drama) 3. Broken Down Bus (Ross Camp­ bell, narrative) 4. Tullamarine — Melbourne Air­ port (Ivan Gaal) 5. Our Fragile Coast (David Hughes) 6. Circus Nomads (Ivan Gaal) All our films are also dubbed on to % ” and V2” video cassettes and distributed to schools on request. HSV Channel 7 also telecast them during school terms as part of their Educational Access Tele­ vision program (EAT), making it possible for anyone to record them. With such a large audience at hand our responsibilities are enormous. Knowing that children and young adults watch hours of commercial television a day and already have built up an intui­ tive or intellectual critical view of what is good or bad, and knowing that we must produce something with a message which is exciting, involving and not boring, is certainly not an easy task. It requires a fair amount of experience on behalf of the producer and a happy coincidence between the assignment and the interests of the director. Yours faithfully, Ivan Gaal, Producer/director, AVRB Film Unit (acting officer-in-charge)

Recognize Documentaries Dear Sir, We would like to raise for discussion with the Australian Film Institute and its directors, and with the film community, the position of documentary film within Australian film culture, both in general, and as represented at the Annual AFI Awards, including the Jury Awards. The documentary film and many non­ theatrical release films are a vital part of any film culture. Outside of the “ enter­ tainment” industry, films can serve many purposes. True, some of these purposes are admirably served by narra­ tive films, and our concern here is not to place them in opposition — i.e., docu­ mentary versus narrative — but simply to highlight the unique contribution documentary film makes to film culture and to Australian society. Documentaries often address them­ selves directly to the role of education and the exchange of information. In this historical time, when literacy increas­ ingly means visual literacy, documen­ taries can help our understanding and knowledge of society and the world. They can encourage as well as satisfy curiosity about our history, our lives and the lives of those around us. They can help develop a higher social conscious­ ness and social responsibility. We would like to see the Australian Film Institute take a significant initiative in encouraging the recognition that documentary film deserves. To some extent the AFI does this already through exhibition, distribution, its publications and through the Film Awards. Yet this most public, mass media event, the Awards, appears to uncritically imitate the Hollywood model, both by the nature of the event itself and by the priorities emphasized. Film awards, film judging and film reviews have a definite influence in the shaping of a film culture. In some other countries the compulsion to culturally imitate the U.S. is less pronounced than in Australia. At West Germany’s

prestigious and acclaimed Berlin Film Festival, significant status is given to non-narrative, non-feature length film. In fact, Australian documentary filmmakers often have to seek meaningful recogni­ tion of their works overseas, at events such as Berlin’s Film Forum, before receiving acknowledgement in their own country. We feel that the pre-eminence given to the narrative fiction film in the Austra­ lian Film Awards, where a film produc­ tion and its personnel can receive recognition in 13 categories, is too heavily weighted against the documen­ tary film, which can receive recognition in only three categories, and in two of those it is competing against experi­ mental, short fiction and animation films. One of the consequences of the small number of categories is that the films are unfairly pitted against one another. This year, for example, the unique merits of films like Angels of War and Two Laws were lost within the one broad category. Widening the range of categories that documentary film would be eligible for would serve several purposes: • it would free the panel from current constrictions; • it would recognize the achievements of personnel working within the documentary form; • it would grant more recognition to the contribution made by documentary film to Australian film culture; and • it would stimulate production and higher quality documentary film. In the AFI News, December 1982 (No. 25), a small article comments on some of the problems in the structure of the Jury Awards. We would like to add our support to the changes to the Jury Awards recommended by the panel. However, we would further propose that the AFI consider the position of the documentary film within the Awards as a whole, with the view to increasing the number of categories. We propose that the following categories be considered for documentary films: best screenplay; best achievement in editing; best achievement in sound; best achieve­ ment in cinematography; best music score; best achievement in direction; and best documentary. Jeni Thornley and Martha Ansara, filmmakers Tina Kaufman, editor, Filmnews Sylvie le Clezio, film distributor

Consider Canada Dear Sir, Could it not be said that if there were one country in the world where people do not automatically lump Canada and Canadians with the U.S. then that country might be Australia? Could it not be also said that Austra­ lian film or video producers would desire to make the maximum amount of money out of the North American market for their product? Then please tell me why these pro­ ducers give the non-theatrical, educa­ tional, television and cable rights to their product in Canada to American distri­ butors. I understand giving Canadian theat­ rical rights to American distributors in that the theatrical distribution in this country is controlled by the majors. But by denying them the other rights, Austra­ lian producers are not going to lose or lessen their deal. If they are told they will, it is nothing but bluff. I would be interested in hearing from any Australian producers looking for an expanded market. Yours sincerely, George Christoff, Distribution Manager, Fiimwest Associates Ltd, Edmonton, Canada

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CINEMA PAPERS March — 11


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Margaret Smith interviews the star o f The Year o f Living Dangerously, Gallipoli and the M ad M ax film s .

did all the applying, sending my request form into a place which handled auditions. When she told me that she had done it, I didn’t I think so. You can’t play on really go for it much, but then I sat just one thing when you are play­ down and said, “ Well, why not? ing a character. The more levels Why not two days out of my life?” you work on, the better. So you But I felt I was going to make a combine certain things, even things jerk of myself in front of a lot of people. that are seemingly opposed. For example, there is a very fine line between comedy and drama. If But part of your personality does possible you should try to achieve enjoy entertaining people . . . both. If you bring out the comic aspect, then serious stuff works Of course it does. I have been doing that since I was little, stand­ much better. Look at Romeo and Juliet, the ing up and telling jokes. You know first half of which, if it is done how little kids do it. They love the well, is hilarious. It is all fun and attention — especially if they come lightness. Even Romeo’s plight is from a big family, and I have 10 laughable; he is such a kid. But then the play takes on a hard edge of real violence in the middle; it becomes quite heavy. It wouldn’t work nearly as well if one hadn’t learnt to like and laugh with characters first. That is the dra­ matic effect Shakespeare figured out. You have a shyness about you but also a sort of cocky bravado. Do you play on that in your work?

brothers and sisters. I used to get a kick out of affecting people, no matter what sort of effect. That is what drives you on. An actor lives other people’s lives and dreams. Does that enrich your life?

Yes, because you have to delve in to th in g s you o th erw ise wouldn’t. Things I never picked up at school, for instance, are easily assimilated when I suddenly find a reason for them. I wouldn’t be interested in what a journalist does unless I was working on a play or film in which the characters were journalists. So there is that and also, in­

What does it mean to you to be an actor?

So you can be more reckless in life generally . . .

Yes. But it is really phoney. Have your American origins helped you to increase your aware­ ness of culture and of people?

Yes. I was brought up in one environment until about the age of 12 and understood it. Then I was suddenly shifted to another. I could immediately sense the differ­ ence in, for instance, the extent to which people expressed them­ selves. Americans, you know, are very expressive, which I think is better than the up-tight reserve Australians have. It is a sort of hang-up from the English. But as with everything, it has its good and bad sides. Which actors do you admire?

Basically that I enjoy what I am doing. Why did you choose it as a profes­ sion?

I didn’t choose it; that is the weird point. It was set up for me by a member of my family who Opposite: Mel Gibson, as Guy Hamilton, in Peter Weir’s The Year o f Living Danger­ ously.

directly, creating the dream to hide behind. When you have a mask on, you can do almost anything — pull down your pants in public, what­ ever. It doesn’t matter, if you have a bag over your head. .

Mel Gibson, Wayne Jarratt and Warren Mitchell in the Nimrod production o f Death of a Salesman.

I was an avid film watcher when I was young, but I can’t single out names and say, “ Gee, I took a lot from him.” But, subconsciously, a lot would have registered, just from observation. I used to look very closely at guys like Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy and Clark Gable. Tracy and Loy had a modern acting style, 20 or 30 years ahead of what Clark did. He was still doing that wooden, 1930s stuff. But he was CINEMA PAPERS March — 13


Mel Gibson

great because he had an appeal that just used to shine out of him. I take little pieces from every­ where. It is pass the ball, isn’t it? Some drama teachers, especially those from the Stella Adler Con­ servatory in New York, say that to act you have to know yourself first; you have to know your vulnerability and be willing to expose that. Is that process hard?

Yes. But it is hard for anyone to know what they haven’t experi­ enced. So, the older you get, the better you get, just through having lived more. However, I also think it is poss­ ible to fake it — to go into some­ thing you don’t know about and get away with it — provided you do your groundwork. Have you at times had to fake it?

Sure. Christ, I am only 26! I can’t compare with Sir Laurence Olivier’s experience — he has been around for years — or a guy like Warren Mitchell. He is a bloody good actor and he draws a lot of his acting just from having been around for so long. You are young and working in the post-feminist era, where you can play a man in a less rigid way. You are not restricted by stereotypes of what a man is . . .

I think that whole women’s superior thing is really contrived. If I were trying to fit in with it, I would be really sick in myself. But all it has done is open up options, I think, for all of us . . .

Yes, for an audience. As an actor, you can express that feminine part, that softness . . .

Mel Gibson as Max: “a closet human being”. George Miller’s Mad Max.

Max in his pursuit vehicle. Mad Max.

But that is the way I was raised. Had there been no feminist revolu­ tion or whatever, I would have been the same. As Edmund says [in King Lear], “ I should have been that I am had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.”

tion, isn’t it? Using your know­ ledge of those things . . .

Your own life is reasonably stable: you are a family man and you aren’t going through crises or in and out of relationships. Can you explore that vulnerability more easily in your work when you aren’t in the midst of it . . .

In the midst of vulnerabilities? I have done that number already. I remember it. But it certainly stops you from thinking about yourself a lot, so it can’t be all bad. It also opens up other, really basic human emotions — a whole boatload of them.

You are exploiting them. But I don’t see anything morally wrong with it. That’s why I do it. I am sure some people see it that way; I certainly have felt funny about it. Some people call that a hang-up, I suppose. But it is okay now. Surely it is good to keep evaluating what you are doing . . .

It certainly is. Every time you do it, you become more or less keen. Your final training was at NIDA. How much did you learn there?

parental,

I remember the tutors at NIDA saying, “ You’re too cerebral. You don’t put enough on the outside. You don’t externalize enough.”

Certainly, if you think of it that way. But acting is really prostitu­

Have you changed since or was that a misinterpretation?

And forms of love: family . . .

Director o f photography Paul Onorato takes a light reading on Mel Gibson’s profile. Michael Pate’s Tim.

14 — March CINEMA PAPERS

That is the motivation. You can use those things without it being exploitation . . .

I think it was a misinterpreta­ tion. Actually, NIDA was very valu­ able. It offers lots of things which you have never come across before. You have to go in with the understanding that you try every­ thing, even if you don’t like the look of it: “ What do we have to fence for? Why do we have to do gymnastics?” — all that sort of thing. Honestly, once you start to get into it, you enjoy it. You begin to appreciate that side of it, because it brings out new skills. Did NIDA teach Stanislavsky’s Method?

They advocated Stanislavsky, but what is that other than just plain old com m onsense — commonsense of acting by the numbers. He just wrote it all down. Stanislavsky probably did help actors pare themselves down. Before him, the way of acting was more emotional. He taught people to look at mannerisms, responses

Mick (David Foster), Tim (Mel Gibson) and Ron (Alwyn Kurts). Tim.


Mel Gibson

To make him human, to make people think, “ Oh, the poor guy” . That sort of stuff is interesting. Will there be another sequel? Is that why they left him in the desert?

I think so, but I don’t think the director wants to do another one. Frankly, George [Miller] is one of the few people who handles that genre well. There is no one who can surpass him in that style. George is great, and a real gentleman. He is the antithesis of what you see on the screen. Was it a time of living out fantasies? Frank Dunn (Mel Gibson). Peter Weir’s Gallipoli.

Frank, after his desperate run through the trenches. Gallipoli.

Your self-awareness. That is what we were talking about earlier: to know yourself first. If you don’t know who you are, and if you don’t know what you externalize, then how can you control and bring these things back to a neutrality, and try to bring some­ thing else out of it? It is very diffi­ cult.

I don’t enjoy any of them! It is always a headache at the time you are doing it. You are always tear­ ing your hair out. It is a little bit of a trial, a little challenge. Later, you enjoy it.

What do you think about the state of acting in Australia?

The stage acting I see is as good as acting anywhere. In film, it is completely different. You are not necessarily watching acting as much as watching what is being done to the performers on cellu­ loid. You should never judge whether a person is a good or bad actor on film because often they can be a real pain in the arse and come out looking great. Some­ times they can be great and come out looking ordinary. Film is a funny thing. So I would reserve judgment on that question. What acting jobs have you most enjoyed doing?

Yes, it is George’s fantasy. Miller was the one who gave you the real break. Compared with “Tim” , “ Mad Max 2” was the film that made the U.S. look at you . . . Yes.

Was there much “ Tim” overseas?

response

to

Yes, they liked it. But it wasn’t a great seller. I quite enjoyed Tim. It was a pleasant experience, and I learned a lot quickly. At other times, it has been a battle all the way. The Year of Living Dangerously was a battle. Hopefully, it looks as if I can handle it. What about “ Gallipoli” , where you play an almost mythical character?

I enjoyed that, too. You had a situation based on fact, but re­ created with modifications. It is more than just a straight doco; it is a fiction within a real story. That gives you a lot of room to play with. Another aspect is the stigma attached to a coward. You are try­ ing to make people understand that everyone is scared to death, and not having people say, “ Coward, I hate you.”

What about “ Mad Max’’?

Oh, that was fun, because you have your cardboard guy there. The story is comic-book style and everyone is ready to laugh at it. The images are graphic and cartoonic, so, to slot into that mould, you have to slip into that style. You can’t do something totally different; it just doesn’t work. Then you have this problem of the character being a closet human being. He has to interact with other characters and yet not appear to. It is a little tricky. Was it easier for you in the sequel?

All that stuff with the boy, for instance, and the dog, even? To be sort of remote, and detached, almost not human, and at the same time betray something of yourself.

Above: Archie Hamilton (Mark Lee), “uncomplicated and pure”, and a property owner’s daughter (Robyn Galwey). Bottom left: Frank charges through the trenches. Bottom right: Archie and Frank in Cairo. Gallipoli.

CINEMA PAPERS March — 15


Mel Gibson

Vision o f the future: Max (Mel Gibson) in George Miller’s Mad Max 2.

Max and the feral child (Emil Minty), under siege. Mad Max 2.

But Frank Dunn (Mel Gibson) was more a pragmatist than a coward

that. That is what bothers the critics, not that I give a fuck what the critics think — it is just their observance of life. Frank Dunn is a guy who survived, the person you see around today. The more modern, complex individual rather than the simple Archie Hamilton (Mark Lee) who isn’t stupid, but is just uncomplicated and pure. He went out and died because he believed in something.

Exactly. It is that mixture of things. You add that on to make him more believable. That is often the way it is: the most unlikely set of characteristics spring up together. You mean, that is why Frank lived?

Yes. That survival instinct is really strong. There are guys who say, “ I’m no coward; I’d go out and die for the country” , and do. Frank didn’t. He had flashes of bravery but only when there was no other choice. If you are backed into a corner, you have to punch out. Frank had the ability to punch out.

The Year o f Living Dangerously In “ The Year of Living Danger­ ously” , there wasn’t a tremendous development in the character you played . . .

Guy had to be a journalist first, but he also had to act like a member of the audience. It is not one of those films which assaults the senses, like Mad Max or Star Wars. It actually asks you to think a little bit. And to help you along as an aid or a crutch to this pro­ cess, you had Guy Hamilton, who, like a member of the audience, keeps asking, “ What’s going on around here? What’s with this dwarf? Things are happening to me, but what?” Guy is like an alien person coming in to a situation, where he is manipulated by this dwarf, Billy Kwan (Linda Hunt). He seldom initiates anything except in a few instances where his masculine instincts take over. But that’s

about it. It is his journey through this strange place and around all these unusual characters in the place. Apart from that, the film works on so many levels. There is his striving for a journalistic career against his desire for a woman — a very old theme. It is also about m an ip u latio n . There is the Wayang sacred shadow puppet plays and the way the country was run, neither left nor right but in a delicate balance controlled by Sukarno, the king god. Then there is the same story on a smaller scale with Kwan balancing his puppets: Hamilton, Jill (Sigourney Weaver) and whoever else is around. He is ultimately destroyed by his own weaknesses.

Were you disappointed that a lot of Australians wanted to see a film about Gallipoli and not about Aus­ tralian youth?

Some people obviously want to see the whole campaign. They are interested in something closer to documentary style, which Gallipoli isn’t. Gallipoli is about the first great war, which changed the world and people’s ways of think­ ing forever. It was the death of innocence. The amount of evil in the world today is just phenomenal, and it all started then. People talk about the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, like it was some horrible time, but in the old days they used to go out and fight a battle like a chess game. Those guys in Gallipoli were like the last knights in shining armor. People say “ Bullshit. I don’t believe that. That’s unreal. No one would do that.” But they did! It is the old world, and people today Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson), the British Consul (Bill Kerr), Billy Kwan (Linda Hunt) and Jill Bryant (Sigourney Weaver). Peter Weir’s The are too complex to understand Year o f Living Dangerously. 16 — March CINEMA PAPERS


Mel Gibson

Guy: “he does learn that he just can’t step on people fo r his own reasons. That’s what makes revolutions and wars.” The Year o f Living Dangerously.

Above: Guy and American Pete Curtis (Michael Murphy). Right: Guy during a radio broadcast. The Year o f Living Dangerously.

It takes all types, doesn’t it? Most people who report from these war-torn places — and you Yes. It is one of those films I wouldn’t catch me doing it — have don’t think people can fully to get some kind of kick out of it appreciate the first time, unless before they can really do it well. they are really up to it. It is fairly And there is a lot of guys around cleverly done because the politics who do it well. don’t beat you over the head. It is well intertwined with the human One of the things I liked about the relations stuff, with that small film is that it does have an almost group of people there, which, for a epic quality in what Guy has to two-hour film, is a large group of lose in order to gain some sort of knowledge. He has to lose Billy people. and he almost loses Jill . . . In a way, Guy is an extremely He has to lose his eye before he masculine man: the careerist, try­ can earn the right to jump on the ing to operate in the world, and yet plane. He just goes that one step understanding so little . . . too far, instead of thinking, “ What the fuck.” He screws up Sure. He is really green and in­ somebody’s career just for a story. experienced in life. He had been in He really likes her and doesn’t see the newsroom in Sydney and all of it. She’s crazy about him. But he a sudden he is in the middle of a does learn that he just can’t step on situation that is dangerous. He is people for his own reasons. That’s in a strange place where people what makes revolutions and wars. don’t like what he is, involved with But Guy does grow. That is the his woman. He has to have the good thing about the character. dwarf there to remind him. It is But even then, he is not totally very strange. Everyone has a converted. He has just gained character like that in their life — enough insight into things to somebody who is sort of watching figure, “ Yeah, why not do this for them. Not saying, just watching. It a change?” It is a very subtle pro­ is weird. cess. It happens through the death of Kwan and through his own Even though Guy comes through feelings. at the end, it is still a very pessi­ mistic film about Westerners. All What things did you learn from of them except for Jill are very sick working with director Peter Weir on that film?

We had a close friendship. It is almost impossible to work with someone you don’t get on with. Linda Hunt and Michael Murphy were different in their approach; I was watching them and they were really up to it, energy-wise. They had tons of it. I usually come in from underneath some place, whereas they sort of jump on it. They work from tension — which can be good. It all depends on who you are; I can’t work with that ten­ sion. If there is tension, I try and push it out and, I suppose, channel it. They handled it; if they hadn’t it would be very obvious.

Billy’s reliance on other people to live his life for him really . . .

They wouldn’t be there unless they were like that in the first place. It takes a certain type of person to go out and survive in exotic foreign places. In a way, they have to be unbalanced; that is what I picked up from those guys. Who drives through road blocks? They used to do that. Who gets shot up the back of their cars? They’d do that, because they wanted to.

Peter always gives you the right dope. He would die for a friend, but he is also a pragmatist. People almost keel over about what he says at times; he doesn’t mess around. Once he told me, “ You were 15 per cent of what you should be in that shot. You’ll get away with it, but be aware of it!” How did you get Sigourney Weaver?

on

with

What sort of role would you like to do next?

Impossible to say. I wonder too if this film might create all sorts of offers from over­ seas that could change your life. Does that worry you, the prospect of your life taking off and changing?

No, not that change. It probably opens up another little avenue. Can you see yourself going back and working in the U.S.?

I have set up base here. As far as anything else is concerned, it is good to get away at times. What about the tinsel-town nature of the film-world, where people might talk to you one day and not the next?

That happens everywhere, in all careers. Do you find you have to be careful in deciding with whom you work?

Very. I am getting more selec­ tive.

Naivety can be an appealing quality, but not in the business world . . .

Yes. You have to keep it in basic ways, but not in business. And I ain’t no business head. What about the loss of privacy that the nature of your work entails? Is that hard for you to accept?

You can expect to get your head blown off in the U.S. but not here. It is quite easy to remain anony­ mous here if you choose to — unless you have some really weird physical characteristics that single you out. I have never suffered from it that much. How do you stay realistic in your sort of work?

Maybe I won’t! It depends on your upbringing, and whether you hang on to what you were taught. It is good to have little reminders along the way ■ — things that put you back in touch with what you have learnt. There is nothing like a good stretch of not working to do that to you, or somebody whom you know very well being brutally truthful in their criticisms. Just reminders along the way like that, and knowing yourself. It is fairly easy. ★ CINEMA PAPERS March — 17


GOOD DAD TASTE Mark Spratt

ohn Waters’ status as a contemporary filmmaker is certainly not room) who, seeing the social injustice meted out children with the stigma of illegitimacy, so much as a technician as an observer of and commentator on to founds an orphanage and campaigns for the the seamier and freakish side of lower middle-class America. His removal of the illegitimate label from the unfor­ victims’ birth certificates. Death, suicide films are not for those who demand the meticulous shooting and tunate and tragedy punctuate the story, yet the surface editing of a Stanley Kubrick, the serious social drama of gloss and characters’ emotions are not per­ mitted to be disturbed for more than a few Ordinary People, or the comic-strip escapism of George Lucas. Waters’ seconds. The continual, light music score films are low-budget, with shaky camerawork, garish color, rough breezes gently over scenes of emotional stress editing and sound recording, and a slack control over the shrill and without emphasizing or complementing them in a genuine, melodramatic fashion. histrionic performances of the mainly untrained casts. Waters’ equivalent of all this is Pink Flam­

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ingos, which involves, in part, the kidnap­

his needs no apology. Anything else family entertainment and inspiring stories (bio­ would be a concession to Gulf + Wes­ graphies especially); upholding law and order tern aesthetics and would destroy the and democracy; avoiding social or sexual authenticity of Waters’ comic-horror problems, and even facts of life such as birth view of America. His films are self-pro­ and death; and definitely avoiding unmention­ claimed “ exercises in poor taste” , depicting thebodily functions. Good taste is not neces­ able kind of material found in The National sarily untruthful. It does not try to make us Enquirer, Hara-Kiri or True Confessions. In his believe in the stork, just that babies appear, autobiography, Shock Value1, Waters flaunts usually in happy, prosperous households, and outrage and bad taste as devices to attract his never need their nappies changed. audience, not repel it. MGM was perhaps the studio specializing to Before examining ‘bad taste’ it is necessary the greatest degree in good taste, and that first to pinpoint what is ‘good taste’ in cinema. reached its apogee in the 1940s when Mervyn As practised by the major film studios, at least LeRoy was at the studio. The 1941 Blossoms In until the late 1960s, good taste encompasses: the Dust serves as a good example. This film stars Greer Garson (a better example than Julie 1. John Waters, Shock Value: A Tasteful Book About Bad Andrews of a lady who never went to the bath­ Taste, Delta, New York, 1981.

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18 — March CINEMA PAPERS

ping of girls who are artificially inseminated so their offspring can be sold to lesbian couples; each stage of the process is depicted luridly. This is not to suggest that Waters’ bad taste in pre­ senting this unpleasant scheme as entertainment is more laudable than LeRoy’s good taste, but it does represent a hellish view of the human con­ dition that may correspond to the situation of more people than Garson’s sunny nurseries. Good taste is the domain of the middle class, the nuclear family, Christian ideals and conser­ vatism. The subjects of poverty, crime, drug addiction or alcoholism can only be admitted into the good taste film in small doses as sub­ plots: they then must be shown to be solved or overcome by decent, right-thinking people pre­ serving the status quo.


John Waters

creating a credible teenage world of pent-up violence and frustration directly linked to stresses within the home. There was no coming back for Andy Hardy and his family. The 1950s have been explored by filmmakers as an extraordinary watershed period for American youth, fast becoming independent, mobile and breaking away from the family. Sig­ nificantly, Waters’ Female Trouble begins at the end of the ’50s with teenager Dawn Davenport (Divine) tossing in high school and her family to embark on a life of crime. Subtle attacks on the family in the 1950s also came from unexpectedly good taste sources such as the Universal-Ross Hunter films by Sirk which gently probed, with needle-sharp insight, the nervous system of the Eisenhower-era middle-class, occasionally delivering a jab at its deepest fears of the break-up of hearth, home and respectability. Waters’ Polyester, while not self-consciously a Sirkian film, nevertheless is located in respectable suburbia, uses an iconographic ’50s star (Tab Hunter) and is directed with an emphasis on the decor that surrounds housewife Francine Fishpaw (Divine) who suffers every known family crisis.

m , LIZ REN AY * MINK STOLE • SUSAN LOWE * EDITH MASSEY * MARY VIVIAN PEARCE JEAN HILL From NEW LINE CINEMA ‘

history?) and Herschell Gordon Lewis, a one­ time prolific director of obscure exploitation and gore films: unfortunately he is unknown in this country due to censorship and the good taste of distributors. There is another side to Waters’ artistic appreciation. He listens to opera, claiming to know nothing about it, and confesses an admiration for the New German Cinema. Only one who is well-attuned to the European Art Movie could dream up and appreciate the notion of a Marguerite Duras triple bill at the drive-in in Polyester. This is quite a cunning in­ joke. Only those film buffs caught slumming at a Waters’ film will enjoy it. Using what became his repertory company — mostly friends and acquaintances from Balti­ more — Waters began making short films in 1964 with Hag in a Black Leather Jacket. In 1966, inspired by Andy Warhol’s Chelsea Girls, he made Roman Candles, a film composed of three 8mm reels projected simultaneously. Then, in 1968, came a 45-minute featurette, Eat Your Makeup. Descriptions by Waters make these early works sound like home movies: a collage of dressed-up antics with an emphasis on drugs, costume and make-up, blasphemy and sado-masochism. lot development came with his first feature, the 1969 Mondo Trasho, shot on 16mm, in black and white, with a post-synchronized soundtrack con­ sisting of roughly-edited music cuts, mostly rock and roll, and some voice-over. Although too long and technically poor, Mondo Trasho does have a structure that anticipates the later films, and some witty use of the musical accompaniment to the action. The story involves an odyssey through the gutters of Baltimore with Mary Vivian Pearce who, after an encounter in the woods with a foot fetishist, is run over by Divine (whose bombshell Jayne Mansfield image is emerging) in her red Cadillac convertible. Divine and the semi-mori­ bund Mary have a series of adventures in a laundromat and a mental institution where Mary is operated on by the Frankenstein-like Dr Coathanger (David Lochary). Mary Vivian Pearce does a very passable Elsa Lanchester performance in this sequence. The film ends with most of the cast meeting their death in a pig^ pen.

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ad language is another important factor that has driven away the older audience from the cinema in English­ speaking countries during the past decade with complaints of bad taste. Censorship boards are a good guide to what constitutes good or bad taste. These bodies aim to protect themselves from the wrath of the middle class for letting pass the type of anti­ social or bad taste material that middle-class adults feel will have a deleterious effect on their young. Thus, the censors always have treated violent, exploitation films dealing with the attractions of crime, delinquency, bike gangs and restless youth as a serious threat. Major studios found ways of dealing with the problem film within the bounds of good taste, but the product of companies such as AmericanInternational, Crown International and New World, and directors such as Roger Corman and Russ Meyer, have consistently affronted censors in Anglo-Saxon countries. These are precisely the influences on which Waters has drawn in his own films. He trium­ phantly relates in Shock Value the admission of Above: Dawn Davenport (Divine) during the trial in Female the British Board of Film Censors in its decision Trouble. Right: Divine at her most alluring. to reject Desperate Living: “ We do not know how to deal with intentional bad taste.” Indeed, aters grew up in a pleasant suburb Waters would have to admit failure if his work of Baltimore, a city he describes as was approved easily by a group of middle-class teeming with eccentrics and bureaucrats. lunatics. Shock Value reveals As Robin Wood and other critics have noted, contradictions in his personality. the increasing success and importance of the He is pleased that his work has made him “ sort horror film through the 1970s is due partly to its of famous” but appalled that people expect him location being shifted to the family. Long the sacrosanct throne room of good taste, the to be like his creations. Educated by nuns who, of course, forbade family began paying for its years of repression and guilty secrets by becoming cauldrons of the their charges to see violent, sexual or trashy supernatural and evil in Night of the Living films, Waters soon developed a taste for lurid B Dead, The Exorcist, It’s Alive, It Lives Again, movies and other condemned material ranging Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and from Baby Doll to Love is my Profession. Repressive authority undoubtedly spurred many more. The darker side of the American family and Waters’ fantasy life. He became fascinated by repression had been explored before in such dis­ images of bizarre manifestations of American parate examples as John Cromwell’s The Silver fanaticism and eccentricity, such as those Cord (1933), Vincente Minnelli’s Meet Me In St photographed by Diane Arbus, as well as by Louis (1944), Douglas Sirk’s No Room For the pictures of accidents, disasters and atrocities. Later came the discovery of his cinematic Groom (1952) and a key work, Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without A Cause (1955). The latter was idols, Russ Meyer, with Faster Pussycat, Kill! another film that gave headaches to censors by Kill! (the best ‘bad taste’ title in cinema

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morality and normality are undermined and dards) budget of $300,000 by Michael White, a rejected at every opportunity. speculator in cult material (The Rocky Horror Incensed by not receiving cha-cha shoes for films, Rude Boy), and shot in 35mm, Polyester Christmas, Dawn topples the family Christmas looks handsomer than the previous films tree on top of her mother, tramples her father although Waters’ technique still is ragged and underfoot and takes to the road in search of the acting unrestrained. cheap thrills and glamor. She is raped immed­ iately and consequently gives birth on her own to a daughter whom she will abuse, starve, olyester charts the downward course of throw out and eventually murder in the pursuit Francine Fishpaw (Divine), a house­ of her career. wife obsessed with the bad smells that A life of petty crime leads her to modelling for seem to assail her acute olefactory the Dashers, owners of a beauty parlor that sense and suffering her family’s mis­ auditions its clients (anybody vaguely respec­ demeanors. Husband Elmer (David Samson) is table is rejected). The Dashers believe that crime a porno-theatre owner carrying on an affaire, enhances beauty and photograph Dawn com­ daughter Lulu (Mary Garlington) is a next mitting various felonious acts. They promote generation Dawn Davenport in the making, and her public debut as a nightclub attraction during son Bo Bo (Stiv Bators) is a glue-sniffing punk which she will shoot at the audience, encour­ and also the notorious “ Foot-stomper” , the aging the victims to “ die for art” . Dawn latest in Waters’ line of ludicrous perversions. becomes ‘more beautiful’ after her face is dis­ Francine is driven to alcoholism and divorce figured by acid. proceedings before apparently being saved by After a trial in which all of her friends testify romance with Mr Right, Todd Tomorrow (Tab against her and which places her activities within Hunter), only to be betrayed once more. A the larger social framework, Dawn joyfully happy ending is contrived by freeing Francine arrives at the peak of her fame — in the electric and reuniting her with her born-again children. chair. Lulu is reformed and discovers macrame after If this sounds appalling, it is also appallingly spending time in a concentration camp for funny; an anarchic nightmare for the bour­ unwed mothers run by nuns. This horror geois of the lower orders, overthrowing con­ sequence is reminiscent in purpose of the mock­ sumerist good taste and ‘right behaviour’. For Hammer ‘Wagner’s Castle’ sequence in Lisztoall its exaggeration there is a disturbing ring of mania in which the cartoon exaggeration and accuracy to Dawn’s ill-treatment of her costumed fantasies have some point of contact daughter and something prophetic in her desire with Waters’ creations. for the maximum publicity of her final wish to Polyester also used scent cards, distributed to execution. There is an awesome purity to this the audience to sniff at appropriate moments in vision of the sleazy side of American society, the story. These are introduced by a bogus pro­ which also finds sex (or the notion of sex as rep­ fessor at the outset of the film with the frame resented by advertising) as repellent and widening as he gleefully exclaims ‘This is ridiculous. Odorama’ in tribute to Lowell Thomas and This is Cinerama of 30 years earlier. A bone of contention among spectators at Waters’ films is the acting style — hopelessly amateur or carefully contrived ham, depending on your point of view. Having seen the over-thetop performances in six Waters features, one realizes there is an audience complicity in this style of pantomime acting. The characters are outlandish — creations of both Waters’ and the audiences’ id. They have to be recognized as role-playing on an exaggerated level so as to understand and accept their satirical nature and their parody of reality. The films are in the nature of a Punch and Judy show where some ghastly truths are perceived behind the ‘funny’ screaming and violence.

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Part o f the Multiple Maniacs team: Divine (left) and John Waters (right).

Maniacs (1970) is an advance on this. Partly inspired by the Tate-LaBianca killings, the film is a deliberate attempt to conultiple

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greatest fears. (The original plan to have Divine admit to the real-life murders in the film was abandoned after Manson and his followers were apprehended.) Lady Divine (Divine) and Mr David (David Lochary) run a “ Cavalcade of Perversion” which roams the outer suburbs, enticing normal members of society to view displays of drug addiction, homosexuality, fetishes and distaste­ ful acts. The voyeuristic public is both attracted and repelled by this deliberate bad taste and then robbed by Divine’s gang. Divine goes to pieces when her relationship with David breaks up. She experiences a powerful blend of sexual and religious ecstasy and visions when attacked in a church by the Rosary Rapist (Mink Stole), who aids Divine in her plan of vengeance on the fickle David. Divine’s performance of complete dementia during her acts of mass murder is quite frightening — one of the few cases where one feels actual death may be about to occur on screen. Like some deus ex machina, a gigantic lobster bursts into the scene of carnage and rapes Divine who, accompanied by Holst’s “ The Planets” on the soundtrack, rampages through the streets and is hunted by the National Guard.

Divine and friend in Pink Flamingos. The “scratch ’n sniff” card fo r Polyester.

esperate Living (1977) is, by compari­

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son, a disappointment. It is a rather repetitious and indulgent Wizard of Oz­ notorious film and his first in color. It like parable of a fantasyland of crimin­ relies on the presence of the now titanic ality (a Rancho Notorious, in fact) to Divine, and some outrageous acts of where felons and a highly-stressed housewife, physical disgust in her battle to retain Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole), escape. They live a the title of the filthiest person alive, to leave the miserable existence there in a garbage fairly audience with the taste of excrement in its dump landscape under the despotic reign of the mouth and a grin on its face. Hitler and Idi Amin-worshipping Queen Car­ Like most headline-grabbing criminals, lotta (Edith Massey). A successful revolution is Divine becomes a media-freak, a theme devel­ one of several subplots. Peggy’s inability to oped further in Female Trouble (1974). This is cope with suburban pressures points towards Waters’ most savagely satirical film and his Polyester and the happy ending reflects Waters’ masterpiece to date. Its success lies in its case- basic optimism. history format of a bad girl’s rise through the Waters admits to a certain mellowing and a tackier levels of society to fame. It is a crime- realization that efforts to exceed previous levels does-not-pay film turned on its head. of outrage will lead nowhere. Polyester (1981) In mock biopic fashion it presents the career represents a move towards reaching a wider of Dawn Davenport (Divine) from high-school audience for the Waters’ brand of humor. Pro­ dropout (1960) to public enemy number one duced on the astronomical (by Waters’ stan­ (1974). On this ascent to stardom, bourgeois ink Flamingos (1972) is Waters’ most

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«ÄDivine m Tab Hunter


John Waters

The Multiple Maniacs.

Few filmmakers (Ken Russell springs to mind, although he may not welcome the comparison) can polarize critics and audiences with reactions of “ appalling” or “ great” like Waters. His early films were advertised locally in Baltimore in laundromats and bars to attract the type of audience expected to be most appreciative. For anyone who always has found a Sunday School vision of life to be impossibly blinkered and unrealistic, and who is drawn to black humor, a first encounter with a Waters film could be the artistic bombshell awaited all one’s life. (The author confesses that Female Trouble is the only comedy ever to cause him to fall off his seat with laughter. This reveals as much about the author as the film.) '

campaigns for ecology and conservation reach popular levels of community awareness, he has Peggy in Desperate Living deliver an anti-nature diatribe, expressing her wish for all forests to be turned into housing estates. The liberating humor lies not in the expecta­ tion that we believe this is Waters’ message but in the recognition that there might be alternative points of view to ‘normal, right-thinking’. The most interesting chapter of Shock Value is “ All My Trials” in which Waters describes his long-standing hobby of attending all the most celebrated criminal trials in America. Appar­ ently, this is a minor cult for the initiated, with on-the-spot fan clubs springing up for the defen­ dants. Naturally, the good taste press deplores these trial fans, describing them as ghouls. Waters regards these court proceedings as the best entertainment in the country. Typically, the ad taste in Waters’ films does not rest worst in the daily parade of atrocities is reported solely on displays of filthy deeds and in the bad taste gutter press. Cases such as that outrageous acts. More importantly of the child murderer Freddie Goode make Waters focuses on characters and Waters’ own concoctions seem pale. types totally ignored or repressed by Waters has the intelligence to realize that “ to mainstream good taste cinema. Delinquents, the understand bad taste, one must have good poor, the ugly, criminals, perverts, the mentally taste” . To make films that are simply revolting retarded and the just plain nasty populate the or disgusting is hardly creative, so Waters pokes films in a milieu of derelict dwellings, old cars, fun at the standards of good taste by flying the run-down shopping areas and various, illegal flag for their opposite. If his films are popular businesses. with middle-class youth and the protest genera­ The twist is that Waters celebrates their lives tion it is because they recognize that the by making them funny, even endearing. Social vigorous trampling on middle-class sensibilities deviants are not perceived generally as having and ideals represents a more honest, if anarchic, lives to be tolerated (let alone depicted as fulfill­ artistic protest than running away to live in a ing or entertaining), which accounts for the commune. rejection of Waters’ films by the comfortablyHowever, the films are not nihilistic. The off middle class as sick trash, and perhaps the characters are achievers, usually of catharsis or rejection by others as not radical enough. notoriety, but achievers nevertheless. It is the Fifty years ago, Tod Browning’s daring American dream turned upside down for the revelation in Freaks that freaks were human socially undesirable to triumph. In addition, the beings resulted in the film being banned in many characters are making, to borrow the title of a parts of the world as bad taste. Waters’ films, Ken Jacobs film, “ Little stabs of happiness” . with more scurrilous intentions than Freaks, are Divine fulfils her dreams in Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble, and in Polyester goes through in a similar position. Waters’ films grow from a recognition that purgatory to eventually find normal family-life. popular taste and social movements do not speak for everyone. He writes in Shock Value of his feeling of alienation and bewilderment at ‘flower power’ in the 1960s; he could not wait espite his boast that his work has no for punk and the ‘hate generation’, so he began redeeming social value, Waters is coming across as some sort of humani­ to lampoon hippies and glorify violence in his films. tarian, and one who at least examines the freakish, hidden and ignored side Successful exploitation depends on taking a of American society and decides he likes popular or controversial subject and pushing it beyond the shock threshold. Thus, in a world does not sneer at kitsch decor, tacky costumes shocked by the Manson family’s exploits, and beehive hairdos, he marvels at them. If he Waters makes films about mass murder. When really wanted to make nasty, worthless films

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then he would be in the Friday the 13th market. The recent multitude of teenagers and women-in-peril films too often fall back on sim­ plistic insanity or revenge formulae to explain the apparently motiveless butchery of colorless characters. Waters’ dabblings in similar areas (Multiple Maniacs, Female Trouble) have at least created a setting and extravagantly bizarre characters to mirror a world whose boundaries are those of a very real trash culture: game shows, pulp literature, kitsch, domestic violence and the lure of the underworld with its illusion of independence and liberation. If his characters achieve a transcendence of hell on earth, then some understanding of the human condition is apparent. It is the independent, home-made quality of Waters’ films as much as their extreme content that distinguish them from mainstream attempts at black humor. It is possible to imagine, say, The Producers as a Waters film with Divine in the Zero Mostel role or even a John Waters’ Life of Brian. Waters’ next step after Polyester — finding that wider audience — may be a difficult one. The soap-opera parody of Polyester is a fruitful direction to take (it is more interesting than a safe and weak spoof like Young Doctors in Love) but whether Waters could work within the system, even for two films as Russ Meyer managed to do, is debatable. Better perhaps that he documents America, its violence and absurd­ ity, in his own way. He may never create a picture of suburban loneliness as refined and desperate as The Honeymoon Killers, but he certainly will have a lot of fun trying. ★

Filmography 1964 Hag in a Black Leather Jacket 8mm, black and white, 17 mins. 1966 Roman Candles 8mm (three concurrent images), 40 mins. 1968 Eat Your Makeup 16mm, black and white, 45 mins. 1969 Mondo Trasho 16mm, black and white, 95 mins. 1970 Multiple Maniacs 16mm, black and white, 90 mins. 1972 Pink Flamingos 16mm and 35mm, 93 mins. 1974 Female Trouble 16mm and 35mm, 92 mins. 1977 Desperate Living 16mm and 35mm, 90 mins. 1981 Polyester 35mm, 86 mins,

Queen Carlotta (Edith Massey) in Desperate Living.

it. He


FINANCING AUSTRALIAN FILMS The State of the Art . ask Alan Ladd [then at Twentieth Century- role of the specialized production accountant in par­ Fox] what he thought of Star Wars two days ticular (as opposed to, say, the more normal before it was released — or 10 minutes before it company accountant) is “ very important and was released . . . Nobody knows where the hit senior” . Daily and weekly financial reports, especi­ movies are. Anybody who thinks he does is a god­ ally in the midst of actual production, are absolutely damned liar.” essential, so it should go without saying that fully Ned Tanen, MCA vice-president1 qualified accountants are also essential these days. In the early developing days of the industry, the The case history of Robb’s new theatrical feature, federal and state governments were the major Careful, He Might Hear You, from expatriate Aus­ investors in Australian films. Their financial support tralian author Sumner Locke Elliott’s 1963 novel of led to a considerable industry infrastructure. In the same name, is instructive as are the figures dis­ effect, this has meant a “ good return” from the closed. federal government’s point of view, according to the The production process, from start to finish, can Minister for Home Affairs and Environment (and last up to seven years (as was the case with Bruce the film industry), Tom McVeigh, who opened the Beresford’s Breaker Morant). In the case of Careful, recent seminar, “ Financing Australian Films” . He He Might Hear You, it was two years. This period is cited spin-offs such as employment, balance of pay­ broken down below into seven separate stages, ments and the “ enhanced image of Australia though these can and do overlap. First, the establish­ overseas” . m ent o f the concept, acquisition o f rights and the The turning point in government support and its first-d ra ft script stage. One has to work out what the major commitment was the Incom e Tax Assessm ent project is all about (in an absolutely crystal-clear A m en d m en t A c t of 1981, with its highly significant manner, it should be added), perhaps acquire film or tax support or relief for Australian films. Since then, television rights to a novel or a play, work out a more than 50 feature films have been made. This schedule of deadlines and probably apply for script upsurge represents a “ clear demonstration” of or project development moneys from the govern­ federal government support, continuing “ in tandem ment film bodies. It is possible to pay anything from with growing private sector support” . $500 to $20,000 for rights. Already some $50,000 What follows is a virtually verbatim summary of may have been spent. this seminar on the guidelines for the investment, Then, once the first-draft script is ready, inevit­ taxation and funding of Australia’s film industry, ably everyone begins to have second thoughts about held by the Australian Film Commission as part of it. One may apply for provisional Australian its “ professional development” program, this time certification on this basis if one also has a firm idea in conjunction with the Institute of Chartered of the above-the-line personnel. As the second-draft Accountants (Victorian Branch) and the Australian script gets under way, a prelim inary budget may be Society of Accountants (Victorian Division), in framed and key personnel provisionally signed — a Melbourne on December 2, 1982. The program’s difficult situation in that their ultimate employment general aim is to increasingly involve the private is entirely predicated on factors in the future. In the business sector in the intricacies of the industry, and current economic situation pre-sales may also be to demystify these at the same time; and to increase attempted, locally and overseas, and, similarly, a dis­ contact between the professions and the industry. tribution guarantee obtained; the lawyers and the The second to fourth sessions are planned to be made accountants start to get into the act. There may be available in transcript (in some cases in a more tech­ more government money forthcoming; indeed, Robb nical form than actually delivered on the day) by the is insistent that such funding is “ absolutely crucial” AFC and the ICA.2 for this pre-production stage. Perhaps another The lawyers3 and the accountants are moving in. $50,000 has been spent, making a total of $100,000. The financial nuts and bolts are becoming just as And one year has passed. important as artistic aspirations, though we are not The third stage can be called colloquially “ coming at the stage where the deal has become the art-form, to the crunch” (not Robb’s term): finalizing the where, as some erroneously believe, tax is the be-all prospectus and the various contracts and, most and end-all. important, getting one’s hands on the cold hard cash. Robb says that at this stage she may even bring in a part-time accountant to help keep her financial house in order. The fourth stage is actual pre-production. Need­ less to say this stage is crucial and, if too short, can lead to major problems later on, or fatal compromise in the final product. It takes about 12 to 14 weeks, and perhaps another $700,000, making a total of $800,000. As for stages five, six and seven, briefly: the pro­ duction or actual shooting period in the case of Speaker: Jill Robb Careful, He Might Hear You was nine weeks, and cost about $1.5 million (total so far $2.3 million). Filmmaking is hardly a matter of just putting pen to paper in some Bohemian garret; from initial con­ The post-production stage took four months and another $700,000 (making a grand total of $3 cept to release print it is a complicated, protracted, million). Robb recommends test runs at this stage if industrial process with an overriding “ paramount need” for professional accounting services, accord­ possible, as is done in the U.S. Finally comes ing to film and television producer Jill Robb. The flogging the film (again, not her term) in which there is an involvement for many years to come. “ You never really stop” were her parting words. 1. Variety, New York, Vol. 294, No. 1 (February 7, 1979),

Insight from a Practising Producer

p. 41. 2. Note that the volume of papers, etc., labelled Financing Australian Films [Australian Film Commission, Sydney, 1982] is in fact a collation of some papers from a previous AFC legal seminar in Sydney. See footnote 3. 3. See for instance The Law o f Film and Television Pro­ duction [AFC, Sydney, and Leo Cussen Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Melbourne, 1982], a mish­ mash of nonetheless useful material, which contains edited transcripts of some papers delivered at the previous Sydney presentation of this legal seminar. See also Daniela Torsh, “ The Law of Making Movies” , Cinema Papers, No. 38 (June 1982), pp. 213 and 281, for an all-too-brief account of this Sydney presentation.

22 — March CINEMA PAPERS

Putting You in the Picture Joseph Skrzynski Part of the AFC’s role has been the development of this professional infrastructure (not to be con­ fused with McVeigh’s industrial infrastructure); the

AFC is more than just a sponsor of tax concessions. Australia has a significant history of indigenous filmmaking that dates back as far as the late 1890s. For some time, the local product was more popular than the imported product, but it was killed by the introduction of sound and by overseas interests pushing their own, more polished wares. Any significant local activity was sustained by the intro­ duction of television in late 1956, with the legislative insistence on “ Australian content” , at first just in commercials (to be 100 per cent locally made), and then later, to considerable effect, in drama. In 1969, the maverick prime minister, John Gorton, decided that once again Australia should have its own film industry, as it did in the silent film era, and accord­ ingly set up the Australian Film Development Corporation; the AFDC became the AFC in 1973. Various state governments followed suit shortly thereafter. This activity represented Phase One. Business was basically done through government film body procedures. Phase Two, from the mid-1970s to the present day, saw the production of approximately 150 feature films, in what Joseph Skrzynski, the general manager of the AFC, characterized as a “ very Aus­ tralian” manner: i.e., on low budgets and fuelled more by enthusiasm than anything else. It was a “ tremendously cost-effective” period and there were some great successes and some resounding flops. The role of the government film bodies was nonetheless not a strictly commercial one — i.e., to assess every­ thing in cold hard profit and loss terms — but, rather, to develop the industry further, and to “ balance between talent and experience” . As new methods of film financing were also devised in this second phase, the government film bodies also demystified the procedures for professional people, up to the present day. The current view of the AFC is that as long as there is private money available for production, its role should be more developmental. This is definitely an area of high risk and wastage: only about one in 10 projects that get into development actually go further on into production. Despite this considerable attrition rate, actual production is still big business, running into tens of millions of dollars each year; and, if one includes television, into the hundreds of millions. There are now, Skrzynski concludes, “ signifi­ cant” opportunities for lawyers, accountants, etc., in this now “ sophisticated” business. There has been a “ complete revolution in the Australian image abroad” as a direct result of Australian film, tele­ vision, and music penetration especially into the U.S. “ The conditions are right, the doors are wide-open for Australian product . . . ” The present situation is not just one of generous tax breaks, but of a “ whole business venture” , of involvement with film from its inception to its distri­ bution. (Nor perhaps is it a question anymore of Australianness winning through.) Normal business practices and dealings apply: the industry is no longer “ haphazard” but highly regulated. Accord­ ingly, hard-headed decisions must be made; product must be “ analyzed” ; “ quality films” must be every­ body’s primary concern; and potential investors must see that film people are not Hollywood fantasies incarnate but responsible individuals.

How to Pick a Picture John Morris High budget means high risk (and, of course, vice versa). Until recently, there was little likelihood of substantial return. The Income Tax Assessment Amendment Act of 1981 and, in particular, its


Financing Australian Films

Division 10BA were meant to increase the odds for success, but John Morris, the managing director of the South Australian Film Corporation, believes there will always be a need for some sort of leverage or subsidy. An indigenous film industry is a “ Good Thing” (to use Sellar and Yeatman’s term) in promoting Australia’s image abroad (McVeigh and Skrzynski’s line again) and in defining an Australian on the home turf. Well, how do you increase the odds of successful investment in the first place? How do you distinguish between George Miller’s The Man From Snowy River and the majority of unsuccessful Australian features? Morris concedes that it is like buying a lottery ticket, but certain factors — especially, the track record, the credits and the financial back­ ground of the above-the-line people in particular — should be borne in mind as ways of minimizing the risks. Under the present tax arrangements, if one is in the top 60 per cent bracket, there is a “ very good chance” , if one chooses sensibly, of recovering 50 per cent of one’s investment, within one or two years. Above that is the high-risk region, the big gamble; below that, the gamble on unknowns. One may well have a P. T. Barnum instinct and be able to pick out the original Mad Max (George Miller) from the dross, but that is unlikely. There are other pertinent questions one should ask before making a financial commitment. How long does it take for the money to come back? With films, it is hard to say, but, with television, perhaps 50 per cent within one year, and another 25 per cent within two. If the film is successful (most aren’t), will the investor get his share, or will it be siphoned off? Again, it is a matter of track record, in particular the producer’s financial track record rather than his press book of rave reviews. Exactly how much from the producer’s previous films was returned to the investors? How often, over what period, and on what budgets, did these films make their returns? With regard to budgets, note that not every item of film production is available for tax deduction. The SAFC has been able to achieve approximately 96 per cent deductibility; Morris regards 92 per cent as “ reasonable” . He also notes that the “ watering down” of the much mooted 150 per cent tax write­ off can be “ quite marked” (one presumes that the producer has already provided a statement of guarantee of Australian certification). Another safeguard is the method and frequency of previous investment reports. Has the producer looked after his investors in the past? The SAFC releases reports at least once a month during produc­ tion and post-production periods, and, during subse­ quent marketing, every time there is a significant sale, certainly never less often than once every two months. The producer, not the director, bears the “ prime responsibility” for this as for everything else. Another area to scrutinize carefully is the pro­ posed marketing plan and its time span. Often the quick sale may not necessarily be the best sale; it may even be advisable to retain the film for anything from six to 24 months. How much can be expected from each territory? International marketing possi­ bilities must be explored. The Australian film industry no longer can afford to be “ 50 parochial (especially as in Ken Hannam’s Sunday Too Far Away) that it is not understandable overseas” . By what process is the money returned? Who actually gets what? And, a critical question, what moneys are available to market the film? Examine any agent’s track record as well, comparing what he has achieved in the past against what he is claiming to do in the future. Marketing fees may well come out before investors’ returns. The investor needs to be wellinformed beforehand on all manner of such sundry items.

How Investors Join a Film William Marshall Basically, three groups are involved behind the scenes in the determination of who owns what or, in other words, the copyright in “ cinematographic films” : the originator of the concept or author, the

entrepreneur or producer, and the latter’s investors (with perhaps a finance broker as intermediary). In order to obtain the much vaunted Division 10BA 150 per cent tax deduction, the investors must be first owners of the copyright; but the copyright in a film, unless otherwise agreed, belongs to the producer of the film (see Copyright Act 1968-1976 S984).4 Therefore, it is essential that the type of invest­ ment structure used achieves this result. There is no reason why the producer cannot share in the first copyright but it is unusual for an author. Copyright is created usually upon the completion of the answer print. Some considerations to bear in mind when invest­ ing in a film are: “ Limitation of liability” ; income tax considerations; the novelty or acceptability of the form of structure; the number of people involved (Is it more than 20? If so, this may be an offence (S36 Companies (Victoria) Code); the source of financing; and the place of activity. These considera­ tions can lead to “ a variety of structures” : for example, the sole producer (the simplest case); an ordinary proprietary limited company (Marshall says, “ Don’t use them under any circumstances” because the company is the only person who can claim the 150 per cent, not its shareholders); trusts, whether unit or family discretionary (“ . . . be very careful about using any form of trust; the 10BA does not allow for them” ); partnerships, whether simple or limited, available in Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia but can be difficult and expensive, (of Section 51(1) fame or notoriety); and finally what Marshall calls the “ acquisition of a share in first copyright as tenants in common” (which also raises a host of problems in a “ very complex area of law” ).5 Investment structures aside, the other major problem has been controls over offers to the public, especially the requirements for prospectuses, not­ withstanding previous and various disclaimers. Penalties are $20,000 or five years in gaol or both. New South Wales, in particular, has been very strict recently. Such assiduity can “ lead to a nightmare” and represents a “ big, big spoke in the Australian film industry” , in Marshall’s opinion. Three months can be spent, as well as between $15,000 and $20,000, in complying with these requirements. Eventually, a simple standard form of documenta­ tion will be worked out; there may be limited relief in due course under an exemption procedure, and government film bodies may become trustees of projects. (Almost as Marshall spoke, the AFC became the trustee of producer Ross Matthew and director Ken Cameron’s proposed contemporary comedy, Fast Talking.)

Accounting for the Investment Penelope Carl An accounting package is essential for the pro­ ducer (picking up Robb’s theme), according to Penelope Carl, managing director of Moneypenny Services Pty Ltd, Sydney, and recently The Aus­ tralian—Veuve-Cliquot Businesswoman of the Year. Accordingly, her specialized computer program has been developed to function on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, in terms of reporting against the pro­ duction budget and the cash flow. It also leaves a marvellous audit trail. Such frequency is vital for the volume and detail involved. As a measure of the amount of information involved or, rather, coped with in terms of paperwork, the recent production of Phar Lap involved some 1500 separate entries a week, ranging in cost from 50 cents to $50,000. Needless to say, the package-cum-program must be 4. For a simplified legal explanation, see William T. Marshall, “ Copyright” , in Peter Beilby and Ross Lansell (eds), Australian Motion Picture Yearbook 1983, 4 Seasons Publications, Melbourne, 1982, pp. 274-75, also containing further references. 5. See The Law o f Film and Television Production seminar, particularly Session Three, pp. 61-108. See footnote 3 above.

used by personnel specifically trained for film accounting. The first question that a film accountant must ask is: on whose behalf is the information being pre­ pared? The producer or the production manager or the investor or broker? Obviously the person who is most closely involved requires the most detail for the control of day-to-day activity and immediate exploitation of the information, while the latter person just needs a broad overview. The budget must be “ realistic and therefore pessi­ mistic” . There are several important areas to look for, such as the contingency (10 per cent of the pro­ duction budget) and the completion guarantee (six per cent); the latter protection must be there. As for above-the-line costs, the budget must reflect the contracts, and exchange rate fluctuations must be borne in mind with overseas contracts. Below-the-line, cast and crew are covered by various Actors’ Equity and Australian Theatrical and Amusement Employees Association agreements and minimums. Insurances, such as Film Producer’s Indemnity or Cast Insurance and film negative cover, are essential. In cases where marketing is budgeted, a beneficence to look out for is the 70 per cent export incentives allowance.6 Some further points to note are that there must be no “ robbing Peter to pay Paul” through the shoot (a “ dangerous situation” , according to Carl), watching the use of underages for overages, and no buy-back estimations until the cash is in hand. All major varia­ tions in cost, both over and under, require explana­ tion: it is just as bad to be under-budget as over­ budget; all the money should be up on the screen. Finally, a matter of etiquette: Carl prefers to work through a producer to an investor, even though the latter may have originally hired her: “ It’s very much a team effort, anyway.”

Managing the Investment Euan Pizzey According to Euan Pizzey, a partner in the inter­ national accounting firm Coopers & Lybrand, “ the name of the game is a data-based accounting system” , a “ computerized film reporting package” based on the AFC’s pro forma set of accounts — an “ excellent system of schedules to work within” — as well as its guidelines for the produc­ tion chart of accounts and report formats. “ Once you have established the data base, you can finesse reports in any number of ways with the computer” , whether it be just “ brief summarized financial information, suitable for investors’ reports” or the usually “ more frequent and detailed management reporting requirements” (the former is an “ auto­ matic by-product” of the latter). The system can be broken down into four areas (Pizzey’s paper pro­ vides all the technical minutiae as well as various specific examples):

Investors' Information Reports It is very important to keep investors onside, to make them “ feel part of the action” . If they are dis­ appointed with their first involvement in films, then they probably won’t participate a second time. If they are satisfied, however, a “ ready-made invest­ ment bank” has been established. In more formal terms, “ As good business philosophy, a producer who intends to produce more than one film in his life­ time should nurture his investors and communi­ cate informatively and regularly to them, in order that he has their continued confidence and loyalty which, in turn, will result in their continued finan­ cial support for his future productions.” Regular investor reports should include a brief progress report from the accountant or accountants 6. For a concise summary, see Michael S. Roseby, “ Export Incentives” , in Beilby and Lansell (eds), Australian Motion Picture Yearbook 1983, pp. 276-78.

CINEMA PAPERS March — 23


Financing Australian Films

for the production, a set of equally brief short-form accounts (including, for example, the summarized project balance sheet and production cost report), plus some producer’s “ hype” (not Pizzey’s term). The point of this, preferably monthly, exercise is that the investors “ can feel some comfort that things are being controlled properly” . The reporting of expenditure variances and net project expenditure variance to budget is a control feature for investors, particularly when compared with the contingency allowance and the balance sheet which shows the gross investment loss amount expended.

Auditing Requirements There is obviously a need for an audit for various people such as the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment, the Deputy Commissioner of Taxa­ tion, government film bodies (if they are financially involved), the manager or managers for the private investors and the investors. As for the objectives of the audit, the AFC has guidelines in this respect. Pizzey notes that it is a “ verification audit” , which “ essentially attests that the investors’ money has been properly expended, as reported in the financial statements, and in accordance with the budget” , not a “ systems-based audit” , which involves an “ appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of the internal controls, checks and procedures, which, in turn, establishes the degree of reliance on the accounting reports generated and the degree of protection the system provides over the assets of the enterprise” . Pizzey adds that “ possibly films that do run into these problems — it may be that the systems aren’t adequate” . He also agrees with Carl that a computer system provides “ excellent detail” for the compli­ cated audit trail and documentation.

Claiming Taxation Deductions As far as investors’ claims for tax deductions (pro­ ducers’ claims are another, more complicated, matter, though, again, the former is derived from the latter), Pizzey believes that investors should be pro­ vided with pro forma claim sheets to be inserted in their personal taxation returns at the end of the financial year, containing relevant information for the purposes of claiming the Division 10BA (“ Aus­ tralian films” ) concessions. The investors should be made aware of the identifiable and probable in­ eligible expenditure, and its effect on their tax claims. They also should be provided with automatic pro forma letters of objection to their personal assessments: “ Only if you have properly covered yourself can you go back and have a go at the Com­ missioner for the lot.” Finally, ineligible expenditure may still be claimed, pursuant to Section 124 ZAO (“ Limitation on deductibility of revenue ex­ penses” ), against film revenues, before Section 23 H (“ Exemption of certain film income” ), the 50 per cent deduction. The procedures for producers are a little more complicated in that they revolve around Section 124 ZAF (“ Deductions for Capital Expenditure” ), the much more important 150 per cent deduction. At his first meeting, on the basis of various information, ranging from a list of all investors down to details of various pre-production cost funding, the producer will negotiate, provisionally, allowable eligible expenditure, subject to final accounting. The final allowance is determined on the basis of more various information, ranging from a copy of the final certificate (as a “ qualifying Australian film” ) right down to the catch-all of any other relevant docu­ mentation. The figures may go up; they may go down.

Receipts and Disbursements o f Revenue Though the film may be finished, as Robb noted previously, the producer’s work is definitely not. Hopefully, the money is coming in, at least in dribs and drabs, if not surges, for the next 10 years. A system has to be devised to cope with it all, one that’s “ economical” , “ organized” and “ functioning prop­ erly” . Someone has to operate that system, whether manager, managers or management company. For 24 — March CINEMA PAPERS

Taxation Incentives for the Australian Film Industry From the Joint Statement by the Treasurer, John Howard, and the Minister fo r Home Affairs and Environment, Tom McVeigh, Canberra, January

13, 1983:

M odifications to the Present Tax Incentive Scheme . . . deductions [equal to 150 per cent of the invest­ ment] will be available in the year in which amounts are expended by an investor by way of contribution towards the production of a qualifying Australian film subject to: • the film being completed and the copyright interest being used for income producing purposes within two years after the close of the financial year in which contributions were first made; • a production agreement securing all funds neces­ sary for the production having been entered into by the close of the financial year in which contri­ butions are first made; • moneys contributed towards the production being held in an appropriate non-interest bearing account and . . . being applied only in the pro­ duction of the film, those moneys being required to have been contributed before the production costs are incurred . . .

System o f Form al Declarations Under this system an appropriate person (normally the producer) will be required to lodge with the Commissioner of Taxation within one month after the close of the financial year in which moneys are first expended by the investor by way of contribu­

this, one needs an investors’ register, operating in conjunction with a management agreement as well as a bank account or accounts. Yet again, the value and cost-effectiveness of computerizing the whole opera­ tion cannot be overestimated. Obviously, if all of this is any guide, “ There is going to be more of an interface between the creative element and the financial element” .

Finance and Tax Considerations Joseph Skrzynski Initially, a lot of expenses are incurred by the pro­ ducer just in setting up his production. In broad terms, he may spend, say, two years as well as $100,000 to $250,000 just to get his project to the stage where he can offer it to investors; this consider­ able figure may also include a possible $100,000, say, for the so-called “ pay or play” items whereby big­ selling names (whether in front of the camera or behind it — more so the former) cannot otherwise be attached to the project for investment consideration. As for the big problem — sources of finance — these are diverse (to say the least), but obviously fall under two major heads: government and private. Until fairly recently, some 60 per cent of film finance came from government sources, some 20 per cent from the film and television industry and the other 20 per cent from “ angels” (originally, the Broadway term for backers of theatrical fare). There has been something of a turnaround lately as a direct result of Division 10BA, in that some 95 per cent of film money is now direct private equity investment (together with some loans), with the other five per cent coming from the government and the industry. Equity is “ the most popular whilst there is a tax con­

tion to the production of a film a declaration con­ taining: • a statement to the effect that: a production agreement has been executed in relation to the making of the film; the production agreement secures the funds required for the making of the film in accordance with the budget prepared for the film; an appropriate non-interest bearing account has been opened and that all funds contributed by investors towards the cost of producing the film have been, or will be, deposited directly into that account . . .; • an undertaking that funds expended by investors by way of contribution to the production of the film will be applied only to that purpose — a summary of the budget of the film identifying those amounts to be expended in the production of the film will be required — and will not be invested or made available for use or otherwise used so that the taxpayer or the filmmaker or any persons associated with them obtain the benefit from such funds before the funds are expended in the production of the film; • an undertaking that if funds, or some part of such funds expended by investors by way of con­ tribution to the cost of producing the film are not required to be expended in the production of the film, the filmmaker will forthwith upon becom­ ing aware that such funds are not required: notify the Commissioner of Taxation of such fact and pay to the Commissioner 90 per cent of such funds (69 per cent in the case of a cor­ porate investor); and pay to the investor the balance of such funds; and • an undertaking to notify the Commissioner immediately in the event that it becomes apparent that the film will not be completed in the two year period . . .

cession” , though loans, pre-sales and deferments also figure (for details, see below). Note, by the way, that there is no bar against internal gearing or leverage in the sense of bringing a loan concept together with equity financing (as opposed to other recent schemes of ill-repute such as a round robin with pre-sales), provided that it is a full-recourse loan (as opposed to a non-recourse one) and provided that all of the investor’s money is fully “ at risk” (the key phrase). This is a common enough business practice elsewhere. Furthermore, the cash does not have to be all up­ front at the outset: there can be a cash flow. For instance, Careful, He Might Hear You operated initially on a down payment of about 10 per cent, balanced by a letter of credit for the other 90 per cent. “ There are many more sophisticated ways of financing a film than just putting cash right up the front” , concludes Skrzynski. There are three other major sources of finance besides equity: • Loans against collateral — either in the form of investors’ commitment (secured by letter of credit) or a firm contract for sale together with, say, the completion guarantee (a “ safe lending position” ) — are an uncommon film finance tool in Australia. There are no “ full-risk lenders for film in Australia” , says Skrzynski. • Pre-sales, however, are an “ increasingly important tool” , and can take three forms: a cash contribution during production, which is typical of television rather than feature films and corporations such as Home Box Office in the U.S.; the “ more typical” cash on delivery (“ Provided you deliver a film in line with this script, and you’ve spent not less than the budget, and you’re using those people — then I will pay ‘X’ on delivery” ); or a “ guarantee of minimum return” (say, $2 million after 18 months of marketing). • Deferments are also an important form of financing — essentially a “ negative form” — and were in fact a major feature of the Austra­ lian film industry before the introduction of Division 10BA, and latterly in such films as


Financing Australian Films

Richard Mason’s production of Far East (indeed, the idea harks back to the “ Holly­ wood on the Thames” era of Sir Alexander Korda). Brief mention, at least in this particular instance, should also be made of the potential scope for the underwriting of Australian films, particularly in view of the previously-mentioned “ enormous risk” finan­ cially that the producer makes at the outset, and the need to apportion that risk. So far, “ there is nobody currently in business in Australia, that we are aware of, who has actually done a full, commercially realistic underwriting deal rather than a ‘best endeavours’ deal” , because there is no secondary market to fall back on, as with, say, the more con­ ventional underwriting of debenture issues or government loans. But, Skrzynski anticipates, explaining the possibility in some detail, “ If the underwriting market does develop in Australia, it will be on the basis of pre-sold films.” The biggest problem of them all may well be actually raising the money for a film; but, presuming all goes well, there must also be certain precautions or safeguards attached to all that money, namely, the previously-mentioned contingency, for production budget overruns, and the completion guarantee, a specialized form of insurance. Note that, if there is any significant departure from the production plan that the completion guarantors guaranteed, they may well not pay for the costs involved in such a departure. In other words, the insurance only covers the “ overage” (the additional costs of the original plan) and does not cover “ enhancements” (depar­ tures from the original plan). Provision should also be made for emergency finance at the end, such as a stand-by letter of credit or a loan facility; in any case, there should be flexibility in documentation, to allow for unforeseen and untoward events. Skrzynski rightly says that it is “ quite wrong to look at the film as a production investment oppor­ tunity to get a tax deduction” , ignoring the “ concept of a total business venture” . He also recommends that no less than five to 10 per cent of the production budget should be allowed for the “ very, very important” marketing expenses, whether by equity or by loans, with the additional observation that nothing must be stinted or cut-rate. The producer should not be expected to drag his finished film around the world on a bus ticket: “ He has to go firstclass if you want a first-class result, quite frankly.” On the related issue of export incentives, generally they return about 70 per cent of expenses. The copy­ right owner of the film must be the claimant; this regulation is a “ bit of a stuff-up” , what with the some 250 separate investors-owners in The Man from Snowy River, but hopefully such problems will be satisfactorily resolved with the Export Develop­ ment Grants Board shortly. The final matter of concern is Division 10BA itself, not to be confused with either the still extant old Division 10B two-year write-off or the general Division 10 “ Intellectual Properties” 22-year write­ off. Note that eligibility for certification as a qualify­ ing Australian film comes in two stages: provisional and final. There must be no “ slippage in the details” between the two.7

New Guidelines for Certification of Qualifying Australian Films From “Explanatory Notes to Assist Applicants fo r Certification o f Qualifying Australian Films”, released by the Minister fo r Home Affairs and Environment, Tom McVeigh, Canberra, January 23, 1983: The objective of the taxation incentives is to encour­ age the development of an economically viable Aus­ tralian film production industry. The Income Tax Assessment Act establishes Minis­ terial discretion with respect to certification to ensure the spirit of the incentives can be flexibly applied and abuses minimized . . . The development of a truly Australian film industry depends on the retention of creative control by exclusively Australian production entities, and the utilization of a high degree of Australian creative sources. While it may be necessary or desirable to draw on foreign services or elements from time to time, all non-Australian elements or services should be identified and assessed in terms of their impact on the film concerned. The inclusion of such elements should not result in the film appearing to be within a foreign rather than an Australian cultural tradition

“Significant Australian C o n ten t ” The determination of “ significant Australian content” is a matter of judgement by the Minister based on consideration of all the elements of a particular project. Where there are non-Australian elements in a particular section, the applicant should provide justification for these elements and it is expected that there would be reliance on strong Aus­ tralian elements in other sections.

(i) The Subject Matter (S.124ZAD(a)) The overall concept of a film, including the characters and events portrayed therein can be expected not to be alien to the Australian multi­ cultural experience. Documentary programs dealing with non-Australian subjects and to be filmed overseas should demonstrate that an Aus­ tralian perspective will be evident in the film and could be expected to be based on Australian scripts. A drama work could be expected to be based on an Australian source. Any non-Australian services should be identified and the impact of those services should be assessed. Where the source is non-Austra­ lian the scriptwriters would be expected to be Aus­ tralian and the subject matter should be demon­ strated to be in accordance with the above criteria. “ Australianized” versions of foreign scripts would not normally be acceptable.

(ii) Location (S.124ZAD(b)) Where overseas location shooting is required by the script, other production elements should be carried out in Australia.

according to John Harvey, a partner in another large accounting firm, Price Waterhouse, with its allow­ able deductions of 150 per cent for direct capital expenditure and possibly another 50 per cent of net

income, is “ by any measure, very generous” ; indeed, the Australian Taxation Office regards it “ as incom­ parable by comparison to other areas of investment in Australian industry” . On a 60 per cent tax rate, one needs to recover only 10 per cent not to be out of pocket (on the 46 per cent tax rate, 31 per cent; and on the lowest 30 per cent rate, 55 per cent to break even). This 10 per cent loss is, none the less, a “ real loss” . Also, the gap between the time of investment and the time of return must not be discounted. For details of the ITAA, refer to Sydney solicitor Andrew Martin’s “ Tax” and to his “ very useful” “ Summary of Film Tax Legislation” 8 (bearing in mind the legislative improvements officially fore­ shadowed by Treasurer John Howard and the relevant Minister Tom McVeigh on January 13, 1983 — namely, the availability of the 150 per cent deduc­ tion at the time of investment and the two years after that tax year for completion of production). Particu­ lar mention should be made, however, of basic “ ingredients” of the “ key section” Section 124 ZAF (from Subdivision B — “ Deductions for capital

7. See Greg Bright, “ No happy returns for Captain Invinc­ ible” , Australian Financial Review, No. 5531 (Decem­ ber 13, 1982), pp. 1 and 4.

8. In Beilby and Lansell (eds), Australian Motion Picture Yearbook 1983, pp. 269-70 and pp. 271-73 respectively. There are some further references on p. 273.

Taxation Incentives i p

Division 10BA of the Income Tax Assessment Amendment Act 1981 John Harvey Division 10BA (“ Australian films” ) of the Income Tax Assessment Amendment Act 1981 (No. Ill),

(iii) Film-Makers (S.124ZAD(c)(i)) The character of a film is the result of the origin of the property and the inputs by all persons involved in the making of the film. The key roles in the development of a script and the production of a film should therefore be normally undertaken by Australians. The role of non-Australians must be closely identified and explained in terms of their impact on the Australian content of the film. In particular, the producer and director would normally be expected to be Australian. The writer and principal actors also would be expected to be Australian, unless special circumstances warrant otherwise.

(iv) Production Entity (S.124ZAD(c)(ii)) The effective ownership of the entity would normally be expected to be exclusively Australian.

(v) Owners of the Copyright in the Film (S.124ZAD(c)(iii)) Since the beneficial owners of the copyright in the film may often be in a position to exercise ultimate control over the film they should normally be Australians. Non-Australian owners of the copy­ right must be clearly identified together with details of their rights, particularly in relation to creative control.

(vi) Source of Finance (S.124ZAD(d)) Where film industry-related financiers loan or otherwise advance funds to investors or pro­ ducers, then some elements of control may be involved. Any film industry-related financiers who are non-Australian must therefore be identi­ fied and their rights, conditional or otherwise, clearly detailed, particularly where there are other foreign elements in the film. Special allowance may be made for non-Australian suppliers of completion guarantees.

(vii) Production Expenditure Production and post-production would normally be expected to be undertaken in Australia. Non­ Australian suppliers of facilities and services should be clearly identified. The statement of expenditure should be sufficiently detailed to identify all payments to non-Australians regardless of where settlement is made.

(viii) Other Matters This will largely depend on whether there are any areas requiring further investigation. For example, in some cases details of non-Australian distribution agreements may be required, while in other cases details of agreements with non-Austra­ lian directors and/or actors, especially with respect to script and other creative approvals, may be most relevant.

expenditure” ), which are supplemented by a number of anti-abuse sections: • the investor must be a resident of Australia at the time of the investment (otherwise it can be done through an Australian vehicle such as an Austra­ lian resident company or trust); • he must be one of the first owners of the copy­ right in the film; • there must be provisional certification as a “ qualifying Australian film” ; • the investor must “use” the film’s copyright either from exhibition or from granting rights to “exhibit” the film; and finally • the investment must be expended “ directly” in producing the film. Harvey makes the point that the 150 per cent deduction is rarely that, because of ineligible non­ capital expenditure, but more likely 146 per cent or some such figure. It applies only to capital — not revenue — expenditure. (The investment may be in the film’s production account, but not necessarily expended directly on production costs.) What constitutes eligible capital expenditure? In most cases, above- and below-the-line production

Concluded on p. 81 CINEMA PAPERS March — 25


\

/tn interview with director

/an /T ingle The Plains o f H eaven, recent winner o f the Jury Prize at the M annheim Film Festival, is the new featu re o f director Ian Pringle. H ere he talks with M ark Stiles. “The Plains of Heaven” has a tremendous feel for landscape. Is that something that has always interested you?

It is not a conscious decision to look for a particular landscape. It is more an interest in setting the characters in motion and then finding the right environment for them to pass through. With “ The Plains of Heaven” , did you imagine the location you wanted, and then find it at Falls Creek?

First, I thought of the satellite station and of the two men, Barker (Richard Moir) and Cunningham (Reg Evans). By the nature of the story, they had to be in an isolated environment, but it could have been the desert or the Antarctic. However, those locations would have been difficult. 26 — March CINEMA PAPERS

Before I could take the script too far, I had to know whether what I wanted was a feasible place for filming. I knew about the Bogong High Plains in Victoria and that it would be possible to film there. It is a tantalizing idea, shooting in the Antarctic . . .

Yes, being locked in for six months. But if you overshoot you are in trouble! People talk about the use of land­ scape in “ The Man from Snowy River” but there it seems more decorative, like a painting on a suburban wall. You seem to be interested in the tension between people and landscape. Are you influenced by directors such as John Ford?

I am not sure how much you are influenced by films that affect you.


Ian Pringle

Certainly you never forget a film like Ford’s The Searchers: it stays there, like a good piece of music, and rises up at unpredictable moments.

know that my ideas are strong enough to make films about. What do you see “ The Plains of Heaven” being about?

The idea of the satellite station in the wilderness is appealing — the contrast between this super-high­ tech outpost of mankind and the empty landscape . . .

To me, the most important thing is the relationship between the two guys, Barker and Cunningham. The situation is critical: two com­ plete opposites in an isolated situa­ tion, playing off each other.

I wish I could have brought that out more visually; for instance, when I was working on the script, I saw the interior of the console room as being much larger.

I wondered if there wasn’t also an inner and an outer journey in the film. Your other films are journey films . . .

In defining this contrast, you also make it hard for yourself by rarely having people express things through dialogue. What dialogue you use is not important, even when some very subtle things happen. Why is that?

There are lots of things working, and that is one of them. But Barker can never come to under­ stand them in an intellectual way. He is more instinctive. The central axis of the emotions of the film is that only when some­ thing has gone do you often realize how important it was to you. All the other things in the film work around and complement that.

The things that are unsaid interest me more than the things that are. It is a hard balance to achieve, because a scene either works So it is not the men themselves totally or it doesn’t. In Wronsky, against the environment that is the there are moments when it doesn’t primary thing, but their relation­ ship . . . work. It is difficult to explain. I think of a situation and what should be It has to be. That is where the going on, looking for the things energy and the focus lie. You get that are important. I then try to to know the type of people they are highlight them. through what they do. It was a I don’t think of myself as a matter of using devices or vehicles writer, I am just someone who puts as exposition to get this across the idea down: that is the only way visually: Barker with his console; I have ever approached it. I don’t Cunningham going outside. think I am a very good writer, but I But the film is about many other

things as well. It is about satellites and their importance. They are becoming more a part of the way we are. It is also about television and how it has changed our society — particularly American tele­ vision. The impact has been just phenomenal, and so pervasive. It is funny, though, because I have mixed feelings about tele­ vision. I really love it. I love Johnny Carson. I love watching gridiron. Yet, at the same time, I can see what is happening. As [collaborator! Doug Ling says, he can remember our society when it was very English, just 20 years ago. Now, we are like another state of the U.S. Then, there is the other aspect about the landscape, the environ­ ment. It is the nature of civilization to expand and take over the land­ scape. It will always be the same; it is a constant process. [Pause] Oh, it is an impossible question to answer: what is your film about? It sends me into a mild state of neurosis, just to work out where to start. Have you always been interested in films? I have always liked films and, since I was about 15, always wanted to make them. At that time, it was an impossible thing to want to do. There was very little being done here; television was the only way of being involved in film, and television is the pits. I worked at Channel 2 for a couple of years and it was like working in a

factory. So I saved all the money I could, went overseas and travelled for a while. You don’t have a film school back­ ground . . . No, and I don’t think that is a bad thing. You can learn all you need to know about writing and directing just from watching films and the experience that comes from working on shorts — from getting out there and doing some­ thing.

Actors One of the actors in “The Plains of Heaven” is Richard Moir, who I thought gave a better performance than he did in “Heatwave” . . . Richard is certainly one of the best actors in Australia, but I don’t think he has yet done something that is worthy of his talents — though he is tremendous in In Search of Anna and The Depart­ ment [ABC tele-play]. Richard is someone who doesn’t need a lot of direction; if you give him latitude, he will work the part out for himself. He just needs to be guided. At times I told him specific things I wanted him to do, but that is my job. It is then a matter of how much you trust actors to give you what you want. The actors must have trusted you . . .

Cunningham (Reg Evans) out ferreting in the high plains region o f North-East Victoria. The Plains o f Heaven.

CINEMA PAPERS March — 27


Ian Pringle

mind about how to shoot it. That is harder for a large crew to cope

with. Given your interest in landscape, do you have dreams of using Pana­ vision?

I would like to do something on 35 mm but, to be honest, I really haven’t thought much about it. It just depends on what the project requires. One day I would like to do something in Panavision, just for curiosity’s sake, but I don’t have a burning ambition to do it. You don’t see yourself progressing inevitably towards something larger and more expensive . . .

It is whatever the project requires — that is the only criterion I have. If I had it in my mind’s eye to do a film that required those sorts of things, then I would. At the moment, I feel I am learning as much as I can; I don’t want to do things I am not capable of. Making big-budget features seems to be everybody’s goal at the moment . . .

I often wonder why that is; what they think they have to say. I really think that time will tell. Barker (Richard Moir) with the relay station tower in the background. The Plains o f Heaven.

Is there a stigma attached to lowbudget films?

They were fairly committed to the project, for different reasons. Reg Evans liked what Cunningham was about, and I think Richard had a bit of sympathy for poor old Barker. Reg became very involved with what he was required to do. For instance, I had intended to have someone show him how to use the ferret equipment, but he did it himself. It was great. It is an interesting situation — giving actors what they need or giving them too much. With each actor you have to work out the in­ between ground from the start. I look for certain qualities in an actor to begin with, so, if I cast them, it is because I think they are right. Reg was very much like that: he just had the right body for Cunningham — an interesting body, very muscular.

It is funny and frightening to think that there might be a stigma. Our industry is cultivating or fostering the wrong sort of film — prehistoric plants that bloom before they die.

Did Moir bring specific things to the part?

There is a lot there that is Richard’s. He constantly made suggestions. There are several shots in the film that were his idea — one very important one is where he is sitting on the rock towards the end. One thing Richard was able to feel intuitively was that in the second half of the film, when Barker leaves the station and goes to the city, there was not much to be said. That is very hard for an 28 — March CINEMA PAPERS

actor to accept. When we headed off to Melbourne to do most of those scenes, I think he began to realize what he was in for. I now understand more how much actors can carry a film. I try to write parts so they are accessible to whoever reads for them. But it is only once you start filming that you become aware of what is going to happen or what is expected of them. Initially. I wanted the character of Lenko (Gerard Kennedy) to be more of a Denholm Elliott type, a blustering sort of person. But it wasn’t possible to get who I wanted. So I had to change Lenko into a more stoic, officious com­ pany person who was a little sad around the edges.

deferrals and a $20,000 marketing loan, the true budget is $160,000. It is still very low . . .

We actually shot the film on the $60,000 that came from the Aus­ tralian Film Commission [Creative Development Branch!. It was only because of the type of crew we had, and because we had done our homework, that we were able to do it. But, even given that, we still had a lot of problems. For example, I had been shooting for a week before the set was built and I had to shoot around things. Even the satellite dish still wasn’t up. It was tight, but it all came together in the end. Do you have an ideal crew size in mind?

Low-budget Filmmaking How long was the shoot?

Four weeks. That was basically determined by our budget. We were stretched at four weeks. It must have been the lowest budget of the films at the 1982 Australian Film Awards . . .

I would be surprised if it weren’t. The money we had to pay was around $100,000. Including

No. I think it is dictated by the production. I don’t think you should stick to a number and say, “ That’s my ideal crew” , and forget about everything else. If it took 100 people and millions of dollars to do the film . . .

If the film justified it, certainly I would use a big crew. But I prefer small crews because I like to build up a communication between the people involved. That is very important to me. I also like being able to change things, going on to a location and having an open

Do you think other low-budget films have exploited their advan­ tages? Have they been able to take more risks, for example?

I haven’t seen much evidence of that. Of course, there is the diffi­ culty of defining what in fact is a low-budget film. But, equally, nearly all mainstream films in Aus­ tralia don’t take chances. I have heard that Moving Out took chances: they used a lot of unknown actors and the film apparently has a chemistry about it. There is very little being done in Australia which is interesting and exciting. What about “ Wrong Side of the Road” ?

I think the intentions behind that film are tremendous. It is a wonderful idea, but it is an excep­ tion. However, to me, Wrong Side of the Road didn’t do what I think it set out to do in lots of little ways. Perhaps the execution of the film let it down a little. But that is just a private feeling; it is not a criticism. I haven’t seen Going Down, so I can’t talk about it.


Ian Pringle

What would you do if someone offered you a lot of money to do a film that you had originally in­ tended to do cheaply?

I would have to think about it because there are probably three or four other things I could do with the money. But you would be a fool if the situation arose and you did not take advantage of it. At the moment, I haven’t anything that I think is worth spending a lot of money on. I am sure if you drew a graph you would discover that you reach a level where, as you put in more money, you only get a decreased percentage in the improvement of the quality of production achieved. But I never think about those things. All I have in mind is the idea, and the more I learn the more I know what is required to get that idea done. Are you doing a small film next?

I am working on a script at the moment called “ The Pretender” . It is about a man who has no past: you don’t know whether he is suffering from amnesia or whether he has just returned from Bolivia. He is a desperate character and, to all outward appearances, a lunatic, but it is all going on inside. He meets a young girl who is as eccentric as he is. It is a story of the romance that develops between them, where not much happens. It is another two-hander that I hope to do on a very low budget — much the same as The Plains of Heaven — and all shot in hotel rooms around Melbourne. It is just characters in flight in a fairly hostile world. What are you happiest with on “ The Plains of Heaven” ?

Well, it came close to what I set out to do, and that is a satisfying feeling. What were you unhappiest about?

That we had to do it so quickly because of the involvement of private money. But I don’t have any complaints. I think the short­ comings in the film are mine and nobody else’s. Each time I see it I pick up more flaws, but I am glad that I was able to do something that is different. That is the good feeling. “ The Plains of Heaven” was shown recently at the Mannheim Film Festival. How was it received?

It was shown on the last night, and went down very well. They had a simultaneous translation in several languages over headphones for people who wanted it, which is a good way to do it. Overall, I couldn’t have wished for a better response. And, as it was on the last night, I didn’t have

to do a press conference, which was good. However, I did speak to a lot of people that night after the screening.

endeavor, that it had rough edges. There were so many films at the Festival that were painfully artistic.

One of the big issues in Europe at the moment is the environmental issue . . .

Desiderius Orban

Yes, the Greens. I think that helped the film go down well. Some young people who run a film society at the university asked me if I would show it, so I stayed for an extra day. They had to run it twice because so many people came along. It was interesting to talk to those people, and I enjoyed that more than anything else. They really liked the film and were inter­ ested in how it came to be made. Conservation is a big issue for them. It is a very real threat, especially in West Germany, which is the centre of NATO and where the power is situated. Presumably they would have responded to the idea of surveil­ lance . . .

Yes, and the encroachment on nature. It is a strong issue there. You get the feeling they have already gone too far; that they have given up the ghost. Also, there is a very strong anti­ American feeling. All those things helped give my film the appeal it had. I think they liked the fact that it wasn’t a consciously artistic

The film you did before “ The Plains of Heaven” was “ Desi­ derius Orban” . What is that about?

It began when I took a video machine and interviewed an old schoolteacher of mine, Mr Elliott. He was very important to me when I was at state school and I simply wanted to record him. Mr Elliott is an amazing charac­ ter: he has a photographic memory and has spent his entire life reading the classics and studying mathe­ matics, so he has an encyclopaedic store of knowledge. I remember he used to tell us stories of Greek mythology at school — Jason and the Golden Fleece. It was fantastic. I asked him to talk about his life and he just went on and on, and it turned into a documentary of his life. I actually got him to re-enact one of his stories, the story of Grendal. We went to a pine forest at Mt Macedon and he played all the parts. I managed to get him to light a fire to finish the story off. Mr Elliott then suggested we visit a friend of his called Jimmy, who lived nearby. Jimmy has a

little house that is almost like a doll’s house. He had been injured in an industrial accident when he was 40 and had been blind for 30 years. Mr Elliott is also threequarters blind. We went to Jimmy’s place and set up the camera and did a long interview with Jimmy and Mr Elliott talking. They hadn’t seen each other for years and raved, telling each other about people they knew as kids and those who had died. Jimmy talked about his life and how an unsighted person survives in the world. He was a toolmaker by trade and had taken up making perfect replicas of knives, Italian stilettos and Bowie knives. Jimmy also has a guide dog Naomi, who is blind too, so there were three blind individuals sitting and having a fascinating conversa­ tion. ★

Filmography 1977 Flights (videotape) 1977 The Cartographer and the Waiter (short feature, 55 mins) 1979 Bare Is His Back Who Has No Brother (documentary, 90 mins) 1979 Wronsky (short feature, 55 mins) 1979 Jack and the Soldier (feature script, funded by AFC) 1981 Desiderius Orban (documentary, 60 mins) 1982 The Plains of Heaven (feature, 80 mins)

CINEMA PAPERS March — 29


mm


............ ""SY D N E Y ... ......... WOMEN’S FILM FESTIIAL1982 Christine Cremmen

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii As part of the New South Wales Women and Arts Festival, the Australian Film Institute devoted 10 days and nights in Sydney to screening films directed, edited, produced and scripted by women. Forums were held in addition to the screenings, some of which were as stimulating and entertaining as the films. At one of these, film critic Meaghan Morris lamented the threadbare nature of the existing terminology for discussing women’s films. Morris said the phrase “ the incredible range and diversity of women’s cinema” occurred to her with monotonous regularity when she wrote about the advent of a new feminist film; she found this constant ‘celebratory mode’ meant her words had about as much impact as those of the little boy who cried wolf! This phrase is, however, useful and significant in summing up the recent season of films, not as a celebratory term but rather as a critical overview. The works offered were chosen with dis­ cernment by Adrienne McKibbons, who co-ordinated the Film Festival with “ very little in the way of funding and much voluntary assistance” . The result was a microcosm of women’s work which helped to place the woman’s film in a historical perspective. It was just as interesting to look at Nouchka van Brakel’s Een vrouw als Eva (A Woman Like Eve), a dreadful Dutch film which opened the Festival, as it was to watch the long-awaited Margarethe von Trotta film, Die bleierne zeit (Dark Times). A Woman Like Eve is as simplistic and superficial as any American tele-feature, but lacking the sanitized smoothness typical of productions from the Evil Capitalist West (which, incidentally, did it better and earlier with a Question of Love, starring Jane Alexander and Gena Rowlands, about a lesbian custody case, made in 1978 for an American television network). However, it will be just as popular as any tele-feature. One review of A Woman Like Eve in a local student newspaper enthused that she “ was a sucker for a dyke romance” ; similarly, women will attend future screen­ ings of this film (it has been bought by the AFI) and feel obliged to react favorably to it because so few films depict a lesbian relationship that is not automatically doomed. Nevertheless, there are minor saving graces in this film, not the least of which is Maria Schneider, whose part as Liliane, Eve’s lover, is not idealized. Schneider is also a joy to look at: Paul’s (Marlon Brando) prediction in Bernardo Berto­ lucci’s Last Tango in Paris that “ in ten years’ time you’ll be playing soccer with your tits” has come true, but only to the extent that she now resembles one of Auguste Renoir’s sultry dark ladies rather than a middle-aged man’s Nabokovian dream girl. Liliane is not interested in Eve’s (Monique Van der Ven) charming children

Maria Schneider as Liliane in Nouchka van Brakel’s A Woman Like Eve. — “ It’s you I love, not your kids” — though she will sit in a circle discussing alternative theories of education with earnest, bearded young men while her lover mourns the absence of her children. These young men look as if they have been imported through a time warp from the 1960s: they are a most unlikely feature of what Sylvia Lawson (Filmriews, October 1982) and the filmmaker see as a separatist commune. Another saving grace is that Eve’s hus­ band’s solicitor, who did so much to sway the court against awarding the children to

their lesbian mother, is a woman — a thoughtful piece of casting in a film other­ wise full of cliches. And a scene that will ring painfully true to many women who have been part-time diversions of married female lovers is where Eve brings Liliane home after necking with her furiously at a women’s dance, and leaves her to sleep on the couch while she, the loyal wife, romps loudly with her husband in the next room. A more commendable work is Marleen Gorris’ De stilte rond Christine M. (A Question of Silence). Surprisingly, this film was received with evident apprecia­ tion by North Shore matrons at the 1982 Sydney Film Festival and, less surpris­ ingly, by the sea of denim which com­ prised the audience at the AFI season. The film is popular with women because at least every woman can identify with either the harried, catatonic housewife (Christine M. is somewhat like the charac­ ter in Chantai Akerman’s Jeannie Dielman, 23 Quai de Commerce — 1080 Bruxelles, also screened at the Festival); her accomplices; the power-behind-thethrone secretary; the waitress with her compensatory ever-eating (a scene where she dresses formally, cooks an elaborate meal and eats it in solitary splendor is one of the saddest in all the films shown); or with any of the onlookers to the killing: a middle-aged ‘straight’ woman, two young punkettes and a black woman (Gorris missed out having one of them in a wheel­ chair). I am not implying that Gorris is glib in her direction or her writing. The husband of the psychiatrist hired to assess the sanity of the three women on trial is light years away from the cardboard villain in A Woman Called Eve, yet one is totally con­ vinced of his innate oppressiveness by the end of the film. Gorris simply is aware of the many facets of women’s oppression

and conveys these through her presenta­ tion of the characters. This work is a feminist fantasy. Unlike the earlier film, Take It Like a Man Ma’am (also included in the Festival), it is a cathartic, bloodless vendetta which is wel­ comed, to some extent, by all women who watch it. As for the male viewers . . .! Another film which was very popular at the 1981 Sydney Film Festival, Helma Sanders-Brahams’ Deutschland bleiche mutter (Germany Pale Mother), was featured in the program. It was a welcome inclusion as it has not had commercial release in Australia since the Festival screening early one morning on a week­ end, an unfortunate fate shared by A Question of Silence (which has since gone into general release). in one part of the film, Helma, as a small child, and her mother Helene (Eva Mattes) are making their way back from Silesia through a forest as sinister and terrifying as any in the stories by the Brothers Grimm. Helene is telling her daughter a ‘fairytale’ to distract her not only from their fatigue but also from the dead bodies rotting in their path. This scene is as chill­ ingly ironic as the horrific nature of the popular children’s story that Helene relates so matter of factly. This economical, low-key way of conveying the ingrained nightmarish experiences of her characters (compare Helene’s rape by American soldiers, for example, with that of Cesira [Sophia Loren] in Vittorio de Sica’s La ciociara [Two Women]) has far more impact than the fevered bloodbath of Sanders-Brahams’ controversial latest work, Die beruhrte (No Mercy No Future). The theme of familiar relationships between women is one which, not un­ expectedly, featured strongly in this Festival. Daughter Rite, directed by Michelle Citron, was one of the first

Opposite: Diane Letourneau’s Hand Maidens o f God. Left: two images from Helma Sanders-Brahams’ Germany Pale Mother.

CINEMA PAPERS March — 31


Women’s Film Festival

Top: performers and animation from C a ro lin e L e a f ’s K ate and A n n a McGarrigle. Above: Marleen Gorris’ A Question o f Silence. feminist films to raise the problems created for women by their mothers. The scenes of the two sisters interacting and discussing their mother did deviate from the usual dreary talking heads device. However, the film distanced the audience with its obvious ‘significant’ and ‘moving’ passages, which were interpreted with tears on cue by the two young actresses. In Die bleierne zeif (Dark Times), based on the true story of Gudrun Ensslin (a Baader-Meinhof recruit from a Protes­ tant clergyman’s family) and her journalist sister, Margarethe von Trotta again looks at the complex iove-hate, rival relationship between sisters, giving a further dimen­ sion to her Schwesiern oder die baiance des gluks (Sisters or the Balance of Happiness). As the Time Out review noted, the terrorism is an off-screen phenomenon (like that in Volker Schlondorff’s Die verione ehre der Katharina Blum [The Lost Honor of Katharina Biumj) because the film examines the judgments and expectations women hold for each other, especially in a close family situation. Julianne, the older sister — again played by Jutta Lampe — is the metamor­ phosed, defiant adolescent turned haus­ frau in the eyes of her sister Marianne

32 — March CiNEIVIA PAPERS

(Barbara Sukowa), who was Daddy’s little girl (somewhat like Jill Clayburgh’s character In It’s My Turn, viewed and discussed at one of the forums) and now is a committed poltical activist. There is a brilliant scene where the young Julianne, at a very proper church dance, refuses to be propelled around the floor by her smug male partner, and waltzes by herself with arrogant aplomb among the amazed and discomforted couples. One of the other lighter moments, which questions Marianne’s scornful attitude to Julianne, occurs when Marianne and her comrades, late in the evening and unannounced, push their way into the flat her sister shares with her lover. Von Trotta subtly shows that Mari­ anne, the revolutionary, acts like a servant toward the men from her gang. Neither woman can be stereotyped, in spite of the way they see one another, and the audience therefore is able to ponder what constitutes ‘ideological soundness’, that thorny topic for a feminist. It is ironic that Julianne, who has been adamant throughout the film that she cannot take on the responsibilities of motherhood and will not marry her long­ standing lover because she wishes to preserve her independence, is locked into an ominous association with her sister’s bitter young son. This conclusion seems to indicate a commitment much iess rewarding and more distressing than her initial plan to discover and publicize the true facts about Marianne’s death. The leitmotif of the sisters as children helping each other to button their bodices remains with the audience, a scene memorable for its beauty and poigriance. A study of real-life sisters, Caroline Leaf’s Kate and Anna McGarrigle inter­ sperses interviews and filmed perform­ ances with Leaf's drawings; however unjustly, her insistence on the unspoiled nature of this singing duo rings somewhat false. Diane Letourneau’s Les servantes du bon Dieu (Hand Maidens of God) posed the question, “ Sisterhood is powerful, but for whom?” , with what the program notes said was a “ rare glimpse behind convent walls” . This film does not, as might have been expected by the suggestive descrip­ tion, give the spicy revelations of a fuller look at the Decameron by another Pier Paolo Pasolini. It is a documentary about the lives of nuns dedicated to the Heavenly Father and “ the more terrestrial Fathers” (who live in the monastery down

the road) and is for those innocents who believe that the ‘Mother Church’ provides “ a slightly wayward epitome of the ideal feminist community” . It is interesting, however, to learn that one of the nuns took the veil after the death of her lover, a standard plot for traditional myths about the prey of the Hound of Heaven. Those who thought all Chinese films consisted of Bruce Lee kicking Jackie Chan in the face, or vice-versa, were agreeably surprised by Ann Hui’s Zhuang dao zheng (The Spooky Bunch), a comedy/ghost story with an itinerant Chinese opera troupe as the background, whose action and color made it a perfect choice for the Saturday afternoon feature in the Festival. Special breakfast screenings and a latenight show presented two works by early American women directors, Ida Lupino and Dorothy Arzner. It is easy to see why both women survived as the only ones involved in filmmaking in Hollywood during their respective eras. Arzner’s films have been praised by feminists as subtly subversive, thus explaining away their often superficially conventional nature. However, there is nothing radical about The Bride Wore Red (1937). It is a typical Joan Crawford MGM extravaganza. This might be explained in part by the fact that it is a rewrite of Ferenc Molnar’s play about a former prostitute — a victim of “ economic exploitation” , to quote Arzner — trying to go straight. Arzner considered The Bride Wore Red rather artificial and it was not one of her favorite films. The female camaraderie, an important motif of Dance Girl Dance (1940), in particular, and The Wild Party (1929), is evident again in the relationship between Annie (Joan Craw­ ford) and the hotel maid, a former bar-girl like herself. As for Lupino, The Bigamist (1953) is almost as misogynistic as her Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951) in its message: career-minded women bring downfall upon themselves and their men. it is more than suggested that if Eve (Joan Fontaine) had not been so successful as her husband’s business partner he would not have sought solace in the arms of ‘mousy’ geisha — like Lupino, who also starred in the film. Certainly on the evidence of available works, Lupino might deserve the label of ‘ m a le -id e n tify in g ’ fem ale. But an adequate assessment of each filmmaker, particularly Arzner, can only be made

when more of their films are released from archives. A silent feature was also screened — with an infuriating audience supplying the commentary. What 80 Million Women Want, a film produced, directed and star­ ring the suffragettes Emmeline Pankhurst and Harriet Stanton Blatch, did not really answer the question implied in its title with its detective-cum-big-business scandal sub-plot and pro- and anti-female suffrage docum entary footage. However, it definitely displayed the histrionic potential of Pankhurst who might have been as much of an asset to the films as Eleanor Glyn. A more recent film was the Danish classic Take It Like a Man Ma’am (1975), directed by The Red Sisters Collective, which was still relevant in its depic­ tion of a middle-aged woman who suddenly becomes aware of her empty life and endeavors to take charge of it despite her husband and doctor, who see her anger and confusion as a sickness. Her nightmare about role-reversal emphasizes the social inequalities — in the parts played by wives, secretaries and even mistresses — wittily but thoughtfully. The film is similar to the Australian study Media She, though it is more than just a look at the function of women in adver­ tising. Role reversal is employed once again in Lisa Gottlieb’s short fiim Murder in a Mist, a homage to and a refutation of the uglier aspects of the film noir genre. One has the spunky private detective Meg Hammer (Joyce Hazard) who, under the Chandleresque alias of Velma Vender, assists a female chief of police (“ who didn’t look as if she should be siapping Joan Crawford across the kisser with a set of keys in women’s prisons” ) to find out why ‘sisters’ are “ ending up with monkeys on their backs bigger than any Fay Wray ever saw” . That this habit is promoted by men through the sale of an ‘Enchanted Evening’ vaginal deodorant is significant and amusingly ingenious. Other films included Sophie Bissonnette, Martin Duckworth and Joyce Rock’s line histoire de femmes (A Wive’s Tale), a Canadian film like Harian County which goes one step further by showing how women’s union activities and beliefs can be swayed by family loyalties; Margaret Dodd’s This Woman is Not a Car, a surreal piece of black humor which elaborates the popular theme of the Aus­ tralian male’s devotion to his car (The FJ


Women's Film Festival

Above: Lisa Gottlieb’s “homage to and a refutation o f the uglier aspects o f the film n o ir genre”, Murder in a Mist. Below: filming Margaret D odd’s This Woman is N ot a Car.

Holden, The Cars That Ate Paris, Run­ ning on Empty, Mad Max and Mad Max' 2); and Carole Kostanich’s latest film Mum’s the Word. Kostanich, a single parent, gives a concise yet penetrating look at three women and their families living on social security benefits. She does not present them as the Poor, a concept which com­ fortably relegates people in this and similar situations (such as the credible, unemployed young people in Greetings from Wollongong) to the ranks of un­ threatening case histories, deserving enough to be a feature story in the week­ end papers, but forgotten by the next edition. Perhaps the most important aspect of the system is that nobody can survive on this meagre form of government largesse, and that most women are obliged to supplement it illegally. The director focuses on this boldly yet she does not reveal any information that may be evidence for the punitive Social Security Department to investigate her subjects — no mean feat! Helke Sander’s Redupers — The All Round Reduced Personality has a photographer heroine who is the fictional counterpart of the single parent in Mum’s the Word. In one scene she prises her clinging daughter from around her neck, as if she were unwinding herself from a beloved boa-constrictor. This “ comic con­ tribution to the question of why women so seldom manage to achieve” looks at Edda Chiemnyjewski’s efforts to document Berlin through photographs on billboards, a project in which, predictably, the sponsors want to feature “ destitute women” .

Many women will empathize with her aspirations and with Edda: “ Over 30 had decided to join a Tae Kwan Do class to benefit her body. In four months, she has attended it three times. Tonight she has decided to quit!” The film on the closing night, contem­ porary American filmmaker Joan Tewkes­ bury’s first feature, Old Boyfriends, proved very unpopular. It is obvious that the film was originally conceived as Old Girlfriends (an early script by Paul and Leonard Schrader), and subsequently re­ written for a female protagonist. Unfortun­ ately, it is often the case, even in these enlightened times, that, like Alice (Katharine Hepburn) gazing anxiously into Robert’s (Fred MacMurray) eyes in George Stevens’ Alice Adams (1935) and asking him “ What kind of girl would you like me to be” , women still look for their identities in their men. Despite Diane Cruise’s (Talia Shire) odyssey being, in Tewkesbury’s words, “ a journey men usually take” which con­ cludes with her salvation in marriage to a latter-day perfect, gentleman knight (Richard Jordan), the revenge she carries out on the man who humiliated her as a young girl (played as a slimy adolescent by the late John Belushi) is definitely one “ women fantasize about” . All in all, it was an interesting Festival which focused on local productions and included works not readily available and, to its credit, did not include too much of what is unfortunately often thought of today as ‘women’s cinema’ — the school of thought which Barry Humphries desig­ nated as “ lesbianism in an Aboriginal women’s prison” . It is hoped that the AFI makes this season a regular event. ★

CINEMA PAPERS March — 33


\ ■a .SV-KH

How did you get the opportunity to make your first film?

street, a man swallowing frogs, people in a cafe. She meets a man in a garden. He is the type of guy she would have pushed away any other day. She goes to him and accepts very deeply what it is to communicate, even for one hour. That’s the film. It has been clearly understood around the world. Le bonheur (Happiness), which I made in 1964, is more famous but misunder­ stood.

I studied to be a museum curator. That was my background, plus some knowledge in literature and photography. Through my involvement in photography I began to write and plan my first film, La pointe courte. I borrowed money and made the film for about $14,000, but nobody, including Alain Resnais who was the editor, was paid. Over the years people were paid three times, but in the beginning it was collective work for no money.

How is it misunderstood?

“Du côté de la côte” was your earliest film to be widely ex­ hibited . . . Du côté de la côte, which was about the French Riviera, and Ô saisons, O châteaux, about the Loire castles, were made by the Tourism Office. They gave the money to a producer who asked me to do them. As you can guess they were very free; not typical. There is something very funny which is a little difficult to explain. You remember Attila? It was said that when he passed by, nothing would grow after him. Well, they said that when I made a film in an area the O ffice of Tourism wouldn’t grow anymore. It is not that true, because it has a contradictory effect and, even though you make jokes and point out the incredible failure of the system, it still interests people to go there. The Office understood this and used Du côté a lot. They sent 120 prints all over the world, to embassies, cultural departments and Alliances Française. By the way, they cut the film by five minutes. I only found this out years later. The last few minutes of the film said that this incredible piece of land [the Riviera] should be public and common to everyone. But it belongs to people who just closed their doors and gates, and in a way stole the beach and the shores. They made it private property. So, it was a very strong comment at the end. But they cut the five minutes without even telling me. Now, it is impossible to do anything. “Qéo de 5 à 7” and “Le bonheur” are probably your two best-known films in Australia . . .

during one day. We resisted the opportunity to spend money, so it naturally became a very thin film — that doesn’t mean poor, just thin in its visual production values. By writing a story happening between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. you don’t need a thousand costumes or sets, as you cannot do more than three or four places in two hours. There was economy in the purpose itself: And the character of Cleo . . .

Géo de 5 â 7 was made in 1961.

I am not from Paris and I don’t A producer needed a cheap film, so I decided to make one set in Paris like the capital very much. I think 34 _ March CINEMA PAPERS

I *

When I go to other countries, people say it is so beautiful: “Ah, th e c o lo rs , th e la n d s c a p e , Im pressionism !” They go on for ever. I am glad they love it, but it is not clear what this means. It is obviously a work on the cliche; what can be investigated about the supposed cliche of “le bonheur” (“happiness”). It is that you are supposed to be young, beautiful, have a husband or a wife, children, love nature, go to work, don’t need too much, don’t have too many belongings and are not too bound by this or that. So it is natural that you are happy. Then the male character meets another young woman, and why not? The film is very much about whether we need to invent morality or can just be natural, since it is very natural to look at other people. The typical beauty — I would almost say the advertising of “happiness” , like in a women’s magazine — is the image of a young couple with children. I tried to investigate this. For me it is like a beautiful piece of fruit. But there is a worm, and until you bite in you don’t see it. The success and fame of Le bonheur has not come from this interpretation, though some good reviewers have seen this. The usual feeling about the film, especially in the U.S., is “ How beautiful” or “ It’s one of my favorites.” It’s like fear is one of the main feelings that they could eat it. people get there. At that time [1961], the collective fear was of They like the film’s surfaces, rather cancer, just as the nuclear bomb or than its underlying content. . . war is now. So, by having a woman inhabited with this fear, we had a The content is very twisted, very character carrying a collective vicious. It is not clearly explained, feeling. so people don’t bother to look; they I also wanted to have a feminist just say, “ How nice.” view point in which I could investigate passiveness and activity. Do you remember the first part of Unfortunately, most of your more the film? She is looked at. People recent feature-length films are not say she is this, she is that, but she available in Australia . . . changes and goes out and looks at people. She looks at people in the Daguerreotypes is a feature-


Agnes Varda

as one thinks and be tough and bitchy, or be the mistress, sweet wife, nurse or mother stereotype. But this is changing, even in films made by men. You cannot just show women without thinking about what you do. The same is true for men, however. . The general state of women’s representation is in a bad state. However, it is just one thing I do, for I also make films about mural painters, black panthers . . .

length documentary I made in my ^street [Rue Daguerre], here in this block [Le Marchais]. It was shown in Wellington, New Zealand and C a n b e r r a . I th o u g h t som e television station would buy it, because it had been shown all over the world. It is distributed by the French Embassy in Australia . . .

They are supposed to take it back as soon as there is a sale. They are ready to show it, but it is not their responsibility to sell it. As for L’une chante l’autre pas (One Sings, the Other Doesn’t), it was very successful in the U.S. It has been shown all over Europe, but we never concluded a sale in Australia. One Sings is about women. You have all those Australian films about young women getting out of their family to write a book. You have two or three of these set in the 19th Century. However, One Sings is happening in the 1960s and ’70s in Paris. It tells about women’s liberation, fights for abortion, etc. It is almost a musical about feminism in France. Another film to deal with feminism is your short film “Reponse de femmes” (“Women’s Answer” ), which was made just before “One Sings” . . .

It was made for a television station. They asked the women directors they knew to make a film on what it is to be a woman. But they only spoke to about seven or eight out of more than 30 women directors. However I agreed to make a film, but when I asked how long it would be, they said six minutes. I told them th a t th eir answer revealed a lot about what they thought women had to say. I said I couldn’t make it so short and when they asked me how long I needed, I panicked and said seven minutes. It was supposed to be a tract or statement for television, where we spoke about an aspect of being a woman. I said I wanted to speak about the body of a woman as an underlying theme. I contacted the director of the channel and he said, “ You want to do the body of women. Will it be decent?” I said, “Sure it will be decent, but I have to show a naked woman. She has to say I am naked, I choose to be naked, but not for you, not in little pieces, not one breast, one arse.” And he said, “ If you show sex, it must be clean.” It was beyond

The mural film was made in Los Angeles . . .

“/ choose to be naked, but not for you, not in little pieces, not one breast, one arse. ” Agnes Varda’s Reponse de femmes.

belief and I laughed to tears. “How dare you” , I said, and he replied, “ You must understand we are on national television.” I understood him perfectly. So, among the things in the film is a pregnant woman naked and laughing. She enjoys life and feels beautiful. You know they got phone calls from family assocations saying how dare they show a naked woman at 8 o’clock when children are watching. It’s incredible.

Do you see yourself as a feminist filmmaker?

I wasn’t always very clear about discrimination and it’s not exactly my image. In my field, which is cinema, the cultural images of women, the traditional cliches of women in film, is something worth investigating. I am one of many people who think this should be changed — you know, be beautiful and shut up, do

“You cannot just show women without thinking about what you do. The same is true for men,

Yes. Murs murs in French means “walls walls” but it also means “whispers” . The people in the film are American and my narration is in French, although I made a version with an English narration. It is not so much my work, which is quite okay, but that the murals, the colors, the portrait of Los Angeles, as expressed by the people, are incredibly nice. It’s a documentary . . . but the word documentary has been spoilt. You say documentary and people say what a bore. We should have middle words. The film is really funny and French with people saying incred­ ible things. However, the back­ ground is the portrait of a very anxious, panic-stricken city look­ ing for its own identity. Because it is a documentary, it was not in competition at Cannes. But a lot of people who saw it loved it. I think it was successful in a way because so many fictions are boring. There is a crisis in films. It is not so much with subjects or the films themselves, but with the audience. They are bored to death with a boy meets girl, violence and cheap thrills. What do you think of French cinema today? I wouldn’t like to be an authority on French cinema; it might get me into trouble. There are good filmmakers in France. To start with, there is Jean-Luc Godard, whom I really love and admire, even though he is unpredictable. He goes in d ire c tio n s th a t we sometimes can’t follow. He is a real searcher, a pathfinder and we need one like this to save us. We have very serious directors like Alain Resnais. However, the general direction of French cinema is not exactly what I like. You know, there is a tradition of French

however. ” Reponse de femmes.

Concluded on p. 83 CINEMA PAPERS March — 35


CREATURES AND

SMALL

BRIAN McFARLANE

PA

R T

T W O

THE B I O G R A P H Y I N D U S T R Y

don’t think it is my Anglophilia showing when I say that the five English Lives I have read in the past few months are all a good deal easier on the aesthetic nerves and moral sensibilities than the American Lives described in Part One. PETER SELLERS’ life was just as susceptible to the lurid sensationalism of the Shelley Winters or Elizabeth Taylor volumes, but it has the advantage of being written by Alexander Walker16who not only writes well but happens to know about films. While aspects of Sellers’ private life — the insecurities that led him to see other p e r s o n a e in his work, the uneasy relationships with colleagues, directors and wives — are intelligently and sympathetically considered, the real strength of Walker’s biography is in its focus on the work. The essence of Walker’s conception of Sellers is that the only self he had was as a performer, and a particular kind of performer at that. It was necessary for him to efface himself completely and to assume a protective mask before he could commit himself to a role, so that sometimes producers wondered what had happened to that expensive star-power they had just bought. The early life is entertainingly told — vile scion of vaudeville family, India with the RAF, developing the gift for mimicry, radio, the Windmill and the Goons — and in it are perceived the seeds of later professional and personal development. 16. Alexander Walker, Peter Sellers: the Authorized Biography, Coronet Books, 1981.

36 — March CINEMA PAPERS


The Biography Industry

Sellers was established in films by the end of the 1950s as a result of fine comic performances in The Lady Killers (1956), I’m All Right, Jack (1959) and “ a film aimed successfully at the American market” , The Mouse that Roared (1959). Walker is astute about the latter: “ The film was irritatingly smug in its conviction that small is lovable and big nations will lay down their arms if an appeal is made to their better natures. But it shrewdly gauged the extent to which Americans liked to have their better natures appealed to . . .” (p. 115). His best films are spread across the earlier 1960s: Only Two Can Play (1962), Lolita (1962), The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963), Dr Strangelove (1964), and the huge box-office success of the Clouseau films. It is for the latter he is likely to be remembered, though he said he would like to be remembered as a Goon. The latter half of the career looks wayward, full of dire miscalculations, such as The Magic Christian (1970) and at the very end The Fiendish Plot of Dr Fu Manchu (1980), but, penultimately, there was Being There (1979) with perhaps his best performance on film. Walker gives a full account of Sellers’ burning desire, since 1972, to film Jerzy Kosinski’s novel which “ expressed everything he [Sellers] felt about himself and about life” (p. 228) and an observant assessment of the film itself which “ showed Sellers as the screen’s most brilliant minimalist” (p. 254). There is something authentically sad in Walker’s telling of a life that lacked direction or, at least, very frequently mistook direction — unlikely films, improbable wives, insane extravagances — and in the last 15 years or so haunted by fears about health. The premature death at 55 robbed the screen of one of “ the greatest comic observers of human life” whose skill, Walker claims at the end (p. 283), was a matter less of concealment of self than of transformation. Above: Ann Todd and James Mason in The Seventh Veil. Below: Flora Robson and Merle Oberon in Wuthering

f there is a sense in which Peter Sellers often seemed to be a brilliant solo performer surprisingly caught up in an ensemble art-like film, there can be no doubt that JAMES MASON is a great film star and a great film actor. In the 1940s he effortlessly dominated the British film scene with his stylish essays in snarling villainy: the Marquis of Rohan in The Man in Grey (1943), Lord Manderstoke in Fanny by Gaslight (1944), the sadistic Geoffrey in They Were Sisters (1945), Ann Todd’s guardian in The Seventh Veil (1945) and highwayman, Captain Jerry Jackson, in The Wicked Lady (1946). He was forever horsewhipping some hapless creature, flaring his nostrils at Margaret Lockwood, being beastly to Phyllis Calvert, driving Dulcie Gray to suicide, belting Ann Todd’s pianist fingers with his cane and generally being Everywoman’s favorite brute. Only Anthony Asquith’s Fanny provided a mise en scene worthy of Mason’s display, for, in spite of the ludicrous circumstances in which he often found himself in Gainsborough’s palmy days, there was always an edge of wit and intelligence which could have graced better films if it hadn’t been so busy saving these. As Mason tells it in Before I Forget, Gainsborough was more or less run by his then-father-in-law Maurice Ostrer. Angry at being cast in The Man in Grey, he now claims this, and films like it, as a “ victory” for the Ostrers: “ The extra­ ordinary success of the film made me even more cross, since I could claim none of the credit.” Accurately assessing the future of the British film industry, and after his great success in Carol Reed’s Odd Man Out, he lit out for Hollywood. In his literate but somewhat bland I

autobiography, he writes: “ My Hollywood career started with a straight run of five failures” (p. 206), which seems a curious judgment of Max Ophuls’ Caught and Reckless Moment, which now look like two of the decade’s most interesting Hollywood films, and Vincente Minnelli’s Madame Bovary, a film that has acquired stature with the years. In retrospect, to have had those three films released in his first year in Hollywood appears a highly auspicious start to a new stage in his career. As it is, it has been a remarkable testimony to staying power: in the past 30 years he has made about 80 films, and even the stinkers (e.g., Island in the Sun) have been worth watching while he was on-screen. He developed early and never lost — indeed, strengthened — one of the screen’s most authoritative presences, and given half a chance could be spell-binding. Before I Forget stops in 1964, with a 1968 epilogue to record his meeting with second wife-to-be Clarissa Kaye in the Australianbased Age of Consent. That means we get some account of the making of Lolita which “ was one of my very best adventures in film­ making” (p. 317), but nothing of those remarkable performances of the 1970s: the ageing tutor in James Ivory’s Autobiography of a Princess and the plantation owner in Richard Fleischer’s Mandingo (both 1975). He is sufficiently interested in his craft and tells one just enough about the making of the films to make one ready to read Volume Two. There is, as I said earlier, a decent reticence about his private life (“ Pamela did not take kindly to the project” perhaps hints at marital discords over which a veil is drawn) and is consistently amiable about his colleagues (on p. 326 he writes, “ I have so far avoided knocking any of my colleagues and I do not intend to stumble at this stage” ). In fact, he emerges as too nice a man to have given Calvert and Todd that bad time we enjoyed watching so much.

Heights.

t was surprising to find FLORA ROBSON (with Mason at the Old Vic 1933-34) in David Shipman’s The Great Movie Stars: The Golden Years (Angus & Robertson, 1975). Not that she was ever less than a pleasure in films, but that she always seemed to be an actress, and a character actress to boot, rather than a film star. She certainly starred on stage and Kenneth Barrow’s Flora gives plenty of real information about her theatrical career — about what she appeared in, and where, and with whom, and with what results, and how it was received. But, as with many English players of stage and screen, the stage seems to take precedence, and in Flora Robson’s case most of her film roles were awful which made it doubly unlikely to find her in Shipman’s book. Actually, it is surprising to note also how few good plays she was in; almost invariably she was transcending inferior material, through the patent sincerity with which she projected the inner truth of the character, through her superbly-modulated voice, and through a striking stillness that commanded attention on stage and screen. Nominated for a Best Supporting Actress for one of the silliest roles she ever played, Ingrid Bergman’s dusky maid Cleo in Saratoga Trunk, she wryly recalls Sam Wood’s simple direction: “ Look at Miss Bergman, honey, look at Miss Bergman.” Barrow rightly adds that “ the film was badly disturbed by too much exposure for Miss Bergman” , but it is hard to see that Cleo could ever have done much for Robson’s film career. She was a vivid, theatrical Elizabeth I on two occasions — Fire Over England (1937) and, in Hollywood, more memorably in The I

CINEMA PAPERS March — 37


The Biography Industry

Sea Hawk (1941) — and in 1962 she was the Empress of China for Nicholas Ray in 55 Days at Peking (“ glad to be on a throne again, and not at a kitchen sink” ). Her best film roles have been less showy, and pitched lower socially, in films like Wuthering Heights (1939) as Nelly Deans (and acting as den mother on the set to Merle Oberon, Laur­ ence Olivier and Geraldine Fitzgerald, all crack­ ing under the William Wyler-imposed strains) and best of all in Lance Comfort’s modest village drama, Great Day (1945). In this last, she was wholly convincing and touching as the put-upon wife of a disillusioned World War 1 officer. The film doesn’t wear well — it is too cosy and chintzy — but Flora Robson does. Barrow has done his homework very thoroughly so his information is reliable; and, though his closeness to his subject sometimes blurs his vision, he has had valuable access to Flora Robson’s letters and her own lively personal reminiscences. He has also received remarkable co-operation from many of her colleagues. Everyone seems to have loved Flora and this can be oppressive but at least one of these testimonials — Wendy Hiller’s — comes very near the mark: “ Because of her very special quality one wouldn’t liken her to anyone — she stood alone. A plain woman by conventional standards, with a singularly beautiful voice and a quality of integrity and goodness — yet I felt she was never fully stretched and had a far wider range than she was given the chance to use” (p. 189). Undistracted as she was by marriage, the career seems more or less to have been the life. However, Barrow conveys the strong sense of her being bolstered by a devoted family, of which, in her turn, she became the pillar, and in later years, without any flavor of do-goodism, she seems to have done just that — that is, good, and to a wide range of people and causes. As an actress, she adorned too many dim roles; given a minimum opportunity she irradiated them.

Middle left: Laurence Olivier. Above: Barbra Streisand in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Below: Claire Bloom and Olivier in Richard III.

38 — March CINEMA PAPERS

n English actress of a later generation who clearly believes acting means being on the stage is CLAIRE BLOOM. In Limelight and A f t e r , su b titled “ The Education of an Actress” , she gives a quite unusually clear-eyed appraisal of her career. Perhaps one reason the biographies of those stars who belong partly to the stage are so much more tolerable is that the stage demands a sustained discipline that would be misplaced on a film set. Knowing that you are to play Juliet or Ibsen’s Nora or Blanche du Bois eight times a week, out there on the stage beyond the director’s reach, poses a challenge unknown to the purely film actor. The rewards are more immediate, if less extravagant, but there is no relaxing of the discipline that produces the repeated performances and perhaps it spills over into the writing. Bloom has thought about acting and is honest about her priorities: “ . . . there’s no actress in England of any importance who hasn’t made her name on the stage . . . when television and films come along, I do them to keep working and to make money. I can’t earn a living in the theatre — nobody can” (p. 158). She is ready to “ attempt something not altogether my style, if it’s on television or film. But not on the stage, where, to my mind, it still counts most.” She has therefore been willing to take chances on screen: “ I knew I was wrong casting for the sexpot in The Chapman Report, but if as good a A


The Biography Industry

director as George Cukor wanted to take a chance, I went ahead with it. Also there’s the chance the director in a film can pull you through — he can’t on the stage” (p. 159). She is very unillusioned about her screen career, perhaps too severe on her own limitations as a film star, implying her lack of “ some ingredient beyond sheer talent . . . It’s a strong kind of sexual attraction, combined with something that’s recognizable, something that can’t be mistaken, that’s you” (p. 181). As her book’s title suggests, “ The film actor with whom I’ve had the greatest rapport was Chaplin” (p. 182). She accepted the teacherpupil relationship on the set of Limelight, and she had exciting rapport with Laurence Olivier in Richard III and Richard Burton in Look Back in Anger. However, though she writes: “ I for one have had better directors in films than I’ve had in plays” (p. 180), citing George Cukor, Charles Chaplin, Laurence Olivier, Tony Richardson and Martin Ritt, it has to be said that the films don’t add up to a star career. She is aware of this and her book is as refreshingly free from egotism as it is from sensationalism. Clearly she likes and needs her work and will go on doing it as long as she is asked. In the meantime, she writes well enough to have a subsidiary career if she wants one. The book begins autobiographically, but, after the Limelight climax, it swops chronology for reflection in a way that bunches impressions together under headings like “ Actors” , “ The Audience” and “ Screen Romance” . Behind the delicate beauty of that face, a critical — and self-critical — mind is ticking away. frail and m in his seventies, has filmed at what seems a frantic pace in the past decade, often in cameo roles in films like Lady Caroline Lamb, A Bridge Too Far and The Seven Percent Solution, sometimes, remarkably, in very taxing leading roles like those in Sleuth, Marathon Man and The Boys from Brazil. This, Thomas Kiernan tells us in his new biography17, is the “ public story” whereas “ the private story is one of disease and progressive physical debility” (p. 282). It is a sad tapering off for so overwhelm­ ingly physical an actor as Olivier; it is also sad that so few of these films have offered him anything worth doing. Some, like Daniel Petrie’s The Betsy, were downright demeaning. However, it is probably true to say that Olivier has always regarded the cinema as taking second place to the stage. Certainly on his first visit to Hollywood in the early 1930s, he felt himself superior to the movies and this attitude wasn’t mitigated by the fact that “ the Oliviers aroused little interest in the mainstream movie-industry society. What interest there developed centered mostly on Jill.” Jill Esmond, his first wife, was the daughter of a distinguished English theatrical family and was, at the time of the Hollywood sojourn, considerably Olivier’s superior, professionally and intellectually. One of the major interests of Kiernan’s book is the light it throws on these early years in Hollywood when Selznick was “ preparing Jill Esmond for her leap to stardom in A Bill of Divorcement” , an opportunity she finally turned down so as to return to England with Olivier whose contract with RKO was not renewed. Her film career never really recovered, not as a star anyway, though she went on to a long and honorable career as a character actress of unusual sharpness and L

a u r e n c e o l iv ie r ,

17. Thomas Kiernan, Olivier: The Life o f Laurence Olivier, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1981.

distinctiveness. Kiernan’s book suggests Olivier owed her a greater debt than has been widely acknowledged (and supports his claim by reference to a mutual friend). Kiernan doesn’t of course neglect the years with Vivien Leigh, but, rather, redresses the balance. (So, in a way does Anne Edwards in her lively biography of Leigh18, where Jill Esmond emerges as the most sympathetic figure.) When Olivier returned to Hollywood it was to star with Merle Oberon in William Wyler’s version of Wuthering Heights (1938) and it was “ Willie Wyler . . . who altered my feelings towards films . . . He saw that I felt superior to films, that I was condescending, slumming. He took me in hand and not only saved my performance as Heathcliff but altered my entire career.” 19 Kiernan corroborates this with remarks from Olivier and Wyler relating to this experience. Sam Goldwyn wanted to be rid of Olivier but, “ Although he didn’t possess the authority to do so, Wyler overruled Goldwyn, using the threat to walk off the picture himself as his leverage to keep Olivier.” Wuthering Heights, though a turning point for Olivier, was not a happy production (as Flora Robson also recalled). Kiernan quotes press agent Jerry Dale as saying that Merle Oberon “ had let Larry know that she was available to him if he wanted her” (hard to believe) but that “ he refused . . . [and! gave her a dressing down” instead (impossible to believe) (p. 171). Considering the discord on the set it is surprising that, questions of Emily Bronte to one side, it emerges as the fine romantic melodrama it is. Kiernan’s is one of the best-written star biographies: he is literate, knowledgeable and hard-working, and has drawn wherever possible on contemporary reports. Rather frus­ tratingly, some of the most interesting of the latter, though carefully footnoted, bear the legend, “ Source requests anonymity.” There are some errors (e.g., a remark attributed to Dame May Whitty in 1969 — she’d have been 18. Anne Edwards, Vivien Leigh. A Biography, Coronet, 1977. 19. Quoted by Bernard Drew in Weis, Op cit, p. 319.

Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen in Papillon.

106 if she hadn’t died in 1948; and were there really many “ droll British film comedies that became so popular in 1950s” ? — p. 93), and there is a curious imbalance in devoting twothirds of the book to one-third of the career. Nevertheless, Kiernan has done a workmanlike job with a remarkable life: apart from the early Shakespeare films, it must be said that the great triumphs were theatrical rather than cinematic, and that Olivier has generally seen film and television as the means of subsidizing his coruscating life on the stage. hese five English lives are refreshing in playing down matters better kept private, except where these impinge on the career, and in focusing on what made them famous. Mind you, the English batting average is brought down by STEWART GRANGER’S Sparks Fly Upward. Lacking the style and intensity of his old Gains­ borough co-star, James Mason, he nevertheless had a kind of flair and athletic presence that were equal to the demands of the historical (to use the term loosely) swashbucklers and bwana roles in which he achieved his greatest popularity. Whereas Mason edged impercep­ tibly into superbly-played character roles, there was not enough interest in the Granger persona to ensure the same for him. His book is full of manly profanities and “ roistering” anecdotes: his “ initiation into crumpet” ; getting the clap from his first wife’s best friend; being ordered to strip by Hedy Lamarr; etc. Need I go on? The comments on the films are generally in the form of egoistic anecdotes, designed to show what a breezy, virile, no-nonsense customer he was. This tiresome chronicle stops around 1960; there could be more to come. T

n comparison, Tim Satchell’s biography of Steve McQueen20 and Fred Lawrence Guiles’ of Jane Fonda21 are very models of restraint and responsibility. Satchell’s large-page, glossy, profusely-illustrated account is written with a real feeling for its subject: the short, driven life of STEVE McQUEEN, less interested in his films than in motor-racing. There is a lot of — to me — boring stuff about motor-bikes but McQueen is at least honest about why he undertook a variety of dangerous racing challenges: “ A lot of people think actors are a little strange, unmasculine, not like the guys who are riveters in aeroplane factories, I had to beat the actor’s image” (p. 78). McQueen had other things to beat, too: a difficult childhood, a spell in a home for wayward boys, being short and small, early deafness, and, finally, the thing he couldn’t beat — cancer. Satchell gives a moving account of the actor’s courageous fight against disease; he treats the marriages with more dignity than usual; and, if there is too little about the films, he is doing no more than reflecting McQueen’s priorities. This is a pity because he had a good deal going for him as a screen actor; he was a logical successor to the “ small effects” men. Buzz Kulik, who directed his last film, The Hunter (1980), was right to say: “ He is a great reactor on the screen, more than an actor. He needs only one word and he’s magic.” His best performances — Baby, the Rain Must Fall (1964), The Cincinnati Kid (1965), Bullitt (1968), Junior Bonner (1972) — offer indeed a “ great reactor” , but one with powerful reserves of suppressed energy. Concluded on p. 85 I

20. Tim Satchell, McQueen, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1981. 21. Fred Lawrence Guiles, Jane Fonda. The Actress in Her Time, Michael Joseph, 1981.

CINEMA PAPERS March — 39


(Working Title)

â&#x2013;


Clockwise from left: Wattie Doig (Chris Haywood), miner; Doig, Idris Williams (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and a miner (Chris Wheelan); a woman picketer (Althea McGrath); the mine manager (David Kendall) and a police sergeant (Tony Hawkins).

The Sunbeam Shaft

In 1936 the management o f the Sunbeam Colliery, K orum burra, Victoria, was employing men under some o f the worst pay rates and conditions in the world. Wattie and A gnes Doig immigrated to Australia fro m Scotland in the 1920s and fo u n d work on the South Gippsland coal fields. A long with a very high percentage o f militant men and women resident in the area, Wattie and A gnes were the key figures in the organization o f the first ‘stay-in’ strike in the history o f Australia. The success o f this strike paved the way fo r action that was to revitalize the A u s ­ tralian labor m ovem ent after the crushing effect o f the Great Depression.

The Sunbeam Shaft is directed by Richard Lowenstein, fr o m his own screenplay, fo r producers Miranda Bain and Tim othy White. Shot on location at Wonthaggi, Victoria, the film is Low enstein1's first feature. WKÊÊËBÊm WSSSBm

CINEMA PAPERS March — 41


P icture P review

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Above: Wattie and Agnes Doig (Carol Burns). Below: Wattie fights a ‘scab’ mine worker (Chris Ferguson).

42 — March CINEMA PAPERS

Above: Tom (Rod Williams) and fellow miner. Below: Agnes cuts her hair, after having left the Salvation Army.


Ansara: We originally went to Vietnam in 1980 to find the most appropriate subject for a film, which would show the country the way we wanted to reveal it. Before going we saw Joris Ivens’ The 17th Parallel (North Vietnam, 1967) and we had the improbable dream that once we got to Vietnam we somehow would be able to brush away all the years, penetrate the various government depart­ ments and find the people who were in Ivens’ film. We then thought we would take sections of the old film as a com­ parison and show what those people were doing today. We knew it would be virtually impossible to find them but that was one of the requests we made to the Viet­ namese authorities. One by one they met our requests and finally produced a Colonel Vu, who was Ivens’ righthand-man while he was making The 17th Parallel. Vu had become head of the army film unit but, more important, he had stayed in the 17th Parallel and, the year before, had written a book on the area. He said of course he knew where everyone was. It all seemed perfect, the only problem being that we couldn’t get Ivens’ co-operation. He answered our request saying, “ Vietnam is now in another period of history” , and that under no circumstances could we use his film. Robertson: So, we went back to the drawing board. We had several ideas, none of which we were particularly enthusiastic about. A nsara: We th o u g h t, for instance, of showing women in various parts of the country in different occupations. But that would have been too episodic.

In th e 1960s a n d ’70s, V ie tn a m d o m in a te d A u s tr a lia 's n ig h tly televisio n n ew s. B u t in te re st in th a t c o u n tr y f a d e d w hen th e w ar e n d ed . S in ce th en , se ve ra l A u s tr a lia n tele­ vision crew s h a v e f i l m e d p o s t-w a r V ietn a m . B u t n o n e w as able to e x a m in e clo sely a n y a sp e ct o f V ietn a m ese so ciety. Changing the Needle is th e fir s t, in -d e p th lo o k a t c o n te m p o ra r y V ie tn a m b y A u stra lia n s. T h e f i l m fo c u s e s on a d ru g re h a b ilita tio n cen tre in H o C h i M in h C ity (fo rm e rly S a ig o n ), w here M a r th a A n s a r a (cam era), D a sh a R o s s (so u n d ) a n d M a v is R o b e r ts o n (co ­ o rd in a tio n ) s p e n t e ig h t w e ek s film in g in 1981. T here w ere a q u a rte r o f a m illio n d ru g a d d ic ts in S o u th V ietn a m a t th e e n d o f th e war. T h e so c ie ty in w h ich th ey n o w live is o n e w here m o s t c o m m o d itie s, in clu d in g p h a rm a c e u tic a ls, are in s h o r t su p p ly . In s te a d o f rep la ce­ m e n t d ru g s lik e m e th o d o n e , th e cen tre uses a c u p u n ctu re , h erb a l m ed icin es, m a ssa g e a n d a ch a n g e o f life sty le to w ean a d d ic ts f r o m th eir h a b it. A l l o f th e tea m th a t m a d e Changing the Needle p a rtic u la rly A n s a r a a n d R o b e r ts o n — w ere a ctive in th e a n ti-w a r m o v e m e n t (as w as th e f i l m ’s ed ito r, C olin W a d d y) an d , w ith th a t b a c k g ro u n d , th e y re q u e ste d p e rm iss io n to f i l m in V ie tn a m in early 1979. A y e a r la ter th e y m a d e a p re lim in a r y , in ve stig a tive trip. In th is in terview , M a r th a A n s a r a a n d M a v is R o b e r ts o n are in te rv ie w e d b y B a rb a ra A ly s e n . —

I wouldn’t have thought people in Australia, except wing people, would pity the namese. They have received of unfavorable publicity . . .

that left­ Viet­ a lot

Ansara: If we had shown how hungry and poor they are, we could have made a successful film about the wretched of the earth. Robertson: Even we were shocked at how poor and lacking in every little thing the Vietnamese are. Their energy level is very low because people have a low protein diet. It would be quite easy to con­ struct a film that would make everybody feel pity for them. In a way, given that the Vietnamese have such a bad image, it would be almost worth doing. But neither the Vietnamese nor you wanted that . . .

Ansara: We definitely didn’t. I don’t think there is much point in showing people from another cul­ ture as pathetic, because you distance the audience from their problem. How hard was it to get into Viet­ nam?

How did you decide on the subject of the drug rehabilitation unit?

Ansara: There were so many things that the subject offered. It reveals a grave problem, one that arose because of the war, in which people in the West are interested at a time when they are not generally interested in Vietnam. It is a sub­ ject in which the Vietnamese clearly have something to offer us and which didn’t leave us peering at an underdeveloped country, feeling sorry for their lack of

resources. They do lack resources, but the way in which they make the best of what they have is a lesson for us. Robertson: We were also aware of the concern of the Vietnamese authorities that we not make a film which would arouse pity. We felt that just as people had learned a lot from the Vietnamese during the war, there were many things to be learned from them now.

Mavis Robertson (co-ordination), Dasha Ross (sound) and Martha Ansara (camera).

Ansara: Their embassy in Aus­ tralia was very co-operative. The difficulties we encountered were part of the general problem of Vietnamese poverty. For example, the embassy in Australia does not have a diplomatic courier very often, and I know from personal experience that the post in Vietnam is horrendous. Robertson: Also, the Vietnam­ ese don’t necessarily understand that everyone else is working to schedules. They thought that when they made up their minds that it would be a good idea for us to CINEMA PAPERS March — 43


Changing the Needle

tively limits the number of investors to 20 — Ed.], we ended up with more investors than we should have had, but not more money. Also, the servicing costs are expensive, regardless of whether a person puts in $10,000 or $250. We approached people who had been activists in the anti-war move­ ment and people in the union movement who had taken a stand about Vietnam. Ansara: Basically we organized the finance the way we would organize a demonstration. We thought that, with a film like this, if we couldn’t raise the money then this would probably mean there wouldn’t be an audience for the film. The Creative Development Branch of the Australian Film Commission invested $16,000 in the film’s $78,000 budget. The crew invested their wages. Once in Vietnam, were you able to monitor the quality of what you were shooting?

make a film there, we would be able to drop everything, go and do it. Ansara: In fact, we had for­ gotten all about it. Robertson: We had said to them that if they couldn’t let us know by the end of July 1979, we couldn’t do it. Instead, nine months after our original application, we received a letter suggesting we come. Ansara: More than that, it said we expect you in February [1980] and it gave the date of our arrival. Robertson: I had been in Britain and had come home in March. The day I came home the Vietnamese ambassador phoned and said, “ Our minister of culture will be waiting for you in the first week of April” , to which I said, “ I hope he has a good book.” Still, we decided to go on an investigative tour. We wanted very careful agreement from them about what we could and couldn’t do, and what they would be able to help us with — which was quite funny because we had no under­ standing of their level of tech­ nology, or lack of it. Because Viet­ nam is divided, it has different systems of electricity in different areas, and there are constant power surges and blackouts. There was no equipment we could hire or borrow, and wre were faced with the most horrendous freight prob­ lems. We had to take everything with us, Ansara: We also had long, friendly discussions with the Viet­ 44 — March CINEMA PAPERS

Guitarists at a concert in Ho Chi Minh City. Changing the Needle.

namese in which we made it clear that we would not be able to make a film that glorified them, and that our audience would expect to see things warts and all. For the sake of our integrity we had to make sure that they didn’t think that, because we were considered friendly, we would portray things the way they wanted. What kind of picture did they want portrayed?

Ansara: They didn’t say any­ thing specific but, judging from their films, they see things that are good as all good, and things that are bad as all bad. We became convinced that any­ body who wanted to go there and make a film, and would be half honest, would be welcomed with open arms. Were you?

Ansara: Yes, and a FrenchEnglish-American television team, which was filming a history of the Vietnamese war, even more so. How did you raise the budget?

Robertson: We thought the best thing was to obtain relatively small investments from relatively large numbers of people. But because we didn’t understand New South Wales company law [which effec­

Robertson: We had gone to con­ siderable expense, including spend­ ing several days in Bangkok, to make sure that once a week we could send film out of Vietnam on an Air France flight and that it would be transhipped at Bangkok airport. Ansara: We had an agent to look after it, checking telex numbers and airlines. We did everything anyone could possibly think of to ensure that we could send film out and get a report back by telex. We even had the number of the one and only telex in Hanoi. Robertson: In Saigon, there are only two public telex lines and you have to queue up. We were sure everything was all right and, two weeks after arriving in Vietnam, we decided to send our trial ship­ ment out. I took it to the airport, filled in the forms — all seven of them — paid my money and off it went, in the hands of the pilot. Then, when there was no word from Colorfilm, we started send­ ing telexes. Sending a telex takes two hours and we were all getting very edgy with each other, especi­ ally Martha, who didn’t know how her film would look. So we telexed Bill Gooley [Colorfilm] saying, “ Do something desperate” , and he replied that the film hadn’t arrived. We realized we couldn’t send any more. What had happened was during that week a group of Muslim fundamentalists from Indonesia had hijacked a plane at Bangkok airport. We hadn’t heard about it because Vietnam is a rather closed society, and what we consider news is not always what they consider news. The hijacking w asn’t reported by the English news service in Vietnam, and I even doubt if it was on the Vietnamese news service. So, the hijacked plane was out

on the runway at Bangkok airport for days and days, while our film sat in a corner of a hangar. It finally was sent off just before we arrived in Bangkok after filming. So you kept your film with you after that?

Robertson: We negotiated with the Vietnamese to have two small refrigerators, which are a great luxury in Vietnam. Because it was very hot and humid, we used to pile the film into them. When we went away to film the commune our hosts taped them up and put on notices in Vietnamese asking that they not be turned off. So, everything stayed safe and sound. How much red tape did you encounter when filming?

Robertson: One day, quite early on, there were several things happening in a slum area of Saigon that we thought we should film. But the Vietnamese said no, you can’t film today, you haven’t signed the appropriate pieces of paper. That really happened all the time. We even had a hassle because Martha wanted to film from the roof of our hotel. They didn’t stop us doing things as long as we sought permission. Vietnam is like a lot of societies: if you are doing normal, everyday things you don’t have to ask for permission, but if you’re doing something a bit different, then no one wants to take the decision. So I spent quite a lot of time finding who had the right to say, “ Yes, you can do that” , because we knew that usually, if we could find that person, everything would be all right. Ansara: I think someone who didn’t understand would think that the Vietnamese were deliberately trying to prevent us from doing things, or trying to hide things. But it wasn’t so. However, it isn’t easy solving some of those problems and I think that is why John Pilger and Wilfred Burchett [both are journalists] were so impressed with what we were able to film. Robertson: Filming in Vietnam was also difficult because we think differently. I will illustrate with an incident. One morning we had been filming in the drug rehabilita­ tion centre and there was nothing more we wanted to do that day. We were very conscious of having a very limited amount of time, just two months, but that seemed like a long time to the Vietnamese. Consequently, we felt any spare time should be spent on other things. We were looking for documen­ tary footage so we said to people from the docum entary film studios, who were liaising with us, “ We’re not going to film any more today, we want to go to the docu­ mentary film archives.” Our inter­ preter paled and we ended up


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Documentary Producers An examination of the various types of documentaries made in Australia, and who produces them. A study of government and independent production. The aims behind the production of documentaries, and the various film forms adopted to achieve the desired ends. This part surveys the sources of finance for documentary film here and abroad.

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Repositories and Preservation

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In this major work on the Australian f i l m industry’s dramatic rebirth, 1 2 leading f ilm writers combine to provide a lively and entertaining critique. Illustrated w ith 2 6 5 stills, including 5 5 in f u l l color, this book is an invaluable record fo r all those interested in the N e w A ustralian Cinema. The chapters: The Past (Andrew Pike), Social Realism (Keith Connolly), Comedy (Geoff Mayer), Horror and Suspense (Brian McFarlane), Action and Adventure (Susan Dermody), Fantasy (Adrian Martin), Historical Films (Tom Ryan), Personal Relationships and Sexuality (Meaghan Morris), Loneliness and Alienation (Rod Bishop and Fiona Mackie), Children’s Films (Virginia Duigan), Avant-garde (Sam Rohdie).

A U ST R A L IA The first 25 Years AU STRALIAN TV The first 2 5 years records, y e a r by yea r, a ll the im p o rta n t television events. O ver 6 0 0 p hotographs, som e in f u l l color, recall fo rg o tten im ages a n d preserve m em ories o f progra m m es long since w ip e d fr o m the tapes. T h e book covers every fa c e t o f television p ro g ra m m in g — lig h t entertainm ent, q u izzes, n ew s a n d docum entaries, k i d s 3 program m es, sport, dram a, m ovies, com m ercials . . . C ontributors include J i m M u r p h y , B ria n C ourtis, G arrie H u tc h in so n , A n d r e w M c K a y , C hristopher D a y , I v a n H u tch in so n . AU STRALIAN TV takes y o u back to the tim e w h en television f o r m ost A u stra lia n s w a s a curiosity — a sh a d o w y, often soundless, p ictu re in the w in d o w o f the local electricity store. T h e q u a lity o f the early pro g ra m m es w a s at best unpredictable, but s till people w o u ld gather to w a tch the M elb o u rn e O lym p ics, C h u ck F a u lk n er reading the new s, or even the test p a tte rn ! A t f i r s t im ported series were the order o f the day. O nly G raham K e n n ed y a n d B ob D ye r could challenge the ratings o f the w esterns a n d situ a tio n comedies fr o m A m eric a a n d B rita in . T h en cam e The Mavis Bramston Show. W ith the p o p u la rity o f that rude a n d irreverent sh ow , A u stra lia n television cam e into its ow n . P rogram m es like Number 96, The Box, Against the Wind, Sale of the Century have achieved ratings th a t are by w o rld sta n d a rd s remarkable. A USTRALIAN TV is an entertainm ent, a delight, a n d a com m em oration o f a lively, fa s t-g r o w in g industry.

sh e

§

Ivi I n N o vem b er 1 9 8 0 the F ilm a n d T elevisio n P roduction A sso c ia tio n o f A u s tr a lia a n d the N e w So u th W a les F ilm C orporation brought together 1 5 intern a tio n a l experts to discuss f i l m fin a n c in g , m arketing, a n d d istrib u tio n o f A u stra lia n f i l m s in the 1 9 8 0 s w ith producers involved in the f i l m a n d television industry. T h e sy m p o s iu m w a s a resounding success. T a p e recordings m ade o f the proceedings have been transcribed a n d edited by Cinema Papers, a n d p u b lis h e d as the Film Expo

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Contents Theatrical Production The Package: T w o Perspectives Theatrical Production Business and Legal Aspects Distribution in the United States Producer/Distributor Relationship

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Ashley Boone

Lois Luger Vice-President, Television Sales, Avco Em bassy Pictures Corporation ( U .S .)

Professor Avv. Massimo FerraraSantamaria Law yer (Italy)

Mike Medavoy Executive Vice-President, Orion Pictures ( U .S .)

Simon O. Olswang

Distribution Outside the United States

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Television Production and Distribution

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Financing o f Theatrical Film s M ajor Studios Financing o f Theatrical Film s Independent Studios Presale o f Rights

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Samuel W. Gelfman

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Barry Spikings Chairman and C hief Executive, E M I Film and Theatre Corporation (B ritain)

Independent Producer ( U .S .)

Eric Weissmann

Presale o f Territory

Klaus Hellwig

Partner, K aplan, Livingston, Goodwin, Berkow itz and Selvin

M u lti-N a tional and Other Co-Productions

President, J a n u s Film U nd Fernsehen (Germany)

Harry Ufland President, The U fland Agency ( U .S .)


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Changing the Needle

When you put the film together, did you feel you had to make con­ cessions to attract the widest poss­ ible audience?

having a scene because I was saying, “ Well, just ring up and tell them.” It was only afterwards that I realized how ridiculous that was. First, it is hard to find telephones that work and, I found out later, in the archives there is only one phone in a huge building. The guy on the desk obviously takes a message and you get what you requested the next week. And we didn’t realize that while there is a lot of film, there is no catalogue or index. The system relies on people’s memories. Ansara: I think the Vietnamese found us more trying than prob­ ably anything they had ever encountered. We worked all the time and they didn’t have the food available to supply us at all hours, yet they had to keep up — and we were working from early in the morning until late at night. We also seemed very wasteful to them because they have practically no film stock and they set film on a ratio of one to one and a half. Did you do the interviews through an interpreter?

Ansara: We didn’t sit down and say we will have to do this or that to gain a wide audience. I think by our choice of subject, we had already resolved that. Robertson: And, when we first discussed the film, we knew we wanted to make something which spoke to all people, not just the converted. We didn’t want to make a film that would make people who had been in demon­ strations back in 1969 feel great. We wanted to remind people of the continued existence of the Viet­ namese, and the fact that they still have to live with the consequences of the war that was waged on them. You have said that, despite your approach, the film, at least in Britain, has been criticized for being “ too political” . . . “We wanted to remind people o f the continued existence o f the Vietnamese, and the fact that they still have to live with consequences o f the war that was waged on them. ”

Ansara: Yes. We had as many discussions as we could with the person who was going to ask the questions and with the person being interviewed. We then tried to adopt a technique whereby, having agreed on the topics beforehand, the interviewer would ask ques­ tions and pause from time to time so we could find out the gist of what had been said. Then at night we would have to find out what had really been said. Our inter­ preter was a hero. The language difference also meant other problems. There are all sorts of things you listen for when you are filming: for example, when to change the picture. When you went into the rehabilita­ tion unit, had you thought out what would be the form of the film? Did you want to follow a couple of people through the pro­ gram, or stand back and take a less detailed, more personal approach?

Ansara: What we wanted to do was to follow someone right through; to wait there until the police brought someone in and find out what happened to them. But of course we weren’t there long enough to do that, so we had to follow different people through stages, then go a bit wider to explain the institution. Would you have wanted the film to be more intimate?

Ansara: Of course. Had we put the same amount of work into filming an Australian institution, the result would have been more intimate. But things don’t operate like that in Vietnam. People haven’t been watching a lot of tele­ vision in which everyone spills their guts.

Robertson: I, for example, had viewings and discussions with people from the United Nations International Narcotics Board. They come from d iffe re n t countries and bought the film to use as a teaching aid to show how a poor, underdeveloped country can cope with drug problems. But they were very argum entative — amongst themselves, rather than with me — about the small amount of historical compilation in the film, and that it talks about the French and the Americans intro­ ducing drugs into Vietnam. They were worried about what their French and American colleagues would say. When I said that, if you made a film about China, no one would feel uptight about saying the British introduced opium there, one of them said to me: “ Ah, yes, but that was a long time ago.” So, the film involves practical politics for a lot of people. How were you treated as an all­ female crew in a still very tradi­ tional society?

Changing the Needle was released in late 1982. It opened to generally good reviews. Inevitably, however, a film made in Vietnam still arouses passions. A S y d n e y M o r n in g H e r a ld column called it “engaging and competent” before commenting “there is nothing about the persecution of the Chinese, the boat people or the reasons behind the occupation of Kampuchea. Because it chooses not to mention them, this film collapses into pretentiousness.” In late November, a screening of the film at Wollongong Trade Union Centre was disrupted when 250 right-wing Vietnamese demonstrated outside the building and tried to discourage some of the audience from attending.

Robertson: People reacted in different ways. We had a dinner on the night of In te rn a tio n a l Women’s Day with women from the Women’s Film Unit, and some men from the documentary film studios and the Ministry of Social Welfare. They told us that they were using us as an example — “ precious example” was their term — but that was in the south. It wouldn’t be the same in the north because women do many things in the north that women are yet to do in the south. Ansara: Or in Australia. What was the example of that?

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Ansara: Combat earnerawoman.^ CINEMA PAPERS March — 45


The recent statements by the Minister for Home Affairs and the Environment, Tom McVeigh, promising to amend the Division 10BA provisions of the Income Tax Assessment A ct to allow a longer period for the production of films qualifying for the 150 per cent tax deduction, appear to have overcome one of the major problems encountered by film producers seeking private funding for their current projects. Now the film industry has encountered a further hurdle in securing the funds it anticipates will be attracted by the proposed amendments. This hurdle is the requirement that producers seeking public investment funds must issue a prospectus in a form acceptable to the Corporate Affairs Commission. The purpose of this article is to examine briefly the legislation which determines this requirement, and to propose a solution which may avoid the expense and loss of time involved in the issue of prospectuses, while providing the same information to investors.

investors are provided with all the information necessary to enable them to make an informed decision as to whether the investment proposal placed before them will provide that profit, the promoter is required to provide the intending investor with details of all the relevant aspects of the investment proposal. It is undoubtedly arguable that people, at the moment, are not investing in films with the expectation of a profit return, but rather to secure the Division 10BA tax deduction. Most film investment proposals read by the author make no promises of profit, but do assure a 150 per cent tax deduction. It is also arguable that much of the information required by the Code to be included in prospectuses is not relevant to a film investment proposal. However, the provisions of the Uniform Companies Code were drafted in a very general way, with a view to protecting the uninformed investor or a member of the public from being exploited by professional promoters. No one would argue against the desirability of this objective. Background Who is a member of “ the public” for the On July 1, 1982, all Australian states adopted purposes of the Uniform Companies Code? a new Uniform Companies Code. A number of Quite clearly, it includes a person who has no aspects of the previous Uniform Companies connection with a promoter of a scheme and Act were changed, particularly those regulating whose contact with the promoter has been the conduct of promoters seeking investment secured by a random method, such as direct funds from the public. The changes have been mailing or an advertisement placed in a interpreted as requiring film producers to issue newspaper. The legislation, however, takes a a prospectus if they are seeking investment much narrower view of the attributes of a member of “ the public” ; an investment offer is funds from the public. The prim ary assum ption behind the made to the public if “ made to any section of prospectus requirements is that members of the the public whether selected as clients of the public invest their funds with a view to making person (making the offer) or in any other a profit. In order to ensure that the intending manner” . There have not, as yet, been any cases *Brendan Archer is a solicitor who has had some involve­ decided on this section of the Code. Therefore, one must look to previous decisions and the ment in film projects. Step 2

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46 — March CINEMA PAPERS

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general policy of the legislation to determine who is in the category of people to whom an investment proposal may be made without the need to issue a prospectus. This leads one to conclude that: (a) the public can be one person or several people; (b) an offer made to a very limited number of people can be an offer to the public if there is no previous connection between the person offering and the persons to whom the offer is made, or even if there is a previous connection but the offer is accepted by a person with no previous connection; (c) a section of the public also includes a group of people who, as a result of a common interest such as being members of a particular profession or employed by a common employer, could not be regarded as members of the public in the ordinary sense of the term; and (d) the inclusion of persons “ selected as clients or otherwise” is intended to cover the professional firm which makes an investment proposal to its clients only on the basis that their status as clients of the firm precludes them from membership of the public. The definition summarized in category (d) is the definition that has restricted substantially the ability of the film producer to raise funds without the issue of a prospectus. The Code, however, does provide that certain classes of persons will not necessarily be members of the public, and that investment proposals may be submitted to them without the need to issue a prospectus. These classes of persons generally can be stated to be members of the company or investment scheme issuing the investment proposal. Therefore it is recog-


Prospectuses

P

nized implicitly that an investor who has made an investment in a particular company or investment scheme effectively has precluded himself from membership of the public for the purposes of additional investment in that company or investment scheme. To take advantage of the exemptions offered, it would be necessary to establish some centralized organization of members to whom film projects can be circulated. This could be done by the issue of a single prospectus. But given the diversity of projects and the necessity for a long-term solution to the particular problem, it would be difficult to satisfy the prospectus requirements of the Companies Code. It would be preferable to establish the organization without the necessity to issue a prospectus. Membership by shareholding cannot be done without the issue of a prospectus. The only alternative is membership of a unit trust. But if the members are subscribing for the purposes of obtaining a profit or making an investment, then a prospectus must be issued. Therefore, the solution appears to be membership of a unit trust in which the members will obtain no interest in the trust property, or income from the trust activity. This can be achieved with the co-operation of all participants in the Aus­ tralian film industry.

owner to an interest in the trust fund and accordingly constitutes an interest requiring the issue of a deed or prospectus, the beneficiary of the fund should be a charity or charitable institution connected with the film industry. Thus, no interest in the fund would be acquired by a member of the public and the subscription would not be a “ prescribed interest” for the purposes of the Uniform Companies Code. Ownership of a unit in the unit trust would entitle the owner to receive a quarterly magazine which would give information about films proposed for production. The cost of this magazine would be met by a fee charged to the producer for the inclusion of information about his film project. The producer would be required to supply details of the budget, a synopsis, commencement and completion dates, proposed cast and crew, and other production matters. Discussions could be held with the Corporate Affairs Commission to establish any other information which the CAC may require. The board of the trustee company would not act as a selection panel; it would be obliged to include all projects provided to it in the magazine, subject to the provision of satisfactory information.

Stage 2

Before circulating the magazine to members of the unit trust, the trustee company would A trustee company is established. The board enter into a production agreement with each of the company will comprise representatives of film production company and set up a unit producers, directors and, if required, a trust, the sole asset of which would be the Corporate Affairs Commission representative. production agreement. The magazine would be This company in turn establishes a unit trust. circulated to the members, and those Invitations are made to investors to acquire a submitting investment funds would be unit in the trust for, say, $25. As the acquisition requested to nominate, in order of preference, of a unit in a unit trust normally entitles the the film production unit trusts in which they

Stage 1

wish to invest. Investments would be accepted only from investors who have a unit in the unit trust issued prior to the date on which the magazine is posted.

Stage 3 When a particular film production unit trust is fully subscribed, the trustee company, in its capacity as trustee of the unit trust, will enter into a management agreement with a second company controlled by the same persons. This agreement will provide that the management company will take control of the funds held in the unit trust and invest it in the production of the film. A fee will be charged for this service. When the management agreement is executed, the funds subscribed will be lodged in a trust account operated by the management company. The trustee would then vest the assets of the unit trust in the members of the unit trust in proportion to their respective investments to ensure that the members secure the 150 per cent tax deduction. The advantages of this proposal are: (a) considerable savings in costs and time by avoiding the necessity to issue a separate prospectus for each production. At the same time, the information required to be included in a prospectus can be provided to the potential investors, thereby satisfying any objections that the Corporate Affairs Commission may have to the arguable ousting of its supervisory powers; (b) with appropriate marketing of the investor unit trust, the film investment proposals will reach a much wider section of the Australian public; and (c) the independence of the producers will be preserved. ★

Step 5

Step 4

Trustee Company (as Trustee of Film Unit Trust A)

Trustee Company (as Trustee of Film Unit Trust A)

Vesting of assets (Production Agreement)

Funds from Film Unit Trust A Management Agreement

Investors in Film Unit Trust A 1Management Company Trust Account

CINEMA PAPERS March — 47


Copyright

Michael Rickards* Many people have heard of the term “ copy­ right” but few would know what it entails. In fact, it is surprising how few lawyers, yet alone laymen, understand copyright. Of all the non-legal people, those involved in the film industry probably would have a greater under­ standing of copyright, for obvious reasons. The Law of Copyright within Australia is derived from two sources. The first is the Copyright Act, which is federal legislation, and the Regulations under that Act. The second is Case Law; that is, Court judgments. The latter is as significant as the former, because when examining legislation the Courts interpret and often seek to clarify and expand what is not clear. Therefore, to keep abreast of develop­ ments in the law, one needs not only to be aware of changes in the legislation but also to keep up with judicial pronouncements. There are also other legal concepts which go hand in hand with copyright of which those in the film industry, particularly producers, directors and scriptwriters, ought to be aware. These concepts — namely, “ passing off” and “ confidential information” , which I will discuss later on — are not codified (i.e., they do not come in statute form and are found only in Case Law). Because there is already some awareness of the effect and application of the Copyright Act to cinematographic film, I do not propose to cover old ground but rather to discuss a recent and interesting case, City Studios Inc. v. Zeccola\ which at the time of writing still is not resolved. Imthe latter half of 1982 in the Victorian Supreme Court, the plaintiff sought and obtained an injunction against the defendants from showing a film entitled Great White. The plaintiff was the owner of the copyright in the novel, screenplay and the film Jaws, and it was alleged that the making and showing of the film Great White breached copyright in all of those things. An interesting question which has not often come before Australian courts was discussed with regard to copyright in the film itself: “ Does copyright exist in the situations and style of a film?” Copyright protection in a novel and a screenplay is clearly set out in the Act where a film is physically reproduced or copied. Section 86 of the Act, which prohibits the making of a “ copy of a film” , must be read in conjunction with the definition of “ copy” in section 10: “ any article or thing in which the visual images or sounds comprising the film are embodied” . In Zeccola’s case, the Court was of the view that, apart from Section 86, a film was also to be included in the definition of “ other subject matter” for the purposes of Section 14 la of the Act. This section provides that a reference to a * Michael Rickards is a Melbourne solicitor.

reproduction, adaptation or copy of a work shall, unless a contrary intention appears in the Act, be read as a reproduction, adaptation or copy of a substantial part of those things which fall within the definition of “ other subject matter” . The outcome of this interpretation is that the Act prohibits the making of a copy of a substantial part of a film, which includes its situations and style. Further, it was held that the language of the Act does not require the definition of “ copy” to be construed as an exact copy. Clearly this is a question of degree. To what extent did Great White reproduce the situations and style of Jaws? A mere similarity obviously is not enough. The Court relied on a previous decision, in which it was concluded, when comparing two situations, that the latter could not have been arrived at independently of the former. The similarities and coincidences between the novel and the play in that case were “ such as when taken in combination to be entirely inexplicable as a result of mere chance or coincidence” . Upon comparing Jaws and Great White, the Court was of the view that the latter was a substantial copy of the situations and style of the former. In fact, the Court found that almost “ all the principal situations and characters in Jaws are faithfully reproduced in Great White” . The judgment goes to some length to point out the similarities in terms of the theme, events, location, setting, characters, etc. Although it was conceded that some dis­ similarities were apparent, a case alleging sub­ stantial reproduction and adaptation was made and an injunction was obtained pending trial. I understand that pending trial the defendant sought to have the decision restraining the showing of the film overturned on appeal to the Federal Court. The appeal, however, was dismissed. The legal concept of “ passing off” is, simply put, the principle that an individual or company may not hold out goods or products as being those of a competitor, and thereby obtain a commercial advantage from this deception. Initially, this form of action was limited to goods; however, more recent decisions have expanded its application to “ intangible property rights” . It is interesting that in the Jaws case the plaintiffs need not have limited themselves to claiming breach of copyright; they also could have claimed successfully that the makers of the film were passing themselves off as Universal Films, the makers of Jaws. In the case of Hexagon Pty. Ltd., and Ors v. The Australian Broadcasting Commission2, the New South Wales Supreme Court dealt with the principle of passing off in relation to films and, more particularly, Alvin Purple. The film was first shown publicly in December 1973 and was advertised as a Tim

1. Unreported decision No. 5604 of 1982.

2. (1975) 7 ALR 233.

48 — March CINEMA PAPERS

Burstall and Hexagon Production. In late 1974 discussions took place between Burstall, Hexagon and the ABC about a proposed series based on the Alvin Purple character. Initially, in the negotiations, the ABC gave the impression that Burstall would have general control and direction of the series but this did not eventuate and negotations broke down. Subsequently, the ABC produced the Alvin3 series in arrangement with John Hopgood, the original creator of the Alvin Purple character, who was partly responsible for the film scripts for Alvin Purple and the sequel Alvin Rides Again. During the course of negotations with the ABC, neither Burstall nor Alan Finney, also a director of Hexagon Films, made any claim on behalf of the company to rights in Alvin. In fact, Finney wished the ABC good luck with the series in the presence of Burstall after nego­ tations had broken down. Furthermore, when the series was first shown on the ABC, Finney was employed by the ABC as a compere for another program but never asserted any rights in relation to Alvin. It was mainly on this basis that the ABC proceeded to show the series, believing that perhaps Hexagon did not own the rights. This belief was later the basis of the defence of estoppel relied upon by the ABC. The agreement between the ABC and Hopgood was that he would be paid per episode for the television rights to use the name and character Alvin Purple, together with an amount per episode for each script accepted. The agreement between Hexagon and Hopgood for the film script contained the usual provisions with regard to assignment of the copyright in the screenplay; Hexagon was also to have the exclusive right to use the name Alvin Purple (or any reasonable variation) in connection with advertising and promoting the film. It was only after the ABC had produced several episodes that Burstall and Hexagon became aware that property in the Alvin character belonged to them. They sought to assert these rights and claimed that the showing of the series by the ABC constituted passing off and a breach of copyright. The Court firstly decided the question of passing off and found in favor of Hexagon, therefore there was no need to look at the copyright aspect. However, 3. The television series is here referred to as Alvin and the film as Alvin Purple —Ed.


and copyright a brief reference was made to copyright in the situations and style of film. It was held that showing of the series by the ABC would be conducive to deception and the ABC would be passing itself off as the makers of Alvin Purple and the sequel, in which Hexagon undoubtedly had considerable “ intangible property rights’’ and valuable goodwill. Despite this finding, the Court went on to hold that Hexagon was estopped from enforcing its rights by not seeking to do so before the ABC commenced its production. The defence of estoppel may be defined as follows: where the actions and/or statements of a party induce another party to change its position on the face of those actions or statements, the party which made them may not afterwards deny the truth of them. It was held that the conduct of the plaintiffs was such as to indicate to the ABC that Hexagon would not pursue any rights and prohibit the ABC from proceeding with its production. This was despite the fact that the Court was satisfied that at the time of initial negotiations between Hexagon and the ABC neither Burstall nor Finney were aware of their rights in Alvin. Another case worth mentioning here is Cadbury-Schweppes Pty. Ltd. v. Pub Squash Pty. L td.4. The plaintiff brought an action in New South Wales in 1977 claiming that Pub Squash, by adopting an advertising campaign similar to the advertisements created for the sale of Schweppes’ Solo, was passing off. The question the Court asked itself was “ were customers or potential customers led by simil­ arities in the get-up and advertising of the two products into believing that Pub Squash was the Cadbury-Schweppes product?” The theme of the two advertising campaigns was similar: namely, lone, virile, masculine and energetic endeavor. The cans in which the products were sold were the same size and similar shades, although the art-work was quite different. Cadbury-Schweppes concluded that the advent of the Pub Squash campaign with a similar theme and product brought about a substantial drop in its sales. It was held that Cadbury-Schweppes did not have “ property” in its advertising theme and that it could be seen readily that they were different products. As in Zeccola’s case, the question was one of degree and, as was conceded by the Court, “ ultimately 4. [1981] VR 224.

the matter comes down to the subjective impression of the Judge who makes the comparison.” Apart from the protection offered by copyright and passing off there exists also the notion of “ confidential information” . It is trite law that copyright does not exist in ideas alone, the reason being that an idea is not tangible enough. It is not possible to give a general rule about when an idea comes to be protected by copyright, but some clear-cut examples would be when an idea for a play or screenplay is committed to writing and sufficiently welldeveloped. However, that is also a question of degree. So what rights exist for the protection of inventors of ideas who convey them to other people? This situation was examined in the decision of Talbot v. General Television Corporation Pty. Ltd.5, at various times in the late 1970s. The defendant was the company which conducts the station GTV9 in Mel­ bourne. The plaintiff was a film producer who came upon the idea of a series of television pro­ grams to be entitled “ To Make a Million” . The programs would provide a history of, and inter­ views with, selected millionaires, thus depicting ideas for success which obviously had general appeal. Talbot then sought to sell the idea to the Channel 9 Network and negotiations took place. Channel 9 was provided with a written submission setting out his idea for the series of programs and later a pilot script. The negotia­ tions were inconclusive and the network never put an offer for purchase. Subsequently, however, Talbot became aware that Channel 9 was promoting and advertising a forthcoming series which was in all essential respects similar to his idea. One episode of the series was shown despite the fact that Talbot had obtained an injunction restraining the network from doing so. At the trial the defendant sought to argue that the idea for the series had been arrived at independently of the plaintiff’s idea. Talbot’s claim that there had been a breach of con­ fidential information and piracy of his idea ultimately was successful. The obligation of confidence can exist even when there is no con­ tractual relationship between the parties if four elements are established: (a) that the information or idea is unique and not the subject of general awareness: i.e., that it has a “ commercial twist or

Left to right: Alvin Purple, Alvin Rides Again and Alvin.

5. [1980] NSW 851.

slant” which takes it out of the realm of a mere general idea; (b) that the information is of a confidential nature; (c) that the information is communicated in circumstances connoting an obligation of confidence; and (d) that there has been an unauthorized use of the information to the detriment of the person who communicated it. It is important to note that the breach of this sort of relationship may be unconscious. It has been said previously by the Courts that “ unconscious plagiarism of ideas is no less common than the phenomenon of multiple contemporaneous invention.” Readers may recall newspaper reports some years ago of an action brought against George Harrison claiming that his hit “ My Sweet Lord” was a breach of the copyright in the Shirelles’ song “ He’s So Fine” . The infringement there was held to be unconscious plagiarism. In making out a case for breach of con­ fidential information, an aggrieved party need not prove absolutely that another party has plagiarized the idea; it is enough to show that the “ coincidences are too strong to permit any other explanation” or that the evidence gives rise to a “ strong inference” that the idea has been copied and the relationship breached. In Talbot’s case, an infringement of copyright in the plaintiff’s written submission and pilot script also was alleged; however, it was not particularly significant as the Court had insufficient evidence before it to conclude whether or not the defendants had reproduced or adapted Talbot’s pilot script. In coming to its conclusion in favor of Talbot, the Court was not deterred by the fact that the information had been conveyed to servants and agents of the company which conducted the Channel 9 Network in Sydney whereas the infringing party was the company which conducted the Channel 9 station in Mel­ bourne. It was held that the company behind Channel 9 in Melbourne was not an innocent party, having been put on notice and warned by Talbot’s solicitors prior to the programs going to air. In conclusion, it should be observed that, despite the differences between these three legal concepts, they are not mutually exclusive. It is conceivable that one situation could give rise to claims of breach of all three principles, although that would be most unusual. All give rise to similar remedies: namely, injunction to restrain breaches and infringements, damages by way of compensation and an account of profit. The last of these is to be distinguished from damages in that, as well as having to pay damages, the infringing party may be compelled to account to the plaintiffs for the profit it made as a result of the breaches. ★ Copyright Passing-Off and Confidential Information © Michael Rickards 1983. CINEMA PAPERS March — 49


n THE MANFROMwfc

S nowy rive R

/brents and Orphans Jack Clancy

The most striking thing about The Man From Snowy River is the contradiction. It is at once

University, has completed an interesting auteurist study of the films of Charles C hauvel.4 In the process of identifying colonialism and racial conflict, in particular, he shows how Chauvel used the themes of family relationships, parent-child separations, lost children and missing parents. Paul Monaco described something similar in Cinema and Society5 when he pointed to the constant recurrence of the themes of the orphan, the lost child and the missing parent in the French cinema of the 1920s. Monaco’s explanation for the predominance of these themes is that they serve as a dramatic metaphor for the condition of France in that decade. It is worth examining the Australian films of the 1970s with this thematic/narrative element in mind. The result is a surprisingly large number of films where the child on his or her own, separated from one or both parents, is central to the narrative and thematic structure. In The Man From Snowy River, this element is present in varied forms which are very much at the forefront of the drama. Consider the elements of the story.

the most popular film ever screened in Aus­ tralia (not merely the most popular Australian film) and a film which has taken one of the biggest critical hammerings of any Australian film. Look, for example, at the selection from local notices in the Australian Motion Picture Yearbook 19831 in which “ cliches” , “ con­ trived” , “ soap-opera banalities” and “ a tragedy: a costly awful mess . . . ” are among the more typical comments used by reviewers; they, and worse, are equally typical of verbal comments from what might be described as Rivoli2 types. The most intelligent explanation of the dis­ crepancy is to be found in Tom O’Regan’s “ The Man From Snowy River and Australian Popular Culture” ,3 which stresses the film’s relationship to television, the specific rejection of art film notions and concomitantly the calculated thrust towards a variety of publics and audiences. The link between The Man From Snowy River and the specifics of Aus­ tralian popular culture is used to explain the film’s success, and to dismiss the glib explana­ Routt, Videocrit — The Films of Charles Chauvel tions proffered so far: the popularity of the 4. Bill (Australian Film and Television School videocassette). poem, the extensive publicity campaign and the 5. Paul Monaco, Cinema and Society — France and Germany in the 1920s, Elsevier, New York, 1976. Marlboro country look of the film have all been adduced here, as though any or all of them could provide an explanation. If they could, the answer to the old question, “ What makes a hit?” , would be easier to find. But even the commercial calculatedness defined by O’Regan might not be enough to explain the phenomenal success of the film. And if one adds to the Australian success an interesting corollary, that (as far as I am aware) the film has enjoyed nothing like that success in other countries, the puzzle becomes greater. Not only has its overseas performance in no way matched the local success but The Man From Snowy River has had nothing like the box-office success of Gallipoli, Breaker Morant or My Brilliant Career. Could it be then, that in addition to the specific connections which O’Regan outlines, there are further inarticu­ lated elements in the film which appeal to Aus­ tralian audiences? It is this possibility I would like to explore, and to do so I must refer briefly to some other studies. Dr William R outt, from La Trobe 1. Peter Beilby and Ross Lansell (eds), Australian Motion Picture Yearbook 1983, 4 Seasons Publications, Mel­ bourne, 1982, p. 139. 2. An art house cinema in Melbourne. 3. Tom O’Regan, “ The Man From Snowy River and Aus­ tralian Popular Culture’’, Filmnews, Vol. 12, No. 9 (September 1982), p. 8.

50 — March CINEMA PAPERS

The hero, Jim Craig (Tom Burlinson), is an orphan. He is a young man, post-adolescent, whose mother had died before the film begins and whose father dies as the two of them (a “ team” , as the father says) work in the bush. The heroine, Jessica (Sigrid Thornton), lives with her father, her mother having died at Jessica’s birth, and during the film Jessica has cause to wonder who her real father is. The form of the narrative is basically a test-formanhood type, whereby the young hero has "to achieve something great, overcome difficulties and prove himself worthy — worthy of the heroine, worthy of the prize, worthy of being recognized as mature. Narratives of this type have elements of the fairy story (or should one say that fairy stories have elements of this kind of narrative) and thus also have an element of fantasy, of wish fulfilment. In fact, there are specific fairy story elements in The Man From Snowy River, most particularly the “ divided parent” motif which is so common in fairy tales. Bruno Bettelheim’s The Uses o f Enchantment6 comments on this as an aspect of the family romance identified by Freud; in this case the process consists of the 6. Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses o f Enchantment, Vintage Books, 1977, p. 69.

The American property owner, Harrison (Kirk Douglas), and daughter Jessica (Sigrid Thornton). George Miller’s The Man From Snowy River.


Parents and Orphans

child dividing the parent figure into a good and bad parent, thus constructing a fantasy to accommodate the good (loving) and bad (stern and repressing) sides of the one parent. Jessica has this exact problem with her father Harrison (Kirk Douglas) and her uncle Spur (Douglas). But the problem of Harrison and Spur goes beyond Jessica and affects Jim Craig. He confronts Harrison — patriarchal, repressive, rich, wanting to exploit the land (especially the “ high country” ), denying the satisfaction of sexual desire to both Jessica and Jim — and Spur, who makes Jim a partner in the mine, gives him the horse, cares for the high country and is a figure of sexual vitality (his pursuit of the housekeeper). Most critics (e.g., Arnold Zable in Cinema Papers, No. 387, who speaks of “ the thematic potential being eroded with the use of Kirk Douglas as Harrison and Spur” ) have criticized the use of Douglas in the double role and thereby missed the role’s significance, curiously illustrating the very blindness the fairy tale fantasy exists to accommodate. The important thing about the brothers is that they are American, and that they present two versions of America to these young people who are either without parents or in doubt about parentage. The Americas they present are benign and malevolent, similar to the two Americas with which Australia is presented today. Zable notes that they “ could be seen to represent two views of the land, and man’s relationship to it” and O’Regan observes that they represent positions on ecology and feminism, but neither of them explore the implications of this. It is important to see that these implications emerge from the context of the whole narrative. The narrative is concerned with wish fulfil­ ment, especially the fulfilment of the desire — an authentic, child-like desire — for maturity, and this in part accounts for the film’s popularity. But only in part. Attractive hero and heroine, horses and scenery, and the triumph of youthful virtue, courage and daring are the immediate level. The next level, not so obvious, presents a structure which refers to the coming-to-maturity, not merely of an indivi­ dual, but of a nation. Jim Craig stands in for Australians in the choices he faces. He has two versions and visions of America: one which shares his hut and food with him, gives him a horse and wants to make him a partner in the (non-exploitative) development of mineral wealth (now there’s a marvellous fantasy!); and one which wishes to exploit and repress him. There is also a colonial remnant, not of a parent figure but a direct competitor. Chris Haywood’s Curly is never referred to as a “ Pom” , but accent and actor’s background identify him as such. England is now a minor irritant standing between the hero and maturity; devious and duplicitous, represented by the harsh rather than the loving way with horses, it is overcome nevertheless and made irrelevant. Supporting the hero in his adventure and encouraging him where necessary are not only the “ good” America, but the legendary Australia, represented by Clancy of the Over­ flow (Jack Thompson), who is deliberately and laboriously built up as a legend. When he arrives, the whole station turns out, almost ceremoniously, to meet him. When someone refers to him as a rider, the correction is made, “ He’s no rider, he’s a horseman, a magician, a genius” , and he is specifically referred to as “ a legend” . The references to his “ vision splendid” and the “ sunlit plains” are thrust 7. Cinema Papers, No. 38 (June 1982), p. 262.

awkwardly (jarringly, in my view) into the script because of this need to build up, and build on, the legend represented in Paterson’s poem, Clancy o f the Overflow. “ He sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended And at night the wondrous glory of the ever­ lasting stars.” And, of course, the poet himself is recalled in the figure of the lawyer, to whom the film gives the name Andrew Paterson. Jessica, too, is seen as carrying a load, or a charge, of legendary responsibility; her mother, who died at her birth and for whose love the two brothers competed, was named, of all things, Matilda. In this struggle towards maturity, which takes place at the immediate plot level, and at this second, symbolic level, there must be a prize, a symbol of achievement, a culminating point. For Jim Craig it is the recognition of his status as a man. When Harrison refers to him as a lad, after he has brought the wild horses back ( “ alone and undefeated” ), Spur corrects him, “ He’s not a lad, brother, he’s a man” , to which Clancy adds, with heavy emphasis, “ the Man from Snowy River” . There is also the right to some of the horses (“ I’ll be back later

Top: Spur (Kirk Douglas). Middle: Spur and his mining partner, the orphaned Jim Craig (Tom Burlinson). Above: Jim and his father, Henry Craig (Terry Donovan), before Henry’s death. The Man From Snowy River.

CINEMA PAPERS March — 51


Parents and Orphans

for them . . .” ) and to the heroine (“ . . . and anything else that’s mine” ). It may be observed that I am not attributing qualities of subtlety to the film. But the symbolic prize is still to come. Jim can now return to the hut in the high country and take rightful possession of his heritage, which is symbolically, as the swelling strains of “ Waltzing Matilda” proclaim, Australia itself. It was from this very place that he had been dis­ missed after his father’s death, even though the mountain hut was his. When he objects, saying that he owns it, he is told, “ Ownin’s got nothing to do with it. You’ve got to earn the right to live up here.” Now, in triumph, he can claim possession, and he does this alone, significantly not even taking Jessica with him. The film presents a fantasy of national maturity within a standard enough, popular culture-construction, which makes no pretence at being an art form, or at being art. And the great popular culture versus high culture debate finished raging long enough ago for one to be aware that the artifacts of popular culture can be read for their own meaning. These will not necessarily be the meanings enfolded in the text by an expressive artist, but they will be meanings nonetheless. And the child lacking or seeking parents can, as Monaco and Routt have discovered, be the subject of more than easilyaroused sympathies; in this case, whether the film is aware of it or not, that motif is the source of an important level of the film’s meaning: Australia’s place and identity in the world. Ever since the momentous occasion late in 1941 when Prime Minister Curtin8 directed Australia’s vulnerability, insecurity and loneli­ ness away from one protector, Mother 8. On December 27, 1941, in a New Year message, Curtin declared: “ Without any inhibitions of any kind, I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of pangs as to our traditional links of kinship with the United Kingdom.” {The Herald, Melbourne, December 27, 1941.)

England, and towards another, Uncle Sam, Australia has suffered from an abiding un­ certainty about its place and identity in the modern world. The Man From Snowy River, like all good myths, encapsulates a dilemma and, like many good myths, provides a wishfulfilment solution. It relates that, like Jessica, Australia can put aside doubts about parentage and, like Jim Craig, arrive at maturity. In the process one can dismiss the irritating irrelevance of England, and reject the over­ powering patriarchal dominance of the repres-

Above: the feral child (Emil Minty) and Max (Mel Gibson). Below: “nameless, homeless and parentless, a scrambling wild child’’. (Dr) George Miller’s Mad Max 2.

sive and exploitative U.S. in favor of a loving partnership with a benevolent U.S. Finally, Australia achieves its own destiny by winning the right to claim its own inheritance. Two questions immediately arise, and while the answer to one is unknowable and to the other unlikely to be known, it is necessary they be mentioned. First, granted there is a second level of significance in the film, how does one know this is what is appealing to audiences? Well, one doesn’t, any more than Monaco could prove French audiences responded to the patterns he saw in 1920s French films, or that German audiences saw the meanings seen many years later in expressionist films or that American audiences saw the meanings that, say, Will Wright saw in the Westerns whose popularity and significance he charts in Six Guns and Society9. It is necessary only to articulate the structure of significance that is there. And the second question is whether this structure was designed into the film by one of the scriptwriters in one of the many re-writes. Only the people concerned could tell, and it wouldn’t matter much anyway. Don’t trust the teller, trust the tale. One further point needs to be made about The Man From Snowy River in the context of Australian feature film production. It has been remarked often enough that Australian feature films have had difficulty finding hero figures. There were the recessive males of the early 1970s as in Alvin Purple, or like Trenbow, Tim or MacArthy, and the long line of defeated males: Petersen, Foley, Tom (Break of Day), the Irishman, the army veterans from The Odd Angry Shot, to take random examples. Mad Max produced a fantasy hero and the sequel took him from fantasy into a kind of legendary twilight zone. And now over the past three years we have had the development, by stages, of the hero. It began with Breaker Morant, but he was English-born and anyway, with his offsider Handcock, he was done to death by the evil Brits. Then came the beautiful young men of Gallipoli, but they too (or at least the more beautiful one) expired nobly and tragically while the two current hero-figures, Bryan Brown and Mel Gibson, were achieving less than complete triumph in Stir, Far East, Winter of Our Dreams and The Year of Living Danger­ ously. Only with The Man From Snowy River does one find a hero who is all virtue, who dares, overcomes and triumphs. Australian cinema has been a long time getting round to it. But while all that was going on, another development has been creeping up unnoticed. The children without parents are no longer seeking them, but are assuming adult roles and acting autonomously. Look at the line of independent children represented in Fatty Finn, Doctors and Nurses, Norman Loves Rose, Starstruck and Ginger Meggs. (Even Squizzy Taylor manages to look like one of the leads from Bugsy Malone.) And to complete the pattern by taking it to its extreme, Mad Max 2 presents the ultimate development: the “ feral child” , nameless, homeless and parentless, a scrabbling wild creature depending on primitive skills and natural instincts for survival in a future world of fearful anarchy. If the child and parent motif contains as much significance as Monaco found it did in France in the 1920s, or Routt found in the work of Chauvel, then that fascinating figure of the feral child is a pointer to the future. ★ This article is based on a paper given at a conference in Paris in December 1982. 9. Will Wright, Six Guns and Society, University of Cali­ fornia Press, 1975.

52 — March CINEMA PAPERS


FILM CENSORSHIP LISTINGS September 1982

Films examined in terms of the Customs (Cinematograph Films) Regulations and States’ film censorship legislation are listed below. An explanatory key to reasons for classifying non-“ G” films appears hereunder: Frequency

Films Registered Without Eliminations For General Exhibition (G) Buddha’s Palm: Shaw Bros, Hong Kong, 2649 m, Joe Siu Int’l Film Co. Crystal Eyes (16mm): Y. Farrant, U.S., 1061 m, Alan Rich Films Donna (16mm): Y. Scholten, U.S., 702.08 m, Australian Film Institute Heidi’s Song: Hanna Barbera, U.S., 2523.56 m, Road­ show Film Dist. The Horse Girl: E. Kuhne, E. Germany, 2331.55 m, Quality Films Koroido Romie: C. Kiriakopoulos, Greece, 2317 m, Apollon films Les servantes du bon dieu (16mm): La Production Prisma, Canada, 921.48 m, Australian Film Institute Megaforce: Golden Harvest, U.S., 2633.28 m, Road­ show Film Dist. Peau d’ane (16mm): M. Bodard, France, 990 m, French Embassy This Is Noriko: Kinema Tokyo, Japan, 2880.15m: Eupo Films Warmth at Autumn: First Film Co., Hong Kong, 2283 m, Golden Reel Films

Not Recommended for Children (NRC) Adios amigos: Po-Bay Prods, U.S., 2413.84 m, 14th Mandolin, V(f-l-g) Beethoven — Days In His Life: Defa, E. Germany, 2907.58 m, Quality Films, Ofinfrequent nudity) Belcanto (16mm): Literarisches Colloquium, W. Ger­ many, 998.27 m, Australian Film Institute, S(i-l-j) Buono fortuna Mag Bradbury (Super 8mm): Debo Film, Italy, 577 m, Embassy of Italy, Vfi-m-j) Carry On Police: Not shown, Hong Kong, 2323 m, Golden Reel Films, 0(adult concepts) Charlotte: Cineteam, W. Germany/Netherlands, 2633.28 m, Netherlands Consulate, Ofadult concepts) Dardi: Conflict of Emotions: Munghan Enterprises, India, 4200 m, SKD Film Dist., V(i-l-j) Duel in the Sun: D. Selznick, U S., 3785.34 m, GL Film Enterprises, V(i-l-j), 0(adult concepts) Gandhi: R. Attenborough, Britain, 5074.55 m, Fox Columbia Film Dist., Vfi-m-j) II sepolcro indiano (The Indian Sepulchre} (Super 8mm): Debo Film, ItalyAA/. Germany, 550 m, Embassy of India, V(i-l-j) Intermezzo (16mm): D. Selznick, U.S., 768 m, GL Film Enterprises, 0(adult concepts) La smania addosso (Frenzy’s Grip) (Super 8mm): Debo Film, Italy, 550 m, Embassy of Italy, S(i-l-j), Vfi-l-j), Ofadult theme) La tigre di Eschnapur (The Tiger of Eschnapur) (Super 8mm): Debo Film, ltaly/W7 Germany, 550 m, Embassy of Italy, V(i-l-j), Sfi-l-j) Mireille dans la vie des autres: Godefroid, Belgium, 2276.69 m, Belgian Chamber of Commerce, Sfi-l-j), Ofadult theme) My Funny Intern: Success Film (HK) Co., Hong Kong, 2135 m, Golden Reel Films, Ofadult theme) Notorious (16mm): D. Selznick, U.S., 1130 m, GL Film Enterprises, 0(adult concepts) Orzowei: figlio della savana (Super 8mm): Debo Film, Italy, 522 m, Embassy of Italy, Vfi-m-j) The Paradine Case (16mm): D. Selznick, U.S., 1371.25 m, GL Film Enterprises, Ofadult concepts) Pledone lo sbirro (The Funny Cop) (Super 8): Debo Film, Italy, 550 m, Embassy of Italy, V(f-l-j), Ofadult con­ cepts) Quien Sabe? (Who Knows?) (Super 8): Debo Film, Italy, 577 m, Embassy of Italy, Sfi-l-j), Vff-l-j) Rebecca (16mm): D. Selznick, U.S., 1261.55 m, GL Film Enterprises, Ofadult concepts) 7 dell’orsa maggiore (The Seven Charles’ Wain) (Super 8): Debo Film, Italy, 550 m, Embassy of Italy, Sfi-l-j), Vfi-l-j), Ofadult theme) Spellbound (16mm): D, Selznick, U.S., 1217.67 m, GL Film Enterprises, Ofadult themes) The Spiral Staircase (16mm): D. Selznick, U.S., 910.51 m, GL Film Enterprises, Ofadult concepts) Ta sainia: Karayiannis, Greece, 2520 m, Apollon Films, Ofadult concepts) Two Actresses: China Film Corp., China 3182 m, Ronin Films, Ofadult concepts) Vangelo secondo Simone e matteo (Super 8): Debo Film, Italy, 605 m, Embassy of Italy, Vff-l-j) A Wives’ Tale (16mm): Ateliers Audio-Visuels de Quebec, Canada, 789.84 m, Australian Film Institute, Lfi-m-g)

S (Sex) .............................. V (Violence)....................... L (Language) .................... 0 (Other) ..........................

Explicitness/lntensity

Infrequent

Frequent

i i i i

f f f f

Cul de sac: R. Polanski, Britain, 3010 m, GL Film Enterrises, Vfi-m-j), Ofadult concepts) as andere laecheln (The Other Smile) (16mm): P. Maerthesheimer, W. Germany, 1294 m, Australian Film Institute, Ofadult concepts) The Dream of Loh (16mm): Arrow Film Prods, Aus­ tralia, 1031.18 m, Goethe Institute, Ofadult concepts) Duel With the Devils: T. Wen, Taiwan, 2288 m, Golden Reel Films, Vff-m-j) The Entity: American Cinema Prods, U.S., 3428.75 m, Fox Columbia Film Dist., Ofsexual violence) The Fatal Flying Guillotings: Success Film Co., Hong Kong, 2121 m, Golden Reel Films, Vff-m-g) Hellegat: P. Koech/P. le Bon, Belgium, 2688.14 m, Belgian Chamber of Commerce, Ofadult theme) Hotel des ameriques: A. Sarde, France, 2523.56 m, PBL Video, Ofadult concepts) La vie continue (Life Goes On): Cineproductions/SFPC , France, 2523.56 m, C onsolidated Exhibitors, Ofadult concepts) Le choix des armes: Sara Films Parafrance, France, 3703.05 m, PBL Video, Vff-m-j) Les turlupins (The Rascals): G. de Goldschmidt, France, 2496.13 m, Consolidated Exhibitors, Sfi-m-j) Lotte in Weimar. E. Albrecht/DEFA, E. Germany, 3456.18 m. Quality Films, Sfi-m-j) Maeve (16mm): P. Murphy/D. Smith, Britain, 1206.70 m, Sydney Filmmakers Co-op, Sfi-m-j), Lfi-m-j) Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl: Hand Made Films, Britain, 2139.54 m, GUO Film Dist., Lfi-m-g), Ofsexual allusion) An Officer and a Gentleman: Paramount/Lorimar, U.S., 3319.03 m, United Int’l Pictures, Sfi-m-j), Vfi-m-j), Lfi-m-j) On Probation (Buergschaft fuer ein jahr): DEFA, E Germany, 2537.80 m, Quality Films, Lfi-m-j), Ofadult themes) Piranha II: Flying Killers: Chesham, U.S., 2605.85 m, Fox Columbia Film Dist., Vff-m-g) Redneck: M. Lester/S. Narizzano, Italy, 2358.98 m, The House of Dare, Vff-m-g) The Shaolin Temple: Chan Man, Hong Kong, 2747.76 m, Eupo Film, Vff-m-g) Still of the Night: United Artists, U.S., 2441.27 m, United Int’l Pictures, Vfi-m-j), Ofadult concepts)

Low l / j /

Medium m m m m

Summer Lovers: Filmways, U.S., 2688.14 m, Road­ show Film Dist., Ofnudity, adult concepts) Tempest: Bernhardt/Guzman, U.S., 3812.27 m, Fox Columbia Film Dist., Ofadult concepts) Threshold: Paragon Motion Pictures, Canada, 2605.85 m, Roadshow Film Dist., Ofopen-heart surgery) Tre fratelli (Three Brothers): Iter Films SPA, Italy, 2967.60 m, Rosa Colossimo, Ofadult themes) Viva la muerte (Long Live Death): Isabelle Films, France/Spain, 2386.41 m, Valhalla Films, Vff-m-j) Who Dares Wins: E. Lloyd, Britain, 2797 m, Hoyts Dist., Vff-m-g), Lfi-m-j) Young Hero: JIA's Motion Pictures, Hong Kong, 2566 m, Comfort Films Enterprises, Vff-m-j) Zapped: Embassy Pictures, U.S., 2633.28 m, Hoyts Dist., Ofnudity, sexual allusion)

For Restricted Exhibition (R) The Beach Girls: Marimark, U.S., 2441.27 m, Hoyts Dist., Ofnudity, adult concepts) Big Boss: King Kai, Hong Kong, 2719 m, Grand Film Corp., Vff-m-g) The Black Room: Aaron/Butler, U.S., 2313.84 m, Hoyts Dist., Sfi-m-g), Ofhorror) Blood Queen (videotape): R. Metzger, Britain, 92 mins, Videoscope Aust., Sff-m-g), Vfi-m-g) Bound to Please (2nd reconstructed version) (16mm) (a): Not shown, U.S., 559.47 m, 14th Mandolin, Sff-m-g) Bruce Strikes Back: Randall/Koob, Hong Kong, 2486.40 m, Comfort Films Enterprises, Sfi-m-g), Vfi-m-g) Caiamo (videotape): Cinecooperativa, Italy, 106 mins, CVR Australian Realvision, Sfi-m-g), Ofnudity) Coolie Killer: Century Motion Pictures, Hong Kong, 2825.29 m, Golden Reel Films, Vff-m-g) Dangerous Encounter — 1st Kind: Fotocine Film Prod., Hong Kong, 2523.56 m, Grand Film Corp., Vff-m-g) El ataque de los muertos sin ojos (videotape): Major Prod., Spain, 95 mins, Cataluna Prods, Vff-m-g) Electric Blue 009 (videotape): A. Cole, Britain, 57 mins, Electric Blue (A’sia), Sff-m-g) Emmanuelle Y Carol (videotape): Major Video Ifisa, Spain, 86 mins, Cataluna Prods, Sff-m-g)

High h h h h

Justified

Gratuitous

j j j j

g g g g

Forced Vengeance: MGM, U.S., 2413.84 m, United Int’l Pictures, Vff-m-g) Fyre (videotape): T. Zephro, U.S., 89 mins, Video Classics, Sfi-m-g), Ofdrugs) Gentle Savage (16mm): P. Brown, U.S., 899.54 m, Video Classics, Vff-m-g) Ghost Nursing: N. Chu, Hong Kong, 2325.90 m, Grand Film Corp., Vff-m-g) Inside Desiree Cousteau (pre-censor cut version): IFU, U.S., 1673.23 m, 14th Mandolin, Sff-m-g) La minorenne (The Minor) (videotape): Not shown, Italy, 81 mins, CVR Australia Realvision, Sff-m-g) La orea (Prisoner of Passion) (videotape): M. D'Amico, Italy, 92 mins, Colossal Records of Australia, Sfi-m-g), Ofsexual violence) Love From Paris (videotape) (b): Harlequin Films, U.S., 55 mins, Intercontinental Video, Sff-m-g) Madman: The Legend Lives Co., U.S., 2386.41 m, GUO Film Dist., Vff-m-g) New Look (videotape): New Look, France, 56 mins, Video Classics, Ofnudity) Night of the Strangler (16mm) (c): Howco Int’l, U.S., 998 m, Video Classics, Vff-m-g) Purity of Heart (16mm): R. van Ackeren, W. Germany, 1107.97 m, Australian Film Institute, Sfi-m-j) Red White and Blue (pre-censor cut version) (d): Sebastian Films, U.S., 2249.26 m, 14th Mandolin, Sff-m-j), Lff-m-j) Savage Weekend (e): Upstate Prods, U.S., 2386.41 m, Video Classics, Vff-m-g) Sex In Sex (untitled): Not shown, Hong Kong, 1782.85 m, Golden Reel Films, Sfi-m-g), Ofnudity) Speaking Directly (16mm): J. Jost, U.S., 1129.91 m. Australian Film Institute, Sfi-h-j) Temptations (I Feel It Rising) (2nd reconstructed pre­ censor cut version) (f): D. Eagle, U.S., 2036 m, AZ Associated Theatres, Sff-m-g) (a) Previously shown on May 1982 list. (b) Previously shown in a pre-censor cut version on December 1980 list. Shorter version previously “ M” on August 1980 list. Previously shown on March 1975 list. (e) Reduced version shown on April 1981 list. (f) Previously shown on February 1982 list. Special Condition: That the film will be exhibited only at the Second Commonwealth Film Festival in Brisbane between October 3 and 10, 1982, and then exported. AAJ kal parshur galpa: Nabyendu Chatterjee Prods, India, 3293 m, Commonwealth Film Festival. Arunata pera: A. Gunasekara, Sri Lanka, 2195 m, Commonwealth Film Festival The Club: Verdull Ltd, Hong Kong 2465 m, Common­ wealth Film Festival Cry Freedom: O. Balogun, Nigeria, 1920 m, Common­ wealth Film Festival Esthappan: K. Ravindranathan Nair, India, 2881 m, Commonwealth Film Festival Lagit petang: Datuk Syed Kechik, Malaya, 3018 m. Commonwealth Film Festival L’attache coeur: R. Menard, Canada, 2743 m. Commonwealth Film Festival Money Power: F. Balogun, Nigeria, 2469 m, Common­ wealth Film Festival Oppol (Elder Sister): R. George, India, 2700 m, Commonwealth Film Festival The Plouffe Family. J. Heroux, Canada. 4608 m, Commonwealth Film Festival Waiting for Harry (16mm): K. McKenzie, Australia, 626 m, Commonwealth Film Festival

S

Films Registered With Eliminations For Restricted Exhibition (R) Hi Hi Debbie (reconstructed pre-censor cut version) (a): J. Clark, U.S., 1171.30 m, 14th Mandolin, Sff-m-g) Deletions: 12.5 m (27 secs) Reason for deletions: Sfi-h-g) Swedish Sex Service: M. Thomas, W. Germany, 2705.14 m, Filmways A’sian Dist., Sff-m-g) Deletions: 46.4 m (1 min. 42 secs) Reason for deletions: Sff-h-a) The Thundering Mantis: East Asia (HK), Hong Kong, 2499 m, Comfort Film Enterprises, Vff-m-g) Deletions: 16.4 m (36 secs) Reason for deletions: Vfi-h-g) (a) Previously shown on May 1982 list.

For Mature Audiences (M) Angel of H.E.A.T.: M. Schriebman, U.S., 2486 m, Roadshow Film Dist., Ofnudity) Die beunruhigung (Apprehension): L. Warneke, E. Germany, 2660.71 m, Quality Films, Ofadult concepts, nudity) Back Roads: R. Shedlo, U.S., 2459.60 m, Roadshow Film Dist., Lfi-m-j), Ofadult concepts) The Beastmaster: Leisure Investment Co., U.S., 3236.74 m, Roadshow Film Dist., Vff-m-g) Blood Child: Liang Yung Tsan, Hong Kong, 2630 m, Comfort Film Enterprises, Vfi-m-j) Born Invincible: J. Kuo, Hong Kong, 2330 m, Comfort Films Enterprises, Vff-m-g) Burning An Illusion (16mm): British Film Institute, Britain, 1129.91 m, Sydney Filmmakers Co-op, Vfi-m-j), Ofadult concepts) Burning Love: Lin Jong Li, Hong Kong/Taiwan, 2523.56 m, Grand Film Corp., Vfi-m-g), Ofsexual allusion) Coup de torchon: A. Viezzi, France, 3395.30 m, PBL Video, Vfi-m-j), Lff-m-j) The Crane Fighter: Lui Wei Man, Hong Kong, 2249.26 m, Golden Reel Films, Vfi-m-g)

Purpose

Films Refused Registration

Amy Heckerling’s Fast Times (Fast Times at Ridgemont High in the U.S.): cut by two seconds for showing “sexual activity involving a minor”. It is hard to know what the Com­ monwealth Film Censor expects a filmmaker to do when making films about teenage sexuality; pretending it doesn’t exist is no answer.

Confessions of Seka (videotape): L. Gucci, U.S., 80 mins, Video Classics, Sff-h-g) The Driller Killer (videotape): Navaron Films, U.S., 86 mins, Video Classics, Vff-m-g) Note: The title of Full Moon High (July 1981 and October 1981 lists) has been altered to A Transyl­ vanian Werewolf in America.

Concluded on p. 83 CINEMA PAPERS March — 53


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The following New Product information is selected from reports and press releases received in the past two months. Material fo r publication in this section o f C in em a P apers should be addressed to the New Products editor, 644 Victoria Street, North Melbourne* 3051. Cinevex A dds Sound and Post-Production Cinevex Film Laboratories of Mel­ bourne and Melbourne Film Facilities have announced they can provide a negative to release print service within the one organization. Alan James, manager of Cinevex, said the need for such a service had existed for a long time and its introduction was overdue: “ The industry has sought such a facility for many years, but for technical and other reasons it was not an easy thing to accomplish. Now for the first time, clients have a negative to release print facility within the one organization.” James added that the cost-savings would be obvious and that the client would also benefit from a uniformly high standard of work: “ Instead of a one-off process from various facilities, Cinevex and Mel­ bourne Film Facilities is now providing a complete system. This not only saves time and money, but also ensures a uniform picture and sound standard.” The new Cinevex film completion service will be available for all pro­ ductions, regardless of the size of the project. James also said he was excited about the new venture and it was an extension of Cinevex’s service to the Australian film and television industry:

“ We’ll be bringing our reputation for quality, efficiency and economy into this new service and we feel confident that it will add substantially to the standard of film work in this country.” The Melbourne Film Facilities sound mixing and editing studio was set up by well-known editor Tony Paterson.

The KVS Pro Editor The KVS Pro Editor, a new lightweight 16mm view er/editor com plete with magnetic sound head, was recently intro­ duced by Saxon Media Equipment of Los Angeles. The unit is priced at US$395 complete. Manufactured by Kalart-Victor, the KVS Pro Editor has been redesigned by professional film editor David Saxon, A.C.E. The traditional picture has been replaced by one that is much sharper and brighter than other viewers currently available. A heat-absorbing glass pre­ vents the film gate from heating up, and a highly-polished guide rail provides scratch-free handling. An excellent quality magnetic sound head has been mounted in line alongside the picture and provides a full frequency sound playback. This physical arrangement allows picture and sound to be viewed and edited in dead sync. Optional accessories for the KVS Pro w ill soon in c lu d e a s o lid s ta te speaker/amplifier which attaches to the unit, and an optical reader for reviewing composite release prints. For additional information and Aus­ tralian distributors contact Saxon Media Equipment, 5334 Woodman Ave, Van Nuys, California 91401, U.S. Telephone: (213)906 3772.

Matthews Introduces Cam-Remote Pan and Tilt Head

Tony Paterson and Alan James at Cinevex.

The Cam-Remote, a sophisticated electronic pan and tilt head featuring total remote operation, was recently unveiled to the production industry by Matthews Studio Equipment Inc. This new product enables film or video cameras to be panned, tilted and completely operated — without any artistic compromise — from any distance, as required. Designed by Ernst “ Bob” Nettman (two time Academy Award recipient in the Technical and Scientific category) in con­ junction with Matthews engineers, the Cam-Remote is intended to facilitate shooting from unusual, precarious or tightly-confined camera positions. In addition, a new element of safety is now

brought to the realm of second unit and special effects photography, since the versatile and precise Cam-Remote allows camera personnel to capture dangerous shots or angles from a safe distance (or secure position) without any human risk. Unique slip-ring construction (including internal provisions for camera power and control functions) permits unlimited 360° pan and tilt movement. The lightweight operator control console features a pair of handled-control wheels similar to those found on conventional “ geared” heads, adjustable to any speed ratio. Alter­ natively, movement may be governed by optional joystick control or fluid head sensors. C om puter interfacing for animation or motion control is also possible. The Cam-Remote is available for rental or lease through authorized Matthews representatives worldwide. For further information, please contact Matthews Studio Equipment Inc., 2405 Empire Ave, Burbank, California 91504, U.S.: Telephone (213) 843 6715.

New telecine heads-up Rank CinteVs display at I.B.C. Rank Cintel launched three new products at this year’s International Broadcasting Convention in Brighton, England. The most important addition to Cintel’s range of equipment is an all-new, digital, low-cost telecine developed specifically for the television broadcaster and intended to complement the MKIIIC film-transfer machine. The ADS 1 advanced digital scanner is the culmination of a joint four-year development program with the British Broadcasting Corporation. It combines Rank Cintel’s experience in video pro­ cessing and servo systems with the BBC’s unique knowledge of linear-array sensors. This knowledge has been gained during the course of an in-depth, 10-year research program into the broadcast applications of solid-state imaging technology. The result of this co-operation is a broadcast-quality telecine which is simple to operate, has the facilities and auto­ mation necessary for modern broad­ casting and yet will be made available at around half the price of other solid-state telecines. Multiplexed design introduces the economy of having up to three dual­ gauge, 16/35mm transports feeding into one electronics cubicle. A unique feature of the ADS 1 is the ingenious dirt and scratch concealment system which is available as an option. The system utilizes the infra-red cap­ abilities of the CCD to detect blemishes which are then concealed by sophis­ ticated frame store manipulation tech­ niques. Standard fa cilitie s include variable speed, automatic color cor­ rection and a synchronizer for A/B film applications. ADS 1 was designed primarily to reproduce positive film stock; due to the limitations of even the latest-generation CCD sensors, it is not capable of matching the results which the Mk IIIC flying-spot scanner produces from

negative film. However, since the new telecine utilizes the same capstan drive as the Mk IIIC, negative stock can be run with confidence. According to Rank Cintel’s marketing manager Alan Mcllwaine: “ The world telecine market can now be regarded as two distinct markets with different requirements. We shall, of course, continue to give the post­ production facilities what they want in the shape of the Mk IIIC flying-spot telecine for their high-quality film transfers. The new ADS 1 has been introduced for the other market, the broadcast television stations, who want a simple, inexpensive, reliable telecine for their daily transmissions.” Also of interest is the new Slide File digital stills store which is also the result of co-operation with the BBC. Rank Cintel has signed an agreement covering the manufacture and marketing of the system, a prototype of which has already been successfully used ‘on-air’ by the BBC on a regular basis over a period of six months. Designed as a more versatile tool than the studio slide scanner, Slide File differs from most other still-picture storage systems in that it is stand-alone equipment which is a portable, selfcontained unit with its own processor and integral storage. Up to 80 stills can be accommodated on an 8-inch Winchester disc and can be loaded into memory from a slide scanner, telecine, VTR or graphics generator. They can also be grabbed off­ air from a studio camera. Streaming cartridge input has been incorporated to enable the compilation of stills for a given program to be done for the director or producer in a centralized area. This cartridge also provides additional back-up storage and allows stills to be transferred from one Slide File to another. Other features of the Slide File system are a 40-picture “ polyphoto” composite display; a clean-up mode to enhance images taken from VTR by inter-field inter­ polation; a preview facility; and mix and fade capability similar to that found on a slide scanner. “ Amigo” is Rank Cintel’s new, secondgeneration telecine programming system developed to satisfy the needs of the modern film-to-tape transfer facility. Designed around nine “ soft” keys, this VDU-based system allows up to three levels of programming without sacrificing simplicity of operation. The programs are stored on twin floppy discs and software can be customdesigned to suit individual operational requirements. The 32 analogue and 64 digital channels of the basic system can be further expanded and Amigo interfaces with any Mk Ill-generation telecine. Unlike TOPSY, which it replaces, Amigo sits in parallel with the main control system. This means that it reacts consid­ e ra b ly m ore q u ic k ly to o perator commands and can be easily by-passed if necessary. Dynamic events can now be programmed in co-sinusoidal as well as in linear mode, so that, for example, when a wide-screen print is being “ un-squeezed” for television, the system can now elec­ tronically stimulate the ‘S’-shaped curve of a camera pan. For further information contact Rank E le c tro n ic s , S y d n e y . T e le p h o n e : (02) 449 5666. ★

CINEMA PAPERS March — 55


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Based on the original idea Exec, producer....................................... BrianRosen Unit publicist................................ Wendy Day by..................................................... MichaelLatimer Prod, manager.................... Antonia Barnard Catering.................................. Kaos Catering Supervising editor....................... Philip Howe Cast: Liv Ullmann (Gina), Jeremy Irons Prod, secretary........................................ Julie Forster Prod, designer...........................Jon Dowding (Harold), Arthur Dignam (Gregory), John Loc. manager...........................................TonyWinley Composer.................................... John Stuart Meillon (Old Ackland), Michael Pate Asst. loc. manager................................ SevanChilds Exec, producer.................... Harvey Spencer Prod, assistant.................... Antonia Barnard (Wardie). Assoc, producer.....................................IngridStrewe 1st asst director..................... Steve Andrews Prod, manager..................................Christina Ferguson 2nd asst director.....................................Chris Webb Prod, secretary...........................................LynGalbraith 3rd asst director..................................RichardHobbs Prod, accountant................................ HowardWheatley Continuity............................Therese O’ Leary DAISY 1st asst director....................................... JohnWarren Casting............................................... MichaelLynch Continuity............................................. SusanPointon Prod, company........... Argus Motion Pictures Camera operator....................................NixonBinney Casting................................... Mary Ann Willis Producers..................................Hugh Kitson, Focus puller...........................Geoff Wharton Make-up..............................................RichardSharah Clapper/loader.....................Robyn Petersen Colin Borgonon ABRA CADABRA W ardrobe.................................................Sally Walker D irector............................................... RichardMcCarthy Key g rip ..................................................... RayBrown To ensure the accuracy of your Prod, company ................... Adams Packer Asst grips............................................... StuartGreen, Editor......................................................SusanMidgley Scriptwriter........................................ AnthonyWheeler entry, please contact the editor of Film Prod. Musical director.........................................Kim Thraves Based on the original idea Tony Larkin this column and ask for copies of P ro du ce r.............................................. Phillip Adams Stunts co-ordinator................................ GrantPage b y.................................................... Anthony Wheeler G affer.................................. Brian Bansgrove D ire c to r............................... Alexander Stitt Length.................. 98 mins Line producer.....................Pamela N. Borain Asst gaffers............................................. ColinChase, our Production Survey blank, on which the details of your produc­ S criptw rite r..........................Alexander Stitt Gauge................................................... 35mm Paul Gantner Prod, accountant....................Marie C. Brown Based on the original Script editor.............................. John Smythe Boom operator........................................SteveMiller tion can be entered. All details must be typed in upper and lower idea by ............................ Alexander Stitt Art director........................... Owen Patterson THE SENTIMENTAL BLOKE Art d irector.................................................PhilMonaghan Sound recordist ............. Brian Lawrence, Length................................................. 90 min. Make-up designer...................................LloydJames case. Prod, com pany.......Universal Entertainment The cast entry should be no AAV Australia Make-up a rtist....................Robern Pickering G auge................................................... 35mm Corporation more than the 10 main actors/ C om poser.................................. Peter Best Synopsis: A simple, unpretentious story Producer............................................ .MauriceMurphy Hairdresser.......................... Jan Zeigenbein actresses — their names and Exec, producer .................. Phillip Adams about two people: an obese, cantankerous Wardrobe designer.............. Robyn Richards character names. The length of the Assoc, p ro d u c e r................ Andrew Knight elderly Australian countrywoman and a D irector.............................................. MauriceMurphy Ward, assistant....................Cheyne Phillips Scriptwriters.............................................. BobEllis,Prod, s e c re ta ry ........................ Janet Arup Head props buyer...................................LissaCoote synopsis should not exceed 50 sensitive English school-teacher in his words. Maurice Murphy Animation director ................Frank Hellard Props buyer........................................... MartinO’Neill thirties. The story reveals the very special Editor’s note: All entries are Based on the book of Key a n im a to rs...................................... AnneJolliffe, relationship that grows between these two, Standby wardrobe................................ JasonRogers verse by....................................C. J. Dennis Gus McLaren, Standby props......................................... ColinGibson supplied by producers/producwho might never have managed without tion companies, or by their agents. Prod, designer........................ George Liddle Steve Robinson, each other. Set dresser........................................Jan Flint C inem a P a p e rs cannot, therefore, Costume designer........................ Jan Hurley Ralph Peverill Scenic artist........................... Len Armstrong accept re s p o n s ib ility fo r the Cast: Philip Quast (Bloke), Jackie WoodPainting supervisor ........... Marilyn Davies DEATHWATCH Construction manager.......... Danny Burnett correctness of any entry. burne (Doreen), Linda Cropper (Rose), John Director special fx Asst construction man...........................RogerClout Howard (Ginger). photography................... Mike Browning Assoc, editor............................................. LeeSmith Prod, com pany...............Deathwatch Prods. Synopsis: A romantic comedy based on C. Art d ire c to r................................... AlexanderStittMusical director..........................................BillMotzing — Virgo Prods. J. Dennis’ book of verse in which a roughMusical director ......................... Peter Best Editing assistants...............Cathy Sheehan, Producer................................................Judith West tough Australian is unafraid of sentimental Tech, a dv is e rs.................. Mike Browning, Director....................................Peter Maxwell Adrienne Parr Lab. liaison.............................Bill Harrington, feelings. Volk Mol Stunts co-ordinator................................ GrantPage Scriptwriter..............................................PeterWest Steve Mitchell S tudios................................................Al et al Mechanic................................................ DaveThomas Based on the original Length...............................................100 min. idea b y .................................Michael Ralph Laboratory .............................Victorian Film Publicity.....................................................RegFrancis Gauge....................................................35mm SHOULD AULD ACQUAINTANCE Photography..............................................RayHenman Laboratories C atering...............................................VarnesCatering Screen ratio........................................... 1:1.83 BE FORGOT Sound recordist...........................Bob Clayton Length ..........................................90 mins Laboratory........................................ Colorfilm Shooting stock.......................... Eastmancolor Exec, producers.................................... BrockHalliday, Gauge .......................... 35mm Panavision, Producer................................. Jane Ballantye Lab. liaison................................................. BillGooiey Scheduled release....................... June, 1983 Peter West Director............................................ Paul Cox Triangle 3D Length..............................100 mins, (approx) Cast: Chris Haywood (Wattie Doig), Carol Prod, m anager.................... Victoria Christie Scriptwriter........................ Anne Brooksbank Shooting s to c k ...................... Eastmancolor Gauge................................................... 35mm Burns (Agnes Doig), Hugh Keays-Byrne Prod, accountant............ N. G. Prabsch & Co Assoc, producers...................... Patric Juiilet, Scheduled release .................... Late 1983 Cast: Peter Bensley (Stanley), Graham (Idris Williams), David Kendall (Edward Art director........................... Owen Patterson Andrew Martin Voices: Jacki Weaver, John Farnham, Kennedy (Norm Norris), Nell Campbell Birch), Nik Forster (Harry Bell), Rob Steele Wardrobe.................................... David Rowe Casting director............................... Bob Ellis Hayes Gordon, Gary Files, Jim Smilie, (Amy), Michael Craig (Sir Stanley), Max (C ha rlie N elson), A n th o n y H aw kins Fight choreography................................... Jim Richards Hamish Hughes. Cast: Wendy Hughes (Jenny) Cullen (Berger), David Argue (Morris Norris), (Sergeant), Marion Edward (Meg), Reg Stunts co-ordinator................................ PeterWest Synopsis: A contemporary psychological Synopsis: Will Abra Cadabra thwart the Lorna Lesley (Cheryl), Betty Lucas (Lady Evans (Ernie). thriller. Studios............................................. Artransa plans of rotten B. L. Z’Bubb and nasty Klaw, Dunstan), Susan Walker (Doris Norris). Synopsis: In 1936, the miners in the small Laboratory...............................................Atlab the Rat King, to control all of the known and Synopsis: The film is about an eccentric South Gippsland town of Korumburra Completion guarantors...................... Haliday unknown universe? Of course he will, with young millionaire whose one aim in life is to SILVER CITY barricaded themselves in the main shaft of and Nichollas the help of beautiful Primrose Buttercup, become normal. To achieve this goal, he the Sunbeam colliery, demanding better pay Prod, company......................Limelight Prods Length.............................................. 100 mins Mr. Pig and Zodiac the space dog, among seeks out the most normal family in Australia and conditions. Their story is that of the Producer..................................................Joan Long Gauge................................ 35mm Panavision others. But not until the end. and moves in with them. It is not long before Australian Labor Movement of the 1930s. Director................................................ Sophia Turkiewicz Cast: Hugh Keays-Byme (Quin). he discovers that the family is not all it Synopsis: A suspense thriller horror film of a Scriptwriters........................................ Sophia Turkiewicz, appears to be. Thomas Keneally MOLLY night watchman who spends his last shift in a UNDERCOVER Gauge................................................... 35mm department store. Twelve hours later, two Prod, company..................................Troplisa Shooting stock.........................Eastmancolor THE SUNBEAM SHAFT Prod, company............. Palm Beach Pictures men are insane, three men are dead and Dist. company......................................... GUO Producer..................................... David Elfick (working title) there is blood everywhere. Producer................................ Hilary Linstead Director...................................................DavidStevens Director..................................................... NedLander STREET STORY Prod, company............................ TRM Prods Scriptwriter.........................................Miranda Downes FAST TALKING Scriptwriters.......................................... PhillipRoope, Producers................................ Miranda Bain, Based on the original idea Prod, company.................. Helen Boyd Prods Mark Thomas Timothy White by.....................................................Miranda Downes Prod, com pany........................ Oldata Prods Producer................................................HelenBoyd Based on the story b y............Hilary Linstead, Director............................................... RichardLowenstein Photography..............................Dean Semler Producer.................................................. RossMatthews D irector....................................Howard Rubie Phillip Roope, Scriptwriter..........................................RichardLowenstein Sound recordist..................... . Peter Barker Director......................................................KenCameron Scriptwriter..........................................ForrestRedlich Mark Thomas Based on the original Editor......................................... Tim Wellburn Scriptwriter................................................ KenCameron Based on the original idea Photography....................................... VincentMonton research b y ......................................WendyLowenstein Exec, producer................. ...Richard M. Toltz Budget............................................$900,000 by ....................................... Forrest Redlich Sound recordist......................................LloydCarrick Photography........................Andrew de Groot Prod, supervisor........................ Lynn Gailey Length...............................................95 mins Photography............................................ John Seale Editor..................................................... StuartYoung Sound recordist........................ Dean Gawen Prod, co-ordinator...........................CatherinePhillips Gauge.............................................. Super 16 Composer.............................................StevenKipner Exec, producer...................................RichardBrennan Editor............................................. Jill Bilcock Knapman Synopsis: A contemporary comedy. The Prod, manager........................................ IreneKorol Prod, manager.................................. BarbaraGibbs Prod, designer............................. Tracy Watt Location manager.................Steve Knapman story of a young urban “ bushranger” Producer’s assistant............................... KateRussell Prod, secretary................................ AdrienneRead Exec, producers.......................... Erik Lipins, Unit manager.......................................... Chris Jones fighting for survival in Sydney’s oppressed Casting director.........................................DeeNeville Accounts supervisor......... Howard Wheatley Don Fleming, Prod, assistant........................... Julia Ritchie western suburbs. Musical director.................................... StevenKipner Prod, accountant.... Margaret Rose-Stringer Miranda Bain Prod, accountant........Moneypenny Services Cast: Scott Burgess (Denny), Nicole Kidman 1st asst director.......................................TonyWellington Prod, consultant................Michael Bourchier 1st asst director.......................................MarkTurnbull (Maddy), Barry Otto (Ralph), Anthony 2nd asst director........................................ IanPage GETTING ON Prod, co-ordinators................................. Julie Stone, 2nd asst director...................................... KeithHeygate Hawkins (Ray), Frank Gallacher (Grant), Continuity..................................... Ann Walton Chris Warner 3rd asst directors.................................... Judy Rymer, Prod, company.............................. GO Prods Marianne Howard (Chrissie), Chris Connelly Producer s assistant............................... JeanBevins Prod, accountant................................. MandyCarter Lisa Hennessey Director..................................... Ted Hamilton (Harry), Paul Newman (Peter). Casting............... M & L Casting Consultants 1st asst director.......................Robert Kewley Continuity.....................................................JoWeeks Scriptwriters...............................................TedHamilton, Focus puller............................Kim Batterham Synopsis: The film explores the relationship 2nd asst director.................. Brendan Lavelle Producer s assistant............ Basia Plachecki David Smilow between Denny and Maddy, a boy and girl Clapper/loader.......................................SteveArnold 3rd asst director.......................Mandy Walker Casting......................... M & L — Liz Mullinar Gauge................................................... 35mm Key g rip ..................................................BruceBarber from opposite sides of the track. Strangers Continuity............................... Andrea Jordan Extras casting co-ordinator.........................Jo Hardie Shooting stock..........................Eastmancolor Gaffer....................................... Miles Moulson Camera operator.............................Paul Eliot who find something as innocent and Lighting cameraman...............................DeanSemler Synopsis: The story of four ageing classical Boom operator................................... Andrew Duncan inspiring as love in a world that is rapidly Focus puller........................................... David Knaus Focus puller........................................... SteveDobson musicians who by accident become the Art director.................................. Robert Dein going to hell. Clapper/loader................. Steve McDonald Clapper/loader.....................................FelicitySurtees hottest rock’n'roll group in Australia. The Make-up/hairdresser...........Elizabeth Fardon Key g rip ....................................................JackLester Key g rip ............................ Merv McLaughlin scenario unfolds around a ten-day concert Wardrobe designer............................... LaurelFrank Gaffer...................................................... ColinWilliams Asst grip s........................................ Pat Nash, tour during which they are exposed to a Ward, assistant..................Lesley McLennan THE WILD DUCK Boom operator.......................... Jacquie Fine Ric Bartsch lifestyle they have only read about, now Props buyer/set dresser............................. RoBruen Art directors.............................. Neil Angv/in, Gaffer...................................................... John Morion Producers.............................................. Phillip Emanuel, they’re part of it. Standby p rop s........................................ClarkMunro Harry Zettel Electrician............................................ WayneSimpson Basil Appleby Asst edito r............................................ LesleyMannison Asst, art director..................McGregor Knox Generator operator.................................DeanBryan Director...........................'........... Henri Safran THE NOSTRADAMUS KID Edge numberer......................................... SueBlaysey Costume designer........................Jenny Tate Boom operator..........................................KeirWelch Photography........................................... PeterJames Music.................................................. GraemeIssac Producer............................... Jane Ballantyne Make-up............................... Deryk de Neise Sound recordist.........................................SydButterworth Art director............................................... HerbPinter Still photography.................................... CarolRuffAssistant Make-up................................... NickSeymour D irector.....................................................PaulCoxEditor.........................................................DonSaunders Asst art director.................................. StewartWay Runner................................................ DuncanStemler Scriptwriter............................................... BobEllisProd, designer............................ Darrell Lass Hairdresser............................. George Huxley Costume designer............Kristian Fredrikson Catering.................................................. PlumCrazy, Based on the original idea Wardrobe.............................................FrankieHogan Make-up................................................ LesleyVanderwalt Prod, manager........................... Susan Wild Christina Norman Ward, assistant.............Lynn-Maree Miiburn by............................................................BobEllisProd, secretary................................. SuzanneDonnoily Hairdresser............................................CherylWilliams N urse................................................... GienysBrady Exec, producer....................... Andrew Martin Props supervisor................. Paddy Reardon Wardrobe supervisor..............Anthony Jones Loc. manager.......Rosanne Andrews-Baxter Cutting rooms........Film Production Services Assoc, producer........... .............. Patric Juiilet Props buye r.........................Harvey Mawson Standby wardrobe..................................KathyJames Prod, accountant................................. ValerieWilliams, Laboratory........................................ Colorfilm Cast: Robert Menzies (Elkin). Standby props..................... McGregor Knox Ward, assistants.................................... JenniBolton, Moneypenny Services Lab. liaison.................................................BillGooiey Synopsis: A gentle comedy about the end of Special effects........................................ CiiveJones 1st asst director......................................DavidMunro Anna French Length.......................................................... 90 mins. the world. Special effects asst................................ DavidHardie 2nd asst director........................ Kim Anning Art dept, m anager............Sandra Alexander Gauge................................................... 35mm Set decorator.......................Andrew Mitchell 3rd asst director..........................Steve Otton Props buyer/set dressers.........Jenny Green, Cast: Claudia Karvan (Maxie), Garry Construction manager............. Bill Chandler OVERSEXED, OVERPAID, OVER Larry Meltzer, Continuity................................................. SianHughes McDonaid (Jones), Melissa Jaffer (Jenny), Asst editors........................................... RobertGrant, Producer’s assistant.................. Debra Cole David McKay HERE Reg Lye (Old Dan), Leslie Dayman (Bill Jaqui Horvath Standby prop s.......................................KaranMonkhouse Camera operator.................................. DannyBatterham Ireland), Ray M arshall (E rrol), Ken Sound editors...........................Dean Gawen, Choreography.....................Leigh Chambers Focus puller......................... Andrew McLean Prod, company............ McElroy and McElroy Snodgrass (Laurie), Michael O'Neill (Lyle), Frank Lipson Scenic artist......................... Michael Chorny Clapper/loader.................................... ConradSlack Producer..................................... Jim McElroy Samantha Rebillet (Lucie), Kerry Dwyer Stunts co-ordinator/ Key g rip .............................................. GrahamMardell Carpenters...........................Paul Vosiliunas, Scriptwriter............................. Trevor Farrant (Sister Carmel). safety officer.....................Chris Anderson Gaffer............................................ Mick Morris John Miles, Synopsis: A crazy comedy set in Sydney in Synopsis: A contemporary fairy tale about Still photography................Steve McDonald, Boom operator.........................................NoelQuinn John Parker 1942. At the beginning of the year the Maxie, an 11 year old girl who befriends Vladimir Osherov Construction manager...........Ron Sutherland Art director........................................ Igor Nay Americans were welcome saviours. By Molly, a dog that sings. Opticais.............. Victorian Rim Laboratories Art dept, assistant............................... Juliette Otton Costume designer................................. DavidRowe September the mood had changed. Before Tech, adviser......................................Bill Hall Art dept runner......................Nick Reynolds Make-up..................................................HelenEvans long a saying was going around that there Best boy............................... Adrian Cherubin Asst editor.............................. Vicki Ambrose Hairdresser..........................Suzie Clements were three things wrong with the Yanks: STANLEY Runners................................................. SergeZaza, Musical director..........................................BillMotzing Ward, supervisor.................................... TerryThorley “ overpaid, oversexed and over here” . Prod, company..................................... SevenKeys Props........................................................MikeFowlie Daniel Scharf, Sound editor.......................Marc Van Buuren Producer...................................Andrew Gaty Geoff Smith Props buyer............................................ BrianEdmonds Editing assistant..................................... KarinWhittington PENTATHLON Director..................................... Esben Storm Unft doctor................... Dr Christopher Brook Standby wardrobe..................................FionaNicolls Stiff photography ...................Patrick Riviere Scriptwriter............................... Esben Storm Urut p ublicisi........................................... Julie Stone Best boy......................... ............Craig Bryant Set decorator....................... Ken Muggleston Prod, company............................... Expar Co. Photography............................. Russell Boyd Catering ................................ Kristina Frolich Runners...............................-Annie Peacock, Construction manager......Stan Wooiveridge Producers................................... Eric J. Cook, Sound recordist...................... MarkLewis Post-production....................................... MikeReed Philip Howe Editing assistant............................. Mary-AnnRodwell Henry Osborne Editor................................. William Anderson Post Production Unit nurses.......................... Michael Brooke, Still photography........................................Jim Townley Director................................................ MichaelLatimer Prod, designer........................Owen Williams Laboratory................................................ VFL Best boy.....................................................RegGarside Sue Cowan Scriptwriter..........................................MichaelLatimer

F E A TU R E S

PRE-PRODUCTION

PRODUCTION

PRODUCERS, DIRECTORS AND PRODUCTION COMPANIES

w a rn CINEMA PAPERS March — 57


Unit publicist.............. Rea Francis Company Prod, accountant......................................LeaCollins Lighting cameraman...............................JohnSeale Best boy.................................. Richard Curtis Christopher Reid Catering...................................... John Welch Asst, accountant..................................CandyDubois Camera operator.....................................JohnSeale Runner................................ Marguerite Grey Set construction...................... Brian Hocking Post-production.............................. SpectrumFilms Loc. asst........................................ Jane Cook Focus puller...............................Steve Mason Publicity....................................... Wendy Day Draughtsman...................Marc Schulenberg Laboratory...............................................Atlab 1st asst director................ Phillip Hearnshaw Clapper/loader..............................Derry Field Boat m aster..............................Brian Keown Art dept runner................................ Geoff Full Lab. liaison................................. Jim Parsons 2nd asst director................... Keith Heygate Key grip................................... Ross Erickson Catering..................................Kaos Catering Still photography...................... David Parker Length........................................................100mins 3rd asst director................... Marcus Skipper Asst grips......................................Roy Mico, Studios.............................................. Artransa Wrangler................................... Heath Harris Gauge.... .............................................. 35mm Continuity...................................... Linda Ray Robert ver Kerk Transport man...........................Ralph Clarke Best boy.................................... Paul Gantner Screen ratio................................ Anamorphic Casting.................................................. AlisonBarrett G affer........................................ Reg Garside Mixed a t..................................................Atlab Publicity..................................... Suzie Howie Scheduled release........................December,1983 Camera operator.................................... CliveDuncan Best boy................................. Sam Bienstock Laboratory...............................................Atlab Catering........................ Chris Smith “ Feast” Cast: Genevieve Picot (Libby), John Walton Focus puller...................... Algenon Sucharov Electrician..........................Jonathon Hughes Length............................................... 90 mins. (Sydney), (Fred Burley), Michael Pare (Max Wylde), Clapper/loader.......................................LeighMcKenzie Boom operator........................................NoelQuinn Gauge...................................................35mm Helen Wright Sandy Gore (Nina), Peter Phelps (Theo), Key g rip ..................................................PeterMardeil Art director................................. John Carroll Shooting stock.............................. Panavision (Melbourne) Andrew Sharp (Arthur Burley), Caz LederGrip’s best boy................................... MichaelNelson Asst art director..................... John Wingrove Sound.................................................... Dolby Budget............................................. $5 million man (May Burley), Wallas Eaton (Mr Breed­ Asst, g rip .............. Colin Livingstone-Pulloch Costume designer................Bruce Finlayson Cast: Kerry Mack (Christine), Ralph Schicha Cast: Tom Burlinson (Tommy Woodcock), love), Sue Leith (Alice). Standby carpenter................................JamieEgan Make-up/hair.......................................... AnnePospischil (Walter), Gabrielle Barraket (Mandy), Henk Martin Vaughan (Harry Telford), Judy Morris Synopsis: A romantic comedy set in Sydney Special fx supervisor............................. ChrisMurray Johannes (Wolfgang), Clare Binney (Freda), Hairdresser/make-up....................... RochelleFord (Bea Davis), Dave Davis (Ron Leibman). in the frenetic, energetic 1920s. It is about Gaffer.....................................................RogerWood Stand-by wardrobe............... Julie Constable Judy Nunn (Mrs Lewis), Burt Cooper coming of age; of a girl Libby McKenzie, a Synopsis: The story of the world’s greatest Boom operator......................................... KeirWelch Ward, assistants........................................ LizKeogh, (Helmut). man Fred Burley and his business — the racehorse, set against the backdrop of the Art director............................... Ron Highfield Linda Mapledoram, Synopsis: Based on a contemporary story. Berlei undergarment company — and of Asst art director.................................... PhillipChambers Great Depression of the 1930s. It tells of Chris Klingenberg, Australia emerging from the sedate tradi­ Costume designer..................................Jane Hyland Phar Lap’s sudden rise to national fame and Miranda Skinner tions of Edwardianism into a period of Make-up..................................................SallyGordon the controversies surrounding his career, in­ Props buyers........................................SandyWingrove, PHAR LAP dramatic change. Hairdresser..............................................WilliKenrick cluding attempts on his life before the 1930 Clarrissa Patterson, Stand-by wardrobe..............................MargotLindsay Melbourne Cup. The story moves to the U.S. Jock McLachlan Prod, company.............. John Sexton Prods/ with Phar Lap’s success at the world’s Props buyer........................................Alethea Dean Standby props.......................................... IgorLazareff Michael Edgley International Standby props...................................... ShaneRushbrook richest horserace, and his untimely death in Special effects................................Brian Cox Producer.................................................JohnSexton THE WINDS OF JARRAH mysterious circumstances. Set construction.................................... PeterTempleton Scenic artists........................ Brian Nickless, Director................................................. SimonWincer Prod, company....................Film Corporation Unit runner............................................. FionaSullivan Gillian Nicholas Scriptwriter............................................DavidWilliamson Standby unit runner..............................JamieEgan of Western Australia Carpenters.....................Michael Fearnhead, Photography............................. Russell Boyd Producers................................ Mark Egerton, Carpenter.............................................WayneAllen Grant Ford, PLATYPUS COVE Sound recordist........................... Gary Wilkin Marj Pearson Stunts co-ordinator...................................BobHicks Steven Volich, Prod, designer....................................... LarryEastwood D irector................................... Mark Egerton Prod, company...........................IndependentProds Editing asst.......................... Leslie Mannison Ian Day Prod, supervisor...................... Richard Davis Producer................................................. GeofGardiner Scriptwriters.................................... Bob Ellis, Still photography..................................... BlissSwift Construction manager.............................RayElphick Prod, co-ordinator................. Cathy Flannery Director..................................... Peter Maxwell Elecs best boy........................................ PhilipGolombick Anne Brooksbank Asst editor...........................................MarcusDarcy Prod, manager...................................... PaulaGibbs Scriptwriter.........................................CharlesStamp Director of photography.............Geoff Burton Publicity.................................................... KenNewton Neg. matching........................................Atlab Unit manager............................... Philip Corr Photography..........................Phil Pike A.C.S. Sound recordist...................................... GaryWilkins Media Consultants Sound editor........................ Andrew Steuart Prod, secretary................................ ElizabethWright Sound recordist.........................................DonConnolly Editor....................................... Sara Bennett Catering................................... Ken Sharpies Editing assistants....................Robyn Judge, Prod, accountant....... Moneypenny Services, Editor.........................................................BobCogger Prod, designer...................... Graham Walker Unit nurse.......................................... RhondaArthur Louise Innes Androulla Composer............................. Bruce Smeaton Exec, producer..................................BrendonLunney Length......................................................... 97mins. Still photography Tony Potts Asst prod, accountant................................ JillCoverdale Assoc, producer........................ Cara Fames Prod, co-ordinator........................ Dixie Betts Cast: Colin Friels (Mike), Harold Hopkins Title designer........................John Stoddart Prod, assistant............................Julia Ritchie Prod, supervisor......................Su Armstrong Prod, secretary..............................Fiona King (Johnny), Kris McQuade (Stella), Simon Runners........................................... ElizabethSymes, 1st asst director.......................Murray Newey Loc. manager.................................... Phil Rich Prod, accountant.......................Peter Layard Chiivers (Alfred), Norman Kaye (George), Richard Hobbs 2nd asst director................................ Michael Bourchier 1st asst director.......................................TonyWellington Unit manager............... Peter Gailey Dennis Miller (Andy), Lisa Peers (Jennifer), Unit publicist.................................. Chris Day 3rd asst director.................................... DeuelDroogan Andrew Sharp (Peter), Bruce Spence (Ted), Prod, secretary........................Carol Hughes 2nd asst director...................................... PaulCallaghan Catering..................................................JohnFaithful 4th asst director...............Christopher Walker Dinah Shearing (Merl). Prod, accountant.....................Peter Sjoquist 3rd asst director................................. MichaelFaranda Studios............................................. Supreme Continuity....................................................JoWeeks Synopsis: An action drama based on two Continuity.............................................. JennyQuiglby 1st asst director................................. MichaelFalloon Post-production facilities.............. Spectrum Producer’s assistant................................... Di Holmes 2nd asst director.............................. Phil Rich miners digging for sapphires. Filmed on Casting.............................Mitch Consultancy Mixed a t................................................. Atlab 3rd asst director.......................Mark Lamprell location in Emerald, Queensland. Clapper/loader........................................SeanMcClory Laboratory.............................................. Atlab Casting......................................Alison Barrett Camera operator.......................Nixon Binney Continuity................................ Daphne Paris Camera assistant......................Keith Bryant Lab. liaison............................................. GregDoherty Focus puller............................................PeterMenzies Extras casting..........................Klay Lamprell Key grip.............................................. GrahamLitchfield Length............................................110 mins. Casting consultants.................Alison Barrett 2nd unit photography............................. GregHunter, Gauge...................................................35mm Clapper/loader.................................. GeoffreyWharton BUSH CHRISTMAS Key g rip .................................................... RayBrown Camera operator............... David Williamson Garry Maunder Screen ratio................................ Anamorphic Asst grips...........................................GeordieDryden, Focus puller.......................... David Foreman Gaffer......................................... Derek Jones Prod, company..........Bush Christmas Prods Shooting sto ck................. Kodak 5247, 5293 Stuart Green Clapper/loader...................................... GillianLeahy Boom operator....................................... SteveMiller Producers.............................................. GildaBaracchi, Scheduled release........................ Late 1983 Film school attachmenty Art director................................................KenJames Paul Barron Cast: Wendy Hughes (Vanessa), Robyn Gaffer..................................................... BrianBansgrove camera assistant............ Nick McPherson Make-up................................................. FionaSpence Director...................................................HenriSafran Nevin (Lila), Nicholas Gledhill (PS), John Electrician................................... Colin Chase Key g rip.................................................... RobMorgan Wardrobe............................................... FionaSpence Scriptwriter................................. Ted Roberts Hargreaves (Logan), Geraldine Turner Boom operator.......................Mark Wasiutak Asst g rip.............................................GrahamShelton Ward, assistant......................................KerryThompson Based on the novel by...............Ralph Smart, (Vere), Isabelle Anderson (Agnes), Peter Art director.............................David Bowden Asst designer................................ Lisa Elvy Underwater photography..........David Burr & Props buyer............................................ BrianEdmonds Mary Borer Whitford (George), Colleen Clifford (Ettie). Costume designer.................................. AnnaSenior Production Divers Standby props...........................................IgorLazareff Photography..................................... MalcolmRichards Make-up......................Lesley Lamont-Fisher Gaffer............................. Graham Rutherford Loc. sound recordist.................................DonConnolly Asst edito r.......:.................................Michelle Cattle Hairdresser...........................................CherylWilliams HOSTAGE Boom operator.......................Mark Wasiutak Stunts co-ordinator................................PeterWest Editor........................................................RonWilliams Wardrobe supervisor......................... GrahamPurcell Art director..........................Steve Amezdroz Prod, designer......................................DarrellLass Still photography....................................BruceHaswell Prod, company....................... Klejazz P/L for Wardrobe standby................................... RitaCrouch Costume designer.................................DavidRowe Best boy....................................................MattSlattery Exec, producer........................................ PaulBarron Frontier Films Asst wardrobe standby........................... LeahCocks Make-up......................Lesley Lamont-Fisher Prod, manager...................................... KevinPowell Publicity.....................Rea Francis Company Dist. company.............................. Roadshow Props buyer............................................ClarkMunro Standby wardrobe..................... Jenny Miles Unit publicist.......................................... AnniePage Prod, secretary..................................... PennyWallProducer................................................FrankShields Standby props.................Karan Monkhouse Ward, assistant......................Penny Gordon Catering................................................. JemsCatering Loc. manager......................David Adermann Director..................................................FrankShields Set decorator.......................................... SallyCampbell Props buyer............................Anni Browning Laboratory............................................ CFL Prod, accountant................................... MarieBrown Scriptwriters..........................................FrankShields, Scenic artist........................................... PeterHarris Standby props............................Tony Hunt Lab. liaison................................................ CalGardiner 1st asst director..................................... DavidMunro John Lind Asst painter............................................TonyBabicci Special effects....................................... ChrisMurray, Length.............................................. 100 mins 2nd asst director...........................Ian Kenny Based on a true story. Carpenters....................... Errol Glassenbury, David Hardie Gauge...................................................16mm 3rd asst director............... Murray Robertson Photography.......................................VincentMonton Peter Watson, Painter...................................Len Armstrong Shooting stock...... Eastmancolor 7247/7293 Continuity................................Jenny Quigley Sound recordist............................. Bob Allen Carpenters.............................................. John Rann, Camera g rip ............................... Paul Holford Editor....................................Don Saunders Keron Stevens, Clapper/loader....................................... GeneMoller Composer.......................................... DavoodTabrizi Bob McLeod, Camera assistant....................................JohnOgden Co-producer........................................... BasilAppleby Brian Childs Asst grip ....................................... Tom Hoffie Prod, manager............................... Sue Wild Set construction.................................. DennisSmith, Gaffer....................................................DerekJones Location manager.................................... WillDavies Bill Howe Make-up........................Vivienne Rushbrook Unit manager........Rosanne Andrews-Baxter Asst editor............................................. LynneWilliams Wardrobe...............................................FionaNicolls Prod, secretary.............. Suzanne Donnolley Edge numberer..................................... KathyCook Standby props.........................................MikeFowley Prod, accountants....................... Penny Carl, Musical director....................Bruce Smeaton Set dresser.............................. Martin O'Neill Alan Marco Sound editor.............................................PaulMaxwell Sound a sst........................................ GrahamAdemann 1st asst director....................................... BobHoward Dubbing editor........................................PeterFoster Editing assistant....................................PippaAnderson 2nd.asst director...................................... KimAnning Editing assistants...................................AnneBreslin, Horse master.................................... GrahamWare 3rd asst director..........................Ian Kenny Emma Hay Best b o y .................................. Ted Williams Continuity................................................ SianHughes Stunts co-ordinator................................PeterWestRunner...................................................SteveOtten Script consultant............................. Ian Barry Still photography......................................ChicStringer Location runner.......................Craig Bowles Producer’s assistant.............. Tala Anderson Animal wrangler.................................... StevePhillips Catering.................................................FrankManly Production attachment......... Joanne Rooney Best b o y ....................................................KenMoffatt Laboratory............................................. Atlab Casting................................................Forcast Runners................................................. PeterBrown, Length......................................................... 96mins Camera operator...................................DavidWilliamson Shane Walker Gauge.............................................. Super 16 Catering...................Take One Film Catering Shooting stock...................................... 7247 Clapper/loader....................................ConradSlack Mixed a t ........................................... Colorfilm Cast: John Howard (Sly), John Ewart (Bill), Camera grip...........................................RobinMorgan Laboratory........................................ Colorfilm Manalpuy (Aboriginal boy), James Wingrove Rigging g rip ...........................................Wally Willmot Lab. liaison.................................................BillGooley (Michael), Mark Spain (Jonn), Nicole Kidman Gaffer......................................................MilesMoulsen Length....................................................... 100mins. (Helen), Vanetta O’Malley (Kate), Peter Gen. operator.................................... GrahamMulder Gauge..............................35mm anamorphic Boom operator................. Graham-McKinney Sumner (Ben), Bushwackers Band (Band). Shooting stock...................................... Kodak Synopsis: A re-make of the film made in Art director............................ Phillip McLaren Cast: Terence Donovan, Susan Lyons, Asst art director...................................... MarkDyson 1947 starring Chips Rafferty, Bush Harold Hopkins, Steve Bisley, Martin Christmas is an adventure involving a group Make-up..................................................LloydJames, Vaughan, Isabelle Anderson, Dorothy Helen Evans of teenagers in pursuit of two would-be horse Alison, Steven Grives, Emil Minty, Nikki Hairdresser............................................... JanZiegenbein thieves. Gemmell, Mark Kounnas. Wardrobe...............................................DavidRowe Ward, assistant..................................... FionaNicholls Props....................................................... MikeFowlie CAREFUL, HE MIGHT HEAR YOU Props buyer.................................Tony Hunt Special effects.......................................ChrisMurray, Prod, company............. Syme Entertainment Producer...........................................Jill Robb David Hardie D irector...................................... Carl Schultz Set decorator........................................ MartinO’Neill, Scriptwriter.......................... Michael Jenkins Jock McLaughlin Art dept, runner....................... Carolyn Polin Based on the original idea by...............................Sumner Locke Elliott Construction man.............Stan Woolveridge Photography............................................John Seale Neg. matching........................................Atlab BUDDIES Sound edito r................................... Greg Bell Sound recordist....................Syd Butterworth Prod, company............................... J D Prods Editor.........................Richard Francis Bruce Editing assistants.............Marianne Rodwell, Producer..................................John Dingwall Prod, designer........................ John Stoddart Helen Brown Director.................................................... ArchNicholson Composer................................................. RayCook Mixer................................. Julian Eliingworth Scriptwriter..............................John Dingwall Prod, manager..................... Greg Ricketson Asst m ixer........................... Michael Thomas Based on the original idea Unit manager/ Safety co-ordinator......................Grant Page by......................................................... John Dingwall location manager .Carolynne Cunningham Stunts co-ordinator..................Frank Lennon Photography.......................................... DavidEggby Prod, secretary......................... Lynda House Stunts...................................... Jade Clayton, Sound recordist......................................PeterBarker Prod, accountant....Craig Scott-Moneypenny Rangi Nikora, Editor.....................................................MartinDown 1st asst director...................................... ColinFletcher Guy Norris, Prod, designer...................................... PhillipWarner 2nd asst director.......................... Sue Parker Wayne Pleace, Assoc, producer..................................... BrianBurgess 3rd asst director....................................... TomBlacket Peter West Prod, co-ordinator............Rosslyn Abernethy Continuity.................................................PamWillis Still photography........................Jim Townley Loc. manager.......................................NarelleBarsby Producer’s assistant...............................JudyHughes Opticals...................................................Atlab Prod, secretary.................................. RosslynAbernethy Casting............................................... Forcast Title designer.............................Fran Bourke

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Word processing-film scripts and manuscripts Interfacing with typesetting Editing Proofreading on screen Fast, simple correction o f manuscripts andfilm scripts Hard copy print-out Floppy disk storage o f manuscripts Sandra Zurbo, 377Brunswick St. Fitzroy 3065 Phone 4199363

58 — March CINEMA PAPERS


Cast: Tony Barry (Frank Wilson), Allen Bick­ ford (Ted Finch), Aileen Britton (Gran Mason), Simone Buchanan (Jenny Nelson), Carmen Duncan (Margaret Davis), Bill Kerr (Mr Anderson), Martin Lewis (Peter Nelson), John Ley (Leo Baldwin), Paul Smith (Jim Mason), Henri Szeps (Winston Bell). Synopsis: Saboteurs, attempting to cripple the tug-boat, Platypus, and put her owner out of business, are thwarted by young deck­ hand, Jim Mason, who is anxious to clear hijnself of suspicion of the sabotage.

Unit manager....................................Adrienne Read Director.................................... Tom Zubrycki DOWN THE KATHERINE Prod, accountant...................... Moneypenny Scriptwriter........................................... Ursula Kolbe Prod, company....................................MichaelDillon Photography..........................Fabio Cavadini Services, Film Enterprises Sound recordist....................Russ Hermann Anthony Shepherd Director................................................MichaelDillonE ditor.......................................... Jim Stevens 1st asst director....................... Mark Turnbull Photography....................................... MichaelDillon 2nd asst d irector.............................. Ian Page Composer........................... Michael Atherton Sound................................ Warwick Deacock Continuity....................................................LizBarton Prod, assistant........................ Laura Zusters Neg. matching............................. Marilyn and C asting.................................... Susie Maizels 2nd unit photography............John Whitteron Ron Delaney Focus puller......................... Jeremy Robbins Boom operator............................Erica Addiss Sound mixer...................Alasdair Macfarlane Clapper/loader............................. Derry Field Neg. matching............................Chris Rowell Laboratory........................................Colorfilm Laboratory.................................................CFL Key g rip ................................................. StuartGreen Length................................................. 13 min. G affer........................................................ RegGarside Lab. liaison............................ Calvin Gardner AURORA AUSTRALIS Gauge................................................... 16mm Boom operator...................... Andrew Duncan Budget................................................ $27,500 Costume designer............................. AnthonyJones PRISONERS Length................................................. 18 min. Prod, company............................... Universityof Synopsis: A diverse group of city folk enjoy Make-up...................................... Viv Mepham Gauge....................................................16mm Sydney Television Service the beauty of an as yet unspoilt river. Prod, company ..................Endeavour Film Hairdresser................................................ VivMepham Shooting stock.......................................Kodak7247 Dist. com pany................................Roadshow Produced for the Adventure Wilderness Management (No. 2) Standby wardrobe................................. RogerMorkProducer................................................. ColinHawke Association. Scheduled release................................... April1983 — Lemon Crest Standby prop s..................... Jock McLachlan Cast: Storyteller: Noni Hazlehurst. Educa­ Director....................................................Colin Hawke 18 FOOT PEOPLE Dist. company .................20th Century-Fox Scenic a rtist........................................... DavidMcKay tional Consultants: Maurice Saxby, Clare Based on an original idea Film Corporation Armourer...................................... Brian Burns Scott-Mitchell, Robbie Wilson. Prod, company.................. Steedman Prods. b y ...........................................................RobWheen, P roducers.......................Antony I. Ginnane, Editing assistant................. Josephine Cooke Synopsis: This film is the second in the Russell Bridge Producer..........................Glenyss Steedman John Barnett Stunts co-ordinator................................ GrantPage Director..............................William Fitzwater series on the arts and young children Photography...........................................ColinHawke D ire c to r..................................................PeterWerner Scriptwriter........................ William Fitzwater supported by the Education and the Arts Motorbike stunts....................................... GuyNorris Editor..........................................................Jim Dale Scriptwriters ........................ Meredith Baer, Best b oy............................... Sam Bienstock Program of the Australia Council. The film Neg. matching....... Chris Rowell Productions Based on the original idea Hilary Henkin Runner..................................................... Judy Rymer aims to further understanding of the function b y ................................. Glenyss Steedman No. of sh ots............................................... 206 Based on a story b y .......... Meredith Baer Catering.............................. DJ & CJ Location of literature in the lives of children. Young Mixed a t ...................................Sound on Film Photography.............................Brian Probyn Photography ......................James Glennon children are seen involved in various litera­ Catering, Laboratory........................................ Colorfilm Sound recordist.......................... Noel Quinn Sound re cord ist..................................... GaryWilkins Editor......................................Michael Balson ture and language experiences in educa­ John Welch Lab. liaison............................................. KerryJenkins Editor ........................................ Adrian Carr tional settings and in the home. A major Length...................................................... 12V2min.Lighting cameraman............... Brian Probyn Post-production................... Studio Clip Joint Prod, d esig n er......................Bernard Hides feature of the film is the narration by Noni Gauge....................................................16mm Camera operators................... Paul Nichola, Laboratory............................................... Atlab Exec, producers ............David Hemmings, Greg Hunter Hazlehurst of the Australian Picture Book of Shooting stock.........Eastmancolor neg 7247 Lab. liaison................................ Greg Doherty Keith Barish, Camera assistant.....................Anna Howard the Year (1978) John Brown, and the Progress........................................... Awaitingrelease Craig Baumgarten Cast: Tom Lewis, Hugo Weaving, Katrina M idnight Cat. Key grip.................................... Robin Probyn Synopsis: The idea of making canoes out of Foster, Mark Lee, Ralph Cotterill. Assoc, producer ........................ Brian Cook concrete and then racing them is rather Electrician................................... Tony Mandl Unit manager ........................Murray Newey Synopsis: The story of a strange love affaire bizarre. When one goes further and makes Asst editor....................... Harriet Clutterbuck THE UNFOUND LAND Prod, secretary ........................ Jenny Barty in a world of young outsiders living on the the concrete so thin that you can roll it up Neg. matching......Negative Cutting Services Prod, accountant ..................Stanley Sopel edge. Prod, company.................Gittoes and Dalton Mixer.................................. Julian Ellingworth and take it half way around the world to Asst accountant.....................................TonyWhyman Productions compete in international events, one has the Still photography..................... John Bradley Prod, assistant............................... Barbara Williams Producer.............................. Gabrielle Dalton THE SETTLEMENT Opticals..............................Optical & Graphic basis of “ Aurora Australis” . Prod, tra in e e ..................... Tim Codaington Director................................George Gittoes The film traces the construction of the Mixed a t.................................................. Atlab Prod, company........... Robert Bruning Prods 1st asst director ............... Terry Needham Based on the original idea Laboratory....................Cine Film Laboratory canoe from the design stage to completion Producer...............................................RobertBruning 2nd asst directors .................Kevan O'Dell, b y ..................................................... GeorgeGittoes, Lab. liaison............................Kelvin Crumplin plus a look at the arduous physical training Director.................................... Howard Rubie Jonothan Barraud Gabrielle Dalton of the crew. The climax of all this effort is the Length.................................................47 min. Scriptwriter..................................Ted Roberts 3rd asst d ire c to r...........................Geoff Hill Photography........................................GeorgeGittoes, final of the first international concrete canoe Gauge....................................................16mm Based on the original idea C o n tin u ity .................Jacqueline Saunders David Perry Shooting stock....................Kodak ECN 7247 race held in Stockholm. Director’s assistant................................ CassCoty b y ........................................................... TedRoberts Sound recordists................................ MarshaBennett, Progress................................Post-production Photography................................. Ernie Clark Producer’s assistant: Peter Lipskin Synopsis: Centred on the ferry the Sydney THE BATTLE FOR BOWEN HILLS Sound recordist........................................MaxBowring Asst to Mr Ginnane __ Sylvia Van Wyk Editors.................................................GeorgeGittoes, Flying Squadron hires each Saturday to Editor......................................................HenryDangar Asst to Mr Barnett .......... Frances Gush Prod, company..................... Crowsfoot Films follow the fastest mono hull sailing boats in Gabrielle Dalton Composer.................................. Sven Libaek Casting: Composers..................Martin Wesley Smith, Dist. company..................... Crowsfoot Films, the world. A magnificent soundtrack and Exec, assistant..........................Jan Williams Australia — M & L Casting Consultants lan Fredericks Sydney Filmmakers’ Co-op. unique action footage takes viewers aboard Prod, co-ordinator................................... SallyAyre-Smith New Zealand ..................... Diana Rowan Exec, producers................................. GeorgeGittoes, Producers............................................... PeterGray, the skiffs as they race, as well as aboard the Production supervisor..................Irene Korol Camera operator ....................... David Burr Garry Lane ferry as the "18 Foot People” tell their story. Gabrielle Dalton Unit manager................................. Bill Austin Focus puller ....................Malcolm Burrows Prod, manager................................. Gabrielle Dalton Directors................................................. PeterGray, Assoc, producer......................................AnneBruning C lapper/loader......................Roland Carati Asst director........................................ MarshaBennett Garry Lane KNOW YOUR FRIENDS, Prod, accountant......................... Rob Prince Camera dept, tra in e e ..........William Grieve Lighting cameraman...........................GeorgeGittoes Scriptwriters............................................PeterGray, KNOW YOUR ENEMIES Prod, assistant.............................Debra Cole Key g r ip ...........................Grahame Mardell Special fx photography.........George Gittoes Garry Lane Asst, directors............................... Les Currie, Asst g r ip s .............................. Gary Carden, Prod, company............................... CrowsfootFilms Electrician..................................................BobBleach Photography...........................................PeterGray Paul Healey, Richard Scott Dist. company.................... Crowsfoot Films, Art directors......................................... GeorgeGittoes, Sound recordists............... Bronwyn Barwell, Wayne Moore G a ffe r...................................Warren Mearns Sydney Filmmakers’ Co-op. Gabrielle Dalton Judy McVey, Continuity.................................Anne McLeod Electricians..............................Murray Gray, Props........................... Members of T.R.E.E. Jan Murray Producers...............................................PeterGray, Producer’s assistant...............Anne Bruning Ian Beale Garry Lane Choreography...................Ronaldo Cameron Editors.................................................... PeterGray, Focus puller............................. Martin Turner Lighting dept, tra in e e .............. John Kaiser Music performed Garry Lane Directors...................................... Peter Gray, Clapper/loader........................ Garry Phillips Boom operator...................................... MarkWasiutak Garry Lane by.............................. Martin Wesley Smith, Composer.................................. Don Hopkins Key grip....................................Lester Bishop Art director .................. Virginia Bieneman Scriptwriters................................ Peter Gray, Lighting cameraman...............................PeterGray lan Fredericks Asst grip...................................... Wilfred Flint Costume designer .......Aphrodite Kondos Garry Lane Mixed a t...................................... Dubbs&Co. Camera operator.................................... PeterGray Gaffer................................................. GrahamRutherford Make-up .....................................Jose Perez Laboratory........................................ Colorfilm Neg. matching.....................................MarilynandPhotography............................... Peter Gray, Make-up a ssista n t........ Robern Pickering Boom operator....................................... BruceWallace Garry Lane Length................................................. 3 0 min. Ron Delaney Art director.............................................. JohnWatson Hairdresser ................................Joan Petch Gauge....................................................16mm No. of sh ots............................................... 110 Sound recordists....................................... LouChin, Costume designer....................................RonReidMusical director.........................Don Hopkins W a rd ro b e ............................................... Julia Mansford Lyndy Dent Shooting stock............. Kodak Eastmancolor Wardrobe master...................................... RonReidMusic performed by................... Don Hopkins Editors......................................... Peter Gray, Ward, assistant .................Glenis Hitchens, Scheduled release................................. June,1983 Hairdresser...................................... MargaretLingham Elizabeth Jowsey Garry Lane, Cast: Participants and performers in Theatre and session musicians Props buyer....................................... GrahamBlackmore Wardrobe dept, tra in e e ..........Jude Crozier Ron Williams Reaching Environments Everywhere. Sound editor........................ Peter Somerville Props buyer............................... Paul Dulieu Standby props.........................................BarryHall Mixer.......................................Graham Tardiff Composer...............................................Janie Conway Synopsis: T.R.E.E. is a large community Wardrobe asst......................... Annie Watson Standby p ro p s ....................................TrevorHaysom, performance group, which brings together Narrator............................ Geraldine Willesee Lighting cameramen................... Peter Gray, Special effects.....................................ConradRothman Morris Quinn Garry Lane more than 100 people to create and perform Opticals...................Acme Opticals (Sydney) Dressing props ....................... Mike Becroft Editing asst.............................. Anne Breslin, Camera operators.......................Peter Gray, a visually-spectacular multi-media event, in Mixed a t...................................................PalmStudios Phil Dickson Art dept, tra in e e s...............Francey Young, Garry Lane the natural environment in The Royal Laboratory............................................. C.F.L.Sydney Dubbing editor..................................... AshleyGrenville Jeremy Chunn National Park, south of Sydney. Audiences Lab. liaison............................. Calvin Gardner Neg. matching.............................Marilyn and Best b o y ........................................Ken Moffat Scenic artist ..............................Ray Pedler Ron Delaney of several thousands attend these per­ Budget................................................ $12,000 Runner.....................................................TontiConnolly P a in te r.....................................................PaulRadford No. of sh ots............................................... n o formances. This is T.R.E.E.’s sixth such Length.................................................20 min. Laboratory............................................... Atlab Stand-by stage hand ............. Adrian Lane event, since it was established in 1979. Gauge....................................................16mm Musical director...................................... Janie Conway Length..........................................................95mins. Set construction ....................Trevor Major Music performed by................................JanieConway Shooting sto c k............... Kodak 7276 & 7278 Gauge....................................................35mm Asst e d ito r...........................Virginia Murray and Jim Conway Progress........................................................ Inrelease WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHILDREN Cast: Bill Kerr(Kerney), John Jarratt Editing dept, trainee ... Vicky Yiannoutsos First released.........................Centre Cinema, Sound editor........................................ PhillipaHarvey GONE (Martin), Lorna Lesley (Joycie), Tony Barry Still photography.......................Rob Tucker Brisbane, September 12, 1982 Mixer................................................... GrahamTardiff Tech, adviser ....................... Greg Newbold (Crowe), Katy Wild (Mrs Crowe), Alan Cassell Prod, company....................... Other Mothers Synopsis: Filmed over a three-year period, it Narrator.....................................................MaxStrong (Lohan), Elaine Cusick (Mrs Lohan), Babette Unit nurse................................................ ToniOkkerse Productions tells the story of Brisbane residents who Opticals...................Acme Opticals (Sydney) Stevens (Mrs Gansman), Neil Fitzpatrick Best boy ........................................ Ian Philp Dist. company...........................................JBA were forced to defend working class homes Mixed a t...................................................PalmStudios (Carter), Dennis Grosvenor (Reilly). Publicity: Producer................................................... RobBrow against the freeway proposals of the Main Laboratory................................................CFL (Sydney) Synopsis: Two men and a girl set up house W o rldw ide ...................................... DennisDavidson Director......................................................RobBrow Roads Department. Despite offers of miser­ Lab. liaison............................................ CalvinGardner Associates in an abandoned mining shack on the Scriptwriter................................Robin Lovell ably inadequate compensation, the state Budget................................................ $11,000 outskirts of a small country town in the Based on the original idea A u stra lia ..............................Carlie Deans Length.................................................20 min. government used police and scabs to carry New Zealand .. .Consultus New Zealand mid-’50s. The scandalized townsfolk resolve b y ...........................................................RobBrow out evictions and demolitions. The residents, Gauge.................................................... 16mm to move them on, but the situation gets out of Directors of Unit p ub licist............................. Tony Noble Shooting stock....................Mixed emulsions many of them migrants and old age pen­ hand. C atering................................................. DavidWilliams, photography.............. Barry Malseed (Vic), sioners, fought Russell Hinze and the Progress........................................................ Inrelease Location Caterers Chris Morgan (Tasmania) Queensland Government through its bureau­ First released........................................CentreCinema, S tudios....................... Northern Television, Brisbane, 12th September, 1982 Sound recordists....Murray Tregonning (Vic), cratic machinery and on the streets . . . and Auckland, New Zealand Synopsis: Documents the Latrobe Valley Tom Giblin (Tasmania) they won. L a b o ra to ry...................................... Colorfilm Power Workers’ strike which was seriously Editor.......................................David Hipkins Lab. liaison ............................ Dick Bagnall crippling the state of Victoria in late 1977. It Research................................... Robyn Lovell COMPARED TO US Length ............................................ 95 mins analyzes why a just and seemingly invincible Composer.............................John Armstrong Prod, company............... Australian Film and strike suddenly fails by looking at the role of G auge................................................... 35mm Exec, producers.......................................RobBrow, Television School and UNICEF top ranking, so-called left-wing, trade union Shooting s to c k ........................Eastmancolor Robin Lovell Dist. company...................................UNICEF Ca*t: Tatum O’Neal (Christie Wilkens), T h e fo llo w in g film s a r e a w a itin g r e le a s e . F o r officials. The story is told from the point of Assoc, producer......................... Robin Lovell Colin Friels (Nick Skinner), Shirley Knight fu ll d e ta ils s e e th e p re v io u s is s u e o f Cinema Producers............................................... TonyWickert, view of the rank and file workers and their Prod, supervisor....................................... NolaBrow Craig Monahan families involved in the strike. (V irg in ia W ilkens), David Hem m ings Prod, accountant.......................lan Carswell Papers. Director...................................Craig Monahan (Superintendent Wilkens), Bruno Law­ Prod, assistants.........................Serge Zaza, Scriptwriter.............................................Craig MonahanOUTSTRETCHED HANDS Brothers rence (Peeky), Ralph Cotterill (Holmby), Peter Koutsoumbos, Photography.............................David Knaus, The Clinic John Bach (Bodell). Rosemary Kendall Wayne Taylor, Prod, company....................................MichaelDillon The Dark Room Synopsis: Romeo and Juliet: R-rated and Lighting cameramen............. Barry Malseed, Film Enterprises Joel Krellenstein, Dead Easy updated to a New Zealand prison. Chris Morgan Sally Madden Director................................................MichaelDillon Desolation Angels 2nd unit photography.........Peter Purvis (Vic) Photography.......................................MichaelDillon Sound recordists..................................RobertFrolich, Double Deal Musical D irector..................John Armstrong RUNNING MAN Averil Nichol, S ound........................................ Peter Walker Mixed a t ................................... Victorian Film Dusty Deri Hadler Neg. matching.............................Marilyn and Early Frost Prod, company.................................Eastcaps Laboratories Ron Delaney Fighting Back Editor...............................................Stephanie Zverinova Laboratory..........Victorian Film Laboratories Producers...................................Pom Oliver, Sound mixer...................Alasdair Macfarlane Fluteman Exec, producer......................................LionelHudson Errol Sullivan Lab. liaison............................... Peter Watson Narrator....................... Prakash Mirchandani Going Down Neg. matching..................................Colorfilm Length................................................. 4 6 min. D irector..................................................... KenQuinnell Laboratory....................................... Colorfilm Lady, Stay Dead Sound m ixer.........................................RobertFrolich Scriptwriters......................................... RobertMerritt, Gauge.................................. 16mm to 1” VTR Lab. liaison...........................Warren Keevers Laboratory........................................ Colorfilm Midnite Spares Ken Quinnell Shooting stock...........................................Fuji Length................................................. 29 min. Length............................................... 24 min. Next of Kin Based on the novel Progress................................Post-production Gauge................................................... 16mm Gauge....................................................16mm Now and Forever b y ......................................W. A. Harbinson Release date............................................. t b a Shooting stock.......................... Eastmancolor Synopsis: A look at the work of the Christian On the Run Photography................................ Louis Irving Cast: Rod Mullinar — as host. The Return of Captain Invincible Synopsis: A simulation education program Medical College Hospital at Vellore in South Synopsis: A television special on adoption, Sound recordist........................... Noel Quinn for primary school children. The object of the India. A Slice of Life Editor..........................................Greg Ropert hosted by Rod Mullinar, and featuring some program is for the children to compare their Southern Cross Art director................................. Robert Dein aspects of adoption concerning relin­ THE POWER OF STORIES lives with those of others, within and outside Wilde’s Domain quishing mothers, adoptees and adoptive Assoc, producer.................................Barbara Gibbs Australia. They do this in a practical way. With Prejudice Producer.....................................Ursula Kolbe parents, as told by the people themselves. Prod, m anager...................................BarbaraGibbs

DOCUMENTARIES SHORTS

AWAITING RELEASE

CINEMA PAPERS March — 59


Preproduction Announcement.

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35mm Boulevard Film s Pty. Ltd. proudly announce that they are currently in preproduction of the movie LES D A R C Y , screenplay by F rank Howson and Jo n ath an H ardy. Shooting to commence late ^3. Boulevard Film s Pty. Ltd., P.O. Box 66, South M elbourne, Vic. 3205. A ustralia. Telephone: (03) 699 6190. Telex: A A 135028. Legal R epresentation, Mr. Peter Zablud. Zablud, M aughan, W olski & Co., M elbourne, V ictoria, A ustralia. Telephone: (03) 63 9111. Telex: A A 38046. m d e m e d

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S y n o p s is : A dramatized film simulating fire Scriptwriter....................................Lee Burton MARY DURACK in a multi-story building. Designed for train­ Photography..............................Alan Kidston Prod, com pany......................................... FilmAustralia ing fire fighting personnel and educating Sound recordist.............................. Ian Armet Dist. company........................................... FilmAustralia members of the public and people who work Editor.......................................... Alan Kidston D irector........................ David Haythornwaite Prod, supervisor.......................Brian Douglas in multi-storey buildings about emergency Photography...............................fan Pugsley Prod, assistant.........................................Julie Sheehan procedures. Asst, producer.............................. Pam Ennor Progress............................................Awaitingrelease Length......................................................... 27min.S y n o p s is : A documentary on Thomastown AUSTRALIAN FILM Gauge....................................................16mm School, its special structure and relation to FORESTS AND WOOD COMMISSION Progress................................Post-production established educational procedures. (Working title T r e e f a r m e r s ) Scheduled release.....................March 1983 Prod, company................................Newfilms Synopsis: A profile of Mary Durack for the Producer.................................... Justin Milne Australia Council Archival program. Director...................................... Justin Milne Project Development Branch Scriptwriter......................................John Dick SOUTH AUSTRALIAN OCCUPANT RESTRAINT Photography............................................PeterSmith Projects approved at Australian FILM CORPORATION Prod, com pany......................................... FilmAustralia Sound recordist......................... Rob Cutcher Producer...............................Elisabeth Knight Editor......................................... Andrew Ellis Film Commission meetings, Decem ­ Director.................................Philip Robertson Exec, producer..................Lesley Hammond ber 1982 and January 1983 FILM AUSTRALIA Scriptwriter.......................... Philip Robertson Length................................................. 16 min. Photography.............................. Kerry Brown Gauge................................................... 16mm Script Developm ent Investments ADELAIDE . . . IT ’S GOT THAT Sound recordist................. Rodney Simmons Shooting stock...................Eastmancolor-CRI FEELING Editor..........................................Ian Waddell Progress.......................................... In release 35mm Features Assistant producer....................... Pam Ennor First released..................................... October1982 A n o th e r E d en — F ilm a n d T e le v is io n Prod, company................................ Newfilms Unit manager........................................... JudyFoxProducer................................................ Justin Milne C a s t : Narrator: Rob George ABORIGINAL TRAINEES A s s o c ia te s ; 2 n d d r a ft fu n d in g — $ 1 0 ,0 0 0 Lighting......................................Bruce Gailey S y n o p s is : A film about the activities of the Director.................................................. Justin Milne E m m a ’ s W a r — E m m a ’s W a r P ro d u c tio n s ; Prod, company........................ Film Australia Camera assistant................. Peter Viskovitch Scriptwriter............................................. PeterWelch South Australian Department of Woods and fin a l d r a ft a n d p r o je c t d e v e lo p m e n t — Producer..............................Elisabeth Knight Forests. • 2nd unit photography................ Kerry Brown $ 1 4 ,0 0 0 Director................................................... KeithGowLength......................................................... 20min.Photography...........................Roger Dowling Sound recordist......................Toivo Lember I n t e n s i v e C a r e — S im p s o n L e M e s u r ie r Scriptwriter..............................................KeithGowGauge....................................................16mm Editor.................................................. Andrew Ellis F ilm s ; 2 n d d r a ft f u n d in g — $ 1 3 , 4 0 0 Photography............................... Kerry Brown Shooting stock.......................... Eastmancolor Exec, producer...................................... BruceMoir A GOOD N IGHT’S SLEEP N ig h t s h a d e — S o e r a b ia P ic tu r e s ; e x t e n d e d Sound recordist.........................................NedDawson Progress................................Post-production Length............................................................8min.Prod, company.......................... Telefeaturestre a tm e n t — $ 5 0 0 0 Editor...........................................................IanWaddell Scheduled release.....................March 1983 Gauge................................................... 16mm S is t e r K a t e — R o s e m a r y C r e s w e ll P r o d u c ­ Asst, producer.............................Pam Ennor Steils Prods Synopsis: High school students are given tio n s ; e x t e n d e d t r e a t m e n t — $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 Length......................................................... 10min.an assignment to find out about seat belts. Shooting stock.................. Eastmancolor-CRI Producer......................... Nicholas Cockram Progress........................................................ Inrelease F u n n y B u s i n e s s — S e v e n D im e n s io n s ; 2 n d Gauge....................................................16mm D irector........................... Mario Andreacchio They visit the police, ambulance, Traffic First released........................ November 1982 d ra ft f u n d in g — $ 1 9 , 0 0 0 Shooting stock.......................... Eastmancolor Scriptwriter............................................... RobBath Accident Research Unit and the spinal unit S y n o p s is : A short mood film which depicts D a i s y — H u g h K its o n P r o d u c tio n s ; fin a l d ra ft Progress.........................................Production Photography...........................Andrew Lesnie at North Shore Hospital, before reporting on the feeling of Adelaide. Designed to sell fu n d in g — $ 8 0 0 0 Scheduled release...................... March 1983 Sound recordist.......................Toivo Lember their findings. Adelaide as a convention destination. T h e T r u m p a l a r — M . M a tt h e w s , B . A p p le b y ; Synopsis: Ten Aboriginals talk about their Editor........................................ Turney Smith 1 s t d r a ft fu n d in g — $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 work experiences. The film is designed to Exec, producer...................................... BruceMoir T u r t l e B e a c h — P o ly g o n P ic tu r e s ; 3 rd d ra ft CITYSCAPE give information and to encourage young Length......................................................... 22min. fu n d in g — $ 6 4 0 0 Aboriginal job seekers. Gauge.................................................... 16mm Prod, company.................................... Pepper Studios M y L o v e H a d a B l a c k S p e e d S t r i p e — V ie w Shooting stock........................................... CRI Producer....................................................Max Pepper FILM VICTORIA F ilm s ; 1 s t d r a ft fu n d in g — $ 1 8 , 0 0 0 THE GAMES Progress.......................................... in release Director...................................................... MaxPepper T h e T a i p a n N e g a t i v e — P h ilip C o r n fo rd ; 3 rd Scriptwriter............................................... RobBathFirst released.......................November 1982 Prod, company........................Film Australia d ra ft fu n d in g — $ 9 1 0 0 Cast: Photography.............................................PaulDallwitz Ed Pegge, Harry Stapleton, Jonathon Dist. company..........................Film Australia Q u i e t W a t e r s — A r g o s y F ilm s ; 2 n d d ra ft Lea, Bob Leach, Huw Williams, Lyn Sound recordist.................Bryndon Wooding Director..................................................... NickTorrens fu n d in g — $ 1 3 , 5 0 0 Semmler, Judith Storey, David Flanagan, Editor...................................................... DavidHipkins Scriptwriter...............................................NickTorrens T h e L o s t O w l — M . T h o r n t o n , J . S m a llb o n e ; Feature Film and Television Joe Desario, Henry Salter. Exec, producer....................... Ron Saunders Photography.......................Andy Fraser ACS 1 st d r a ft fu n d in g — $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 Length...................................................... 1 4 1 / 2 min.S y n o p s is : The essential nature of risk Chief sound management is presented forcefully in this Development Gauge...................................................16mm recordist.................................................SydButterworth 16mm Features drama. The aim is to minimize all potential Shooting stock.......................................... CRI Sound recordist B a lle t T V S e r ie s — Film Victoria is currently S t r e e t H e r o e s — M . P a t tin s o n , J . M o n to n ; risks within a working organization — to Progress........................................................ In release (overseas).................................Bob Hayes developing a major television series to be 1 st d r a ft fu n d in g — $ 1 7 , 0 0 0 anticipate, prevent and cushion the harmful First released..................................... October 1982 Sound recordists..................... Max Bowring, T h e S h o o t e r (p o s s ib le t e le - f e a t u r e ) — T e le ­ produced for the Australian Ballet, the series effects of accidental loss or damage; to C a s t: Jean Paul Bell and others. Bob Hayes, m a r k P r o d u c t io n s ; 1 s t d r a ft fu n d in g — $ 9 6 0 0 13 x half-hour episodes on an action/advenensure the survival of the enterprise. S y n o p s is : A filmdesigned to impart a basic Peter Lipscomb, ture format highlighting the essentials of understanding ofarchitecture and the Rowland McManis, dance capability; scripting and pre-pro­ Documentaries general principles of urban design, providing Leo Polini duction underway. D is c o v e ry of A u s tr a lia ’s I m p r o b a b le guidelines with which the public can begin to GROWING TOGETHER Editor......................................... Ray Thomas B r e a k f a s t C r e e k — Ben Lewin; cinema A n i m a ls — G a r y S te e r ; 1 s t d r a ft fu n d in g — formulate its own opinions as to the quality of Exec, producer.......................Peter Johnson feature; scripting. Prod, company....................... The Filmhouse $5800 design, and to stimulate greater awareness, Assoc, producer.....................Colleen Clarke T h e L a s t S t a r M o d e l — Forrest Redlich; M a g i c o f L i g h t — J . R o b e r ts o n , J . B o w y e r; Producer....................................................Tim Sullivan understanding and enjoyment of the built Prod, co-ordinator.................. Nick Kospartov cinema feature; scripting. 1 st d r a ft a n d r e s e a r c h f u n d in g — $ 1 0 , 7 5 0 D irector........................... Mario Andreacchio environment. Prod. Manager....................... Colleen Clarke H a x b y ’ s C ir c u s — John McRae; cinema B u s h i d o B r e a k o u t — C u r t is L e v y P r o d u c ­ Scriptwriter......................Mario Andreacchio Unit manager.........................................CorrieSoeterboeK feature. Photography................................. Peter Smith tio n s ; s c r ip t d e v e lo p m e n t a n d s u r v e y c o s ts DANGERMEN Prod, secretary............................ Robyn Hill F a m ily M a t t e r s — Roger Dunn, Maggie Sound recordist....................................... MikePiper — $ 1 1 ,4 1 2 Location Millar; cinema feature; scripting. E ditor.........................................................Tim Sullivan Prod, company............................. Seethrufilm A u s t r a l ia T h e U n d i s c o v e r e d W i n e C o n ­ managers............ Chris Hoppenbrouwern, E v e r y b o d y ’ s T a lk in g — Adrian Tame, Philip Exec, producer...................................... BruceMoir Producer........................ Gus Howard t i n e n t — P . T o d d , A . C o y te ; r e s e a r c h fu n d s Askman; television special; scripting. Jill Nicholas, Length..........................................................18min. a n d c o n c e p t d e v e lo p m e n t — $ 8 8 1 4 Director............................. Michael Caulfield James Parker, N a k e d U n d e r C a p r ic o r n — David Wad­ Gauge................................................... 16mm Scriptwriter........................................Malcolm Purcell dington, Bloodwood Films; television mini Photography.....................Geoffrey Simpson Kevin Powell, Shooting stock.......................................... CRI Television Series Penny Wall series; scripting. C o u r i e r — F a u ll F ilm s ; e x t e n d e d t r e a t m e n t Progress........................................................ inrelease Sound recordist..........................Peter Barker Prod, accountant....................... John Russell G o r d o n — Hugh Stuckey, Sue Woolfe, fu n d in g — $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 First released............................ January 1983 Editor................................................CatherineMurphy Prod, assistants......................... Cathy Beitz, television mini series; scripting. S y n o p s is : The second film in a series on T h e Y e a r s o f t h e N e w G o ld M o u n t a in — Exec, producer....................... Ron Saunders Judy Hamilton, N e m e s is — Glen Crawford; cinema feature; C h e n n P r o d u c t io n s , fo u r p a r t s e r ie s ; t r e a t­ Length.................................................13 min. Family Development. In similar style to the scripting. Katie Kempe, first film ( O n e a n d O n e M a k e s T h r e e ) this m e n ts — $ 8 9 1 0 Gauge................................................... 1 6 mm Adrienne Parr, T h e P h a n t o m T r e e h o u s e — Paul Williams; film looks at the realities of living with young Shooting stock...........................................CRI F o l l o w Y o u r N o s e — R . H e w e t t; fo u r p a rt Louise Willis animated feature; scripting. children. s e r ie s ; 1 s t d r a ft f u n d in g — $ 7 5 0 0 Progress........................................................ Inrelease Associate directors.................Karin Altmann, S u r v iv a l C a m p — Serge De Nardo and First released....................... November 1982 David Haythornwaite, Andrew Coleman; cinema feature; scripting. C a s t: Ray Meagher, Patrick Frost, David Packages Dick Marks, F it f o r H e r o e s — Cliff Green; television mini Burchell, John Kingston. E d g e c liff F ilm s P a c k a g e — E d g e c liff F ilm s ; THE HALL OF MIRRORS — A Denis O’Rourke, series; scripting. S y n o p s is : A dramatized film illustrating d e v e lo p m e n t o f fiv e d r a m a d o c u m e n t a r ie s — FESTIVAL David Roberts T h e W h a le S a v e r s — Laurie Levy, Neii correct procedures and the dangers $ 7 2 ,0 5 0 Cameramen............................... Kerry Brown, Bethune; television special; post-production associated with the use of detonating cord Prod, company...................... Chrysalis Films H u b e r-B e rn a rd o s Package — L a b ra w ; underway. Brian Doyle, Producer................................Terry Jennings and demonstrating various applications. The d e v e lo p m e n t o f f o u r te le - f e a t u r e s — $ 2 5 ,1 5 9 D e m o n s R is in g — Ivan Hexter; cinema Ross King, Director.................................................... ScottHicks film is a ppropriate for supervisors, P a v ilio n F ilm s P a c k a g e N o . 2 — P a v ilio n Dick Marks, feature; scripting. Scriptwriter............................................. ScottHicks engineers, foremen, overseers, those in F ilm s ; d e v e lo p m e n t o f f o u r p r o je c ts — Denis O'Rourke, S n o w y a n d T h e W h a le — Tim Burstall, Photography.....................Geoffrey Simpson charge of blasting and blasters engaged in $ 6 0 ,0 0 0 Paul Tait, Sound recordist.......................... Darryl (Davis Sonia Borg, cinema feature; scripting. the use of explosives. Brendan Ward, Editor.......................................... Andrew Ellis T h e L iv in g C a n v a s — George Mallaby, Project Development Investments Tony Wilson Exec, producer.................Lesley Hammond Lindsay Foote; television special; scripting. O n e N i g h t S t a n d s — A s tr a F ilm P r o d u c ­ Camera assistants.................... Lyle Binnie, Length................................................. 53 min. C r o w O n A B a r b e d W ir e F e n c e — Edward FAMILY OR FRIENDS tio n s ; p r o je c t d e v e lo p m e n t fu n d in g — Tony Gailey, G auge.................................................. 16mm McQueen Mason; television mini series; $ 1 0 ,0 0 0 Prod, company....................... The Filmhouse Bill Hammond, Shooting stock.......................................... CRI scripting. B a c k tr a c k in g — A b r a x a s F ilm s ; p ro je c t Producer.................................... Tim Sullivan Rod Hinds, Progress........................................................ Inrelease T o o r a d in — Russell Hagg; cinema feature; d e v e lo p m e n t fo r d o c u m e n t a r y — $ 5 6 0 0 D irector........................... Mario Andreacchio Gene Moller, First released....................... December 1982 pre-production. Scriptwriter......................Mario Andreacchio Gary Phillips, Synopsis: The film observes the 1982 B u c k le y ’s H o p e — Tom Haydon; television Production Investment Photography.................................Peter Smith Henry Pierce, Adelaide Festival organized by festival mini series; scripting. B a li, F r o m t h e M o u n t a i n t o t h e S e a — director, Jim Sharman. It presents a number John Stokes, S lim D u s ty — T h e Movie — Kent Sound recordist........................................MikePiper T a m a n S a r i F ilm s ; p ro d u c tio n fu n d in g — Editor.......................................... Tim Sullivan Jim Ward of artists, including Pina Bausch and her Chadwick, feature scripting. $8658 Exec, producer...................................... BruceMoircompany, Patrick White and his play Signal Gaffers...........................Graham Rutherford, R e tu r n F r o m P a r a d is e — TV mini series, U n d e r c o v e r — V o y a g e r F ilm s ; b a c k e n d Ken Moffatt Roger Simpson, Roger Le Mesurier, Length..........................................................15min.Driver, and David Hare and his play A M ap of u n d e r w rit in g fa c ility — $ 3 0 0 , 0 0 0 Gauge...................................................16mm the World. These and a number of other Asst, editor............................................ MartinJeffscripting. T h e S i e g e o f F r a n k S in a t r a — S a m s o n P ro ­ Shooting stock.......................................... CRI Still photography Graeme Parkes artists comment on various issues — A H a n d f u l o f S u n — Paul Cox, Norman d u c tio n s ; p r o d u c tio n fu n d s — $ 6 4 , 7 0 5 Progress.......................................... In release relationships, children, the family, ageing, Runner......................................... Jamie Egan Kaye, feature scripting. C u r i o s in L a n d s c a p e — K la u s J a r itz ; p ro ­ First released..................................... January1983death and belief — and their opinions are Communications...............................Motorola d u c tio n fu n d s fo r te le v is io n d o c u m e n t a r y — C a s t: Narrator: Judith John intercut with excerpts from their works. Laboratory............................................... Atlab Production $ 1 5 ,0 0 0 S y n o p s is : A film which explores children’s Length.................................................90 min. feelings about belonging to the family and Gauge....................................................16mm AUSTRALIA’S HIDDEN WEALTH Loans groups of friends. Shooting stock.......................... Eastmancolor SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT SERIES Fast T a lk in g — Z a rw o t; f e a tu r e film ; Producer.......................... Margaret Marshall Progress................................Post-production b rid g in g lo a n — $ 5 3 , 7 5 0 Prod, company.................................... Bosisto Prods Director...................................... Ivan Hexter Scheduled release................................... May1983 Producer..................................................BrianBosisto Scriptwriters.............................. Roger Dunn, Synopsis: The official film of the XII FIRE ON 12 Director........................................... John Dick Gary Hutchinson Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. Prod, company........ ............... Brian Bosisto, Scriptwriter................. Christabel Mattingley Prod, supervisor...................... Brian Douglas & Associates Photography........................................... BrianBosisto Progress................................. Pre-production JUDAH WATEN Producer.................. .................Brian Bosisto Sound recordist.......................................BrianBosisto S y n o p s is : A two-hour television special Directors.................. ..................... John Dick, company........................ Film Australia Editor....................................................... BrianBosisto unearthing the characters, locations, AUSTRALIAN FILM AND Prod, Producer............................. Elisabeth Knight Mario Andreacchio Exec, producer..................Lesley Hammond methods, facts and figures on the pursuit of Director.................................. Daro Gunzburg TELEVISION SCHOOL Lengths........................................ 1 2x10 min. treasures that for centuries have fascinated Scriptwriter.............. .............. Ron Saunders Photography................................Ian Pugsley Gauge...................................................16mm people of all nations. A contemporary view of Photography........... .................Brian Bosisto Asst, producer.............................Pam Ennor Shooting stock...........................................CRI Australia and its gold and precious Sound recordist....... ..................Rob Cutcher Editor....................... .................Brian Bosisto Length.................................................27 min. Progress...........................................In release gemstone deposits. Exec, producer........ .................... Bruce Moir Gauge....................................................16mm First released................................. November1982 PUPPET ANIMATION Length...................... Shooting stock.......................... Eastmancolor S y n o p s is : A series of 12 short animated Gauge...................... Progress................................Post-production Producer.................................................... EricHalliday films which touch on themes of social THOMASTOW N Shooting stock......... ................................ CRI Scheduled release...................... March 1983 Director and animator............................ DavidJohnson development such as death, feelings, Producer.......................................Lee Burton S y n o p s is : Profile of the writer Judah Waten Progress................... Scriptwriters...........................................DavidJohnson sharing and communication. The series is Director.................................. Robert, Newton First released........... .................January 1983 for the Australia Council Archival program. Andy Walker aimed at 4-6 year-olds. ^

GOVERNMENT FILM PRODUCTION

Sound recordist.......................Grant Roberts Editor...............................................Ted Otton Assoc, producer...................... Mark Sanders Prod, supervisor.................Nancy Wahlquist Camera assistant....................John Bradley Length................................................. 1 5 min. Gauge................................................... 16mm Progress........................................Production C a s t: Russell Taylor (Reporter), Lance Curtis (Dennis Dragon). S y n o p s is : A sequel to T h e A n im a t o r s G a m e , the film examines puppet animation techniques.

CINEMA PAPERS March — 61


E V E R Y T H IN G T H A T W E C A N .... I S O U R B E ST

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Gino (Vince Colosimo) and Maria (Nicole Miranda) at a Doncaster dance. Michael Pattinson’s Moving Out.

Moving Out Geoffrey Gardner

There is a temptation when writing about Moving Out to give lip service to its virtues and to regard its achieve­ ments as somehow too modest, too offhand, even too lucky. The virtues seem to be too plain: honesty and an accurate surface reality. And it is not as if such things are unknown. They are readily apparent in films such as Francois Truffaut’s Les 400 coups (400 Blows) and Vittorio de Sica’s Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves). The Italian cinema still uses this method as its dominant form of representation. Michael Pattinson’s Moving Out, scripted by Jan Sardi, is an acute observation of life in the immigrant areas of the inner city. The film renders that life with utter fidelity and exactitude in its patterns of speech, movement, geography, decor and dress. It might be less remarkable in other contexts and countries but in Australia these qualities are precious, simply because of their rarity. This is a film made against the flow of fashion; the fact it succeeds in all it attempts forces a political judgment to be made about the value and direction of most other recent Australian features. Moving Out has a slim narrative centring on Gino (Vince Colosimo), the adolescent son o f Italian immigrants. He is their sole gobetween with Australian society, or rather that minute part of it with which they deal, because he is the only one fluent in English. During the film, he negotiates the arrival of relatives, the last two weeks of school term, the start and sudden end of a tentative relation­ ship with an Australian girl, and the family’s move to Doncaster — repre­ sented as the first rung when immigrant families start to move up the social ladder. (Doncaster is brusquely described as “ wogsville” by a delinquent Australian friend.) The threads of the pressures build­ ing on Gino are extracted from these situations. The pangs of the alienated adolescent are overlaid with the pangs of the alienated immigrant. Gino’s lack of self-esteem derives from

assimilationist days — pre-multiculturalism — when his view of him­ self requires him to denounce his mother tongue as “ wog” and to refuse to speak Italian, even to his parents who speak little else. Added to the depression, bordering on self-disgust, which results — the latter perhaps kept at bay by a reasoned respect from a single sympathetic art teacher (Sandy Gore) — are the extra pressures of an education system teaching Captain Cook, unreliable rainfall, the Darling River and recitations of “ My Country” ; a home featuring a coma­ tose grandmother; and out-of-hours adventures with Australian girls, beer and cigarettes. It is a classic cultural confrontation of Italian peasant stock and its insular values, and the cultural panzer battalions of Australian assimilation. The battle leaves both sides alienated and confused, and it is hard to see any n ew -fo u n d p o licies o f m u lticulturalism making a significant impact. To put a narrative which graphically illustrates this alienation and confusion on film is an awesome achievement, even more so when it is dovetailed into a low-budget film. But this is only part of the film’s achievement; it also has a penetrating subtext with a radical critique of an immigration program based on the need for factory fodder. Gino and his family share desires for the most trumped-up and deceptive aspects of Australian society — the dreadful houses in the suburban sprawl, the acquisition of expensive encyclopaedia — received via the world’s most abysmal television programming. Other aspects of the film are also worthy of note. The accurate render­ ing of Australian working-class speech patterns ought not to be singled out for attention, were it not for its almost total absence from our screens. The film’s vehement representation of working-class Australian youth, par­ ticularly the girls, as ugly, badlydressed, overweight and ill-mannered is faultless. It displays a remarkable sense of humor and, in its handling of the running gag of the boy ‘renova­ ting’ his school desk with screws removed from the lavatory doors, reveals an assured and mature sense of comic construction. The last aspect is presented more obliquely and with more subtlety than the comparable but over-worked joke in Gregory’s Girl

involving the boy who cooks gourmet food. The accumulation of these inci­ dental details is organized through a narrative that ignores the temptations of fashionable flashbacks or parallel plotting. The rarity of these in Aus­ tralian cinema must contribute to my fulsome praise: such graphic repre­ sentation is unknown even from our alleged realists who are all too prone to use glamorous names, faces and bodies when sensible casting dictates the ugly and the unknown. (This is not to say that the film’s accumulated details are unblemished. Melbourne audiences, in particular, would be well aware that football is not televised on Saturday afternoons.) This is a film made quite consciously outside the dominant patterns of Aus­ tralian cinema, although it has counterparts in Italy, France, Eastern Europe and even in British television. But novelty should not be mis­ construed as a virtue in itself. Realism and fidelity can be a refuge for the mediocre, just as much as any wornout genre. Film festivals regularly offer proof of that! But Moving Out is exceptional, incorporating its exact observations into a felt narrative that is constructed as seamlessly as David Storey’s realist plays, such as The Con­ tractor and The Changing Room. The pity is that while I celebrate its virtues, it can be safely predicted that there will be a hundred films made before such qualities re-appear, and that 95 will be inferior, lacking Moving Out’s insight, its revelation of Austra­ lian character, its good humor and joy. Moving Out: D ir e c t e d b y : M ic h a e l P a ttin s o n . P r o d u c e r s: J a n e B a lla n ty n e , M ic h a e l P a ttin s o n . A s s o c ia t e p rod u cer: Ju lie M o n t o n . S cre e n p la y : Ja n S a rd i. D ir e c to r o f p h o to g r a p h y : V in c e n t M o n to n . E d it o r : R o b e r t M a r t in . P r o d u c tio n d e s ig n e r : N e i l A n g w i n . C o m p o sers: U m b e r to T o z z i, D a n n y B e c k e r m a n . S o u n d r e c o r d is t: G e o f f W h ite . C a s t: V in c e C o lo s im o ( G in o ) , K a te J a s o n (M r s C o n d e llo ), P e te r S ard i (L in o ), S y lv ie F o n ti (M r s S i m o n e l l i ) , L u c ia n o C a ten a cci (S im o n e lli), B rian J a m e s (A itk e n ), Ivar K an ts (C la r k e ), S a n d y G o r e (M iss S ta n is­ la u s), S a lly C o o p e r (S a n d y ), M a u r ic e d e V in c e tis (R e n a to ). P r o d u c tio n c o m p a n y : P a ttin s o n -B a lla n ty n e P r o d u c tio n s . D istr ib u to r : G U O . 35 m m (sh o t o n S u p er 16). 91 m in s . A u s tr a lia . 1983.

CINEMA PAPERS March — 63


The Year o f L ivin g D an gerou sly

The Year of Living Dangerously Debi Enker

sentation of control, the Sukarno regime. Parallels between Billy and his idol, Sukarno, are recurrent, with Billy as the knowing voice and Sukarno as the om nipresent image. Posters of Sukarno dominate the film, and, when the character is momentarily visible, he is depicted as a godlike figure, smiling enigmatically from a palatial balcony on the scurrying journalists below. Billy respects Sukarno not only as a “ genius” , but as the Puppetmaster, a role that he emulates in his private life. He compiles meticulous files on those around him and, in fanciful moments, he masquerades as Sukarno for photos and arrives at parties dressed as his hero. The motif of puppets is central to the film. When Billy introduces Guy to the roles of the puppet theatre, with its fickle prince served by a loyal dwarf and its proud princess, he pre-empts the relationship that he intends to con­ struct between Guy and Jill Bryant (Sigourney Weaver). His explanation situates the puppets amid a perpetual struggle for balance between right and left, a struggle that defies a simple solution but within which the mainten­ ance of a tenuous balance is critical. As Sukarno, in his final year of rule, battles unsuccessfully to maintain a balance between conflicting factions, Billy enacts a puppet theatre in his life, yielding similar results. Billy forms a partnership with Guy by using his political influence to satisfy Guy’s ambition. He offers to be Guy’s “ eyes” , a play on his function as the cameraman, but also an indica­ tion that he is the keyhole through

which Guy will come to see and under­ stand Indonesia. Through his photo­ graphs, he depicts the ‘real’ Indonesia, a land plagued by poverty and disease, and it is from Billy’s care­ fully-constructed, ever-changing photoboard that Guy’s attraction to Jill is initiated. Though Billy’s motives emerge as idealistic and humane, his methods are clearly questionable and eventually self-destructive. He main­ tains the philosophy that it is imposs­ ible to deal with major issues, apart from asserting that the function of the individual is to make his or her small sphere of the world more equitable. To this end, he adopts and financially sup­ ports an Indonesian woman and her child, and selects Guy as the suitable partner for his princess, Jill. Guy is the man destined to save her from the life of a failed romantic. Slowly, however, Billy’s world dis­ integrates. The trust that he has invested in Guy is destroyed when Guy jeopardizes the carefully-nurtured relationship with Jill in order to con­ solidate his career. And, when his adopted child dies, Billy’s disillusion­ ment is complete. Clearly, his philo­ sophy and attempts to establish con­ trol in a volatile world have failed. Overwhelmed by despair, he confronts a poster of Sukarno, a recognition that his methods, and by implication those of his idol, are ineffectual. Sukarno’s facade of control and Billy’s illusion of it are shattered, both rendered impotent by a failure to construct the necessary balance of power. Guy’s final accusation, that Billy can’t control people simply by com­ piling dossiers on them, reveals the

Whether it manifests as a global war, a dislocated society, the chasm between diverse cultures or the exist­ ence of forces beyond rational explanation, instability pervades the films of Peter Weir. In The Year of Living Dangerously, as in Gallipoli, Weir has chosen a major political upheaval as the catalyst for a film that delineates disparity. Set in 1965, against a background of tumultuous Indonesian politics, the film creates an environment of conflict and contrast. The degree of economic deprivation within the country is high­ lighted by the Westerners, generally congregating around food and drink in convivial surroundings, while the Indonesians riot in the streets for handfuls of rice. The presence of the West in a Third World country is, in itself, depicted as a source of conflict. The pompous British Major (Bill Kerr) is an anachronism, the symbol of a crumb­ ling empire whose continued presence simply breeds resentment. The brash American journalist (Michael Murphy) embodies the most reprehensible characteristics of the foreign press, blithely ignoring the misery surround­ ing him in his pursuit of professional kudos and carnal pleasure. Economic and ideological contrasts between East and West recur throughout, and, while the film is concerned to identify their ramifications and the helplessness of the individual in the face of their magnitude, it is primarily an examina­ tion of the construction of power and its demise. From its opening credit sequence, accompanied by the silhouettes of a puppet show, the film depicts relation­ ships between those in control and those subject to it. The first voice the viewer hears is that of Billy Kwan (Linda Hunt), the film’s narrator. Without the viewer knowing who he is or his role in the narrative, he becomes the voice of knowledge and provides the main perspective on subsequent events. He introduces Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson), an Australian journalist on his first international assignment, and sets him immediately against the will of President Sukarno, who has defined all Westerners as the enemy. From the outset, Guy is the novice and the pawn, subject to the omnipresence of Sukarno and the judgments of Billy. He is throughout the film a figure of powerlessness. The Year of Living Dangerously is very much Billy’s film. He is not simply the knowing narrator, but the pivotal character. He becomes the film’s moral core, moving from the idealist to the doomed visionary and, finally, to the martyr. It is his perspec­ tive on Indonesian life and his admira­ tion for the work and philosophies of Sukarno that the viewer is invited to accept. As the only cameraman in a group of Western journalists, Billy is an architect of images, a role that he extends beyond the confines of his darkroom. In his attempts to deter­ mine the destinies of those around him, he assumes a position of power, Journalist Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson) and his “eyes”, cameraman Billy Kwan (Linda and aligns himself to the film’s repre­ Hunt). Peter Weir’s The Year o f Living Dangerously. 64 — March CINEMA PAPERS

fundamental flaw in both attitudes. Irrespective of m otivation, any assumption of control is illusory. Billy may intend to create an oasis of trust and stability amid the turmoil, just as Sukarno may intend to secure a better future for his country. But even if such control is viable or even desirable, it is unattainable. The fluctuation of forces beyond control invariably overwhelms the protagonist: Billy’s narration lapses and a final, desperate attempt at protest results in his death; the uprising of the Communist Party renders Sukarno a “ puppet of the right” . Both Puppetmasters are ulti­ mately challenged by the puppets they sought to govern. Once again, Weir has emphasized the dominance of dis­ order. Though Billy’s epitaph is a triumph of the uncontrollable, it is its absence in the relationship between Jill and Guy that renders it so uninspiring. The fact of its predetermination reduces the couple to the level of puppets, acting out their defined roles only to discover that any hope of a convincing finale has died with their master. Guy’s initial response is not to Jill, but to Billy’s image of her on the photoboard. Billy is obviously in love with Jill, but, having accepted her refusal of his marriage proposal, he selects Guy as a suitable surrogate. Guy is “ everything that Billy would like to be” , a reference to the physical attributes that enable Guy to become the prince that Billy can never be. Guy and Jill’s union is Billy’s triumph, allowing him the vicarious pleasure of a voyeur who has successfully created his most gratifying image. It is only in this context that the lack of electricity between Jill and Guy is acceptable, or understandable. Many of their actions are simply too cliched to be evocative, from the eyes meeting across the crowded room to Jill’s un­ mistakable glow the morning after. The unfortunate element of the rela­ tionship is that Jill never manages to transcend her ascribed role. She is the archetype of an ideal woman, main­ taining an alluring composure which conceals passions that are waiting to be released by Guy’s first kiss. Yet Guy is allowed to confront Billy and to challenge both his assumption of con­ trol and his judgment. Guy’s decision to leave Indonesia occurs after Billy’s death and before the uprising. For that moment at least, Guy chooses his destiny. However, the realities are pretty grim for all the film’s characters, a choice between manipulation or transient control. The traditional happy ending — the couple united in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds — holds none of the customary relief. Guy drives, with his guide/interpreter Kumar (Bembol Roco), through a nightmare of chaos to reach the airport, and numbly relinquishes his tape recorder before boarding the plane to join Jill. He has been partially blinded, presumably the legacy of Billy’s death manifested as Guy’s loss of vision. The couple has been rendered totally powerless; its only hope for survival is escape. The ending affirms Weir’s belief that “ There are no answers; there is no ending” 1 and that his interest lies in an exploration of the unknown rather than in arriving at neat conclusions. Certainly, there is no satisfying resolution to the dark vision that 1. The Last New Wave, David Stratton, Angus & Robertson, 1980, p. 77.


Ginger Meggs

The Plains o f Heaven

envelops the film. The viewer has been alienated from both Jill and Guy, who have become puppets in a much larger theatre, and any shred of idealism has died with Billy. Kumar is the only surviving character who demonstrates the vision and integrity necessary to indicate that an avenue for change exists. It is through Kumar that an additional perspective on the Sukarno regime is established. Though he functions as a silent servant, the viewer gradually learns of his involve­ ment in the Communist Party. He is committed to a restoration of justice that is only possible through Sukarno’s overthrow. His view of the govern­ ment as a corrupt and incompetent dictatorship provides a substantial contradiction of Billy’s ideal of Sukarno as an eminent leader. After Billy’s death, it is Kumar who func­ tions as G uy’s eyes, fearfully navigating the route to the airport. Though the uprising is diffused, and Kumar is forced to flee Jakarta, there is a suggestion that potential exists for him to assume the controlling voice. As in all Weir’s films, the astute avoidance of a neat ending, which could only imprudently resolve the issues raised by the film, leaves a viewer feeling slightly frustrated. Yet unlike Picnic at Hanging Rock or The Last Wave, both Gallipoli and The Year of Living Dangerously locate their conflicts in a tangible political and historical context. It is arguably the involvement of scriptwriter David Williamson in the latter two films which has managed to identify the in­ stability that has pervaded Weir’s early films and place it within a recogniz­ able context. In the absence of this context, the films and their director seem overcome, as Billy is, by the magnitude of the questions that they pose. The Year of Living Dangerously: D ir e c te d by: P e te r W e ir . P r o d u c e r : J im M c E lr o y . S c r e en p la y : D a v id W illia m s o n , P e te r W eir, C h r isto p h e r K o c h . D ir e c to r o f p h o to g r a p h y : R u sse ll B o y d . E d ito r: B ill A n d e r s o n . A rt d irector: H e r b e r t P in te r . S o u n d reco rd ist: G a ry W ilk in s . C a st: M el G ib s o n (G u y ), S ig o u r n e y W e a v e r (J ill), L in d a H u n t (B illy ), M ic h a e l M u r p h y (P e te ), B ill Kerr (H e n d e r s o n ), N o e l F errier (W a lly ), P a u l S o n k k illa (C o n d o n ), B em bol R oco (K u m a r), S o c o r r o H a sh im L e d e sm a (T ig er L illy ), D o m in g o L a n d ic h o ( H o r to n o ), C e c ily P o is o n (M o ir a ). P r o d u c tio n com pany: W ayang P r o d u c tio n s . D istr ib u to r : M G M . 35 m m . 105 m in s. A u str a lia . 198 2 .

Ginger Meggs Geoff Mayer

In terms of dramatic structure and characterization, the parameters of films made for children are restricted. And in adapting a long-running Aus­ tralian comic-strip to the screen, the w riter and director of Ginger Meggs, Michael Latimer and Jonathan Dawson, obviously are aware of these restrictions and how they have been overcome in the past — particularly in the 1981 production of Fatty Finn (John Sexton was involved in both projects), and its superb 1927 pre­ decessor Kid Stakes.

The cry of familiarity and predict­ ability directed against a film like Ginger Meggs should not be taken automatically as criticism; children (aged five to 11 years, approximately) often demand the security and enjoy­ ment of recognizable, and formula, narrative material. Certainly an important prerequisite of this is identi­ fication, in the form of emotional attachment, with one or two characters in the story who are situated in opposi­ tion to the negative figures, such as rival gangs, parents or school teachers. In this regard Ginger Meggs fares well: the identification process is quickly established in the opening sequence when Ginger (Paul Daniel) throws an over-ripe tomato at his perennial enemy, Tiger Kelly (Drew Forsythe). The process of identification is assisted by casting, by the amount of screen time Ginger receives and by his being the victim. In this respect, and based on my rather hazy childhood memory, the film version of the comic-strip appears to have ‘softened’ the character of Ginger. Except for his opening skirmish with Tiger, and the appro­ priation of Eddie Coogan’s (Daniel Cumeford) shilling at the milk bar — to embarrass his rival in front of Min (Shelley Armsworth) — Ginger is essentially the victim of Coogan’s machinations, parental misunder­ standing and Tiger Kelly’s bullying. Whereas the comic-strip emphasized the larrikin aspect of Ginger’s charac­ ter, the film has played safe by creating a facsimile of Fatty Finn. This doesn’t mean that he is good and wholesome all the time, but that his actions, such as ‘wagging’ school to go fishing, are

understandable and acceptable to most children. The emphasis in Ginger Meggs is, appropriately, on action rather than dialogue and the film proceeds from one chase-action sequence to the next. However, there are two set pieces: the first occurs when Ginger ‘crashes’ a birthday party in drag, resulting in an extended jelly and cream bun fight, and the second is a predictable, but well-executed, chase and race against time when Ginger is trapped by a cat burglar (Harold Hopkins) when he should be appearing as Romeo in the school concert. Ginger, of course, out­ smarts the cat burglar and arrives in time to yank his understudy, Coogan, off the stage, thereby bringing together the multiple strands of the plot for the required happy ending. Ambiguity and the ‘open ending’, prized by (some) adults for its pseudo-realism, have no place in children’s films and, fortun­ ately, Ginger Meggs supplies an appro­ priate closure to the narrative. A major weakness in the film is the absence of a strong narrative ‘prob­ lem’ which can be used to link the episodic story-line. Although the narrative is punctuated by a ‘rhythm’ of high and low points, the concerns of the story-line are too diffused. There is the continuing battle with Tiger Kelly; the rivalry with Eddie Coogan over Min; the disappearance of Ginger’s monkey, Tony (which should form the main narrative thread but is referred to only sporadically through the film); the problem of playing Romeo at the concert; and the recurring conflict between Ginger and his parents. Also, late in the film, Ginger runs away from home and meets Alex (Scott Gray-

land), a circus performer, and this introduces the cat burglar, who is working in the circus as a high-wire performer, and leads Ginger back to his monkey. Amongst these narrative strands the film incorporates a send-up of the old radio sing-along and quiz shows, and the fishing rivalry between Ginger’s father (Gary McDonald) and a neigh­ bour. Thus, for much of its length, the film appears to wander rather aim­ lessly. Fatty Finn, on the other hand, has a strongly-profiled plot centred on Fatty’s desire to obtain a crystal set to hear Donald Bradman “ spiflicate the Poms” in the first cricket test match. Other episodes in the film relate to this and provide a central point of interest for the children. Ginger Meggs also attempts to emulate the visual surface of Fatty Finn in the stylized costumes for the children and adults, the distinctive decor in the Meggs’ house and the attempt to place the film in 1930s Aus­ tralia by devices such as the popular Aeroplane Jelly radio jingle. However, there is a tension in the film between the fantasy of the children’s world and the ‘realism’ of the contemporary world (of Bowral in New South Wales). The world of Ginger Meggs is a working-class one, devoid of class conflict or deprivations — the upper class, as represented by Cuthbert Fitzcloon (Christopher Norton), is caricatured as effete and ineffectual — and a child’s-eye view where children are creative, productive and compas­ sionate, while adults are clowns, thieves or bullies. E.T. The Extra­ terrestrial presents a similar view of the world. Are the self-reflexive qualities of the film, particularly the deliberate signification of the fantasy, an attempt to deflect the film’s implied criticism of adult conduct? I doubt it, but it pro­ vides the atmosphere of a screen pantomime, which is complemented by the acting of some of the people in the film, notably Drew Forsythe as Tiger Kelly. M eg g s: Directed by: Jonathan D aw son. P ro d u c er: Jo h n Sexton. Screenplay: Michael Latimer. Director of photography: John Seale. Editor: Phillip Howe. P roduction designer: Larry Eastwood. Composers: John Stuart, Kim Thraves. Sound recordist: Tim Lloyd. Cast: Gary McDonald (Mr Meggs), Coral Kelly (Mrs Meggs), Paul Daniel (Ginger Meggs), Ross Higgins (Floggswell), Hugh KeaysByrne (Capt. Hook), Drew Forsythe (Tiger), Harold Hopkins (Burglar), Daniel Cumeford (Eddie), Shelley Armsworth (Min), Scott Grayland (Alex), Christopher Norton (Cuthbert). Production company: John Sexton Productions. Distributor: Hoyts. 35 mm. 95 mins. Australia. 1982. G in g er

The Plains of Heaven Jim Schembri

If Ian Pringle’s environmentallyconscious The Plains of Heaven is, ultimately, a disappointing and un­ balanced view of man and his relation­ ships with the environment, his tech­ nology and himself, its two chief characters provide an intriguing basis through which these themes are expressed. CINEMA PAPERS March — 65


The Plains o f Heaven

While manning a lonely relay track­ ing station in a secluded, though far from desolate, landscape, Barker (Richard Moir) and Cunningham (Reg Evans) pursue diametrically opposed methods of coping with the isolation. The ageing Cunningham is rejuven­ ated by his obsession with the environ­ ment around him. Infused with awe and respect for the beautiful land­ scape, he worships the eagles which circle about as symbols of being at one •with nature. Cunningham even tries to identify with the eagles by acknow­ ledging, as he believes they do, the damaging effect of man-introduced rabbit plagues, and regularly embarks on ferreting expeditions to rid the plains of them. The younger Barker, conversely, turns away from the environment, withdrawing into himself and the station’s technology to maintain and strengthen his tenuous links with the society from which he is severed. The film’s intentions, however, do not concern a comparison of man when he is, and is not, in tune with his environment. The film clearly purports that man and the environment are in­ compatible — whatever man’s attitude to the environment may be — and they cannot, therefore, co-exist. It is also made clear that man, physically, psychologically and even in a spiritual sense, is inferior to this overwhelming environment. This ambitious attempt to enshrine the environment with the mystical, m etaphysical character usually associated with the Australian outback (as shown in films such as Wake in Fright and Walkabout) works well only in the early parts of the film. The many splendidly-evoked images of man as the intruder upon an un­ familiar, hostile environment are given credence by Cunningham’s obsession with the landscape and the essentially token presence of man. The metaphor of the relay station, representing man and his technology as the transgressors, is masterfully expressed (both visually and aurally) in the many compositions that contrast the vast beauty of the environment with the intrusive quality of the station. Sharply-defined images of swirling clouds, transient ground mists and multi-hued skies are coupled with a deliberately repetitive, menacing soundtrack of rumbling thunder and synthesized drumbeats to furnish the landscape with the eerie appearance of an alien topography. Amidst this, the station is in sharp physical contrast to the landscape. Dwarfed by the rocky mount on which it is located, it stands as a lone human outpost in an alien landscape. Psychologically, Cunningham and Barker are daunted by the environ­ ment, though each is taxed differently. Barker’s withdrawal into alcohol, cigarettes and the claustrophobic con­ fines of the communications console is a stance taken, not in ignorance, but in response to an acknowledged timidity towards confronting the environment around him. In a far too brief sequence, Barker rises from his seat at the console and, in slow-motion, appears in the doorway of the hut to look out into the darkened wilderness. He then lowers his head and retreats inside. Even C unningham ’s fanatical respect for the environment fails to insulate him from its psychological influences, resulting in nightmares (the nature of which remain unclear). This 66 — March CINEMA PAPERS

Barker (Richard Moir) and Cunningham (Reg Evans), resting on the high plains. Ian Pringle’s The Plains o f Heaven.

has the disturbing connotation that the more man tries to adjust to and accept the environment in which he lives, the more the environment will reject him. This is also the first hint of a nihilistic determinism in the film that denigrates man and his civilization. The environment’s effect on the human spirit is conveyed through the developing relationship between Barker and Cunningham. Initially, Cunningham and Barker appear alien­ ated from each other. Yet, despite their petty antagonisms, the audience becomes aware of Barker’s growing concern for Cunningham. He warns Cunningham of the dangers of being caught outside at night during his ferreting expeditions, he listens patiently as Cunningham laments the death of his favorite ferret and com­ forts him during one of his night­ mares. But the different attitudes of each man towards the station’s technology, in particular Barker’s dependence on it, forces a wedge between them and highlights the alienation that man’s technology can create. Barker’s endeavors to get a clear transmission of a trivial American tele­ vision game show, for which he has a perverse liking, leads him to tamper with highly-restricted equipment, something of which Cunningham firmly disapproves. When Barker’s tamperings cause the breakdown of the communications console, he discovers he needs Cunningham’s help to repair the damage before the next trans­ mission. A tense scene, using the station’s tower as the metaphorical barrier, has the angered Cunningham, huddled atop the tower, flatly rejecting the pro­ gressively desperate pleas for assist­ ance from Barker, craning his neck from the ground. Barker’s perfunctory politeness soon erodes to a raw declaration of his need for Cunning­ ham: “ I can’t fix it without you, Cunningham. I need your help!” Cunningham eventually comes down and offers some crucial advice on repairing the equipment. Barker naturally feels indebted to him and, as

a gesture of appreciation, agrees to venture out with him on one of his ferreting expeditions. During this, the bond between them grows closer. Barker attempts to understand Cunningham’s attitude towards the environment, and they engage in some humorous teasing on their return. This reconciliation of the human spirit, however, is soon negated by the mystical, subconscious hold the en­ vironment has over Cunningham. Some psychic calling causes him to go ape, ram a chair through the television monitors and disappear beyond the secure perimeter of the station’s lights into the freezing darkness. Barker’s fury soon subsides into buddha-like meditation as he awaits the arrival of the relief team. In this pensive state, Barker begins to realize the loss of Cunningham as a friend, not merely a workmate, and assumes some of Cunningham’s attitudes towards the environment. In fact, when Lenko (Gerard Kennedy), the man sent up to investigate the incident by the ISC Corporation, drives him back, Barker stares out the side of the car at the eagles Cunningham admired so much. Unfortunately, the image of man and his civilization subsequently pre­ sented through night-time cityscapes and Lenko’s character is far too naive and limp to offer the viewer any insight into the tensions between man and his environment. The film curiously steers clear of ex­ ploring and exposing the ability of man and his technology to transform and ruin the environment for his own purposes. Instead, the film adheres to a ludicrously romantic vision of the environment as being superior to and safe from the insignificant presence of man. Civilization is trivialized by insectile, time-lapsed images of headlights scurrying along streets, and the blurred streaks of vehicles whisking around a stationary Barker. Images of chaos, such as the persistent wailing and flashing of sirens when Barker is walk­ ing along the ISC carpark, indicate

that civilization is somehow an aim­ less, wildly disorganized, but harmless, mess. As well as these visuals, the feeble character of Lenko contributes nothing to any serious representation of man in general, or of the ISC Cor­ poration in particular. Although he is anxious to elicit a written report from Barker on the incident at the station and concerned about the impression the security department will get of Barker’s tamperings, Lenko is quite happy to leave Barker unguarded, free to wander off as he pleases. But, thanks to some baffling continuity, Lenko has no problem locating Barker when he needs him simply by appear­ ing on the spot wherever Barker happens to be. Barker’s insistence that Lenko and ISC don’t care about Cunningham and are worried only about their expensive equipment is a weak attempt to raise the issue of man having more concern for his technology than for his fellow man, because the extent of the official search for Cunningham remains unclear. When Barker goes back and miracu­ lously discovers Cunningham crouch­ ing under some boulders, there is cer­ tainly no sign of any search. However, it is hard to believe that a company as big as ISC is meant to be (what with references to Lenko’s superiors and “ the man upstairs” ) would not have scores of men and helicopters combing the area for Cunningham, if for no other reason than to prevent adverse publicity about ISC’s neglect of its employees. Having taken Cunningham to hos­ pital, Barker enters a state of extreme depression, and lies inebriated on a hillside. “ Bottled in Australia by Jim Beam” , he lethargically reads off the label. “ Don’t worry Jim,” he con­ tinues, “ it happens to everyone. And don’t think about it too much Jim, it just makes no sense.” Once Cunningham dies, the nihilis­ tic fate of man against the environ­ ment is personified by Barker, who dutifully carries out a deeply symbolic act stressing man’s insignificance in


Cutter’s Way

Jazz Scrapbook

relation to nature. Strewn across a rock in an image of self-crucifixion and impending martyrdom (and, pre­ sumably, with a numbing hangover), Barker takes hold of his stolen rifle, clambers to the top of the tower and begins blasting away. “ Fuck the rabbits, fuck the eagles, fuck the lot of you!” , he yelps before crumpling in a heap. The camera then pans away from him to close on an image of sun­ beams bursting through the clouds on to a huge mountain. With the continuing controversy over urban progress versus environ­ mental preservation, The Plains of Heaven is certainly a timely film, even if the way with which important issues are dealt and ignored in the latter part of the film disqualify it as a film of much polemic impact. The myopic romanticism the film adopts results in the projection of images of man and the environment which the viewer recognizes as almost visionary distortions of the reality that the environment is the helpless victim of man’s progress and technology. Directed by: Ian P ringle. P roducer: John C ruthers. Associate producer: Brian McKenzie. Screenplay: Ian Pringle, Doug Ling, Elizabeth Parsons. Director of photo­ graphy: Ray Argali. Editor: Ray Argali. Art director: Elizabeth Stirling. Music: Andrew Duffield. Sound recordist: Bruce Emery. Cast: Richard Moir (Barker), Reg Evans (Cunningham), Gerard Kennedy (Lenko), John Flaus (Landrover owner), Jenny Cartwright (Nurse), Adam Biscombe (Soldier). Production company: Seon Film Productions. Distributor: Australian Film Institute. 16 mm. 80 mins. Australia. 1983.

T h e P la in s o f H e a v e n :

Cutter’s Way Margaret Smith

Czech

director

Ivan

P asser’s

Cutter’s Way is a modern crime and

punishment parable, except the crime is so tied up with life itself, there is hardly any redemption or justice poss­ ible. In this world the complicity is com­ plete; no one is immune, not even the two central characters. They vacillate, commit crimes of ultimate betrayal of the women they fuck and then, like Gittes (Jack Nicholson) at the end of Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, can’t resist the excitement of confronting the enemy personally. In Cutter’s Way, the war has moved from Vietnam to the streets of the U.S., and is every bit as ruthless, mean and senseless. The film, made two years before the December 1982 Vietnam War veterans march on Washington, which also was angry, ugly and tragic, is based on the novel about the last of the hippie drifters, Cutter and Bone, by Newton Thornburg. It has been adapted to the screen by Jeffrey Alan Fiskin, in a script which works by revelation rather than by overstatement. Alex Cutter (John Heard) and Richard Bone (Jeff Bridges) are losers. The winners are already entrenched in their ivory towers, living like god­ fathers with their employees as minions. So where can a crippled veteran like Cutter fit in? The answer

is nowhere and the unspoken code is “ Don’t try and mess with the rich and famous.” The film is a master in shifting ground. The two friends spar and support each other, reveal their problems and their sense of honor. At times, Bone, the ageing playboy and gigolo, played with an acute sense of gesture and nuance by Bridges, seems to be in control and aware of his actions. At other times he is whinging, insipid and spineless. Cutter, on the other hand, is twisted and contorted in mind and body. He is power-mad and crazy with hatred for most human beings except the few he loves. Most of the time he is a psycho­ pathic drunk and lurches blindly through the world until he decides on his mission. He will, at all costs, bring an oil magnate to his knees. One suspects Cutter will do anything to keep his mission intact and that he is not so much interested in justice (but then he knows that the rich are above crime and punishment) as he is in following his crusade. It brings him to life, it makes him sober, but finally it costs him his wife and everything else. Male friendship, bonding and power are still at stake, even in the world of losers. Consequently, Cutter’s woman, Mo (Lisa Eichhorn), is as racked with psychic pain as her husband. Eichhorn may look too good as Mo, but in her moments of bare and almost complete annihilation she exposes an absolute vulnerability. In this post-feminist era, her dependence on the two men seems too complete, but within the context of the film, like in Kerouac’s novels, her suffering is always real. The script is structured like a road film. The people’s lives are loose and aimless, and in the first half the script mirrors this. The film starts awk­ wardly and sometimes makes for hard viewing, especially when the cinemato­ graphy seems almost as cluttered as their lives. But in the second half, the script is tight and spare, as the characters go on their manic odysseys. Everyone reveals unexpected sides: the sister of the murdered girl is more interested in a screw than in finding the killer; Cutter shows determination and direction even if it is always tinged with his own craziness; Mo reveals to herself a suffering which she can barely compre­ hend or deal with; and Bone, on achieving his dream, walks away from it as though it were a nightmare. In the end there is nothing left for any of them. They have killed them­ selves as much as they have killed the enemy. Only in Bone is there the ambiguity of life itself. It is the bleakest of film noir. Even the shots of garden parties in the sun­ shine are only of watery, half-warm days. There is nothing to lessen the omnipotence of the ruling forces, not even a final showdown. Looking at Cutter’s Way more dis­ passionately one realizes it isn’t the plausibility of the script which is important, but the plausibility and complexity of the characters. Ulti­ mately this is what makes the film work. It is bare and brave in its depic­ tion of them. A Time Out critic has called it one of “ Hollywood’s most incisive films about the traumatic effects of the Vietnam war on the American psyche” . Perhaps it is.

Directed by: Ivan Passer. Producer: Paul Gurian. Screenplay: Jeffrey Alan Fiskin, from a novel by Newton C u tte r ’s W a y :

Thornberg. Director of photography: Jordan Cronenweth. Editor: Caroline Ferriol. Music: Jack Nitzsche. Cast: Jeff Bridges (Richard), John Heard (Alex), Lisa Eichhorn (Mo), Ann Dusenberry (Valerie), Arthur Rosenburg (George). Distributor: UIP. 35 mm. 110 mins. U.S. 1981.

Jazz Scrapbook Marcus Breen

Every now and again a film appears that defies the imagination. Indeed, when a filmmaker lacks imagination, film becomes a blur and a celluloid indictment of itself. And, when imagination runs anarchistically out the realist door, the same indictment may apply. This is not to say that imagination must be curtailed, but it must be a clear extension of human pain and ambition. Film, like jazz, has the potential to take one to the pinnacles of imagination without moving into the wastelands. A film that bears the name (of) Jazz surely must concern itself with the possibilities of the jazz imagination. In its construction, the film should attempt to devastate its viewers with all the pathos that music strives after. Even a documentary-style film should be relentless in its quest for the essence of music’s aurul and emotional glory, as it bears down on tempered beings who simply want to tap their feet. Neither music nor film should tolerate the self-indulgence of the tapped foot! With all the possibilities open to contemporary filmmakers, it is a travesty of Creative Development Branch money from the Australian Film Commission when a film achieves nothing more than a trip down memory lane. In this era of social and economic turmoil, the demands that sit most heavily upon film m akers’ shoulders relate to the conditions within contemporary society. Those filmmakers who cannot exercise their

imaginations on prescriptions for the future should turn their minds and skills to a critical analysis of history. And people purporting to be film­ makers who cannot meet these demands should not bother making films. With these thoughts in mind, the Jazz Scrapbook is a film/documentary that should not have been presented in the form it takes. Where it could have been a film that gathered the pheno­ menon of Melbourne’s jazz scene in the years from 1935 to ’55 into a stunning interplay and analysis of politics, music and art, it becomes a nostalgia-piece for jazz aficionados and the hangers-on. In an era which demands hard thinking and hard criticism of the nation’s past, a film like Jazz Scrapbook is just not good enough. Perhaps it would be constructive to discuss something as simple, yet essential, as the title, Jazz Scrapbook. “ Jazz” , it can be assumed, is self­ explanatory. It is an identifiable genre within the body of sound referred to as music. Within that genre, a wide range of sub-genres support and challenge each other. “ Scrapbook” , on the other hand, is a word with connota­ tions of collected memories. But problems arise in the film because director Nigel Buesst believes “ col­ lected memories” to be a closely-con­ trolled series of anecdotal references to personal experience. The problem with this approach happens at the political level because any references to conditions within art and society at the time are avoided. They pop up in Jazz Scrapbook almost as if they were not meant to appear. Is Buesst attempting to be subversive or is his philosophy of film one which says that a documentary-style film will indicate what the objective conditions are even if there is no intention to high­ light them? Furthermore, if the jazz musicians who appear in this film have little more to remember than the trivia to which they refer, then it is little wonder that Australian jazz culture and “ culture” generally has been so bankrupt in our generation. CINEMA PAPERS March — 67


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Jazz Scrapbook

Turkey Shoot

Graeme Bell’s Australian Jazz Band: from Nigel Buesst’s Jazz Scrapbook.

At least one political omission from the film is worth mentioning. During the 1930s and ’40s in Australia, the Communist Party was a major influ­ ence on the lives and activities of intel­ lectuals and artists, including jazz musicians. This was especially evident in Melbourne: Frank Johnson (of Fabulous Dixielanders fame) was secretary of the Communist Party during World War 2, Bob and Len Barnard had close links with the Party, and Graeme Bell and his All Stars toured Czechoslovakia in 1947. These and other incidents are of immense his­ torical importance because they can, on a broader scale, indicate the ideo­ logical foundations of some of Mel­ bourne’s jazz activities during the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. Many other matters have been over­ looked in Jazz Scrapbook. But, it is a scrapbook: a collection of well-edited interviews, old and recent footage of Melbourne’s jazz musicians talking about the relevant years. Indeed, as the publicity brochure boasts, “ Revisit the early jazz years . . . reminisce . . . days and nites [sic] of hot jazz!” It may well have been hot once, but this film hardly indicates from where the heat emanated. Of course, there are some excep­ tions: the film does convey that during the 1930s, jazz was the music for intel­ lectuals and progressives; morality was a major issue for jazz practitioners (“ We began playing in the days when the air was clean and sex was dirty” : George Tack); in later years stylized performance costumes were often rejected in favor of ordinary clothes; American negroes and white Ameri­ cans were involved in the Melbourne jazz scene during World War 2; the Melbourne University establishment considered jazz to be “ harsh and raucous sounds” ; and improvization was important to some jazz players in the 1950s. Certainly, this list is impressive. It indicates the film has information worthy of dissemination. If this is all Buesst intended, he has moved a long way towards success. However, I feel that knowledge devoid of a framework is wasted, and it is this missing frame­ work that usurps all the best intentions of Jazz Scrapbook. Jazz Scrapbook does not lack a cinematic framework. Its rhythm and timing as it moves from interview to

live footage to sound and to old Super 8 shots are excellent. However, the style in which the interviews are pre­ sented is inadequate. Contrast Keith Hounslow, sitting face to camera recalling the past, and Len Barnard, walking through the derelict North Melbourne building that once saw nights of riotous jazz while a voice­ over that is too dispassionate for such a scene (surely one should weep at this image of lost optimism and an atro­ phied culture), with John Sangster, gaily chirping away, glass of beer in hand, and recreating the sense of debauched celebration and indis­ criminate fear that was and is a mark of all great jazz. The latter style is certainly preferable to the tortured urbanity of the others. Jazz Scrapbook is a sad film. It fails to present a solid historical, cultural or political statement on more than 20 years of Melbourne’s life; it aspires to nothing more than a scrapbook. And for those who wish to live their lives flipping through the pages of the book . . . well, the ensuing poverty of mind and soul will offer little for the future. Unless that wailing saxophone tears at our hearts, the world will go round like a record and films will keep to their safety. Directed by: Nigel Buesst. Producer: Nigel Buesst. Director of photo­ graphy: Nigel Buesst. Editors: Nigel Buesst, Nubar Ghazarian. Sound recordist: David Thomas. Production company: Sunrise Picture Co. Distributor: Australian Film Institute. 16 mm. 60 mins. Australia. 1983.

Jazz S crapbook:

Turkey Shoot Geoff Mayer

In the foyer of the East End cinema, Melbourne, a group of teen­ age boys walked up to an enlarged copy of the Truth newspaper report of Phillip Adams’ walk-out of Turkey Shoot at the Australian Film Awards pre-selection screenings in July 1982. One boy said, “ That’s good enough

Rita (Lynda Stoner) is threatened by the lesbian sadist, Jennifer (Carmen Duncan). Brian Trenchard Sm ith’s Turkey Shoot.

for me” , and led the rest of the group into the cinema. Similarly, I felt that any film which upsets the delicate sensibilities of Mr Adams can’t be all bad. However, my doubts about the film began to grow in the first few minutes, particularly after the sight of Red (Gus Mercurio) greeting the new inmates — Paul (Steve Railsback), Rita (Lynda Stoner) and Chris (Olivia Hussey) — at a detention camp. Red, with a leer, limp and whip, appeared to be straight out of Beasts of Berlin and he, and Ritter (Roger Ward), set the tone for the rest of the film. Paul, Rita and Chris, who are victims of a totalitarian society, are subjected to continual harassment in the camp run by Thatcher (Michael Craig). My disquiet with the proceed­ ings accelerated as Ritter tortures a young girl by beating her repeatedly around the head. After beating another inmate, Dodge (John Ley) asks Ritter if he wants him to bury her and when Ritter replies that the girl “ ain’t dead yet” , Dodge says, “ I could do it anyway.” This is quickly followed by Red’s attack on Chris in the showers, which she combats by zipping up his fly whilst he is fully aroused, and Jennifer (Carmen Duncan) assembling a gun blindfolded while telling another guest of the camp, “ It’s less the size of one’s gun that counts than the skill with which it is used.” At this point, I threw away my pen and notes, reached for the potato chips and tried to enter the spirit of the film with the rest of the audience. How­ ever, the violence in the first part is mild compared with the atrocities of the “ turkey shoot” : hands are sliced off, toes are bitten off, skulls are split, bodies are dismembered and dis­ embowelled, etc. After each episode of escalating, graphic violence, the boy who was impressed by the report of Adams’ walk-out, told his mates, “ I love it.” Although the film never specifies the time or place, a publicity hand-out reports that the film is set in 1995 in an unidentified society (“ Soviet totali­ tarianism with a capitalist veneer” , according to director Brian Trenchard Smith) where the “ deviates” — that is, those opposed to the ruling govern­ ment — are brought to a “ correction” camp. Guests at the camp, including Mallory (Noel Ferrier) and Jennifer,

are invited to participate in a turkey shoot, whereby selected inmates are released into the surrounding jungle and are promised, falsely, that, if they evade capture until sundown, they will be set free. This is a reworking of an often-used plot which appeared as long ago as 1932 in The Most Dangerous Game. In this film, Joel McCrea and Fay Wray provide the sport for a mad Russian count on his island. It subsequently was re-worked in 1945 as A Game of Death, in 1956 as Run for the Sun, and then on television in Gilligan’s Island and Get Smart. An essential ingredient in most of the earlier versions, including the television series, was the time element, the supposed sanctuary of sundown. However, there is little or no tension in John George and Neill Hick’s script for Turkey Shoot. Instead of a steady build-up and accompanying suspense by means of basic techniques such as cross-cutting from the quarry to the hunter, the film cross-cuts during the hunt from one scene of graphic violence to another. The build-up becomes unimportant and is replaced by execution. While the film’s surface of sex and violence marks its relatively contem­ porary context, Turkey Shoot has the basic structure of a 19th Century melo­ drama. For example, characters are stripped of any complexity and are represented by one, or at best two, attributes or traits. Thus, Paul is victim and saviour, Chris and Rita are victims, Thatcher is a sadist, Jennifer is a lesbian sadist and so on. They all occupy a purely fictional position in the narrative as they project the film’s simplistic notion of a strict polariza­ tion between good and evil. The plot is equally predictable: regular em otional and physical climaxes punctuate the narrative, often for no other purpose than to retain audience attention in a crude fashion, and to deflect scrutiny of the simple characterizations and repetitive nature of the plot. The only real modification of the 19th Century formula is that the male victims share equal ‘torment time’ with the females, whereas in traditional melodrama the threat to the heroine is elaborated compared with that to the hero, who was usually sub­ jected to sudden shocks. The narrative closure to Turkey Shoot is equally pre­ dictable and retains the virtue is CINEMA PAPERS March — 69


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Turkey Shoot

rewarded and vice is punished conven­ tion. How then does the film retain audi­ ence interest? Aside from spectacle, which is a traditional attribute of melodrama, Turkey Shoot relies almost completely on mutilation, torture and killing. The graphic nature of the violence escalates from an early scene in which blood is pouring out of a victim’s mouth to exploding bodies in the last part. The effect of this is to distance the audience so that, instead of the usual involvement with the plight of the hero or heroine, the interest of the audience is relegated to anticipation of the next atrocity. In other words, interest is focused, not so much on who survives the turkey shoot, but on the repulsion and fascination with the methods used to eliminate the villains and most of their victims. Two other issues require brief con­ sideration. First, the film has been described, by Lynda Stoner in a radio interview, as a “ black comedy’’. If one characterizes black comedy as the “ acceptance of the unacceptable” , then this may be a plausible descrip­ tion, but it would ignore the powerful exploitation which the film proudly has in the foreground at every possible opportunity. Second, Turkey Shoot’s “ M” rating raises the problem of in­ consistency in the recent censorship ratings. As one who is opposed to all censorship, except as protection for those underage, I don’t wish to advocate a more repressive attitude. However, the full-frontal nudity, the language and especially the graphic violence in the film seem to question the validity of the “ R” rating given to several recent films. T urkey S h o o t: D ir e c te d by: B r ia n T r e n c h a r d S m ith . P r o d u c e r s: A n t o n y I. G in n a n e , W illia m F a y m a n . E x e c u tiv e p ro d u c e r s: J o h n D a ly , B r ia n H e m m in g s . A s s o c ia te producer: B r ia n C ook. S cr e e n p la y : J o n G e o r g e , N e ill H ic k s. D ir e c to r o f p h o to g r a p h y : J o h n M c L e a n . E d ito r : A la n L a k e . P r o d u c tio n d esig n er : B ern a rd H id e s . C o m p o s e r : B r ia n M a y . S o u n d rec o r d ist: P a u l C la r k . C a st: S te v e R a ilsb a c k ( P a u l) , O liv ia H u s s e y (C h ris), N o e l F errier (M a llo r y ), C a r m e n D u n c a n (J e n n ife r ), L y n d a S to n e r (R ita ), M ic h a e l C r a ig (T h a tc h e r ), R o g e r W a r d (R itte r ), M ic h a e l P e tr o v ic h ( T it o ), G u s M e r c u r io ( R e d ), J o h n L e y ( D o d g e ), B ill Y o u n g (G r iff). P r o d u c tio n c o m p a n y : S e c o n d F G H F ilm C o n s o r tiu m . D istr ib u to r : R o a d s h o w . 35 m m . 9 4 m in s . A u s tr a lia . 1 9 8 3 .

On the Road with Circus Oz Jim Schembri

On the Road with Circus Oz is a fairly routine behind-the-scenes look at the far-from-routine Circus Oz. “ Most circuses around today are decadent” , notes a member of the troupe. “ They’re doing things that are 100 years old. So we felt there was nothing wrong with calling ourselves Circus Oz and doing whatever we like.” This attitude seems to typify the un­ orthodox approach Circus Oz takes, openly defying many of the traditional working — and philosophical — codes of mainstream circuses. But while occasionally capturing

Circus Oz

Preparing the Big Top and performing: two aspects o f Zbigniew Friedrich’s On the Road with Circus Oz.

some refreshing aspects of Circus Oz, as members perform and casually chat about their work and background, the film fails to pursue a more inquisitive avenue about the possible political and satirical content of several of their acts. The depiction of the dedicated atti­ tudes and work ethic involved in making Circus Oz work is the most satisfactory element of the film. The troupe’s belief that what they are doing is a way of life (almost a sub­ culture), rather than a mere job, incor­ porates a non-segregated attitude to general chores and performing. Pre­ paring the Big Top, for example, in­ volves the arduous co-operation of each member. A clever parallel is drawn between this teamwork and the interchangeable nature of many of the acts. Performers alternate amongst performing, playing in the troupe’s band and providing commentary for the acts. In fact, the combination of various specialized skills, such as playing music and walking the tight-rope, is testimony to the troupe’s commitment to the exist­ ence and versatility of the company. One of the most heartening, and dis­ tinctive, aspects of Circus Oz is their moderate profit-conscious mentality. While larger ensembles must aim at huge crowds to make money, Circus Oz, because of its small size, mobility and self-sustaining nature, is able to limit its financial ambitions. As one member states, the financial aim each year is to perform from town to town and draw enough crowds to keep eating. But it is questionable whether all this dedication and effort is generated in the name of “ pure entertainment” . And though references to the troupe as

a “ contemporary, anti-nuclear, solarpowered, equal opportunity” circus appear tongue-in-cheek, there are allu­ sions to Circus Oz’s use of the circus medium as a forum to communicate ideas, thoughts and criticisms of a social, satirical or political nature. The issue of Aboriginal land rights, for example, appears to be of some concern, and conviction, to the troupe. While waving about what is claimed to be an Australian flag during one act (with the land rights insignia replacing the Union Jack), one of the troupe bellows out, “ Ban uranium mining.” Media ownership and the police force (as usual) are treated as subjects of satirical concern. In a humorous sketch in which Ned Kelly has trouble being recognized, a colonial policeman trots out into the ring, surrounded by a squad of puppet-like constables who all have pig snouts for noses. The police officer then confidently identi­ fies the outlaw as “ Rupert Murdoch” . Unfortunately, the film fails to inquire into the nature and motiva­ tions of these acts and the particular convictions behind them. One never discerns whether these expressions are more than the anti-establishment, pseudo-radical cliches they appear to be. This proves to be the most un­ settling, and irritating, part of the film. The only issue which comes across as a deeply-felt conviction is the refreshing and welcome non-sexism of Circus Oz. Thankfully, the troupe does not have a dominant ringmaster, nor does it have any of those mindless, scantily-clad (though well-built) females prancing about the ring beaming at the audience while their invariably male partners perform the act.

The film’s lack of inquiry is reflected in two major flaws. First, the film neglects to gauge individual audi­ ence reactions to the Circus Oz per­ formance. This would have proved most worthwhile, in judging the audi­ ence’s response to the show, and whether it appreciated, or perceived, any political or satirical content. Second, greater prominence in the film of some direct, inquisitive inter­ viewing would have given a deeper, more balanced impression of the troupe’s intentions. Snippets of what looks like a question-and-answer session appear at the beginning and end of the film, but these are too brief and deal only tangentially with this aspect of Circus Oz to be of much value. For instance, one certainly would not want to judge the troupe on one of the last, isolated quotes in the film, the notion of which seems to have appeared from nowhere: “ We’ve invented a new form of act­ ing that no one can recognize. They say about us, how nice, enthusiastic, and naive they are. And they go on about our enthusiasm and our boundless energy. Well, it’s all lies. It’s all an act, it’s all pretend.” ★

O n th e R o a d w ith C ir c u s O z: D ir e c te d b y: Z b ig n ie w F r ie d r ic h . P r o d u c e r s : D o n M c L e n n a n , Z b ig n ie w F r ie d r ic h . E x e c u tiv e p ro d u cer: C in e m a E n te r p r ise s P ty L td . D ir e c t o r o f p h o t o g r a p h y : Z b i g n i e w F r ie d r ic h . E d ito r : Z b ig n ie w F r ied rich . M u sic : C ircu s O z . S o u n d rec o r d ist: P a t F is k e . P r o d u c tio n c o m p a n y : U k iy o F ilm s A u str a lia . D istr ib u to r : A u s tr a lia n F ilm I n s titu te . 16 m m . 7 2 m in s . A u str a lia . 1 9 8 3 .

CINEMA PAPERS March — 71


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Sue Tate Published recently, Sexual Strata­ gems comprises 22 essays from various writers, including Molly Haskell, film critic for The Village Voice, and Karyn Kay who, with Gerald Peary, co-edited a previous book on women and film, Women and the Cinema (1977). The latter book, in some ways, pre-empts much of the material included in Sexual Stratagems, with a duplication of articles on Dorothy Arzner, Alice Guy Blache, Germaine Dulac and Lina Wertmuller in subject title if not in content. As well as introductions to each of the two parts of Sexual Stratagems by the editor, Patricia Erens, there is an article by Erens in Part Two, “ The W o m e n ’s C i n e m a ’ ’ , e n t i t l e d “ Towards a Feminist Aesthetic: Reflection-Revolution-Ritual’’, which attempts to “ establish a framework within which to analyze the work of women directors.” (p. 156.) Part One of the book is entitled “ The Male-directed Cinema” . The introduction by Erens states that, “ by the time movies became big business, women as filmmakers were excluded and only one or two small voices remained to represent all womankind” (p. 13). Consequently, the eight essays look at the history of how men have presented women in film and demonstrate approaches for clarifying the treat­ ment of women in film. The essays in Part One are divided into two sections: Section One is “ Images and Distortions” , which deals with the range of female stereo­ types within the traditional film­ making framework. The titles delin­ eate them: “ Popcorn Venus or How the Movies Have Made Women Smaller Than Life” , by Marjorie Rosen, and “ Monster and Victim” by Gerard Lenne. “ Popcorn Venus” traces female characters from Mary Pickford, “ the eternal Child of Vic­ torian Fantasies” (p. 20), through “ flaming flappers, chorus cuties, career gals, femmes fatales, hardboiled babes, long-legged pin-ups, mammary goddesses, husband­ chasing dames, gidgets and whores” (P- 14), the mysterious, androgynous women of Garbo and Dietrich, and up to what Rosen considers to be the more sub­ stantial characters of the 1960s and ’70s: Joanne Woodward in Rachel, Rachel, Jane Fonda in Klute and Glenda Jackson in Sunday Bloody Sunday.

In “ Monster and Victim” , Lenne deals specifically with women’s use as subject matter for titillation in horror films. He chooses for analysis a wide variety of films from the horror genre, including King Kong, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Bride of Franken­ stein. He is critical of the use of “ woman as object” in these films pointing out that “ fear in such films is inseparable from sexual desire: the shriekings of the exquisite victim — such as Fay Wray in King Kong — convey ecstasy as much as terror in the same way that the convulsions and spasms, a half open mouth and eyes

bulging out of their sockets manifest orgasm as much as fear.” Section Two, “ Films Directed by Men” , consists of essays about male directors who are considered to have given sympathetic and unsympathetic treatment to images of women and to the use of woman as symbol. Lucy Fischer, in “ The Image of Woman as Image: The Optical Politics of Dames” , analyzes the stereotyping and stylization of the ‘beautiful’ women in the Busby Berkeley films of the 1930s. She cites the musical number, “ I Only Have Eyes For You” , in Dames in which “ women are not merely similar but disconcertingly identical” . Berkeley speaks in an inter­ view of a particular day of hiring in which he auditioned 723 women to select only three: “ My sixteen regular girls were sitting on the side waiting; so after I picked the three girls I put them next to my special sixteen and they matched just like pearls” (p. 44). Chuck Kleinhans, on the other hand, writing in “ Two Or Three Things That I Know About Her” , dis­ cusses Jean-Luc Godard’s use of females as protagonists and states that his sympathetic use/treatment of women has always been “ remarkable” (p. 73). He gives examples of how he deals with women as symbols rather than as image in his female characters. In Two Or Three Things I Know About Her, the protagonist, Juliette Hanson, is a prostitute and the rela­ tionship between prostitute and client extends to that between worker and economic system. Daniel Serceau in his essay, “ Mizoguchi’s Oppressed Women” , deals with the Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi, whose films concentrate on the role of women in Japanese society during different historic periods (p. 108). In looking at Mizoguchi’s films of the 1950s, Serceau states, “ Mizoguchi’s modern films take place in the underworld of prostitu­ tion. The choice of this setting points to the filmmaker’s concern with the exploitation and oppression of individuals in class society. Pros­ titution appears then as an exemp­ lary case of how individuals are degraded to the status of merchan­ dise, forced by necessity to submit in order to survive” (p. 111). Section Three of Part Two, “ The Women’s Cinema — Films Directed by Women” , also considers the sym­ pathetic and unsympathetic treatments of women in film. Marsha Kinder makes the extravagant claim for Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce — 1080 Brux­ elles in her essay, “ Reflections of

Jeanne Dielman” , that it is “ the most important film to premiere at this year’s Filmex (1975) and the best feature that I have ever seen made by a woman” (p. 248). The protagonist of this film is a woman, Jeanne, for whom part of the daily repetitive life which is the substance of the film is “ sleeping with a man for money” . The element of prostitution is part of the daily routine that constitutes Dielman’s life, rather than a symbol of anything wider. Molly Haskell, writing in “ Lina Wertmuller: Swept Away On A Wave of Sexism” , is critical of Wertmuller’s use of woman as symbol. Talking about such films as Swept Away by an Unusual Destiny in a Blue Sea of August, Wertmuller has claimed that

she uses man as a symbol of the third and oppressed world and woman as symbol for the developed and oppres­ sing world. Consequently, the scenes

of rape relate to the third world rising against its oppressor. She claims to use this inversion of the common connota­ tions of man/woman as oppressor/oppressed to shock people and make them take notice of the broader political message.1 Haskell argues that Wertmuller fails in her purpose as “ a left-wing film­ maker” because “ in the throes of emo­ tional convulsion, political sympathies are swept away by the drama of the individual psyche” (p. 245). The end result, Haskell argues, is that female characters are treated as non-persons, “ the whore, the bitch, the devouring wife” , who get no sympathy from their audiences because of their de-per­ sonalization, and male ones as persons, who perhaps because of the “ stray-dog quality of [Giancarlo] Giannini [Wertmuller’s usual male lead] himself” and his “ huge sad eyes that plead for martyrdom” win the audience’s affection. She concludes that, “ Wertmuller’s male chauvinism, her identification with the male sex, is insidious.” In her essay, “ Approaching the Work of Dorothy Arzner” , Pam Cook looks at the work of Arzner, one of the few women to direct films in Holly­ wood from the 1920s to the ’30s in a system which, after its initial free­ wheeling days with many women working in all areas of the production system, was firmly established as pat­ riarchal. Cook looks at the sense of irony and displacement that Arzner was able to inject into such films as Dance Girl Dance and Merrily We Go To Hell. She maintains that Dance Girl Dance uses the standard stereotypes of vamp/straight girl to “ demonstrate the operation of myth at every level of the film” , whereas Merrily We Go To Hell uses the vamp/straight girl to “ point up contradictions on the level of ideology” (p. 232). She also dis­ cusses the function of image in “ holding representation at a distance” (p. 234). The essays in “ Women as Direc­ tors” in Part Two serve as biography as tribute. “ Out of Oblivion: Alice Guy Blache” , by Francis Lacassin, covers the life of Blache, a French­ woman, now aged 97, who was “ not only the doyenne of women film­ makers” , but “ was the only one to have been in at the birth of cinema” . She built the first Gaumont studio in Buttes-Chaumont, Paris, in the 19th Century. Her career ended in 1920 in the U.S. after making hundreds of films. She was also involved in the founding of four production com­ panies and one distribution company. Ruby Rich writes on Leni Riefen­ stahl in “ Leni Riefenstahl: The Decep­ tive Myth” . Rich traces her career which began as an actor and dancer, “ working first with Max Reinhardt and then with Dr Arnold Franck, as the starring actress/athlete in the popular German genre of mountain films that he developed” (p. 202), through to the making of her own films that were divided between “ romantic fictions celebrating the nobility of the savage” , to the docu­ mentaries made for the Third Reich, including the two she is best known for: Triumph of the Will and Olympia. Rich concludes that by studying Riefenstahl’s work one can “ under­ stand her significance within the Nazi patriarchal pantheon and avoid repeating her mistakes in the context of our own culture” (p. 209). 1. E. Fedita, The Parables o f Lina Wert­ muller, Paulist Press.

CINEMA PAPERS March — 73


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Book Reviews

This statement, with its broad implications for filmmaking hier­ archies and structures, highlights Erens’ attitude to the essays she has edited. In the first section, she aims to demonstrate the representation and misrepresentation of women in films, which in many cases have been limited and stereotyped. Section One in Part Two, “ A Feminist Perspective” , calls for a developed body of feminist film critic­ ism. “ Woman’s Cinema as Counter­ Cinema” , by Claire Johnston, looks at the indicators of ideology prevalent at any given time as they are revealed in film, and in particular looks at the importance of myth as indicator. Julia Lesage, in “ Feminist Film Criticism: Theory and Practice” , proposes a structure for feminist film criticism that works around the anti-hero image. Finally, Erens looks at specific works of female film directors to see what specifically distinguishes them from the works of male directors. She takes Dulac’s The Smiling Madame Beudet (1923), Nelly Kaplan’s A Very Curious Girl (1969), and Vera Chytilova’s Daisies (1966), amongst many others, to see what constitutes a feminist aesthetic. The book concludes with a compre­ hensive filmography which lists the work of contemporary directors, such as Chantal Akerman, as well as the work of early film directors. In the case of a director like Lois Weber, it includes the names of films, prints of which have been lost, as a document of their contribution to the film world. It also notes where the director also wrote the screenplay, such as in the case of Marguerite Duras’ India Song (1975) or co-wrote the script as with Stephanie Rothman on Working Girls USA (1974). The filmography also includes documentary work, shorts and animation. Some of the films listed go as far back as the work of Blache, whose first film was La fee au choux (1897). Ironically, the filmography sup­ ports, as does the book by its omission of any essay on women scriptwriters, that theory which is most heartily criticized in feminist critiques of film­ making: the auteur theory, which is described by the editors of Women and Film as “ an oppressive theory making the director a superstar as if film­ making were a one-man show” (p. 137). Johnston in “ Counter-Cinema” defends the auteur theory as an “ extremely productive way of ordering our experiences of the cinema” (p. 137), although she recognizes that “ some developments of the auteur theory have led to a tendency to deify the personality of the [male] director” (p. 137). In a book in which the editor makes all sorts of claims to be breaking new ground in film criticism, it seems the book leans particularly towards an auteur analysis of film in favor of other considerations, such as the influence of the script on the film as well as that of the director. The other omission in the filmography and the book as a whole is any reference to Australian film or directors. There is also no index. There is a generous amount of photographs in the book but unfor­ tunately they are placed at random beside inappropriate texts, which is disorientating. There is also a great variance in styles in the book, ranging from the informed insouciance of Haskell to the dry polemics of Lesage, which makes for a roller-coaster ride in reading the book.

Kenneth Von Gunden and Stuart H. Stock Arlington House/Davis Publications, $33.95 (HC) Complete, illustrated synopses of 20 of the best science-fiction films fromthe 1930s to the ’70s.

An honest outpouring of Fonda’sfeelings about his life, family and career. Heroes o f the Movies — Charlton Heston John Williams LSP/Imp., $5.95 Heroes o f the Movies — Clint Eastwood Mark Whitman LSP/Imp., $5.95 Heroes o f the Movies — Elizabeth Taylor Susan D’Arcy LSP/Imp., $5.95 Heroes o f the Movies — Liza Minnelli Susan D’Arcy LSP/Imp., $5.95 Heroes o f the Movies — Marlon Brando Bruce Braithwaite LSP/Imp., $5.95 Heroes o f the Movies — Michael Caine Emma Andrews LSP/Imp., $5.95 Heroes o f the Movies — Sean Connery Emma Andrews LSP/Imp., $5.95 Heroes o f the Movies — Vincent Price Ianin F. McAsh LSP/Imp., $5.95 (All the above are thin, illustrated paperbacks covering thecareers and films of thestars.)

Video Screams

Jack Nicholson

Although not breaking the new ground in film criticism that it claims, and which a film criticism magazine like Jump Cut probably does better, Sexual Stratagems does demonstrate various approaches for clarifying the treatment of women in film and is a valuable reference to work of women in historical and contemporary Euro­ pean, North and South American film.

Price Guide and Introduction to Movie Posters and Movie Memorabilia

Recent Releases

Photographs fromThe Kobal Collection Text and captions by Tony Crawley, designed by Ed Caraeff Sidgwick & Jackson/Hutchinson Aust., $12.95 (TPB) A collection of photographs of film stars in cheesecakeandbeefcakeposes, fromthesilentsto today. Mostly black and white with a section in color.

James Dietz, Jnr Baja Press/Imp., $15.95 (TPB) A list of film posters, lobby cards, stills and associated material, with the prices they fetch on thecollectors market in the U.S. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Handbook

Alan Franks Batsford Books/Oxford University Press, $19.95 (HC) A guidetothefilms, thepeopleandthethemesof several hundred science fiction films, from Metropolis to Star Wars. 233 illustrations. Screen Dreams: The Hollywood Pin Up

Mervyn Binns This column lists books on sale in Aus­ tralia up to February 1983, which deal with the cinema and related topics. The publishers and the local distributors are listed below the author in each entry. If no distributor is indicated, the book is imported (Imp.). The recommended prices listed are for paperbacks, unless otherwise indicated, and are subject to variations between bookshops and states. The list was compiled by Mervyn R. Binns of the Space Age Bookstore, Melbourne.

Twenty A ll Time Great Science Fiction Films

John McArty Fantaco Publishers/Imp., $11.15 (TPB) A check-list of horror, science-fictionandfantasy films on video and cassette.

Derek Sylvester Proteus/Doubleday Aust., $14.95 (TPB) The career and films of Academy Award winner Jack Nicholson.

Walt Disney’s World o f Fantasy

Julie Andrews

Adrian Bailey Paper Tiger/WilliamCollins Aust., $39.95 Amazing 3-D A profusely-illustrated book in color, presenting Hal Morgan and David Symmes th e many aspects of the work of Walt Disney Little Brown/Oxford University Press, $18.95 Stu dios. (TPB) The story of the development of photographic What a Drag and cinemagraphic technique of reproducing Homer Dickens three dimensional images, with examples and Angus & Robertson/Angus & Robertson, $12.95 A collection of rare and hilarious photographs glasses. from films featuring actors masquerading as The Art o f Tron w omen, and women asmen. Michael Bonifer Whatever Became o f . . .? Simon &Schuster/Ruth Walls, $9.95 (TPB) The concept art for thescience-fiction filmfrom Richard Lamparski, newupdated version Crown/Davis Publications, $24.95 (HC), $15.25 Disney, Tron, presented in color. (TPB) Bladerunner Portfolio More than 300 two-page biographies of screen, Blue Dolphin Enterprises/Imp., $9.75 tage and television personalities (with photo­ Twelve stills fromthe filmin color, in afolder. s graphs) who have in the main stepped out of the limelight, detailing their most recent activities. The Bladerunner Sketchbook Blue Dolphin Enterprises/Imp., $9.75 (TPB)The World o f Movies — The Good Guys and the Concept and story-board artwork by Syd Mead, Bad Guys David Snyder and director Ridley Scott. Edited by Ann Lloyd Galahad Books/Imp./Dymocks, $6.95 (HC) Cult Movies This title and the following are collections of Danny Peary articles fromMovie magazine. Hutchinson/Hutchinson Aust., $11.95 (TPB) The plot outlines and other details of 100 films, The World o f Movies — Great Classics o f the from the silents to the present, which have Silver Screen remained popular with filmgoers. Edited by Ann Lloyd Galahad Books/Imp./Dymocks, $6.95 (HC) Dr Who — The Making o f a Television Series Alan Road The World o f Movies — Great Movie Posters Andre Deutsch/Hutchinson Aust., $9.95 (HC) Edited by Michael Jay A behind-the-scenes view of the making of an Galahad Books/Imp., $6.95 (HC) episode of Dr Who, covering direction, location The World o f Movies — Heroes o f the Silver filming, make-up, special effects and more. Screen HalliweU’s Hundred Edited by Michael Jay Leslie Halliwell Galahad Books/Imp./Dymocks, $6.95 (HC) Granada/Methuen Aust., $29.95 (HC) Details on 100 recommended films chosen by The World o f Movies — Hollywood Goddesses Leslie Halliwell, the author of The Filmgoers Edited by Michael Jay Galahad Books/Imp./Dymocks, $6.95 (HC) Companion. The World o f Movies — Matinee Idols Portraits The Illustrated Bladerunner of the Stars Edited by David Scroggy Edited by Michael Jay Blue Dolphin Enterprises/Imp., $9.75 (TPB) The complete screenplay by Hampton Fancher Galahad Books/Imp., $6.95 (HC) and David Peoples, with stage directions and (Most, if not all, of thisseriesisbeingdistributed by Dymocks Book Arcade in Sydney.) selectedstory-boards. Popular and General Interest

Keep Watching the Skies

Bill Warren MacFarland Publishers/Imp., $59.95 (HC) A complete and comprehensive survey of the science-fiction films released from 1950 to ’57, each filmbeing discussed in detail. Movies o f the Fifties and Movies o f the Forties Edited by Ann Lloyd Orbis/Trident Books, $19.95 ea. (HC) Moving Pictures: Memories o f a Hollywood Prince

Budd Schulberg Souvenir Press/Hutchinson Aust., $22.95 (HC) Hollywood as it really was in the 1920s and ’30s by oneof its best writers. O f Muppets and Men

Christopher Finch Michael Joseph/Thomas Nelson Aust., $32.50 (HC) The making of the Muppet Show. A profuselyillustrated book showing how this clever showis put together and the personalities who have appeared. Pink Floyd — The Wall Designed by Carroll & Dempsey Avon Books/Ruth Walls, $14.95 (TPB) Full-color illustrations from The Wall, with completelyrics by Roger Waters, photographsby David Appleby and artwork by Gerald Scarfe.

Biographies, Memoirs and Filmographies

Apple Sauce

Michael Wilding astold to Pamela Wilcox Allen & Unwin/Allen & Unwin Aust., $19.95 (HC) The autobiography of British actor, Michael Wilding. Bing Crosby — The Hollow Man Don Shepher and Robert Slatzer Star Books/Gordon &Gotch, $4.95 The unvarnished life story of Bing Crosby. Bob Hope

Charles Thompson Fontana/WilliamCollins, $4.95 The life and career of America’s best-loved comedian.

Robert Windier W. H. Allen/Hutchinson Aust., $22.95 (HC) A biographyof JulieAndrewscoveringher career up to Victor, Victoria. All her films and record­ ings arelisted also. Limelight and After: The Education o f An A ctress

Claire Bloom Wiedenfeld & Nicolson/Hodder Aust., $24.95 (HC) Claire Bloomrecalls theearly years of her career and her work with Charles Chaplin, John Gielgud, LaurenceOlivier andRalph Richardson. Princess Grace 1929-1982

Gwen Robyns Star/Gordon &Gotch, $4.95 A biography of thelate Princess Grace. Richard Burton

Fergus Cashin W. H. Allen/Hutchinson Aust., $22.95 (HC) A personal biography of Richard Burton, by a closeassociate. Sinatra on Sinatra

Compiled by Guy Yarwood W. H. Allen/Hutchinson Aust., $17.95 (HC) A book composed of quotes by Sinatra, covering everything fromhis personal life to his recording and filmcareer. Star Maker The Autobiography of Hal Wallis with Charles Highams Berkley/Imp., $4.25 The career of filmproducer Hal Wallis. The Stooge Chronicles

Jeffrey Forrester Redson Rice Corporation/Imp., $11.95 (TPB) The careers and personal lives of The Three Stooges. Streisand: The Woman and the Legend

James Spada W. H. Allen/Hutchinson Aust., $24.95 (HC) An illustrated biography, co-edited by Chris Nickens, theeditor of the fan magazine Barbra. A Touch o f the Memoirs

Donald Sinden Hodder & Stoughton/Hodder & Stoughton Aust., $19.95 (HC) The autobiography of one of Britain’s most versatile and popular actors.

Directors

Hawks on Hawks

Joseph McBride University of California Press/ANZ Book Co., $29.50 (HC) A complete critical survey of the career of film director Howard Hawks. Ingmar Bergman and the Rituals o f Art

Paisley Livingston Cornell U.P./ANZ Book Co., $33.95 (HC) A critical appraisal of thecinemaof Ingmar Berg­ man. Lewis Milestone

Eddie Fisher W. H. Allen/Hutchinson Aust., $27.95 (HC) The autobiography of thesinger and filmstar.

Joseph Millichap G. K. Hall/Imp., $25.90 A detailedcritical appraisal of thecareer of Lewis Milestone.

The Films o f Shirley MacLaine

Lindsay Anderson

Eddie: My Life and Loves

Christopher Davis Citadel/Davis Publications, $14.30 (TPB) The complete filmography of Shirley MacLaine. Fonda My Life Henry Fonda astold to Howard Teichman W. H. Allen/Hutchinson Aust., $22.95

Allison Graham G. K. Hall/Imp., $27.50 Another titlein this seriescovering thecareers of various filmdirectors. Concluded on p. 79 CINEMA PAPERS March — 75


W HAT HAS 2001SUPERMANAND FOCAL PRESS IN COMMON? .. . Zoran Perisic, inventor of the Zoptic System, which gave the special effects for “2001” and “Superman”! Perisic details in his book Special Optical Effects, an exhaustive treatm ent of Special Effects which he has discovered during his career (over 500 film credits) and reveals those he perfected himself.

The Animation Stand

Other m edia manuals in the Focal Press Series are written by experts in the state of the art like Zoran Perisic. These books, above all, are easy to use and learn from as they are m ade up of double page spreads and inter-related text and illustration.

I Motto Picture

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The Media Manual Series 16mm Film Cutting - Burder 166 pages $14.50, The Animation Stand - Perisic 168 pages $15.00, Basic Film Technique - Daley 160 pages $17.95, Basic TV Staging - Millerson 176 pages $14.95, Creating Special Effects for TV & Films -Wilkie 160 pages $15.00, Effective TV Production - Millerson 192 pages $19.00, The Lens in Action - Ray 202 pages $17.95, The Lens and All Its Jobs - Ray 160 pages $14,50, Local Radio - Redfern 164 pages $14.00, Motion Picture Camera Data - Samuelson 172 pages $19.50, Motion Picture Camera Techniques - Samuelson 200 pages $19.50, Motion Picture Camera & Lighting Equipment - Samuelson 220

pages $19.50, Script Continuity and The Production Secretary Rowlands 160 pages $15.00, Scriptwriting for Animation Hayward 160 pages $19.00, The Small Television Studio - Equipment and Facilities - Bermingham et.al, 164 pages $14.50, TV Camera Operation - Millerson 160 pages $14.50, TV Sound Operations - Alkin 176 pages $14.50, The Use of Microphones - Nisbett 168 pages $19,00, Using Videotape 2nd Ed. -

Robinson/Beards 172 pages $19.00, Your Film & The Lab - Happe 208 pages $19.00. Order from your local bookseller, or in case of difficulty from: FOCAL PRESS: A Division of BUTTERWORTHS PTY LIMITED, 271-273 Lane Cove Road, North Ryde, NSW 2113 Telephone (02) 887 3444

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BOX-OFFICE CROSSES DO!

TITLE

PERIOD 14.11.82 to 22.2.83

CT

& %

SYD.2

MLB.

(10*)

(10*)

PTH

ADL

(2*)

(2*)

52,628

55,444

BRI.

COL

311,073 277,584

The Year of Living Dangerously

(5*)

(5*)

(5*)

(6*)

UIP

230,794

154,418

74,942

97,754

(10*)

(10*)

Hoyts

(10*)

(5)

(4)

140,714

138,929

66,264

33,535

35,472

(10*/1)

(3)

(3 */1 )

(3)

(3/2*)

RS

90,503

4931

34,408

17,333

9883

(5*)

(5*)

(5*)

(6*)

(5*)

Ginger Meggs

Hoyts

58,187

31,514

8377

16,145

27,550

OTH

(4)

(1)

(4)

(2)

Lonely Hearts

36,405

12,112

33,294

12,898

(2)

Mad Max 2

GUO

(3)

N/A

N/A

Turkey Shoot

OTH

Norman Loves Rose

GUO

12,810

The Pirate Movie

FOX

1408

Monkey Grip

Foreign Total0

Rank

696,729

1

557,908

2 3

(9*)

(9*)

(9*)

(9*)

(9*)

414,914

157,001

163,217

94,062

74,938

120,573

4

(6*/6*)

157,058

(2*)

147,145

10,381

141,773

5

94,709

6

SYD.

MLB.

PTH

ADL.

BRI.

Total $

Rank

N/A

29,366

29,366

8

609,791

1

157,526

3

(3*)

(2*)

42,244

48,710

90,954

6

140,032

4

113,824

5

7

(2)

16,035

16,035

8

12,810

(7)

(7)

(3/1)

(2)

9

49,174

59,045

22,840

8973 (4)

(8*)

10

(3)

(2)

1408

31,722

9874

9435

62,793

(2)

(1)

N/A

635,523

269,913

N/A

87,123

4,797,001 3,933,268 2,262,164 1,390,380 1,937,011

N/A 14,319,824

Grand Total t Not for publication, but ranking correct. * Figures exclude N/A figures. • Box-office grosses of individual films have been supplied to C in e m a P a p e rs by the Australian Film Commission, o This figure represents the total box-office gross of all foreign films shown during the period in the area 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.

(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 Commission; SAFC — South Australian Film Corporation; MCA — Music Corporation of America; S — Sharmill Films; OTH — Other (21 Figures are drawn from capital city and Inner suburban first release hardtops only. (3) Split figures indicate a multiple cinema release.

Box-Office

CINEMA PAPERS M arch

Australian Total

Total $

(1*)

We of the Never Never

The Man From Snowy River

PERIOD 12.9.82 to 13.11.82


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Book Reviews

Book Reviews Continued from p. 75 Samuel Goldwyn Laurence J. Epstein Twayne/G. K. Hall/Imp., $25.95 (HC) A comprehensive volume detailing the work of producer Samuel Goldwyn.

David Shipman Hodder & Stoughton/Hodder & Stoughton Aust., $39.95 (HC) A comprehensive history of the cinema. Illus­ trated with a foreword by Ingmar Bergman. The Vanishing Legion Jon Tuska McFarland Pub./Im p., $26.95 (HC) A history o f the American Film company Mascot Pictures, from 1927 to ’35.

g m m

AOSTE a ; { AN

M O TIO N PIC TU R E YEARBOOK.

Reference Criticism The Cinema o f Cruelty Andre Bazin Grove/Seaver/Imp., $13.30 (TPB) A collection of the writings of the celebrated French film critic Andre Bazin, selected by Francois Truffaut. Currents in Japanese Cinema Essays by Tadao Saxo, translated by Gregory Barrett Kodansha/Bookwise, $34.75 (HC) A survey o f the Japanese cinema by Japan’s leading film critic. Illustrated. Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible A Neoformalist Analysis Kristin Thompson Princeton U .P ./A N Z Book Co., $28.50 (TPB) A thorough analysis of this famous film. A series of consecutive frame stills from the film is a most worthwhile innovation. The H ollywood Musical Jane Feuer Indiana U .P ./Im p., $13.30 (TPB) An insight into the Hollywood musical films and why they are so popular. Ideology and Image Bill Nichols Indiana U .P ./Im p., $16.70 (TPB) Social representation in the cinema and other media. Illustrated with hundreds of stills. The New Italian Cinema R. T. Whitcombe Seeker and Warburg/Heinemann Aust., $24.95 (HC), $17.50 (PB) An account o f the work of Italian film directors during the past two decades. Popular Television and Film Edited by Tony Bennett, Susan Boyd-Bowman, Colin Mercer and James Woollacott British Film Institute/Gaumont Books, $15.60 (TPB) A collection o f essays on media studies, trends in analyzing films, and the forms and meanings of films. Set as an Open University Text in Britain. Profane M ythology The Savage Mind of the Cinema Yvette Biro Indiana U .P ./Im p., $13.30 (TPB) The film as popular expression rather than as an art form. An expansion of the theme. Cinema History The Documentary Film in Australia Edited by Ross Lansell and Peter Beilby Cinema Papers/Film Victoria/Cinema Papers, $12.95 (TPB) The first comprehensive history of the Australian documentary film, by 50 researchers, through its evolution to the state of the art today.

Film Review 1982-1983 Maurice Speed W. H. Allen/Hutchinson Aust., $27.95 (HC) The latest volume in this long-running series, surveying the films released in Britain during the past year. The Film Yearbook 1983 Edited by A1 Clark Virgin Books/Thomas Nelson Aust., $18.95 (TPB) An illustrated survey of the films released during the year, presented in an interesting and graphic style. M ovies on TV 1982-83 Edited by Steven H, Scheur Bantam/Transworld, $5.95 A new, expanded edition. The Illustrated Book o f Film Lists Dafydd Red and Barry Lazell Virgin Books/Thomas Nelson Aust., $7.95 A book catering for the current trend for trivia lists. Illustrated. Screenplays Collected TV Plays 2 David Mercer John Calder/Thomas Lothian, $11.95 A Suitable Case fo r Treatment and five other tele­ plays. Film Making Techniques Technique o f Lighting f o r Television and Motion Pictures Gerald Millerson, 2nd edition Focal Press/Butterworth, $49.00 A unique and comprehensive study of the use of lighting equipment. Education and Media Broadcasting Law and Policy in Australia Mark Armstrong Butterworth/Butterworth, $29.50 (HC) The definitive text on the subject, with explana­ tion and analysis, plus thorough cross reference to all aspects. The Mass Media in Australia J. S. Western and Colin A. Hughes University of Queensland Press/U.Q.P., $19.95 (HC), $9.95 (TPB) An assessment o f the changes in the media scene in Australia and the stronger influence of tele­ vision than of the press. A Photo Album — The AB C From 1932-1982 Compiled by Jack Bennett and others The ABC/Hodder & Stoughton, $9.95 (TPB) A fasdnating collection of photographs illustra­ ting the history of the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

“ Just w hen m y tattered cop y o f the Australian Motion Picture Yearbook was seem ing ou t o f date the 1983 edition arrived, and once again I have at m y fingertips, a reference b ook par excellence. Certainly n o one connected in any w ay with the film industry can affo rd to be w ithout i t .”

Screen International N ovem ber 27, 1982 “ the Australian Motion Picture Yearbook 1983, a definitive tom e to b u ffs, investors and interested innocent b ystan d ers.”

Adelaide Advertiser D ecem ber 9, 1982

On Television! A Survival Guide for Media Interviews Jack Hilton and Mary Knoblauch Amacom/The Australian Institute of Manage­ ment, $7.95 (TPB) How to talk to the public and the press. Expert advice for the interviewers and interviewees.

“ rapidly becom ing the Bible o f the A ustralian film industry.”

Television — The Medium and Its Manners Peter Conrad Routledge & Kegan Paul/Cambridge U.P. Aust., $10.50 (TPB) A discussion o f television and its various versions o f reality. Video in Education and Training James Mclnnes Focal Press/Butterworth, $26.00 (HC) A book covering the whole field of video equip­ ment and usage.

“ A s a source o f b oth basic and esoteric in fo rm a tio n , the first tw o editions o f Australian Motion Picture Year­ book were great value. So is the third ed ition (for 1983). It also contains m uch m ore entertaining general reading than its predecessors.”

Truth

N ovem ber 27, 1982

Age

D ecem ber 9, 1982 Novels and Other Film Tie-Ins Tom A Child’s Life Regained John Embling Penguin/Penguin Books Aust., $3.95 A film based on the true story by the director of the Families in Distress Foundation and his work to re-establish a young boy’s life.

H ollywood — The First Hundred Years Bruce Torrence New York Zoetrope/Gaumont, $19.95 (TPB) An illustrated history o f Hollywood, the place as well as the cinema industry. The Story o f Cinema Volume 1: From the Beginnings to Gone With the Wind

The Wrath o f Khan — Star Trek II Vonda McIntyre Futura/Doubleday Aust., $4.50 The novel based on the popular science-fiction film. The Year o f Living Dangerously C. J. Koch Sphere/Thomas Nelson Aust., $4.95 The award-winning novel that has now been made into an outstanding film starring Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver, directed by Peter Weir. ★

“ an indispensable reference b o o k for anyone with m ore than a passing interest in film .”

National Times

January 9, 1983

‘It deserves a medal for services to the industry . . . ” Peter Rix Peter Rix Management

To order, see middle section. CINEMA PAPERS March — 79


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Financing Australian Films

Financing Australian Films Continued from p. 25

Dealing with the End

costs are allowed. The producer’s fee (including the producer’s brokerage fees) should, however, be closely scrutinized for non-capital expenditure — similarly, legal expenses; stills camera work; assets with a residual value at the end of a film, which are accorded only their net cost; contingency; and, finally, advance publicity, which is not regarded as Division 10BA expenditure. Underwriting is a grey area, as is pre-production expenses, such as script development, signing-on fees, etc. Who can claim these “ very generous” deductions? Well, it must be in the same year that copyright came into existence (the investor must have an interest in the answer print); and it must produce assessable income. A distribution agreement with an associate of the producer “ might be sufficient” . And as for actual exhibition? Well, “ three people make a crowd.” The investment must actually be “ at risk” — as opposed to the previously-mentioned notorious “ non-recourse” loans. A pre-sale will not necessarily reduce the investor’s risk. The key word in Section 124 ZAM: “ No deduction unless expenditure at risk” (also from Subdivision B) is “ enabling” which doesn’t mean inducing: a loan may be facilitated through a pre-sale, but it must not be dependent on it. Each dollar spent can come under three headings: capital expenditure under the benevolent auspices of Division 10BA; capital expenditure outside Division 10BA (in that case, preferably government film bodies investment for script or project development or marketing); and, finally, revenue expenditure. “ It is clearly in the interests of the investor to have as much as possible of his investment allocated to direct production expenditure” , observes Harvey. As for the return of 50 per cent of net income, there are two important considerations to bear in mind: those standing in line in front of the investors should be as few as possible; and Section 23 para (q): “ Exempt film income” . This section effectively prevents the granting of world-wide rights to an entity outside Australia. The exhibition rights must be granted in the same country which provides the incomes and taxes that income. Any other income is regarded as assessable income. There is no double­ tax treaty with the U.S. yet (maybe after April). This whole question is an “ interesting area” , if not a problematic one. Harvey understandably concludes that a “ thorough acquaintance” with the complexities of the Income Tax Assessment Amendment Act is necessary; indeed, its intricacies can be something of a mine-field, a “ maze of legalese” for the producer without proper (and probably expensive) legal and accounting advice.

NEW SOUTH WALES GOVERNMENT

DISTRIBUTION AND EXHIBITION OF AUSTRALIAN FILMS IN NEW SOUTH WALES A Commission of Inquiry has been appointed by the Premier (The Hon Neville K Wran QC MP) to inquire and report upon what action the New South Wales Government might take to ensure an appropriate proportion of film distributed and exhibited in New South Wales are Australian films. Organisations and individuals involved in the making, distributing and exhibiting motion pictures in New South Wales may be requested to meet the Com­ mission to discuss matters relating to the Inquiry. Parties interested, especially those actively and professionallyinvolved in the Australianfilm industry are invited to forward written submissions on the subject matter by the 18thMarch 1983 addressedto the Secretary to the Inquiry (Box 1744 GPO Sydney 2001) For enquiries telephone Mrs Susan Bunting (02)27 5575. Susan Bunting BA LL B Secretary to Inquiry. 090505

Product: Marketing Australian Films A lan Finney At last, light relief from someone dressed in a white rabbit suit; one assumed that it was Alan Finney, the director of marketing for Village Theatres and Roadshow Distributors, not a rodent “ replicant” from its Christmas release, Blade Runner.

The marketing gospel according to Finney (and to the equally-venerable Tanen at the outset of this piece) is the clever people do not really know how to entice an audience into a cinema: “ nobody knows” , in Finney’s oft-repeated phrase. What makes Robert Wise’s The Sound of Music into one of the all-time top 10 hits (close to $80 million, unadjusted for infla­ tion, theatrical rentals in North America alone to date) and the similarly constructed Star (even under a new title Those Were the Happy Days) into a classic flop just three years later (its negative cost was $15 million, its North American rental was a little more than $4 million, again unadjusted for inflation)? There is one school of thought that emphasizes the formulaic or genre aspect of filmmaking; the other goes for novelty value. Again, “ Neither knows.” (In fact it may well be a canny, or uncanny, combination of both, of tradition and innovation.) Well, then, why do producers shell out money to distributors — on the distinct off-chance that they both make money, or to gamble together on fickle public taste (more likely, they sink together)? Seriously, the distributor’s role ranges from working out an appropriate promotion budget to characteriz­ ing a film for a potential, probably specific audience. This overall campaign can cost the distributor (not necessarily the producer) from $80,000 to $450,000, spread over, say, a six-month period. So there is no such thing as free advertising, or informal satellite chats on The Don Lane Show, it only looks so (hopefully). The distributor’s role is to determine, as best he can, what film goes best where. He may be lumbered with product overflow, as some distributors are, so there may be no fixed date available; the releases may be programmed sequentially. Then there is the problem of programming particular cinemas. The recent Lonely Hearts (Paul Cox), for some reason, performed better, per capita, in one suburban Melbourne cinema than in a city complex. Related programming problems are: single versus multiple release; down-time versus peak periods such as Easter and Christmas in Australia (a film may indeed be better off when business is slow); and competition from the Hollywood majors. Even the last-mentioned do not necessarily have smooth sailing. Finney cited the case of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Made for no less than $27 million, its North American rental so far has been only $14.5 million. Village-Roadshow had received promotional material from the U.S. and Britain, and, using this material as a basis, devised a campaign for the Australian market. On a test run, they found that the Australian version worked: it was No. 4 in Australia in the New Year, after (inevitably) E.T. The Extraterrestrial, Night Shift (a bit of a flop elsewhere) and The Man from Snowy River.

This is what the producer pays the distributor to come up with — a “ creative concept” that galvanizes the marketplace; one cannot rely solely on pre­ existing audience demographics and research. In fact, Finney is rather against sophisticated research, relying simply on sneak previews with either a Porky’s audience at one end of the market or the Rivoli, in Melbourne, at the other (the infallible word of mouth tactic). How do you in fact sell a film? The cut-throat answer is: the time it takes for a television commer­ cial. “ If the producer can’t do that, forget the film.” He has to be “ ruthless” and describe his film in “ positive, attractive terms” in that brief electronic flash. The key question, then, is: what does the ad (whether press, radio or television) communicate?

Surprisingly, it may, quite deliberately, not be clear communication; sometimes the trick is in not telling the audience what the film is actually about. The plot may not necessarily be the essence of the film. With respect to the breakdown of the various media: tele­ vision is obviously the instant image that irrevocably commits the distributor for better or for worse; the press, equally surprisingly, may be the “ most diffi­ cult” and “ frustrating” of all, in that, for one reason, there are certain “ conventions” to abide by; whereas, radio is “ freer” . Some final pearls of wisdom from our rabbit friend: never promise either wrong things or promise too much, either in the short or long term. Austra­ lian films have to be both “ commercial” and “ worthy” (as with Breaker Morant and Peter Weir’s Gallipoli); with the underdogs (such as Lonely Hearts), you probably need overseas approval. And “ we don’t know” again.

The Private Business Sector of the Australian Film Industry A n th on y B uckley The official voice of this private business sector is the Film and Television Production Association of Australia, of which producer Tony Buckley is president. With its various production divisions, such as feature film producers, documentary film­ makers and television program producers, it can be regarded as the ‘employers’ federation’ of the industry, the role of which is basically to maintain good relations with other organizations, guilds and unions. Some of the issues the FTPAA has recently tackled have included the problems associated with Division 10BA and the virtual cessation of feature film pro­ duction (a state of affairs hopefully to be reversed in the not-too-distant future); the Section 51 (l)-UAA imbroglio; the continuing (and extremely expensive) prospectus problem (hopefully to be resolved by the issuing of a fairly standard prospectus); Australian content provisions particularly vis-a-vis the recent, stringent Actors’ Equity guidelines; a production safety code; ancillary rights, particularly with respect to video cassettes and discs; sales tax; Film Aus­ tralia’s venturing into private fund raising (a “ particularly controversial issue” ); and overseas computer animation. The FTPAA’s basic concern is for a viable “ Aus­ tralian” film industry (easy enough to pump for, harder to define, but certainly “ not the film industry of another country on location in Australia” , in the words of the former Minister for Home Affairs, lan Wilson), with increasingly heavy private sector involvement, plus government film bodies continu­ ing financial support (for script and project development, for instance, particularly when only about one in 30 scripts actually gets made), resulting hopefully in quality Australian films — recently characterized by mid-Pacific producer Tony Ginnane as “ overpriced, uncommercial and un­ marketable products” .9 Yet more avuncular advice: do your homework; ask yourself why budget figures are what they are; and remember that the film business is a high-risk business. Overseas, according to Buckley, there is a success-failure rate of about one in 14; in Australia, excluding 1981-82’s abnormal output, it is about one in nine. On that fairly good note, we finally end this marathon consideration of high finance and blind faith. + 9. See Harry Robinson’s controversial “ The real spectre that haunts the industry” , Sydney Morning Herald, No. 45,187 (October 27, 1982), p. 6, and Letters to the Editor in reply by Michael Crosby, federal secretary of Actors’ Equity, and Joseph Skrzynski, Sydney Morning Herald, No. 45,190 (October 30, 1982), p. 12; John Morris, Sydney Morning Herald, No. 45,202 (November 13, 1982), p. 12; and Tony Ginnane in defence of UAA (a now fairly academic matter), Sydney Morning Herald, No. 45,215 (November 29, 1982), p. 6.

CINEMA PAPERS March — 81


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Film Censorship Listings

Agnes Varda Continued from p. 35 quality which is so boring — a pretentious sense of quality which I just hate. Thank God, I am not distinguished enough to have to do that. It doesn’t mean I don’t read, that I am stupid or don’t like music — I just don’t need to express in every shot that I have read this and that. I could skip some of the Karl Marx references, which are so typical. Why have you chosen to live in the U.S. and not France?

It is true that I went away two years ago because I was bored in the French environment. But I came back to vote in the new election. I was so thrilled because for the First time in my life I was not voting for the loser. I feel like coming back to France to stay, not that it will be easy but

Film Censorship Listings Continued from p. 53

October 1982

Agnes Varda

at least the general spirit has to be slightly different. However, I haven’t finished what I am doing, so I am leaving in three or four days to return to Los Angeles. I made another film after Murs murs, which is like the shadow of it. It is a fiction film, and fiction is the shadow of documentary. I also w rote an A m erican screenplay, which I hope to film. But I haven’t signed a deal yet. If there are difficulties with the deal, I will come back to France towards the end of the year. What effects will the political changes in France have for filmmakers?

We need government subsidies for films, like you do in Australia. But there isn’t enough money, so competition is fierce. Every month there are 20 odd applications and they only give money to three. You usually need about $200,000 or Humongous: Embassy Pictures, U.S./Canada, 2496.13 m, Hoyts, Vff-m-j) Island of Death: Penta Films, Spain/Britain, 2486 m, PBL Video, V(i-m-j) Jeanne Dlelmann 23 quai du commerce: Paradise Film/Unite Trois, Belgium, 2106.42 m, Australian Film Institute, Ofadult theme) L’arrivlsta (8mm): A. Genoves, Italy, 500 m, Embassy of Italy, Sfi-m-g) Les plouffe: D. Heroux, Canada, 4608.24 m, Canadian High Commission, Sfi-m-j), Vfi-l-j) The Man With the Deadly Lens: R. Brooks, U.S., 3209 m, Fox Columbia Film Dist., Vff-m-g) Milosc ci wszystko wybaczy (16mm): Film Polski, Poland, 1316 m, Polish Consulate General, Ofadult concept)

Films Registered Without Eliminations For General Exhibition (G) The Autumn Sun: Armen Film, Soviet Union, 2284 m, Ararad Enterprises The Big Prize: Armen Film, Soviet Union, 2258 m, Ararad Enterprises Fluteman (16mm): Independent Prods, Australia, 910.51 m, Independent Prods Mere mehboob: Rahil Theatres, India, 4510 m, SKD Film Dist. One Chance to Win!: Zephyr Films, U.S., 2064 m, Crystal Film Corp. Raggedy Ann and Andy: R. Horner, U.S., 2356 m, Filmways A’sian Dist. Six is Company (16mm): Not shown, Hong Kong, 1097 m, Chinese Cultural Centre Swan Lake: Tou Animation, Japan, 2136 m, Crystal Film Corp. The Up Train (16mm): Taiwan Film, Taiwan, 1042.15 m, Chinese Cultural Centre

Monslgnor: 20th Century Fox, U.S., 3319 m, Fox Columbia Film Dist., Ofadult concepts) Old Boyfriends: Avco Embassy, U.S., 2770 m, Seven Keys Films, Ofadult themes) Record of Blood: May Plan, Hong Kong, 2496 m, Joe Siu Int’l Film Co., Vfl-m-j) Ruckus (16mm): P. Maslansky, U.S., 1009.85 m, Amal­ gamated 16mm Film Dist., V(f-l-g), Lfi-m-g) Sette baschi rossi (8mm): M. Siciliano, Italy, 580 m, Embassy of Italy, Vff-m-g) Shirln’s hochzeit (Shirin’s Wedding): WDR, W. Ger­ many, 3264.17 m, Australian Film Institute, Ofadult con­

For Restricted Exhibition (R) Blood Song: All State Film Co., U.S., 2468.70 m, Hoyts Dist., Vff-m-g) Bloody Birthday: G. Olson, U.S., 2310.70 m, Int’l Film Dist. (Aust.), Vff-m-g), Sfi-l-g) CB Hustlers (videotape): Interworld, U.S., 76 mins, PBL Video, Sff-m-g) Chameleon (16mm): J. Jost, U.S., 965.36 m, Australian Film Institute, Ofdrug abuse, sexual concepts) Champagne for Breakfast (videotape): Lima Prods, U.S., 80 mins, Roadshow Dist., Sff-l-g), Lfi-m-g) Class of 1984: A. Kent, U.S., 2633.28 m, Roadshow Dist., Sfi-m-g , Vfi-m-g) Dirty County: E de Priest, U.S., 2002 m, 14th Mandolin, Sfi-m-g), Vfi-m-g) Don't Go Near the Park (videotape): L. Foldes, U.S., 80 mins, Axlip/AS Intervision, Vff-m-g) Een vrow als Eva: M. van Heyningen, Netherlands, 2700 m, Australian Film Institute, Sfi-m-g) Endangered Species: MGM, U.S., 2633.28 m, United Int’l Pictures, Vfi-m-g), Lfi-m-g) Haunted (videotape) (a): Not shown, U.S., 37 mins, Rahima Prods, Sff-m-g) The Imprisoned: Wang Feng, Hong Kong, 2509 m, Comfort Films Enterprises, Vff-m-g) The Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio (videotape): Xerxes Prod. Co., U.S., 79 mins, Axlip, Sfi-m-g), Vfi-m-g) Nude Wives Extravaganza (videotape): Electric Blue, Britain, 57 mins, Electric Blue (A’sia), Sff-m-g) Once Upon a Girl (videotape): J. Siebel, U.S., 76 mins, Video Classics, Sff-m-g), Ofadult cartoon) The Pornbrokers (reduced version) (b): J. Lindsay/L. Barnett, Britain, 2633.28 m, Blake Films (Vic.), Sff-m-j) Rock Fever (videotape): C. Stevens, U.S., 90 mins, PBL Video, Sfi-m-g), Lff-m-g) Sex Maniac's Guide to the USA (videotape): R. Vanderbebes, U.S., 59 mins, Electric Blue (A’sia),

For Mature Audiences (M) The Animals: R. Bakalyan, U.S., 2272 m, 14th Mandolin, V(f-m-g) Barracuda (The Lucifer Project): Republic, U.S., 2550.99 m, 14th Mandolin, V(i-m-g) Black Cavalry: J. Northern, U.S., 2119 m, 14th Mandolin, Vfi-m-g), O(nudity) The Clan of Righteousness: First Films, Hong Kong, 2603 m, Comfort Films Enterprises, V(f-m-g) The Cruel War: P.T. Insantra Film, Hong Kong, 2667 m, Comfort Films Enterprises, V(f-m-j) Deadly Games: R. Dryden, U.S., 2578.42 m, Int’l Film Dist. (Aust.), S(l-m-g), Vff-m-g) Game of Death II: R. Chow, U.S./Hong Kong, 2710 m, Filmways A ’sian Dist., S(i-l-j), V(f-m-g) Germany, Pale Mother: U. Ludwig, W. Germany, 3895.06 m, Australian Film Institute, Ofadult concepts) God’s Gun (16mm): M. Golan, Italy, 1059.06 m, Amal­ gamated 16mm Film Dist., V(f-m-g), O fsexual violence)

Yes. They give it to first films, women, foreigners; it’s very open. However, they only give three a month and, if you don’t get that start, it’s very difficult. Do established filmmakers also get grants?

Yes, Resnais, Robert Bresson — poor Bresson wouldn’t shoot a film if he wasn’t helped by the State. So you are hoping for more money to be available with the new government. . .

Yes. They will find a way to help filmmakers. Maybe they will make funds available to other cities. It’s always Paris, so far; they should Wild Boys (8mm): R. Tait/M. Reid, Australia, 280 m, Deirdre Beck, Sfi-m-g), Lfi-m-g) (a) Previously shown on March 1982 list as The Pos­ session. (b) Previously shown on March 1974 list. (c) Previously shown on May 1982 list.

Films Registered With Eliminations For Restricted Exhibition (R) Fast Times: A. Linson/Azoff, U.S., 2413.84 m, United Int’l Pictures, Lff-m-g), O fsexual concepts) Deletions: 0.7 m (2 secs) Reason for deletions: O fsexual activity involving a minor) Hot Connections (videotape) (a): J. Haig, U.S., 83 mins, Blake Films (Vic.), Sff-m-g) Deletions: not listed Reason for deletions: Sfi-h-g) (a) Previously shown on June 1975 list.

Filmography: Agnes Varda 1954 1957 1958 1958 1961 1963 1965 1966 1967

La p oin te cou rte O sa iso n s, O ch â tea u x L ’op era m ouffe Du c o té de la c ô te C léo de 5 à 7 S a lu t le s cubains L e bonheur L es creatu res L oin du V ietn am (in collaboration

with

other directors) 1967 1968 1969 1970 1975 1975 1976

U n c le Y an co B la c k P an th ers L ion s Love N a u sic a a (never released) D agu erre o ty p es R ép on se de fem m es L ’une ch an te l ’autre p as (O ne S in g s, the O ther D o e s n ’t) 1980 M u rs m urs (W a lls , W a lls) 1981 D ocu m en teu r

Films Refused Registration Deutschland Privet: Robert van Ackeren, W. Germany, 2273 m, Australian Film Institute, Sff-h-g) The Family Secret (videotape): Not shown, U.S., 49 mins, Rahima Prods, Sfi-h-g) Hard Times (videotape): Not shown, U.S., 60 mins, Rahima Prods, Sff-h-g) The Health Spa (overseas reduced version): W. Ward/Capa, U.S., 60 mins, Blake Films (Vic.), Sff-h-g) Mother Truckers (videotape): Not shown, U.S., 34 mins, Rahima Prods, Sfi-h-g) Sheri's Holiday (videotape): Not shown, Britain, 51 mins, Rahima Prods, Sff-h-g) Three Fantasies (videotape): Not shown, U.S., 42 mins, Rahima Prods, Sff-h-g) Ultra Flesh: Svetlan, U.S., 1896 m, AZ Associated Film Dist., Sfi-h-g) Walking Tall: The Killing of McNeall County’s Child­ ren (16mm): M. Swope, U.S., 545 m, TCN, Ofdrug abuse)

Note: The title of film shown as Dark Eyes (March 1982 list) has been altered to Satan’s Mistress. - f a

cepts)

Not Recommended for Children (NRC)

V(i-m-j), Ofadult concept)

Are grants given to people making their first films?

give money to people from Bordeaux or Brittany. They should be able to make films in their own language, even if theirs isn’t a large audience. It would be m ore democratic to irrigate the culture and not just give to the snobbish capital, Paris. ★

Sketches of a Strangler: Cavalcade Pictures, U.S., 2482 m, Hoyts Dist., Vff-m-g) Smithereens: S. Seidelman, U.S., 2459 m, Le Clezio Films, Lff-m-g) Ta’ det som en mand true (Take It Like A Man Ma’am): E. Rygard, Denmark, 2565.70 m, Australian Film Institute, Ofadult themes) Voyage en douce: H. Moline/J. Beldent, France, 2633.28 m, Valhalla Films, O fse x u a l co n ce p ts)

Beyond Reasonable Doubt: Endeavour Prods, New Zealand, 2935 m, Roadshow Dist., O femotional stress) The Big Boss (a): First Films, Hong Kong, 2334 m, Comfort Films Enterprises, V(f-l-j) Carry on Pickpocket: Always Good Prods, Hong Kong, 2733 m, Golden Reel Films, V(i-l-g) Cat vs Rat: Wong Ka Hee, Hong Kong, 2677 m, Joe Siu Int’l Film Co., V(i-l-j) The 82 Tenants: Shaw Bros, Hong Kong, 2426 m, Joe Siu Int’l Film Co., V(i-l-g), L(i-l-g), O fsexual innuendo) Evening News (16mm): Chin Pei Ch’ung, Hong Kong, 1119.20 m, Chinese Cultural Centre, Ofadult theme) Madron: Henigman/Weaver, U.S., 2441 m, 14th Mandolin, L(i-l-g), O(nudity) The Sweet Creek County War (16mm): K. Byrnes/F. James, U.S., 1083.36 m, Amalgamated 16mm Film Dist., V(f-l-g), L(i-l-g) The Switch (16mm): Not shown, Hong Kong, 1064 m, Chinese Cultural Centre, V(i-l-j) Tex: Disney, U.S., 2770.43 m, Greater Union Film Dist., Vabank (Go For Broke) (16mm): Film Polski, Poland, (a) Not identical with The Big Boss (September 1981 list) or Big Boss (September 1982 list).

$300,000 before a distributor is interested.

Why are most Hollywood films shot using Bosco filters For further information on the largest rang e o f lig h tin g filters in the w orld,

contact the sole Australian agents for Rosco,

Sff-m-g)

Spring in Hong Kong: J. Chen, Hong Kong, 2780 m, Golden Reel Films, Sff-m-g) The Stimulant (second reconstructed version) (16mm) (c): Not shown, U.S., 515.59 m, 14th Mandolin, Sff-m-g) A Taste of Hell (videotape): J. Garwood, U.S., 83 mins, K and C Video, Vff-m-g) Terror Eyes: Lorimar Prods, U.S., 2386.41 m, Road­ show Film Dist., Vff-m-g) Torrid Wave: Sunrise Films, Hong Kong, 2605.85 m, Golden Reel Films, Sfi-m-g)

CINEMA PAPERS March — 83


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The Biography Industry

The Biography Industry Continued from p. 39

acting involved — just being yourself.” Well, success; the others rely less on Redford’s the sort of self Streisand projects is no doubt a undoubted charisma than on his persistently heightened version of the real thing, though, as thoughtful approach. The list — and the range Spada suggests, there’s some complex raw of roles, several of them largely unsympathetic material to draw on. He records her working — — suggests an unusually serious attitude he energy is not so much suppressed and other — relations with leading man Omar towards a career. He is as ready to play as harnessed in JANE FONDA’s Sharif and director William Wyler, and offers unlikable egoists as a high-minded newspaper­ most exciting film work. Even in a a range of critical responses to the final man (All the President’s Men) or prison warder (Brubaker). curiously under-written role like that product. If there is an element of the monster in her, At this stage of his career, it seems Redford of Lillian Heilman in Julia, and, Spada concedes something like this, it is may turn more to directing after his first Oscarfine as she is, she gives the impression and of being able, and wanting, to do more than the role partly to be explained by the awe in which some winning success with the low-key family drama, asks for or allows. Streisand may have glowed of her colleagues (e.g., comparatively weak Ordinary People. By 1980, Downing tells us, brighter for a while but Fonda is really the great leading men: Sharif, David Selby) hold her “ Acting seemed less and less relevant to his real woman star of the ’70s. Guiles’ account brings and partly to be offset by the professional quest concerns, and his early, adolescent distaste for together the two aspects of her fame: “ [By for perfectionism. Further, some of her it as a profession emerged once more” (p. 196). 1980], Jane had achieved almost legendary colleagues testify to her generosity as an He has shown himself sensitive to the play of power within the film world and only a bit less actress, to “ a level of adaptability” , and it is personal relationships and the creation of a on a political level.’’ He offers a balanced hard to argue with Spada’s claim that “ any convincing mise en scene, but in view of a range treatment of the two main directions her energy Streisand biography must by necessity be a of fine performances to turn his back on acting has followed, and persuades one that the litany of accomplishments” . Her appearance in would be a major loss. Downing claims that, maturity of the star in the later ’70s coincides roles like those in Up the Sandbox and The “ It is not the purpose of this book to pass Way We Were is evidence that she is “ prepared judgments on Redford the man, except insofar with a new maturity in the woman. The relationships with Andreas Voutsinas, to stretch herself as an actress” ; since the as the personality affects the work” (p. 209). In guru of her earliest acting days, then with apparently hideous troubles associated with adhering to this stated aim, he has produced Roger Vadim (“ I knew that she was a born setting up A Star is Born and the critical flaying one of the few satisfying examples of the genre. star and set about trying to give her confidence it received, she has scarcely had the opportunity in her natural gifts” ), with Donald Sutherland to do so. At 40, though, one hopes she may just f at times it has felt like a sentence of (co-star of her first Oscar-winning role in be approaching the maturity of her powers. hard labor reading this pot-pourri of Klute), and with her political activist Tom Hayden, sycophancy, sleaze and self-gratulation, who became her second husband, are better there has emerged as well just enough o-star of both Streisand and Jane discriminated than usual. That is, Guiles seems sense of the toughness, the drive and the Fonda and, in his way, as arche­ concerned with how they help to explain — and productive ego to account for the way movie typally a 1970s star, ROBERT RED­ stars have worked their “ way into the collective are, in part, a response to — various stages of FORD has been the subject of an national psyche” .24 Some of them have taken her career. He is also more rewarding than unusually readable and elegantly- their work more seriously than others and usual about the films and there are fairly good, produced volume by David Downing.23understood Like the detailed accounts of the making of They Shoot better what they were doing; it is Horses Don’t They?, Klute, the disaster of The Streisand book from the same company, this probably not coincidental that most of these Blue Bird, Coming Home and The China one is lavishly illustrated and, though destined have a stage background. But neither high for coffee tables, it is also very well written and intelligence nor a sturdy integrity is essential Syndrome. keeps its eye on the career. Given Redford’s for generating “ the kind of instant electrical intense urge to privacy, his curious way of charge” 25 that we associate with the true movie t is too early for a definitive biography of staying married to the same woman for more star — and, in many cases, just as well, too. For this Fonda, but Guiles’ book will do for than 20 years, his habit of fleeing Hollywood better insight into the movie star phenomenon the time being. There will be more and making for his Utah mountain between than ploughing through the often-dim-whenexcitement from Jane Fonda, now that films, he offers little encouragement to a sensa­ not-disgusting fields that have been my recent she seems to have decided that films are tionalizing biographer. Downing appears lot is The Movie Star, a symposium of “ The where her career lies. Guiles claims that “ Her genuinely interested in the films, and in the film National Society of Film Critics on The Movie only true identity was as a star” (p. 207); I’m persona, and discussion of these takes up most Star” , edited by Elizabeth Weis. not absolutely certain that this is true of Fonda, of the book. Now available in a large, reasonably-priced but it is certainly true of BARBRA In a way, Redford, with his blond good looks Penguin, it offers a pluralistic approach to the STREISAND, her only real woman competitor and apparently easy ranging from role to role, phenomenon. Weis sets the ball rolling by in the 1970s. Given what has happened to her recalls the matinee idols of an earlier suggesting that the odds were stacked against career since the trouble-ridden A Star is Born generation. The difference is that he is not the the 1970s (the ’80s even more) as a star(1976), we may have seen the best of Streisand. product of skilful studio packaging but of producing decade, and film-writers as variously Jam es S p a d a ’s h a n d so m e ly -p ro d u c e d following his own perceptions and aspirations gifted as Andrew Sarris, Molly Haskell, Streisand: The Woman and the Legend22 is one — since, that is, Butch Cassidy and the Richard Corliss, Pauline Kael and Rex Reed (I of the latest of the seemingly-endless line of star Sundance Kid which made him a star and which said “ variously” ) provide, among valuable stories. Downing intelligently characterizes as insights, the sort of bases from which one In coffee-table book size and format, it “ offensively smart” . Since then, he has been would like to see the biographers starting — devotes about a third of its 250 pages to often- largely guided in his choice of roles by that that is, an attempt to understand and document stunning photographs which go some distance temperamental dichotomy that Downing the ways in which often-ordinary people, towards substantiating the “ strange and describes as “ both conservative and anti­ through projection of, say, a single remarkable fa s c in a tin g d u a lity ” , th e “ dow ager establishment” . characteristic, have acquired such a hold on the empress/street urchin dichotomy” , Spada’s Downing, alert to the phoneyness of the box­ imaginative lives of so many of us for so long. text claims for her. If the text can’t equal the office triumphs of Sundance (1969) and The The idea of the star is fascinating and pictures, it is still better than most, literate, Sting (1973), praises the intelligence and significant enough to deserve better treatment enthusiastic but not blinkered, and genuinely courage in choosing, pursuing and setting up than it has characteristically had. Anyone who interested in the multi-faceted career that has deals to enable the production of the films has read such recent biographies as William embraced films, television, theatre, concerts between these. Apart from the amiable caper Walsh’s F. R. Leavis, and autobiographies like and recording. In general he does justice to film, The Hot Rock, the other six are all inter­ A. B. Facey’s A Fortunate Life or Helen each of these, giving ampler-than-usual esting films which, with one exception, Forrester’s Twopence to Cross the Mersey, will treatment of each stage in the career. There is, probably got off the ground only because of be aware of what is, in other words, being for instance, a quite substantial account of the Redford’s presence in them: Downhill Racer achieved in the genre. Stars who wish to tell all making of Funny Girl. (1969), Tell Them Willie Boy is Here (1969), would be advised to exercise a little humility Already a star of stage, television and Little Fauss and Big Halsy (1972), The and discretion; better still, employ someone else records, she believed that “ being a star is being Candidate (1972), Jeremiah Johnson (1972) who understands how films work — and knows a movie star” and set out to become, over­ and The Way We Were (1973). The exception is when he has written a sentence. + whelmingly, just that. From the start she seems the last-named which co-starred him with to have realized that, “ It’s a different kind of Streisand, thereby ensuring its box-office

T

I

C

I

22.

J a m e s S p a d a , Streisand: The W . H . A lle n & C o ., 198 2 .

Woman and the Legend,

23.

D a v id D o w n in g , 1982.

Robert Redford, W . H . A lle n & C o .,

2 4 . P e te r R a in er, “ D e a n V s P r y o r ” in W e is (e d ), Op cit, p. 26. 2 5 . M o lly H a sk e ll, “ G o u ld V s R e d fo r d V s N ic h o ls o n ” in W e is (e d ), Op cit, p . 52.

CINEMA PAPERS March — 85


The Q uarter

The Quarter Continued from p. 9 The group then posted its motions, four weeks before the AGM, believing that to be a fair time in advance. What they did not know was that there were to be no more meetings of the Board of Directors until after the AGM. The last occurred early in November, some six weeks before the AGM. When it was brought to the group’s attention that their motions could not be approved by the Board in time, the group decided to prepare a statement for distribution at the AGM. In part it was critical of the AFI for: 1. Not informing members, through its newsletter, that all motions would have to be submitted before the early November meeting; and 2. That the AFI had so timed things that debate was effectively stifled. An even more damaging criticism, voiced later at the AGM, was that the minutes for the December 1981 meeting were not available until five minutes before the 1982 meeting — that is, 12 months in the typing! This, of course, meant the minutes were only released six weeks after the close of notice for motions for the 1982 AGM. This late release of minutes was seen as just another way of stifling debate.

The Meeting As members entered the Longford Cinema they were handed the statement by the protest group. It listed the three motions3 they had wished to table, and a brief recounting of their dealings with the AFI on the matter. It was signed by Pat Gordon, Peter Hourigan, Dawn Ryan and Peter Ryan. Once assembled, but before opening the meeting, the chairman of the AFI, Senator David Hamer, gave a ruling that he would not accept the motions listed on the group’s statement. He argued that the AFI had fulfilled its obligations under the Articles of Association and that the proper time to have given notice of the motions was before the November meeting. In so ruling, Hamer stressed that he did not want either himself or the AFI to be seen to be inhibiting debate — in fact, both encouraged it. Various members protested this ruling and said they felt they had legal grounds to insist on the motions being heard. Hamer disagreed. The debate continued until both sides (and, unfortunately, the whole issue had forced people to take sides) realized no ground would be yielded by the AFI. Hamer then suggested that at the end of the AGM a discussion be held on the issues contained in the three motions, and on any other matters the members wished to raise. He added that any deci­ sions reached during the post-AGM dis­ cussion would in no way be binding on the AFI. What Hamer didn’t explain was why no item had been included on the Agenda for Other Business, as had been the procedure at many previous AGMs. Had such an agenda item been listed, the motions from the floor would pre­ sumably have had to be heard. The AGM then began.

1. Minutes After Hamer called for a motion that the minutes of the 1981 AGM be taken 3. The motions were: 1. That, as a matter of policy, films cut by the censor should not be screened by the Australian Film Institute. 2. That this meeting regrets the failure of the Board to consider the remarks of the last Annual General Meeting regarding a varied membership structure, or alter­ natively, its failure to inform members of its considerations. 3. That this meeting regrets its lack of con­ fidence in the Board and the executive director of the Australian Film Institute.

86 — March CINEMA PAPERS

as read, a member correctly pointed out that it was difficult to vote on that motion as most members present had not been given enough time to read the minutes. The meeting then voted that the minutes be read aloud, after which the motion would then be put. And this is what happened, Lumley reading in full the five pages of minutes. 2. Annual Reports and Statements In the discussion of the Chairman’s Report (printed in Australian Film Institute News, No. 25, p. 4), one member was critical that Hamer wrote, without explanation, that: “ The greatest cause for concern was that we incurred a loss of $46,757 during the year [1981-82], a perform­ ance we cannot afford to repeat.” One member argued that such a loss required a detailed set of reasons on where and why the AFI had gone over budget. Hamer replied that he had not intended to hide information from, or mislead, members, but that the AFI had felt such detail was not required in the Report. It had been intended, he said, as a summary, from which members could easily gain a picture of the AFl’s activities. The feeling at the meeting, however, was that a fuller explanation was of benefit to the membership and should be included in future. Some information, it was agreed by the AFI, would be printed in forthcoming editions of News. With regard to the Directors’ Report, Hamer said that one director, John Flaus, had disagreed with point 13 and wished his dissension to be made public. Point 13 reads: “ There has not arisen in the interval between the end of the financial year and the date of this report [November 2] any item, transaction or event of a material and unusual nature likely, in our opinion, to affect substantially the results of the company’s operations for the next succeeding financial year.” Flaus disagreed with this clause because at a Board meeting since the close of the 1981-82 financial year, a decision had been taken to reduce the National Screening Circuit (which had ‘replaced’ the National Film Theatre) to three one-week seasons a year. Flaus felt this would radically alter the AFI’s position in 1982-83, and should have been noted. Flaus had written a letter which he had hoped would be read at the AGM, but Hamer chose to speak to the matter instead. The Detailed Summary of Income and Expenditure was the next subject of debate. A question was asked from the floor as to why Administration, Account­ ing and Management had jumped from $230,232 in 1980-81 to $357,584 in 1981-82 — a 55 per cent increase. Norris said that it was because several items of expenditure had been re-coded and now appeared under different accounting headings. Lumley appeared to disagree with this when some minutes later he said the $127,352 increase was largely due to the setting up of a larger Sydney office, made necessary by the reallocation of much of the AFI’s activities and staff to Sydney. The debate on the AFI’s finances con­ tinued for some time, the members repeatedly asking not only for more information but for the reasons why such “ essential” information had not been supplied in the first place. In particular, the members queried the drop in Exhibi­ tion Operating Income from $605,049 to $586,193. As part explanation, the meet­ ing was given the figures for revenue for the Opera House Cinema, the Longford, the National Screening Circuit and the State Cinema. In the first three cases, the revenue showed a marked drop. Only did the State show an improve­ ment, and a profit. A spirited debate then ensued when one member asked who was the Exhibi­ tion Officer and hence responsible for programming the Opera House Cinema,

Longford and NSC. Hamer replied that the Exhibition Manager was Glenys Rowe.4 When one member said he had been informed that Rowe had already resigned from the AFI, Norris said this was untrue and that Rowe was on sick leave. Another member replied that Film­ news had already printed that Rowe had left (“ Don’t believe all you read in Film­ news” , Norris replied). When a third (myself) said he had been told directly by Rowe that she had resigned, Norris said, “ It is all news to me” , and she would ch e ck. (R o w e ’ s d e p a rtu re was announced some days later and the job advertised.)

3. Board o f Directors Hamer announced the results for the recent election to the Board of Directors. Those elected to the three vacant posi­ tions were Ray Edmondson, John Morris and Don McLennan. Hamer, Flaus, James-Bailey and Thoms did not need to re-stand in 1982, but will in 1983. John Morris is a board member and managing director of the South Austra­ lian Film Corporation.

4. Alteration o f Articles The Board of Directors proposed a change to the Articles whereby, in part, . . the directors may exercise all the powers of the company to borrow money, to change any property or business of the company or all or any of its uncalled capital and to issue debentures, or give any other security 4. The State is programmed by Paul Harris in Melbourne.

for the debt, liability or obligation of the company or any other person.” In part, this would mean the AFI would now be empowered to borrow against its assets, principally the State Cinema in Hobart. The AFI has in the past felt restricted in that it could not borrow money. In what was no doubt a surprising move, the motion of amendment was defeated. It is tempting to speculate the motion was out-voted purely in protest at Hamer’s earlier ruling against the protest group’s motions. The meeting then degenerated into an odd battle along Sydney vs Melbourne lines. Edmondson (from Canberra) and James-Bailey (Sydney) both suggested there were problems holding the AGM in Melbourne, as it resulted in regional fac­ tions having a disproportionately large voice. Naturally, those present retorted that the AGM was not compulsory and that those who turned up did so out of their concern for, and loyalty to, the AFI. It hardly seemed fair that they be ‘criticized’ for exercising their demo­ cratic right to be present. Hourigan then correctly pointed out that several members held interstate proxies, and this demonstrated that they were interested in what AFI members in other states felt about the AFI. There being no more listed business on the Agenda, Hamer called the meet­ ing to a close. It was now 12.50 p.m. As the Longford had a session scheduled at 1.00 p.m., the planned discussion of the group’s motions had to be abandoned, to some date in the future. The meeting agreed it should be no later than two months (i.e., by 18 February, 1983), but that deadline has come and gone in silence. It is certainly hard, given all that happened then and since, to believe that the promotion of open debate really is an AFI priority. ★

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Cinema Papers March 1983  

Cinema Papers March 1983  

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