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C O M I N G O F A G E F IL M S / F I L M F E S T I V A L S


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___________________________ Head Office: 52 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000 --------------------------------------------------------















ED I T 0 R

Scott Murray




Raffaele Caputo



Fred Harden






Chris Stewart [Acting Chairman],





Patricia Amad, Ross Dimsey, Natalie Miller



, Dan Pearce


Holding Redlich, Solicitors



Contact Cinema Papers



Raffaele Caputo FOUNDING


Peter Beilby, Scott Murray, Philippe Mora




DESIGN Marius Foley, Ian Robertson DISK






Jenkin Buxton Pty. Ltd. DISTRIBUTION

Network Distribution






F ilm Victoria









f il m c o m m i s s io n

AND FILM VICTORIA © COPYRIGHT 1993 MTV PUBLISHING LIMITED A.C.N. 006 258 699 Signed articles represent the views of the authors and not necessarily that of the editor and publisher. , While every care is taken with manuscripts' and materials supplied to the magazine, neither the editor nor the publisher can accept liability for any loss or damage which may arise. This magazine may not be reproduced in whole or part without the express permission of the copyright owners. Cinema Papers is published (approximately) every two months by MTV Publishing Limited. 43 Charles Street Abbotsford, Victoria, Australia 3067 .Telephone (03) 429 5511. Fax (03) 427 9255 Telex AA 30625

CHRIS BERRY is a lecturer at LaTrobe University; BARRY DICKINS is a playwright, humourist

and scriptwriter; ANNA D ZENIS is a tutor in Cinema Studies at LaTrobe University, Melbourne; JAN EPSTEIN is the film reviewer for The Melbourne Report; PAT GILLESPIE is a freelance writer; DAVID HOLLINSWORTH teaches Aboriginal Studies at the University of South Australia; IVAN HUTCHINSON is the film reviewer for the Herald-Sun, Melbourne; KAREN JENNINGS teaches

Communication Studies at the University of South Australia; GREG KERR is a café owner and freelance writer; CHRIS LONG is a Melbourne film historian; ROSE LUCAS is a lecturer in English at Monash University; KARL QUINN is a freelance writer on film; MARGARET SMITH is a Sydney based filmmaker and writer; ANDREW L. URBAN is the Australian correspondent for Moving Pictures International; RAYMOND YOUNIS is a lecturer at the University of Sydney and a passionate lover of films.

C I N E M A P A P E R S 94 • 1








Scott Murray comments It is certainly encouraging to know this film has another dedicated fan out there and that its totally

hangovers from 19th Century science), Aboriginal

unjustified reputation as a failure may be waning.

culture is dynamic. It is continually evolving and

Where I would beg to differ with Ms Marshall,

adapting. Indeed, it’s ability to do so puts more

however, is over the standard of Peoples’ direc­

mean-minded cultures in Australia to shame. Steve Thomas Co-producer-director

tion. Having seen and re-seen some three hun­ dred Australian films for Australian Films 1978-92 (Oxford, forthcoming), there is little doubt in this writer’s mind that The Salute of the Jugger is one of the best directed. Five viewings have done nothing to undermine that belief; in fact, one could list many scenes which are so well crafted they ought to be used in Australian classes on film YOUNG GAR (VINCENT PHILLIP D'ONOFRIO) PROTECTS KIDDA (JOAN CHEN) DURING HER TRY-OUT FOR THE TEAM. DAVID

technique. An obvious example is when Kidda (Joan Chen) is tested out for membership of the


team, the camera dramatically tracking in counter

‘The Salute of the Ju g se r’ Dear Editor The Salute of the Jugger certainly has its own slightly dotty integrity and I’m glad that someone has come out and said something positive about it

parallel to the energetic side movements of the ch ain-w ieldin g Young Gar (V incent P hillip D’Onofrio). This is crisp, energizing filmmaking at its best.

[Ridley Scott, 1982, which Peoples scripted] were

Karl Quinn replies I have seen Black Man’s Houses twice: once on a friend’s VCR (I do not own one) and once at the cinema. On both occasions, the line which I have apparently misquoted came across to me and others as I have rendered it (the operative distinc­ tion - between the words “but” and “that” - is aurally fine but contextually substantial). For the misquote, I apologize to Mr Thomas. However, my argument is not dependent on one line of narration alone; it relates to an unspo­ ken tension that imbues the film as a whole. It is even evident in Mr Thomas’ letter in his claim that “continuity has been retained through the kinship

at last [Scott Murray, in “Second Glance”, Cinema Papers, No. 92, p. 53]. Audience expectations of maybe an action film or a re-run of Blade Runner

Black Man’s Houses acknowledges that far from being static, declining or extinct (notions which are

system and oral traditions” , which contradicts the

‘Black Man’s Houses’

statements by many in the film that they didn’t even know about their Aboriginal heritage until rather

Dear Editor Having committed himself early on in his review of

late in life.

shattered and people found it very hard to deal with the harshness, the lack of glamour and the bleak

Black Man’s Houses [Cinema Papers, No. 93, pp.

attempts to drag my argument into the sphere of

poetic vision. I was there at the Sydney premiere and can testify that we were stunned mullets and

42-3] to the thesis that this documentary suffers from a tendency to revert to “essentialist notions of

“conventional white racism”. My support goes out to the subjects of Black Man’s Houses, whom I

fairly hostile. Even people who worked on the film

race” , Karl Quinn then resorts to misquoting the

believe have a valid case. However, I do not think

walked away in a state of shock.

narration in order to prove his point.

that a refusal to address the issue of racial identity

Somewhat insultingly, MrThomas’ letter subtly

Nevertheless, the film does have abiding quali­

Recalling my final narration as “some people

ties. The scenery, the music, the costumes and the

still think that identity is a matter of heart, not of

sets, although incidental, are strong and flavour­

logic” , he concludes that the film prefers “to leave

ful. The casting of the leads is interesting and

racial identity in the hands of innate, interior blood

quirky. The vision of a world winding down into

links rather than moving to an understanding of

entropy is sustained and believable. The film has its own quite unmistakable flavour - gamy per­

race [...] as a social construct”.

haps, but not masquerading as something else. It

What I actually say is: “some people still want to

is openly violent and presents the violence realis­

argue, but identity is a matter of the heart, not

Adrian Martin’s brave and bold corrective asser­

tically. The world it creates is at the end of its tether

logic”. This is a restatement of Tasmanian Abo­

tion that author Kim Newman “is a woman” [Cin­

rigine Vicki Matson-Green’s earlier comment that

ema Papers, No. 93, p. 2], while courageous, must

“Aboriginality is a feeling within; it has little to do

have come as something of a revelation to Mr. Newman.

physically and morally. David Peoples refuses to compromise his story and soften it in any way. This is a project he had

In fact, Quinn has turned my narration around.

with the colour of the skin.”

in all its complexity and political contradictoriness is likely to help that case at all.

‘Mr’ Newm an, again Dear Editor In this age of simulation and floating signification,

Far from “baulking at the largest gate” , Black

However, not only is this pedantry wrong, but

Man’s Houses firmly challenges biological notions

Martin also misrepresents me. I did not “fault”

Where the film is weak is in the casting of some

of racial identity. Given that the reviewer has a

Science Fiction: TheAurum Film Encyclopedia for

minor parts and in the simple nuts and bolts of \ direction. This is a story that asks for a director with

video copy and can easily double check, one can only conclude that Karl Quinn misheard what oth­

“lacking female contributors” per se. I suggested that editor Phil Hardy should have at least included

a feel for the epic. Peoples has just found such a

ers had no difficulty hearing because he’d already

some women critics or SF authors in the revised

director in Clint Eastwood with Unforgiven. It’s no

decided that I had it wrong.

and expanded section devoted to the critics’ top

nursed since Blade Runner, and his commitment and that of the cast shows on screen.

surprise, surely, that in his own first exercise at direction he couldn’t quite rise to the occasion.

Furthermore, he refers to “cultural discontinu­


Mick Broderick

ity” as evidence that contemporary Tasmanian

But the movie’s bad reception seems strange

Aboriginal identity is a construct by people who

and excessive in retrospect. Critics exhibited an

have been oppressed and, therefore, looked else­

antipathy that went beyond the norm. They com­

where for their sense of belonging. This is not the

peted to find ways of expressing their detestation.

whole picture. If it were, then they might as well be

Why was there so much hostility? (They have seen

in it for the money, as conventional white racism

the future and they hate it?)

insists they are.



Debra Sharp, who has been the adminis­

As Scott Murray says, now that David Peoples

The truth is that, although Tasmanian Aborigi­

trative manager of Cinema Papers for

has moved up in the Hollywood pecking order

nal culture suffered a mighty assault, continuity

the past three years, has left for new

people will give this film a second look. Maybe this

has been retained through the kinship system and

pastures. The staff of Cinema Papers

time they’ll have the courage to acknowledge that

oral traditions. And before I’m accused of reverting

and the MTV Board of directors wish her

it’s not the film itself but its uncompromising vision

to “blood links” again, let’s be clear that kinship in

the best for the future.

of a future which appals them.

Aboriginal societies transcends biology.


P A P E R S 94

Annie Marshall








The Australian Film Television and Radio School turns 20 August 1993 sees the twentieth birthday of the

within one month of completing their course. In

Australian Film Television & Radio School.

1990, during a period of recession, it was found

In the late 1960s, a group of people began


that 90% of the previous year’s graduates had still been able to find employment.

Grand Prix for Best Film (sponsor: City

lobbying for government support for a local film industry. In 1969, this resulted in an announce­

■ AFTRS graduates Jane Campion and Laurie

ment by Prime Minister John Gorton of a three­

Mclnnes were the first Australians to be awarded

(Lessons of Darkness, Werner Herzog, Germany-UK)

tiered plan to support the creation of a local film industry.

the prestigious Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at

Best Short Fiction (Kino): Schwarzfahrer

the Cannes Film Festival in consecutive years.

{Black Rider, Pepe Danquart, Germany)

of Melbourne): Lektionen in Finsternis

The bill to establish the Australian Film and

Jane Campion is the first Australian to have four

Best Animation (Kino):

Television School was passed unanimously under the new Whitlam government and given assent on

films accepted into the Cannes Festival, three of

Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase

which were produced while she was an AFTRS

(Joan C. Gratz, U.S.)

August 31, 1973.

student, and the first woman and Australian to win

The first students had already begun their train­ ing in January 1973 as part of the one-year Interim

the Palme d’Or this year for The Piano.

Best Documentary (Kino): Those Loved by God (Johannes Holzhausen, Austria)

Training Scheme, under the direction of Professor Jerzy Toeplitz. This first group of students alone has produced g raduates inclu d in g G illia n Armstrong, Phillip Noyce, Chris Noonan and Graham Shirley. The first full-time students to undertake the three-year course entered in 1975.

■ The first public screening of student productions was held at the Sydney Filmmakers’ Co-operative cinema in August 1976. Since then, the graduate screenings have become an annual and national event, screening in 12 cities around Australia and watched by more than 5000 people.

In 1988, the School finally moved into its per­ manent home, an $18.5m purpose-built building,

■ The AFTRS hosted the 21st Biennial Congress of CILECT (Le Centre International de Liaison des

with state-of-the-art studios and equipment.

Écoles de Cinéma et Television) in 1982. Fortythree member countries were involved in discus­

To meet its charter as a national film-training institution, the AFTRS has developed a number of innovative courses and training schemes which

sions on the themes television training and training for the developing world.

Best Student Film (Kino): Wind (Margit Ruile, Germany) and Heart of Pearl (Andrew G. Taylor, Australia) Best Experimental Film (Kino): No-Zone (Greta Snider, U.S.) Erwin Rado Award for Best Australian Film (Film Victoria): Memories & Dreams (Lynn-Maree Milburn)

Special Commendations Experimental: Damsel Jam (Sarah Miles, UK), Rules of the Road (Su Friedrich, U.S.) Fiction: Shooting to Stardom (Kieron J.

respond to the specific training needs of media professionals throughout Australia and the Pacific region.

■ AFTRS Educational Media has produced a large

Walsh, Ireland-UK)

number of video productions on all aspects of media training. With more than 130 titles currently

Documentary: O No Coronado (Craig Baldwin, U.S.)

To celebrate its birthday, the AFTRS has or­

available, it has recently secured an international distribution network with distributors based in the

Animation: A Saucer of Water for the Birds

ganized a number of special events this year, including the Sit-Corn Forum in March, the recent

U.S., Asia and France.

International Cinematography Forum and a reun­

■ The first AFTRS course designed specifically for

ion of graduates and ex-staff planned for August.

Aborigines was held in 1975. Numerous courses

Some Jiishlishts and achievements:

have been run since then to meet the training

■ Since 1973, 444 students have graduated from the full-time film and television courses. There have been 138 graduates from the full-time radio courses which began in 1982. More than 1500 short courses have been run in all states through the Industry Program, with almost 27000 partici­

needs of Aboriginal broadcasters. When Aborigineowned Imparja Television was awarded a licence, the AFTRS conducted a training course in manag­ ing a television station for Imparja board members and senior staff in Alice Springs. The School has also devised a three-year curriculum for radio and

■ An employment survey of graduates conducted in 1988 showed that 86% of all graduates were employed full-time in the film and broadcasting industries. All radio graduates found employment

sion targeted specifically for women was con­ ducted following, a UNESCO survey undertaken during International Women’s Year. Since then, the Industry Program has run many courses de­ signed to meet the media training needs of women. ■ In 1984, the AFTRS began the On-the-Job


Training Scheme for women. A world innovation, the scheme enabled 31 women with some existing

In the last issue of Cinema Papers (No.

media experience to move into more technical

93, May 1993), Miro Bilbrough’s name

areas of the industry. Since 1987, the AFTRS has run the Industry Training Fund for Women to en­

was incorrectly spelt on the contents page for her interview with Jane Campion. She was also incorrectly credited for the interview with Tracey Moffatt. The latter

able experienced women to move into key techni­ cal and creative positions.

interview was actually conducted by John

■ Following a request from the ASEAN-Australia Forum in Penang in October 1982, AFTRS organ­

Conomos and Raffaele Caputo.

ized a television production course forfive ASEAN

Cinema Papers apologizes to Bilbrough and Conomos. As for Caputo, he’s

member countries. The success of this course led to further courses being organized in Sydney and

credited for so much anyway that he can

other ASEAN countries. Courses have also been

afford to miss a credit once in a while.

run by AFTRS staff in Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific.

Best Science Film (ANZAS-CSIRO): The Northern Lights (Alan Booth, Canada), On the Eighth Day: Making Babies Perfect (Gwynne Basen, Canada) Ecumenical Award (OCiC OceaniaInternational Catholic Organization for Cinema and Audio-visuals): Mr Electric (Stuart McDonald, Australia) The Festival also announced a non-short award for:

television broadcasters at Imparja. ■ The first training programme in film and televi­


(Anne Shenfield, Australia), Midriffini (Sabrina Schmid, Australia)

Best Exploration of the Human Experi­ ence (Australian Psychological Society): Como Agua Para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate, Alfonso Arau, Mexico)

DENDY SHORT FILM AWARDS Fiction: Opportunity Knocks (Mick Connolly) General: Pale Black {Marie Craven) Documentary: Black Man’s Houses (Steve Thomas) Animation: Sunday (Peter Moyes) EAC Award: Bread (Nicolina Caia) Rouben Mamoulian Award: Black Man’s Houses and Just Desserts (Monica Pellizzari). The first three awards were sponsored by the Dendy Cinema, the Animation Award by Yoram Gross Studios and the EAC Award by the Ethnic Affairs Commission of NSW.



94 . 3

In this two-part interview, Andrew L. Urban questions writer-director Paul C ox (above) about the shooting of his latest film, E x il e , while Raffaele Caputo discusses with Cox the soon-to-bere le a se d T he N un


P A P E R S 94

and the

B an d it


P A P E R S 94 • 5



Paul C ox

Exile Exile is set in the 19th Century. A young man, Peter (Aden Young), is banished to an island for stealing a few sheep. There he lives, “fighting the demons of his past and the ghosts of his present”, until the arrival of a young woman, Mary (Beth Champion). When the God­ fearing citizens of the mainland learn of their life together, they demand the two be married. The film is based on Priest Island, a novel by the little-known Scottish writer E. L. Grant Watson. It was shot on the largely deserted Freycinet Peninsula on the east coast of Tasmania, where Cox was interviewed while in production.*I

The location obviously plays an impor­ tant part in Exile. How did you find it? I had always wanted to shoot on Maria Island. We sent four people in a little plane to do some looking around, but nothing was really achieved. Then, a week or two later, I drove into Cove’s Bay. I chartered a boat and went to Schouten Island. I had this idea that the film should be shot on a real island. But, although it was very beautiful and unspoiled, I compared the island with the fact that it was so easy to film everything on the coast and make it look like an island. So, I went back and this fisherman then took me to a few other places. Suddenly, I knew the Cove’s Bay location was spot on. The novel is actually set in Scotland, where the story really happened last century. In fact, there is an actual Priest Island near Scotland. Because of that, I felt the film had to have something of that feeling within Australia. I found it on this coast in Tasmania, which has such an ancient quality. I also discovered this bay was a favourite gathering ground for the Aborigines. There are rock carvings that look like they were done by the sea, but I’m sure they’re Aboriginal. They used to come here, partly because the weather was very mild. It is a very sacred, holy place and one of the last paradises on earth. You never find anything on the beach: it’s very clear and clean. Put your hook in the ocean and a fish comes out. It’s like it used to be. Did you discover the book a long time ago? No. Somebody had written a script based on Grant Watson’s novel and given it to me about three years ago. I didn’t take to it at all and put it aside. But the writer became a friend. He was quite persistent and then he told me he had found Watson’s daughter still living in England. She sent me T he Nun an d the Bandit, which I read and found very fascinating. These things tend to hit you at a time in your life when you are ready for something else. Most of my films had been set in small rooms and I was ready to get out of that claustrophobia. I needed to breathe. That is how The Nun and the Bandit happened. Later on, the daughter then sent me some more of her father’s books, and one was called Priest Island. I read them all because I found his descriptions of landscape as striking as the way Patrick White writes about the land. It is quite spectacular when people can really explain the landscape to you, the clouds and the sea. I then went on a holiday, which doesn’t often happen, to this little island in Greece. I had Priest Island with me and read it again. I then sat down and spent the next seven or eight days writing a script. I 6 • C I N E M A PAPERS


worked very hard from very early in the morning to late at night. It never really changed after that. Back in Australia it was, of course, the same old story. The FFC didn’t select it for the Film Fund. When I later saw the films that came out of that Fund, I was really upset once again. It was all very silly because the FFC totally misread and misunderstood the script. In the end, we got the money together with the FFC’s help, but only half the money I actually needed. In what way was the script misunderstood? Most of the scenes in the script involve a description of the land, the atmosphere of the sea, the way the sky is creating the atmosphere, and how that directs what people say. The real protagonists are the sea and the land, and it’s very hard for people with little imagination to read this sort of thing. So, there is a lyrical-poetic quality to the story and setting. It is more metaphysical, because in the book there is a ghostjfThe ghost comes and talks to this exiled man and teaches him, which is a very old-fashioned concept. While I was writing the script, I thought, “Well, they make films in Hollywood called G host that have special effects which nobody believes and everybody enjoys.” So, I decided to make the ghost [Norman Kaye] very real. He is like a friend who travels with Peter [Aden Young], but who every now and then suddenly pops up or disappears. The ghost also orchestrates things so that Peter travels. We are so addicted to the flesh, to this life, that we never see the universe and how small we are. So the ghost orchestrates for a woman from the village, Mary [Beth Champion], to come and live with Peter, which is not really in the book. People in Hollywood get away with the most extraordinary nonsense, so I thought I felt I could certainly do it and still keep|it very real. So, while you question a lot of the things Hollywood does, you also use its poetic or artistic licence? Yes, and even more so because I have some very fine, young, popular actors and actresses. They weren’t chosen for any commercial reason, but because the story asked for them. There was difficulty in the beginning making it all clear, and none of us actually understood what was going on. But it all fell beautifully into place and the actors contributed enormously.

As you know, I usually work with the same people, but on this film I have had a total change and turn-around, which for me was very difficult. O f course, a few of my usual actors appear in minor parts. Exile has a story everybody can understand and digest, and has very popular young actors. But it’s not just a normal story, it has an incredible spirit, and things which throw it in a totally different dimension. As I grow older, I believe less and less in religion, but I become more and more religious. Religious or spiritual? It is basically the same thing. Can you elaborate on these other elements? Again, the most important aspect is the comment on society. We are very spoilt people. We have everything and everybody has enough to eat, yet we are worried about totally the wrong priorities. I saw this programme once where young people were asked what they would do if they had a lot of money and all of them came up LEFT: PETER (ADEN YOUNG) IS EXILED TO AN ISLAND FOR HIS CRIME. BELOW: THE GHOST (NORMAN KAYE) WHO COMES TO VISIT PETER. PAUL COX'S EXILE.

When the people on the mainland realize that not only is he surviving, but living with Mary and having a child, the priest talks to his friend and says, “Every time on a clear day you can see part of the island looming in the distance, most of us feel ashamed.” Ah, the lunacy of that righteous society! If they could only accept the lesson of what happens on the island, where there are none of the rules. They have just one another and nature, and are very close. Basically, our society is out of tune with nature and, because of that, out of tune with itself. Individuals either conform and become part of this very deadly course that we are on, or they blossom away from it all. In the end, Peter doesn’t marry Mary in the name of God, but in the name of the land and the spirits. In this respect, it is a very beautiful, romantic story. It is also a very telling story about the way we are going. Being then the devil’s advocate, why is the FFC putting money into, a film which, while not ignoring what you’ve just said about western society in general, has nothing specific to say about Australia? Why does the Film Finance Corporation put money into films like Turtle B each and all the other unbelievable, ridiculous movies that cost $5 to $10 million to $15 million and are not even released? What has Turtle Beach to do with Australia? What has Green Card to do with Australia? What a scandalous thing that was putting money into Green Card. So, on this level, I can’t even answer the question. I make films for people, not for Australians or anybody else in particular. At the same time, I’m much more proud of Australia than most Australians, even though I’m not Australian. I’m still working here, when I would have gone overseas years ago, if I’d been sensible in terms of work. What is Australia? What are Australian films? It is ludicrous thinking and I have no concept of it. I once had a bad fight at Cannes when 1 said I was a Victorian filmmaker and not an Australian filmmaker. Phillip Adams and Kim Williams1got very angry with me, but I thought there was some value in it because Film Victoria was the only corporation which had continuously supported me. I couldn’t say that about the Australian Film Commission or any of the other bodies because they have either completely ignored me or reluctantly allowed me to continue.12 I’m very Australian in my convictions and in my beliefs and in lining Australian actors. We have some fantastic talent here. Isabelle Huppert and Irene Papas are the only people I’ve ever worked with dutside of all this. Is the story of E xile in any way symbolic of your position as a filmmaker? You are more highly respected by filmmakers and audiences in the U.S. and Europe than you are in Australia. Does that make you feel like an exile here?

with the most hideous answers. Until I was 35 or 4 0 , 1 never even questioned whether there was money in my pocket. It didn’t matter then, though it seems very important now. Exile is about how society gives people totally the wrong values. Though set in the last century', there were so many parallels with today. Peter is forced away from society for stealing a few sheep. The people on the mainland want to hang him, but, because he is so young, hie is sent to this island. He suddenly has to go back to the earth and survive for himself. Only, later does he realize he is in paradise.

Every film you do with your heart and soul, even every portrait and picture of the landscape you do as a photographer, is a self-portrait. You can’t help it, because that is all you have to give. OF course, I would never have taken the story of Exile so strongly unless I had seen so many frightening parallels. But, on a larger scale, I think anybody who thinks, struggles, feels and continuously questions is an exile. I also live in a country that is not my own. I can’t go back to my own country, so I don’t know where lam . I have no home.


At the time, Phillip Adams was Chairman of the Australian Film Commis­


For the record, it should be noted that all of C ox’s dramatic features since

sion, while Kim Williams was its Chief Executive. Cactus (1986) have had AFC or FFC investment, apart from Film Victoria support. The AFC financially backed Cactus and majority funded Golden Braid (19 9 1 ), while the FFC has the majority investment in A W oman’s Tale (1 9 9 1 ), T he N un and the Bandit and Exile. CI NEMA PAPERS

94 • 7

At what time does life most satisfy you? You can never give your dreams proper form and shape. It’s impossible. But do you feel you’re getting closer? Does practice make perfect? No, it’s like the sea: it comes in waves. The tides come in and they go. Sometimes you have moments of energy you can’t keep up and have to let go. You have to wait for the next wave, for a film you can do. When do you feel you can best assess how well you have made a film? Editing gives moments of great satisfaction. Even if I don’t do the actual editing myself, I am always there. With editing, you know what you have and can model it, make something up. I think of it like a sculptor making a sculpture. I love it very much and spend much more time now in post-production. I never did that before. ABOVE: MARY (BETH CHAMPION), WHO JOINS PETER ON THE ISLAND. BELOW: JEAN (CLAUDIA KARVAN), PETER'S FORMER FIANCÉE. EXILE

Yet you maintain very strongly that you are an Australian film­ maker. No, a filmmaker living in Australia. In E xile, the question of where it is set doesn’t arise. Was that a conscious decision to make the film universal? Yes, because it’s not relevant. Look at America, where they have this false sense of nationalism and patriotism. At the time of the Gulf War, there was a crazy law in Pennsylvania where you couldn’t be buried unless you had a fucking American flag for a hat, even if you came from somewhere else. Why is it that when patriots have something to defend they become the aggressors? I’m very glad all that by-passed me totally, because patriotism is an act of aggression. You can love your country, and the Greeks have a marvellous saying, “Wherever I travel, Greece warms me.” That’s good enough. The Greeks don’t have that aggression. They don’t go around saying you must do this or that. Yet they are very proud of being Greek, and I love them for that. On the other hand, when an American travels somewhere, he puts up a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet and goes to eat at Pizza Hut. Americans cannot possibly understand that there is a world outside of their narrow thinking because they are all patriots, and there is nothing worse than a patriot on that level. Do you think of your filmmaking in terms of political action? Yes. If you make films about the human condition, it’s an extremely political act. It is against the very act of filmmaking itself, because that is about money and business, and about bums on seats. Film is like a product on the shelves in the supermarket. It won’t be bought if it makes people feel uneasy, or if it doesn’t make the false shine even more shiny. It’s a very political act to make my films and get away with it. There are quite a few of my films that are in the black, otherwise I could never go on. Also, don’t forget I make them very cheaply, and I work extremely hard. There is a lot of opposition to this. Most of the people who have invested in my films, during the 10BA period and all that, very easily come back and invest again because I don’t disappoint them. If people put money into a film that loses money, and another one makes money, then I will give them their money back. That is how I’ve been able to keep going. At what point does the filmmaking process most satisfy you? 8 • CINEMA



What about in the finished product: is there a moment when you can objectively stand back and look at it? Only years later can you do that properly. Have you looked at any of your previous work lately? No. Films are really like children. They go out into the world: some go to boarding school and you lose contact; others come back and you talk to them. But, no, I can never sit through them again. It’s finished; it’s over. In another way, though, I am haunted by them. They haven’t died. Most other films seem to die, but mine travel all the time and keep selling and screening. I even have to employ people to keep looking after them, which was never the idea. At what point do you feel most connected to the film? During the making I am very attached. I will travel with it until death do us part. It’s madness, and dangerous. I also drive people to the very edge, myself first. Is that weakness your one fault? No, I am riddled with faults. Sometimes I think it’s an essential quality, though it’s also very annoying. You can’t film for too long because you sleep very little; the film becomes too important. It’s the one chance that you have. You have a rich and diverse range of projects either in production or pre-production. Do you feel this is a particularly rewarding phase of your career?


I don’t call it a career, I call it a curse. I’ve never made a career out of filmmaking, it just happened to me. I really never set out with dreams like that; it just happened. But, yes, these are the best years because I have done away with a lot of shit. If you don’t have to compromise, it’s easy to let something go to your head. So, it’s very important to travel through all the ego nonsense and be yourself. I travelled through that a few years ago. Now it doesn’t matter any more. I don’t need the world. I live a very secluded life. These are very fine years for me. I feel I’m getting closer to a level of sufficient concentration to do it properly. I think Exile will be quite fine. It’s a very neatly- and beautifully-made, beautifully-shot and -composed film. Whether it will be popular or hit the mark, I don’t know. It will take time, but it will be all right. I never felt this confident about any of my other films. #

The Nun and the Bandit The Nun an d the Bandit, also based a novel by E. L. Grant Watson, is the story of Michael Shanley and his brothers, who are 1940s outlaws. Angered over having been dispossessed of an inheritance, they enact a revenge by kidnapping their wealthy 14-year-old second cousin, Julie Shanley (Charlotte Hughes Haywood). But things go awry when her chaperoning nun, Sister Lucy (Gosia Dobrowolska), refuses to abandon her charge. Shot last year around Maldon and Bacchus Marsh, the film is indicative of Cox’s increasingly austere style of filmmaking. Cox was interviewed about the film two days before the film’s Australian premiere at the Melbourne Film Festival.

Apart from the aspects of landscape, what appealed to you about the novel? I don’t like Watson’s stories that much - they are quite violent - but his descriptions of landscape, and how people relate to it, are great. Very few people really belong to or understand the land. To really belong, you must be able to describe what you see. I find a lot of Australian films set in the country show nothing but red dust, which doesn’t appeal to me. Australia is a wild country with an incredible variety of landscapes. But this is never mirrored in our films. There is just this one flat, dusty image of a few sheep being rounded up and a red sun hanging low. The Australia I know is very different from that and I have always been looking for a vehicle to describe that. In The Nun and the Bandit, I wanted the landscape to be a stage. In Exile, the landscape is the protagonist; it motivates people. The first is a so-called religious film, while the latter is much more metaphysical. In Australia, The Nun and the Bandit won’t be appreciated on any level. That’s why I don’t want to have anything to do with a release. I’ve had enough shit thrown at me here. It’s not only this film, but most of my films. A W om an’s Tale was a big success everywhere around the world and ran for a long time, except in Melbourne where it was pissed on and ran for a week. It is rather strange that it should be like that in this country. It’s another reason to escape to the landscape at times. Many Australian films which depict a vast, barren landscape are exploring the idea of a culture that needs to be invented upon this emptiness. The N un and.the Bandit explores the idea of a culture already there within the landscape, which it tries to draw out.

The film begins with Michael Shanley and essentially follows him as the central character, but Sister Lucy’s voice-over shifts this balance. Does this relate to what you were saying about the inte­ rior landscape?



That’s so if you’re sensitive to this environment. White man came here, stomped around as if he owned the earth, destroying anything that is dear. If we are all taught to have a very good look at a tree when we are young, we will never destroy it later on or treat it with disrespect. The actual culture imported here was very destructive. Most of this country was rainforest. But the wood was not even used; it was just burned. I don’t understand why. Tasmania, for example, is really D eliverance country in a w ay— beautiful, stunning country. But the most common sight on the road is a truck loaded with trees going to a pulp mill so that toilet paper can be made for the Japanese. The trees are not being used to build anything. The actual wastage is unbelievable, and these trucks thunder across the island day and night, killing everything in their way. How did you approach the religious aspect of The Nun a n d the B an d it in relation to the landscape, because the person most identified with the bush is the bandit, Michael Shanley [Chris Haywood] ? No, it’s the nun. For the bandit, the landscape is just there to be used and abused. Of course, it has also shaped him, but he has never learnt to appreciate it. It is only later on that he starts to see things differently. There is a class element established between Sister Lucy [Gosia Dobrowolska] and the rich townfolk, which makes one favour Michael. He is more easily identified with the landscape. The exterior landscape, not the interior landscape. In the book, there are many more things happening: Aborigines come into the story, the woman becomes pregnant, they go to court and it flashes back to the nunnery ... all sorts of things. I stripped it as bare as I could. I wanted it to be a pure story between two people. O f course, in terms of cinema, it was not a very good decision, even though I know that the film is very neatly crafted. There are other layers in the nun that one will discover later on; it takes time. I know a lot of people won’t be able to digest it, or even see it as an Australian film. But I think it’s a very Australian film. 10 • C I N E M A



Yes. It also continues a conversa­ tion with God. In a religious sense, that is totally ridiculous. But, in a metaphysical sense, I think it is very important that we should all have conversations with God, or whatever we feel God is. Nuns do this so dramati­ cally. I didn’t have this in the film at " first but, when I had to go to Turkey, I visited a great mosque there. A woman who must have been a nun was standing next to me and talking loudly to God in some weird language. I suddenly realized the nun shou ld be talk­ ing to God. This, of course, will be totally misunderstood if you don’t have a strongly religious background. If you are really committed to religion you will hate the film, because it is being basically against religion. Given her captors are such inept bandits, why doesn’t Sister Lucy simply run away? Because she is totally conditioned to being passive. There is a type of fatalism in all this that I find appalling. Don’t forget, the film is set before the war and things have changed dramatically since. But this is the way it was. I remember from my own family that nuns are trained to be passive. I had an aunt who was a nun and an uncle who was a Benedictine monk. I also had another uncle who was a bandit! Is Michael Shanley redeemed in the end? Yes, but he has never been given or received any compassion or love. If he had, it would have changed him. But society doesn’t allow that, and it will always be the same. The only thing you learn from history is that the same things happen over and over again. Michael will not be redeemed unless we change. And you have to destroy everything before you can build anything new. You cannot build on old foundations. Yet, that’s what we do all the time, because we are too scared, too insecure. This is what the hopelessness of his character is about. He is touched and he suddenly realizes that there is human goodness there. That is the very message if we see beyond the surface and not just say, “Oh, he is a bit of a bastard.” As soon as you give people a little bit of attention and time, suddenly they come to life. Everybody has that potential, even a man that is so ugly and greedy. It is not his fault: he is conditioned to be bad, whereas the nun is conditioned to be good. She is probably much more evil than he is. Does the nun change then? Absolutely, on the exterior. Her interior is a conditioned type of interior. It’s not a natural, instinctive interior, but she has nothing else. There is great loneliness in both souls because of their condi­ tioning. CONTINUES



6 0

“Those who find most Aussie films irritatingly safe and serious may welcome this walk on the wild side”. VARIETY

“.. enjoyable... perverse... brilliant....” SEATTLE POST

“Like “Final Analysis” and “Fatal Attraction”, Howson’s film warns against thinking with our hormones, against wanting things we don’t need. “Hunting” equates lust with sin and punishes obsession with rape and death”. WASHINGTON POST

it’s right up there with Brian De Palma’s “Scarface”, Luchino Visconti’s “The Damned”, and Adrian Lyne’s “91/2 weeks’ ”, BOSTON GLOBE

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Notes tow ards a re-appraisal R A F F A EL E C A P U T O



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fin d

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magine the last scene of a film in which a budding young man sits atop a fence post or rock, or is standing on an incline in some lonely country setting. His point of view of the surroundings is from a vantage point. He has a clear view of everything on the horizon, and at times seems as though he can reach out even further. He is at the end of an initiation journey in which, plunged through his first heart-rendering experience, he lost his greatest, most passionate love. The loss precipitates the gain, the experience draws him closer to manhood, and now the world before him has opened up to take him in. This is something like the ending to Robert Mulligan’s Summer o f ’42 (1971), and it’s the prototypical image of a coming-of-age. If memory serves well, in the 1980s the notion of a coming-of-age had its use, politically, with the sparks of an economic turn-a-round (or was it sporting tri­ umph? ), as both a description o f the nation’s character, and as promise of better things to come fo r the whole nation. Culturally, it had more currency as a descrip­ tion for the film industry of 1970s and early ’80s. Perhaps this is good reason why Australian films that dealt with very particular tragedies of war - ‘B rea ker’




94 • 13

Coming of Age

Morant (Bruce Beresford, 1980) and Gallipoli (Peter Weir, 1 9 8 1 ) - were the sort of international successes we could be proud of - war fought under the rule of an unjust imperial power being the metaphor for the nation’s loss of innocence, and the mythological catalyst for a historical turning point. Yet generally the coming-of-age notion seems to get the best battery power from films battling the conflicts of new sexual mores emerging out of the dying days of good old times. Australian cinema has its fair share of films with a coming-of-age bent and it might be worthwhile schematizing a few of the preoccupations, especially given that three Australian films of late - hove in Limbo (David Elfick), The Heartbreak Kid (Michael Jenkins) and the soon-to-bereleased The Nostradamus Kid (Bob Ellis) —in one way or another have been labelled coming-of-age films. At close inspection, the intriguing aspect of a coming-ofage theme is that the films never quite turn out the way they are supposed to turn out. There is something profoundly naïve and rather tiresome about the whole notion of discov­ ering a new horizon when a young boy’s formative relation­ ship with a woman, usually much older, pushes him closer to manhood. It’s something akin to the clinical suburban world filled with robins that results from the nightmare encounters between Jeffrey (Kyle MacLachan) and Dorothy (Isabella Rossellini) in Blue Velvet (1986), though David Lynch’s vision is a parody of the expectations of adult life awaiting Jeffrey after he overcomes his ‘rites of passage’ journey. Films with a coming-of-age theme have a tendency to start off sex-obsessed and move progressively toward keep­ ing the libido in check, or keeping it socially acceptable. The strongest counter-attack to this stymied perspective comes from the 1950s and the unlikely camp of Jerry Lewis, perhaps because Lewis’ films never seem to begin at the beginning, but at the end. In a film like The Ladies3Man (1961), when the newly-graduated Herbert H. Heebert witnesses the heart shattering event of his college sweetheart in the arms of another man, his baroque display of pain in gripping his heart and staggering back to his parents is a form of awakening —but an awakening of an infantile, regressive state, soon indexed by unbottling a comically-anguished cry, “MA! ” It makes sense that Lewis be brought into the framework. First, because the 1950s and ’60s is generally the period most favoured by coming-of-age pics. Love in Lim bo, for example, spent a good deal of energy in duplicating the gaudy, colour-saturated look that is reminiscent of many Jerry Lewis-Frank Tashlin movies of the late 1950s and early ’60s. Elfick even pays added tribute by throwing in a few clips from Tashlin’s The Girl Can3t Help It (1956). Second, and more important, Lewis exemplifies the type of figure the protagonist of a coming-of-age film definitely wants to leave behind. As Raymond Durgnat once wrote, “Jerry Lewis films are about how difficult it is to build yourself into a reasonable, adaptable person.” By the end of The Ladies3 Man, just when Herbert scraps through his initiation, in strolls Baby, a once harmless pooch illogically transformed into the M G M lion, and a token of the character’s repressed libido. In this respect, apart from owing its period look to Lewis and Tashlin, Love in Limbo cannot yield any further comparison. The 14 • C I N E M A P A P E R S 9 4

central point of concern is that Lewis (or Tashlin) isn’t looking back at the period; he is a part of it. Lewis can be sentimental, but not nostalgic, which is what coming-of-age films usually have a ten­ dency of doing. Nostalgia brings Love in Lim bo closer to American Graffiti (1973), in that the use of 1950s artefacts and “Colour by Deluxe” production design makes a play for the period’s supposed mood of innocence. But Love in Limbo plays it straight down the line. Ken (Craig Adams) is a sex-obsessed teenager who fantasizes vividly about his English teacher and sister’s girlfriend, and has an adept hand at sketching the female form. His turning-point experience with a mature woman in an excursion to a whorehouse in Kalgoorlie has only put into practice what he already knows in his mind. The world of teenager Ken and the desire to lose his virginity is completely insulated. By the end of Love in Lim bo, Ken is merely an innocent adult, just as he was an innocent teenager (that is to say, a virgin) at the start of the film. His excursion to the brothel has only made him ready to be paired off for marriage to a nice, virginal Greek girl. The experience and its consequences remain uncbm nected to any idea of a change in social and sexual mores. The film’s guiding principle is really that a young man should “sow a few wild oats” before settling down; so while there is nostalgia for a period, there isn’t a sense of history in Love in Limbo.

Films with a coming-of-age theme have a tendency to start off sex-obsessed and move progressively toward keeping the libido in check, or keeping it socially acceptable.

What makes the loss of innocence (psychologically as well as physically) so believable in a film like A m erican Grafitti is that the innocence of the period is also about to end, for just around the corner are events like Vietnam, student unrest and the civil rights movement. Like h o v e in L im b o , Bob Ellis’ The N ostradam us K id also takes us back to the 1950s and ’60s period, but it is melancholy rather than celebratory nostalgia, and does better at interweaving personal obsessions with events of the wider world. The film isolates a formative moment in the life of Ken Elkin (Noah Taylor) at a Seventh Day Adventist camp in the late ’50s, and then invests the psychological imprint of those days into Elkin’s life at Sydney University in the ’60s with the backdrop of Cuban missile crisis. Ellis’ Ken, like many others, is sex-obsessed, questioning and hungry for knowledge, and it grates against the teachings of the Seventh Day Adventists. At the religious camp, his head is filled with strong beliefs in the end of the world. After an encounter with a heretic, Elkin is convinced of the arrival of the apocalypse at camp’s end, and fears his love for the pastor’s daughter will never be consummated. | O f course, the world does not end, but his experience has left a psychological mark he will carry into the future. While at Univer­ sity, still very much sex-crazed, he falls in love with the virginal


Jennie O ’Brien (Miranda Otto), the daughter of a highly-successful newspaper man - and again encounters the end of the world in the form of the Cuban missile crisis. This time with absolute belief that the end is nigh, Elkin convinces Jennie to flee with him to the mountains in her father’s stolen Jaguar. At one point in their flight to safety, the couple pause at a look-out of the lights of Sydney, and, while they gaze down, Ken projects a vision of the bomb going off and a mushroom cloud engulfing the city. But, of course, once again the end of the world is postponed. They return to Sydney and it’s the beginning of the end for Ken: he must face a court order by Jennie’s father, he loses Jennie and he alienates his closest companion, McAllister (Jack Campbell). It seems the good times are over and Ken has to grow up. It is no accident that Ellis cast Noah Taylor as the lead, for Taylor comes encoded from his role as the misfit Danny Enabling in both of John Duigan’s T he Year My Voice B ro k e (1988) and Flirting (1991). Indeed, the respective characters of T he N ostradam us K id and T he Year My V oice B ro k e bare much resemblance because both are CINEMA


9 4 . 15

Corning of Age

incurable misfits and always will be. The code for making their way in the world is not whether the world will take them in, but whether they will take in the world. This is a code which is the repressed menace to the coming-of-age idea, and brings T he N ostradam us K id a lot closer to the sensibility of Lewis. The last sequence of the film flashes forward twenty or more years from the apocalyptic events of 1962. Ken has obviously grown older and weighty, he is married and a successful playwright. While one of his plays is being staged at the Opera House, he spies Jennie and McAllister from University seated in the audience, now married and enjoying a better life. On the same evening, Ken happens to come across friends from his Adventists days. Disillusioned with the church, his friends are in Sydney catching up on the things denied to them in their youth. As Ken later gazes over at the lights of Sydney from the Opera House, everyone seems to be a lot older and wiser, but suddenly he projects the vision of an atomic mushroom cloud going up over the city. Ken Elkin, and Danny Embling, never really grow up to be fully integrated into the world; they preserve and carry about them the obsessions of their childhood. The N ostradam us K id and The Year My Voice B ro k e are of a type that only appears to be oriented around the classical movement of a coming-of-age film. Another Australian film that should be seen from a similar perspective is D evil in the Flesh (1986), Scott Murray’s graceful adaptation of Raymond Radiguet’s novel, L e D iable au C orps2 D evil in the Flesh is set during World War II among the middleclass of rural Australia. It tells of a passionate love between a young woman, Marthe (Katia Caballero), and Paul (Keith Smith), an adolescent schoolboy approaching manhood. Marthe is daughter to a French immigrant family, and married to an Italian who has been interned for the duration of the war. The affaire between Marthe and Paul begins after she and her family seek the assistance of Paul’s father in having her husband released. But to see D evil only as a coming-of-age film is to pigeon-hole the film too easily, and not to appreciate the restrained, minute and unexpected emotional and psychological changes of the central character. As their affaire progresses, much to the displeasure of Paul’s parents, his response is always in renunciation of their feelings and authority. For Marthe, her relationship with Paul is clearly a very positive and liberating experience, but not one that is insular; for Paul, their relationship is furtive and all that matters is his moments with Marthe. While on the one hand Paul’s affaire with Marthe awakens a degree of independence, on the other his world is shrinking, and stifling of his own emotions. For instance, when Marthe is to visit her husband, Ermanno (Luciano Martucci), in the internment camp, Paul reacts by picking up another woman (Louise Elvin). It’s an action resulting from paranoid jealousy but, curiously, there is also the sense of a predatory impulse. There appears to be a private resolution of selfish conquest on his face, and he seems destined to become an emotional cripple. Thus, if teetering on the point of emotional impotence, one can imagine Paul as perhaps belonging to that lost generation of men of, say, Michelangelo Antonioni’s L ’Avventura (1960) or Federico Fellini’s L a d olce vita (1960) for whom, by gaining too much too soon, adulthood is now tinged with world-weariness, and a hopeless longing for what they will never have. T he H eartbreak K id is worlds apart from the style of D evil in the Flesh, but has similar ingredients for a classical coming-of-age film: 16 - C I N E M A



a mature woman who is a teacher, an adolescent who is her student, and a set of familial characters hostile to their relationship. That she is a teacher and he a student is not insignificant, given that a comingof-age theme is typically about awakening knowledge of the world. But The H eartbreak K id reverses the expectations of a ‘teacher’ introducing a novice to the adult world. The reason teacher becomes student is essentially because the relationship is not played against the backdrop of an innocent period about to foreclose. The film, instead, pitches its story deep among the working-class, ethnic community, and hits at living under the values of the old world, particularly for women. Christina (Claudia Karvan) is 22 years old and starts out in the film with her future already mapped out for her. She is looking down the barrel of marriage to Dimitri (Steve Bastoni), an upwardlymobile Greek-Australian, which means an end to her career, kids and a house across the street from her parents. This all changes when she takes to the flirtatious charm of her 17-year-old problemstudent, Nick Polides (Alex Dimitriades). It’s interesting that by the end of the film Nick is still basically the same kid. His sense of obligation to old values, social barriers, or what is right or wrong, have not as yet fully emerged. He only seems to know what he wants, and has an uncanny ability to understand Christina’s thoughts. Prior to any sense of sexual awakening, Nick already has a freedom which comes from youth. Christina, on the other hand, could only hope for such freedom. As a consequence of her relationship with Nick, she must face the stigma of crossing a professional and social barrier, and disgrace in the eyes of her family and fiancé. But for Christina, who basically lived under the shadow by her father and where her destiny was not of her own making, the relationship gives her a new perspective on her life, a new-found confidence in making her own decisions. She leaves the school, moves out of home, leaving behind the values of the old world, and decides to travel and further her education. Like the vantage point usually reserved for young men, Christina is at a point in her life where she seems able to reach further than the horizon. From this perspective,T he H eartbreak K id is still conven­ tional material. But, like D evil in the Flesh, it is an evolution of the traditional coming-of-age film by being vitally concerned with the position of women and by foregrounding its ethnicity. D evil in the Flesh does this, too, by discussing the interment of Italians here during the war and the repatriation of POWs that followed. It links this with the emergence of a new Australia, one less bound by the repressive English values of the pre-war years (which colour Paul’s world). In the bitter-sweet final scene, Paul visits Marthe and Ermanno, now released, and sees his and Marthe’s child for the first time. Contrary to any expectation of a revengeful Italian husband, Ermanno is instead most understanding of Paul’s suffering and sensitive to his wife’s feelings and needs. One realizes how Marthe and Ermanno have grown far more than Paul, away from AngloCeltic notions of puritanism and patriarchy to a more European equality, openness and warmth. This seems to mirror the important changes that began in Australia at the time and continue to this day. In that sense, D evil in the Flesh is not a coming-of-age film set in a period of lost innocence, but signals a new, more humane, dawning. It is not a film of nostalgia but of beginnings. ■1


Declaration: Scott M urray is the editor of Cinema Papers.


M elbo urne

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94 •



H ea r tb r ea k K id concerns the coming of age of a 22-year-old

Greek teacher, Christina (Claudia Karvan) who falls in love with a soccer-obsessed, 17-year-old schoolboy, Nick (Alex Dimitriades)* Their relationship challenges not only notions of age difference and teacher responsibility, but the restrictive­ ness of some aspects of Greek culture and the racism endemic to Australian society* Based on a stage play by Richard Barrett, the film was directed by Michael Jenkins, best known for his ground-breaking work in the television series, S cales and T he L eaving



J ustice

L iverpool * His other theatrical features are

R ebel (1985), D avid W illiam son ’s Emerald C ity (1989) and S weet T alker (1991 )* After doing a degree in English and Philosophy, Jenkins went to the ABC, where he worked as a journalist for a couple of years, including in the Canberra press gallery. He then did “ a very enterprising 12-week production course” at the ABC, which led to work as a first and second assistant during the early days of teWision drama. Becoming involved in scriptwriting and editing eventually led to d o ttin g 52 episodes of Bellbird. igpr Jenkins: Those were the days of full-on, multi-camera treatment for dra||&. The single camera technique hadn’t emerged by then. My whole training wais in the electronic area on shows like Bellbird and Certain 'Women. One thing that background gives you is a certain amount of discipline in terms of planning. After all, you had to execute and edit the entirety of api drama programme in one or two days. You had to know every shot you wanted¡and the battle was to keep some flexibility with the actors. It was very much a planningoriented introduction to filmmaking. How would you describe your directing style today? I’m very free with actors and like to think on my feet a lot. I work very closely with the DOP, but above all I like to work with the actors in the rehearsal process. To some degree, I allow the shooting style to evolve from that. One thing I’ve grown into these days is a shooting style that doesn’t dictate to the actors, or to me, what can be done. It’s very easy to let the mechanics of the shoot take over, which often results in a technical film that doesn’t have a simplicity or truth about it. Everybody, particularly the actors, become slaves to the process. The most exciting thing I find about filmmaking is the extent to which you can take a piece of material and develop it. For that you really need rehearsal space. Very few people write a


scene in a way that it automatically becomes a perfect scene in the film. Nowadays, I am less obsessed with the visual technicalities, as in getting lots of pretty and complex shots, and more interested in becoming simpler, more focused. My flexible shooting style is quite evident in Scales o f Justice and The heaving o f Liverpool. How much improvisation is there in The Heartbreak K id? Quite a lot, actually. Some scenes we actually wrote in the rehearsal room, while many others we modified quite strongly. The script had undergone many drafts, but we felt that in some areas it could still work better. Richard Barrett, the writer of the stage play and the co-writer of the screenplay, and I were present quite a bit during the rehearsals. The transition from stage play to film can be difficult, but there is no evidence of that in The Heartbreak K id? It can be difficult and I don’t think we arrived at our end result easily. We ended up doing six or seven drafts and the various parties involved had lots of criticisms and suggestions. The script only became an entity unto itself, and the stage play receded into the distance, when we weren’t afraid to change anything. The interesting thing is that Richard Barrett, who originated the material, enjoyed the process of changing things. He didn’t feel a need to hang onto old material. Can you give a few examples of changes you made? In the stage play, the romance between Christina and Nick is limited to holding hands on a park bench. The film goes a degree further than that. It has a set of new characters and brand-new sequences, going into whole new areas. For instance, we introduced a new history for the boy’s family and we developed his schoolboy obsession with soccer. As for Christina, the relationship with her husband-to-be wasn’t really analyzed in the stage play, and her whole family background was never really entered into in the same way.

The schoolyard scenes in H eartbreak are very much an example, in a fairly action-orientated way, of what I was say­ ing earlier, where we created the sequence and only then worked out how to photo­ graph it. We very rarely set up a shot and said, “ Okay, you have to throw this punch here because the camera is here. ” The good thing about this approach is that you can photograph action with one, tw o, three or four cam eras. In the schoolyard, we were squirting off film into two or three cameras at a time. This is a good way to work on a tight Australian schedule because you can get a lot of vitality and excitement happening. If you laboriously work shot to/shot and set things up, like a puppeteer, you can lose that richness, especially on the ridiculously, stupidly, short schedules that we have in Australia. What kind of pre-production and shooting time did you have? We had six weeks, but they were five-day weeks. And on none of the days were we in a budgetary position to shoot any kind of extensive overtime. But that can be kind of liberating as well. You can still be adventurous with the actors and achieve the schedule. Do you storyboard? Yes. I think the two things are compatible. Storyboards give you a kind of reference or anchorage point, which is what we would have tended to do on H eartbreak. It does also depend ort the DOP that you work with. Nino [Martinetti] likes to think on his feet a lot. In the previous piece I did, T he Leaving o f L iverpool, I spent a week locked in a room with Steve Windon, a Sydney-based DOP, the production designer, the first assistant, the camera operator and the sketch artist. It was quite democratic in that we all felt free to pull apart a scene and make suggestions about key visual ideas. The whole point of the planning process is to create freedom for those few shooting days that you have. Without this freedom, you cannot explore any kind of boundaries, such as the kind of improvisation you see in a lot of modern American cinema. You get the feeling that a lot is happening that was never written down on a typewriter, which is exciting for audiences to relate to. That is where my interest lies - much more than in visual technicalities. I don’t care about them to be perfectly honest. How much time did you spend with the actors on The Heartbreak Kid prior to shooting? We had three weeks. Six weeks would have been a lot, lot better as we still had heaps to do after three weeks. As a side issue, the film looks at multi-culturalism and the racism sometimes associated with that.

You spoke earlier about the shooting style and how you tried to create a feeling of vibrancy and energy, which is particularly noticeable in the schoolyard scenes involving soccer confrontations.

We didn’t want to make a film about the multi-racial question or drag out issues about ethnics - we just wanted those things to be there. We didn’t want the film to be self-conscious about its multi­ cultural component.

Since Scales o f Justice and The Leaving o f L iv erp ool, one of the things that marks my work is a certain amount of freedom in terms of using a hand-held camera. Scales was one of the first things in Australian television to really go heavily down that road.

I don’t think Christina’s plight only applies to someone of a specific ethnic background. It is about anyone getting themself committed too young to a course in life before having explored one’s own abilities. Without making the bloody thing sound too pomp-

20 • C I N E M A



M ic h a e l J e n k in s : ‘T h e H e a r tb r e a k K id ’

ous, the film is about personal freedom. In the bqy’s case, it is a fairly classic situation of growing up. I quite like the social context that his life is pinned to. He is a kid with a single parent, a boy who has huge potential and real leadership. H e gains enough self-confidence through his relationship with Christina to know that, if he wants something, he can do it. W hat other themes were you interested in exploring? I suppose the film is about danger and promise - danger because the young kid and the teacher become involved in something which crosses social barriers of duty and obligation, about what is right and proper in our community. They enter a dangerous and risky territory which puts in jeopardy their family relationships and her career. They also both very much run the risk of falling into one of those kinds of affaires that could easily result in damage. As it turns out, it isn’t, but it could have been. Christina also runs the risk of disgrace in her own family. Nick, too, could easily be regarded by his school peers as wrecking something for them, because they actually like this teacher and the effect of this affaire is that she is driven away from school. The promise aspect is that it is not a dead-end street. There is the promise of sexual excitement and personal exploration for both. W hat do you consider to be the most interesting aspect of your work: writing or directing? Directing. My main input into filmmaking, as far as writing goes, has been to be involved in the creation of scripts. In a few cases, that has involved co-writing. On H ea rtbrea k , Richard and I worked on and off for two years on various drafts. But I much prefer directing. How do you feel about crossing the line between television and cinema? On television productions, scripts generally emerge without heavyduty research and grounding, A producer, director and writer might set aside a year to develop a thing before it becomes a reality, but they will typically give a writer some money and say, “In twelve weeks we want a draft.” Unless that writer is accessing something major and personal that he or she already has insight into, or is adapting a terrific book, you can’t do it. I think a lot of times our films are not wise enough or informed enough. It is a bit catch-22.1 could turn around and say Australian writers, producers and directors don’t get enough funding to do that sort of thing, but finally that is not the answer. You can only look at what is. I don’t think we do enough work. If we are to come up with strong films, then we need to do more research. By “strong” I don’t mean it has to be social-realist material; you can call Strictly B allroom strong. What future projects are lined up? Ben and I are working on a film. It is at script stage and I’m writing it. It is about civil rights, set in Australia and the strongest subject matter I’ve come across in quite a while, if we get it right. It is a very hard-edged piece of material. It takes a member of society that has very few rights left and is in the most dire straits. The screenplay will be ready in the next few months. It is not a high-budget idea, but that’s all I can say about it at the moment. 1.

Daydream Believer (Kathy Mueller, 1992) was produced by Ben Gannon.

— \


BEN G A N N O N Producer of 'The Heartbreak Kid* Not all producer-director relationships are harmonious, yet you have worked successfully with Michael Jenkins on a number of films. Touch wood, I have never fallen out with a director I’ve worked with. This is the third time I have worked with Mike, on Sw eet T alker, D aydream B eliever1 and T he H eartbreak Kid. I have a tremendous respect for directors and I don’t want to be one myself. A lot of producers want to be directors, which can cause a lot of friction. I don’t enjoy being on the set all the time. I’m too impatient. Apparently, the Nine Network has shown interest in a series based on T he H eartbreak K id. W e’re having conversations with Nine. It has bought the film and is very enthusiastic about it. W e’ve put a proposal to Nine for taking the basic setting of the film of a blue-collar, very multi-cultural high-school. We are trying to present a contemporary Australia which is not a Beverly Hills 90 2 1 0 , silly Hollywood version, but actually real and true to our country in the 1990s. We would take the endless storylines that can flow from that. It won’t be a soap. It will be more along the lines of a Hill Street Blues, with a bit of hard edge and realism to it. Initially, we would do 13 one-hour programmes. Michael would probably direct the first one and would be part of the overall script supervisory unit. We would bring in other writers and directors. It’s early days and I wouldn’t make too much out of it, but certainly we are talking and working on it as a future project. What is the marketing plan for T he H eartbreak K id ? The film is targeted two ways. W e’ve test screened it with questionnaires and we know quite a lot about how the film plays. It plays extremely well to females 12 to 45, which is a very wide audience. The male audience is not quite so wide. The target audience is male and female 12 to 45. The first thrust of the campaign is to them. The second thrust is to the older female audience. Females seem to relate very strongly to the j ourney Christina takes. Obviously, there is the “spunk factor” of Nick, but the fact that Christina actually goes through this liberating journey is something a female audience identifies with. W e’re also doing a lot of word-of-mouth screenings with soccer clubs and Greek clubs. The screenplay is being published by Currency Press, which is something it does a lot now with Australian films, and there is an enormous amount of promotion with other associated campaigns, such as Myer/Grace Bros., Southdown Press, Triple M , etc. Polygram got involved very early in the piece and we’ve put together a soundtrack which consists largely of its artists or things we’ve re-recorded and it owns. W e’ve spent a lot of time on the music. Polygram is putting out two singles and a soundtrack album, separate to the Village Roadshow campaign.

Michael Jenkins was the script editor.

V________________________________________________________ CINEMA



9 4 . 21

Jf .

Compared to past years, the 1993 Cannes International Rim Festival and Marché was a lack-lustre event which began slowly and ended predictably. There were no shocks except for Wim Wenders unaccountably winning the Grand Prix du Jury for Far A w ay, So C lo s e !- and no dazzling talents unearthed from am ong the new directors. Tran Anh Hung’s The Sm ell o f G reen Papaya which w on the Camera d ’O r was much admired, but it failed to elicit from delegates the same excited buzz that hailed such films as Jim Jarmusch's S tranger Than Paradise (1984), Patricia Rozema’s I ’ve H eard th e M erm aids S inging (1987) or Jocelyn Moorhouse’s P ro o f (1991 ). 22 . C I N E M A P A P E R S





everal films in the Official Selection were stolid and pedestrian, and a few downright poor (particularly Pupi Avati’s M agnificat, Abel Ferrara’s B ody Snatchers and Robert Young’s Splitting Heirs). De­ spite the absence of euphoria, there were high spots, however: the handful of very fine films from established directors Chen Kaige, Mike Leigh, Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Ken Loach which will further consolidate their reputations; Jane Campion’s epic ro­ mance, T he Piano, which won the Palme d’Or for Best Film (along with Chen Kaige’s Baw ang B ie J i (Farew ell to My Concu­ bine)), making her the first female director in the history of the Cannes Festival to do so; and the controversy sparked by the success of T he Piano as to what constitutes the ‘nationality’ of a film. Several factors contributed to this being a flatter Festival than previously. For the first time in many years at Cannes, there was no dominant American presence to be felt, feared and envied by the Europeans. The object of the traditional trans-Atlantic love-hate relationship didn’t come to the party. This was visibly apparent during the first: week when, with the exception of the opening night, the crowds milling on La Croisette around the giant staircase leading to the Grand Theatre Lumiere were notice­


ably thinner than in previous years. Only in the second week, when Elizabeth Taylor swept into Cannes for an AIDS promotion, held in conjunction with Renny Harlin’s Cliffhanger, starring Sylvester Stallone, did the numbers swell to past levels, cresting again for the appearance of Michael Doug­ las, the star of Joel Schumacher’s Falling D ow n, and the extravaganza of the closing ceremony. Cannes thrives on its symbiosis with Hollywood. Ever since the French recog­ nized the importance of film as an export commodity and grafted a film market onto this great annual festival, Cannes has de­ pended on big name American actors to generate the glamour and publicity that still makes Cannes, despite the inroads of other festivals, the world’s premiere film event, second only in media exposure to the Acad­ emy Awards. Hence, when the news broke that there would be a dearth of American films at Cannes this year, because the studios were not willing or able to complete their quota of summer blockbusters in time for Cannes, eyebrows were raised and speculation was rife. Festival director Gilíes Jacob hit out at the studios for what he called “poor plan­ ning”, while the studio heads, who have been pushing Cannes for some time for a



change in the Festival date to later in the year, repeated their complaint about hav­ ing to rush to get films ready by May which are often not released in the U.S. until the fall, or even Christmas. Consternation amongst the Cannes or­ ganizers was further compounded by the absence of films from big name American auteurs such as Robert Altman, Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg, James Ivory, Gus Van Sant and Martin Scorsese - all direc­ tors with films rumoured to be near com­ pletion at the time, whose names alone can be guaranteed to give Cannes gloss. It is not clear why Hollywood chose or was forced this year to be a “party-pooper ”. Certainly it is hard to resist the notion that the global recession has made the funding of mega-productions (such as Steven Spielberg’sJurassic Park) much harder and that the ballooning costs of film production and distribution have further widened the gap between the supply of funds and the ability to deliver the finished product. Added to these difficulties, the progres­ sive consolidation of the studios and their distribution networks has made film pro­ duction even more difficult for the Ameri­ can independents. CINEMA


9 4 . 23

But there are other reasons as well for Cannes losing its lustre this year. Techno­ logical advances (telephones, faxes and sat­ ellites) have globalized film markets. Indeed, some Festival die-hards were reported in the trade papers as questioning the justifi­ cation for the three main film markets Cannes, the American Film Market and MIFED - with one veteran going so far as to say that Cannes “is a festival the world doesn’t need any more”. Film marketing is a year-round business. Technological advances in marketing and financing, and the speed with which finan­ cial transactions occur, have altered ways of doing business, in film as in everything else. Faced with this reality, the Cannes administration will need to fight harder to maintain Cannes’ pre-eminence in the face of competition from other markets, rapid changes in technology, and the growing popularity of other festivals such as Berlin, Venice, Toronto, Montréal and Sundance. One effect of fewer American films be­ ing screened at Cannes this year was the highlighting of offerings from other coun­ tries. O f the films in competition for the Palme d’Or, for example, four each came from France and the UK, three each from 24 • C I N E M A P A P E R S 94

Australia, Italy and the U.S., and one each from China, Russia, Taiwan, Haiti, Ger­ many and South Africa. On the surface this looked exciting, as if other national film cultures were preparing to displace American dominance. But Cannes is no longer the litmus test it used to be. For instance, the Melbourne Film Festi­ val, which picks the eyes from the major festivals around the world, including Cannes, in some ways is more representa­ tive of the world picture, and this year the Melbourne Festival featured an exciting mix of new films from Mexico, Asia, Iran, South America and Canada. The screening, too, of many good independent films from the U.S. is a reminder of the persistent energy of the American film industry. On the other hand, this doesn’t negate the trends that were observable at Cannes this year: a strong resurgence of filmmaking in England, and the clear emergence of a vigorous film culture in Asia that is poised to take advantage of China’s version of market socialism. Given their prominence in Competition, the French, Australian and Italian films were generally disappointing. The opening night film from France, André Téchiné’s M a Saison P référée (My

Favourite Season) was a case in point and gave a dull, uninspired start to the Festival ; Catherine Deneuve and Daniel Auteuil play middle-aged siblings who are forced to confront complex feelings for each other as they come to grips with the mental and physical decline of their mother. Although the roles were expressly written for them by. the director, Deneuve is miscast and never ; looks comfortable or convincing, while ; Auteuil is too likeable to be dangerous, and lacks credibility as a neuro-surgèon. Chiara Mastroianni, Deneuve’s off-screen daugh­ ter by Marcello, is one of three young people who drift in and out of the film meaninglessly. The fault lies with the unde­ veloped script and Téchiné’s limp direction which fails to give the film cohesion. Martha Villalonga’s realistic portrait of thè sib­ lings’ earthy, dignified mother is the filrri’s saving grace. Things couldn’t have been more differ­ ent the following day with the premiere df Mike Leigh’s N aked . This is the Britifh director’s best and most mature film to date. It’s also his bleakest. Previous ISdike Leigh characters have fallen into two broad categories: those portrayed with kitchln? sink realism and those perceived làrgely^as


caricatures. Whichever way he paints them, they are all misfits battling to cope with the world. N a k e d is altogether more integrated and illuminating. Life itself is questioned here - even those humanistic values we take for granted in a Mike Leigh film - and the shift in gear is virtuosic and exhilarating. The film begins with the protagonist, Johnny (played brilliantly by David Thewlis), savagely raping a woman in a Manchester alley before heading for Lon­ don where he plays cat and mouse with all those he comes into contact with: lost souls, nihilistic drifters like himself and ordinary, decent people like his ex-girlfriend, Louise. Johnny’s rage and violence is thoroughly modern despite his Dickensian garb, and so is his misogyny. In many ways, the creation of this character is Mike Leigh’s master­ piece (although much of the credit, accord­ ing to Leigh, should go to Thewlis, who also won the Cannes Best Actor award for his performance). It is unfortunate then, though not surprising, that Leigh’s N ak ed yfas subject to hostility from many at Cannes who, in the presence this year at the Festival of many successful women film directors ¿15 out of 72), identified this kind of mi­ sogyny as an egregious anachronism.

This vociferous criticism was ill-focused and should have concentrated on those films that were overtly violent and misogynistic, without Leigh’s redeeming social and humanistic concerns - films, for example, from that inveterate misogynist Peter Greenaway whose The Baby o f M âcon features amongst other excesses not only a debasing and ugly birth but the serial rape of a virgin by over 200 men, and Pupi Avanti’s plodding M agnificat, so overbur­ dened with historicity that it needs enliven­ ing through the drowning of a young witch and the public quartering of a man. N ak ed was the first of the English films at Cannes to make an impact, and coupled with the pleasure induced by Stephen Frears’ working-class romp, The Snapper, which opened La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, a high point was reached early in the Festival against which most films in the first week were measured and found wanting. In the main Competition, two films from Italy had merit, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s Fiorile and Ricky Tognazzi’s L a Scorta (The B odyguards), as did Takeshi Kitano’s Sonatine (Japan) in Un Certain Regard and Nicolae Caranfil’s E P ericoloso Sporgersi (D on’t L ean O ut the W indow , Rumania),

Ildiko Szabo’s Child M urders (Hungary) and Victor Nunez’s Ruby in Paradise (U.S.) in Quinzaine. But it was not until the screen­ ing of Jane Campion’s The Piano (followed swiftly by Chen Kaige’s equally impressive Farew ell to My Concubine) that the Festi­ val really sprang to life. Campion’s unorthodox vision and the powerful eroticism of her film struck a chord with everyone at Cannes. Even be­ fore the Festival began, Campion was tipped to win the Palme d’Or by those who had seen previews in Paris and London, and there was the danger that response to The Piano would be coloured by expectations, and that the reality would prove an anti­ climax. That this was far from the case is a further tribute to the film, which was hailed at the press conference, immediately after its first screening, as a masterpiece. In contrast to the evident delight of the film’s Australian producer, Jan Chapman, who understandably found the reaction “thrilling”, Campion’s response to the ac­ claim was low-key and matter-of-fact. “Cannes is such a strange environment to be thrown into ”, she said later at the Carlton, the ritziest of Cannes’ wedding-cake hotels. “It’s not real. You don’t want to take it too C I NE MA PAPERS

9 4 • 25

seriously.” Campion should know. When her first feature, Sweetie, was presented at Cannes in 1989, she admits to crying her eyes out at the film’s mixed reception. T he Piano (not unlike Mike Leigh’s N aked) represents a coming together in total congruity of her considerable powers - a gift for off-beat narrative, fresh vision and a capacity to ravish the eyes with startlingly beautiful images. The drama evokes the brooding, roman­ tic novels of the Bronte sisters. Ada (Holly Hunter), a mute woman, arrives on the beach in New Zealand in 1852 with her young daughter (Anna Paquin) to enter into an arranged marriage with a man (Sam Neill) she has never met. When her new husband forces her to leave her beloved piano on the beach, an act of petty tyranny that Ada cannot forgive, he sets in place a train of events that almost leads to tragedy. The American Holly Hunter, stripped to the essentials with rigid costumes, no make­ up, no dialogue and intense emotions, gives a miraculous performance which won her the Cannes Best Actress award. Harvey Keitel is just as commanding as the illiterate neighbour, Baines, who takes the piano into his own home and uses it as an erotic ploy in a strange barter arrangement. Keitel is so totally at home in his new persona (which includes a nude scene that is at odds with his customary tough-guy roles) that he throws Neill’s performance into the shade. The Piano eclipsed lesser films as well. Alexandre Khvan’s long-winded D ou baD ou ba (Russia), about a young scriptwriter BELOW: ANGEL (ADEN YOUNG) AND WILSON (BILL HUNTER). LAURIE MCINNES' BROKEN HIGHWAY.

26 • C I N E M A



who commits a series of crimes to finance the escape from a prison camp of a woman who in the end rejects him, is a case in point. It is too heavy and oblique to succeed as either dream or political allegory, which makes it an essay in futility in more ways than one. Similarly difficult to watch, especially for those who remember Wings o f D esire as one of the great films of the 1980s, is Wim Wenders’ Far Aw ay, So Close!. Set in a unified Berlin, this interminably long se­ quel - in which the second angel Cassiel (Otto Sandor) becomes human - attempts to recapture the magic of the first film but finishes up as a failed parody which even threatens to diminish the impact and poetry of the original. The impenetrable storyline has uncomfortable parallels, too, with the wandering confusion which eventually made watching Until the E nd o f the W orld (1991) such a chore. Nevertheless, Louis Malle and his Cannes Jury thought suffi­ ciently well of it to award it the Grand Jury prize. On the other hand, Alain Cavalier’s L ibera M e (France), which won the OCIC Ecumenical Jury Prize, is a strangely pas­ sionless indictment of totalitarianism that is mesmerizing to watch for the austere purity of its images. The narrative consists of brief scenes filmed against neutral interi­ ors which snapshot the torture and execu­ tion of citizens living in a society much like our own. The bloodless, expressionless ac­ tion unspools entirely without dialogue, accompanied only by ambient sounds. Too cryptic and too aesthetic perhaps to make any profound statements about human

rights, L ibera M e nonetheless demands a response from the viewer, as the film’s title implies. Lauded by some, and thought too sac­ charine by others, was Steven Soderbergh’s King o f the H ill (tJ-S.b It is a saga set in St Louis in the 1930s, adapted for the screen by Soderbergh from the memoirs of A. E. Hotchner, about the coming of age of a 12year-old boy growing up during the depres­ sion in the 1930s. Most disappointing from the Australian point of view were the films of the young Australians, Laurie Mclnnes, Stephan Elliott and Tracey Moffatt. They received a poor reception generally, although there were pockets of interest. All three directors have undeniable talent, but Mclnnes and Moffatt still have some way to go in marshalling skills, Mclnnes in scriptwriting and Moffatt in scriptwriting and direction. Mclnnes’ B ro k en H ighw ay is moody and visually compelling, but this isn’t suffi­ cient to sustain interest. Her story is so interior and locked into mystery that it virtually doesn’t exist for the viewer, who is forced to remain outside the film’s emo­ tionally charged atmosphere in constant perplexity. Early scenes between Aden Young as Angel and Dennis Miller as M ax work very well, as do those with David Field as Tatts. But without an infrastruc­ ture, fine actors like Norman Kaye and Bill Hunter are made to seem gratuitous. M offatt’s B edevil is more problematic. Relying heavily on her strong visual sense, Moffatt’s film comprises three stylized ghost stories set in tropical Queensland, based on tales told by members of her family. Shot on a sound stage, her style is eclectic and fragmentary, ranging at will from her ‘Queensland gothic’ to a more naturalistic approach with injections of humour. For all its positives - subject interest and strong visuals - B ed ev il lacks rhythm (perhaps storyboarding and tighter editing could help) and is dogged by stilted acting which is hard to pass off as style. N ight Cries: A R ural Tragedy (short, 1990) succeeded not only because of its style but because it had struc­ ture. One has the feeling with B e­ devil that the three-in-one project was too ambitious. Stephan Elliott’s Frauds is more accessible, but not necessarily more conventional. Elliott sees himself as an enfant terrible, perhaps even an Australian Ken Russell. Cer­ tainly his film aroused strong feel­ ings at Cannes. Frauds is bold and cheerful, a splashy film about insurance fraud and practical jokes that backfire

which doesn’t take itself too seriously, while at the same time making a few nice points about human behaviour. Elliott directs with confidence arid flair, and wrings good per­ formances from Josephine Byrnes, Hugo Weaving and Phil Collins in particular, who seems made for the part. First-rate production design by Brian Thompson is crucial to the film, particularly Collins’ house which resembles a set from Toys. J Sadly, however, Frauds runs out of steam, jokes wear thin and the film’s resolution feels pat and predictable. On a more optimistic note, Excursion to the Bridge o f Friendship, the debut short film of Christina Andreef, another New Zealander making films in Australia, which screened in Un Certain Regard, is a delight. Polished and quirky, it tells the story of Nadezdhda Ivanova, a Bulgarian folksinger who writes a letter to a strange woman in Sydney, requesting sponsorship so that she can bring her ancient songs to a new land. Filmed in black and white and billed as a “silent musical”, Andreef uses intertitles wittily and inventively. In twelve minutes, Andreef has created a world of immediately recognizable characters and a situation known only too well to most of us. Farewelling five filmmakers off to Cannes is a little like sending a contingent of swim­ mers to the Olympics: everyone wants re­ sults and there is huge disappointment if they falter. This is cultural cringe of the worst kind because it blames the artist who, on the contrary, should be commended for foraying into new forms of cinematic ex­ pression. Such cultural cringe condemns the artist and constrains the critic. It also raises the question of the nature of funding by state and federal bodies, and whether this should be either more conditional or com e w ith m ore assistan ce w ith scriptwritirig and production. Gilles Jacob, the director of the Cannes Festival who makes the final selection as to which films screen at Cannes, stands by his judgement and sees the 1993 Australian entries as representing a second generation of filmmakers led by Campion, whom he believes to be one of the five best directors in the world. In his office in the Palais, he assessed the strengths of each young direc­ tor making debut films this year, and com­ pared the five films and the sections in “which they are screened to the ascending Stairc-ase which is the festival’s logo and a model of its structure. “It’s like a scale”, he says. “You have the first step, which is short. Then the next one, Un Certain Re­ gard, which is more experimental. Then the Competition. Then, hopefully, the prize!” He .mentions how proud the Cannes Festival iseTCampiohr“ because she was discov­ eredhere”. Mill Kenneth Branagh’s. M uch A do A bou t

N othing (UK), a joyous interpretation of Shake­ speare’s play which should direct audiences to Shakespeare (as well as the b o x office) through the sheer vital­ ity of his production and the performances of his stellar cast, was screened in the latter part of the Festival, as was Ken Foach’s Rain­ ing Stones (UK). Foach, whose R iff-R a ff won accolades at Cannes last year, was awarded the Cannes Jury Prize for Raining Stones this year and richly deserved to do so. Far more subtle than his fellow social realist, M ike Leigh, Loach’s tale about un­ employment on a north London housing estate blends comedy with so­ cial tragedy in a unique way, making Raining Stones, which is never didactic and always en­ tertaining, his best film yet. For overall excel­ lence, Asian films dominated the Festival quietly: Tran Anh Hung’s T he Scent o f G reen P apaya (Vietnam-France); Lan Fengzheng’s T he Blue Kite (Hong KongChina), which screened in Quinzaine; Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s The Puppetm aster (Taiwan), a slow-moving, superlative film which de­ servedly won the second Jury Prize awarded this year; and Chen Kaige’s magnificent Farew ell to my C oncubine (Hong KongChina), which shared the Palme d’Or this year, a decision disputed by no one. Based on Lilian Li’s popular novel, Chen Kaige with the help of his three principal actors, Gong Li, Zhang Fengyi and Leslie Cheung, has forged a mighty epic which spans fifty years of Chinese history, begin­ ning in 1925 with the rigorous, cruel train­ ing of two young boys, Xiaolou and Dieyi, for the Peking Opera, and ending with the turbulent political and social changes wrought upon China by the Cultural Revo­ lution in the 1970s. The heart of the film, however, is the enduring love of Dieyi for Xiaolou, and how Dieyi comes to identify with the tragic royal concubine, Yu Ji, in the opera farewell, bringing him to stardom opposite Xiaolou as her master. At the press conference, Chen, flanked by his Hong Kong producer, Madame Hsu Feng, and Leslie Cheung, who plays the androgynously beautiful artist Dieyi, Chen



said that he and his generation of filmmak­ ers began making films that broke with the cinema of the past, “ because we were fed up with propaganda films”. Earlier at a lunch­ eon, he was open about the covert means he employed to introduce the forbidden theme of homosexuality into his film. While the Chinese people are becoming more openminded, they cannot move too quickly into forbidden areas of behaviour. Rather, they must be treated subtly. “I see this film as being a passport to making other films about terrible times”, he said. As filmmaking costs continue to rise and the global market further dissolves the bor­ ders between nations, China is ready to become a dominant force in international filmmaking by coupling its vast market and resources with the enterprise of Taiwan, which is starved of a market to expand into. Hong Kong’s future is allied to both. This makes Asia and the Pacific Rim a prime target for expansion. All the evidence from Cannes and elsewhere shows that interna­ tional co-productions are the way of the future. In this light, the public wrangling over the nationality of The Piano indicates a need to come to grips with changes in the international film culture. 9



9 4 . 27




94 • 29

Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir D ogs tells of six professional criminals brought together for a jewellery heist - strangers known to each other only by their colour-coded names. The heist is the brainchild of a father-and-son crime team - Joe Cabot (played by veteran tough guy Lawrence Tieney) and Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn) - and it is a carefully-orchestrated robbery, where no prior knowledge of the criminals could jeopardize the plan. But the job goes violently wrong and it is soon realized the bungled heist is the result of a double-cross. The film is the first feature for writer-director Quentin Tarantino, and it brings together extraordinary acting talent for what is a magnetic ensemble of characters. Heading the cast as M r White is Martin Scorsese regular Harvey Keitel. The others include Tim Roth as Mr Orange, Michael Madsen as the psychotic Mr Blonde, Eddie Bunker as Mr Blue, Tarantino himself as Mr Brown, and seasoned characteractor Steve Buscemi as M r Pink. After a string of small roles in notable films like Mystery Train (Jim Jarmusch, 1989), M iller’s Crossing (Joel Coen, 1990) and Barton Fink (Joel Coen, 1991), Reservoir D ogs finally gave Buscemi greater breathing space. Here, among other things, he discusses his character M r Pink and the making of the film. What made you become an actor? I never really analyzed the reason. Acting was just something I fantasized about when I was a kid. Then, after I saw D og D ay A fternoon [Sidney Lumet, 1975] and the performances of John Cazale and A1 Pacino, I decided that was the type of acting I wanted to do. To me, there is a lot of comedy in D og D ay A fternoon, yet it wasn’t a comedy. I loved the intensity of the characters and the realness of the whole film, including the look of it. It was based on a true incident, and, in fact, the true incident was even more bizarre than the movie. They couldn’t put everything in the movie; they had to trim the real detail. I love the energy of what it was about, and the acting I think is just incredible.

Were there any acting influences from D og D ay A ftern oon } I’ll tell you the person I’m very influenced by is John Cassavetes, not only as an actor, but especially by his own films and the acting in them. He has a great face, and he gets good actors and good faces and good performances out of actors, like in Faces, Shadow s, The Killing o f a Chinese B o o k ie and A W om an Under the Influenceh And, of course, there is Martin Scorsese’s films with Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel. What is your acting background? I started out doing stand-up comedy when I Was around 20 years old, but I only did that for about 2 years. I then started doing some experimental theatre on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, and I hooked up with another actor-writer, Martin Boone. We wrote and performed our own theatre pieces. Perhaps the first time you were seen in film by Australian audiences was Parting G lances [Bill Sherwood, 1986], in which you had a major role. Then came a series of small character parts, in films like N ew York Stories (Martin Scorsese episode, 1989), M ystery Train, M iller’s Crossing and B arton Fink. Character actors often get stuck in a particular grove, but that is quite an odd mix of film «;. I’ve been really lucky. I fell in with a good group of people, and was lucky enough to get some good parts. A lot of them have been small but memorable characters. I like being a character actor. Was one of those films a turning point for you? Farting Glances is still my favourite of the parts I’ve played. That came very early in my career, so it was a turning point. It took a while to get a part as complex as that character, and I think I’ve done that now with R eservoir D ogs and another film called In the Soup [Alexander Rockwell, 1992]. In between Farting G lances and these two films, I did a lot of smaller parts, or just characters that you see for a little bit but who make an impression. At the same time, you really didn’t learn a lot about them and that was sort of frustrating. Leaving played sullfa.1


30 . C I N E M A



Faces (1 9 8 6 ), Shadows (1 9 6 0 ), The Killing o f a Chinese Bookie {1976) and A Woman Under the Influence (1974).


good part early in my career, I was a little spoilt. But things definitely changed with R eservoir D ogs and In the Soup, which I did back to back. In the Soup is about a young filmmaker trying to get his first feature financed and he hooks up with a shady producer, who is not really a producer - he’s a con man and thief. But this man is such a character that the filmmakëîlearns a lot about life through him. The filmmaker doesri’t end up making the movie; it’s really a kind of love story between these guys. How did you get cast in Reservoir Dogs as Mr Pink? I auditioned for it after I got the script from my agent. Quentin had known of my work, and we had talked on the phone. Then Harvey Keitel paid for Quentin and the producer, Laurence Bender, to come to New York because they couldn’t afford to and Harvey wanted them to see some New Y ork actors. I just auditioned like every other actor did. Harvey had casting approval, but I didn’t know Harvey at all before R éservoir D ogs. The characters of Reservoir Dogs are played with full-on energy. At thé same time, because they’re strangers to each other, they have to play off one another without any prior knowledge. Did Tarantino give the cast any special briefing on playing those rôles ? Actually, Eddie Bunker, who plays M r Blue, was a real-life thief. So he was our unofficial technical adviser. We had a two-week rehearsal period where we talked about a lot of things. It was one of the best rehearsal periods I’ve ever gone through. It was very thorough and we really explored every aspect of the script» We even rehearsed scenes that weren’t written. We just made up different situations that these characters might be in; little improvisations. There’s a good deal of the scenes that look improvised, like the scene between Mr Pink and Mr White, when White is clicking his fingers while trying to light a cigarette.

didn’t tell us to watch anything. We j ust rehearsed it on our own and he didn’t say he was going to try to make it like something else. You’ve worked with experienced directors like Martin Scorsese and Joel Coen. What was it like with Tarantino, given that it is his first film? He is as experienced as anybody else I’ve worked with. I really feel directing is in his blood. He has been waiting his whole life to do this film. Tim Roth used to say, “ Quentin has been directing this movie in his head for 29 years.” I wouldn’t say he knew exactly what he was doing every step of the way, but even the most experienced directors don’t know that, either. I think he had a good attitude towards the film. I liked his kind of energy. Quentin is very focused. Even a lot of the camera work was scripted, as far as knowing when characters are to be off-screen and when the camera stays on one character. He wrote that kind of material and that was the way it was shot. Some people had suggested that he should cover scenes, and he would say, “No, I would never use it. I don’t want to see M r Pink in this scene. I want to do a close dolly on M r White’s face.” This is what happens in the last scene, for example. It’s one take as M r White crawls over to the ramp and cradles M r Orange’s head. Mr Pink is a fairly comical character, but he also has to suddenly switch over into a dramatic mode? I didn’t see it as a switch. If the audience finds him funny, that’s fine, and if it doesn’t, that’s fine too. The point is I wasn’t playing M r Pink for laughs. From the first time reading the script, I was very aware of the humour in it, but as an actor playing that character I couldn’t really go for laughs. And Quentin didn’t direct us to go for any laughs. We all knew this stuff was funny, but we just tried to make it as real as possible. The humour comes out of something that is very real. In that way, you also get laughs that we didn’t know were in it, and people laugh at different stuff. An example would be the torture scene between MLr Blonde and the cop. It always has some people walking out and other people laughing. How do you decide how to play that scene ? You can’t play

We actually didn’t improvize anything while we were shoot­ ing and we didn’t write any new scenes through improvization. We did embellish some of the scenes, though, where we came up with pieces of business. For instance, that scene in the bathroom was totally scripted, but with the cigarette thing I think I added a line when he says, “Have a smoke”, and I say, “I quit!” That came out of the situation, but 95 per cent of the film was scripted. It doesn’t really matter because what you see of me is the character. I feel like it wasn’t me coming up with little lines, it was the character. Reservoir Dogs has been talked about quite a bit as quoting a few films and directors from the 1950s and ’60s. Did Tarantino sit the cast down in front of a video monitor and say, “This is what I want!” ? No, not at all. I had seen Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing [1956], which R eservoir D ogs is reminiscent of. But Quentin CINEMA


94 • 31

Reservoir Dogs

Personally, I don’t like movies where there is a fight scene every five minutes, and I don’t particu­ larly like the Arnold Schwarzenegger films. I thought The Term inator [James Cameron, 1984] was very violent, whereas I don’t think R eservoir D ogs is excessively violent. The violence in R eservoir D ogs is very real and very disturbing, and it has been getting a lot of attention. But it is not even as graphic as some movies I see. To me, the violence in it is justified because of who these guys were. I didn’t really have a problem with it, although I squirmed when I first read the script. And I remember when I saw the torture scerfe I could hardly watch it. \ You’ve been quoted as saying, “Quentin makes you feel every blow.” Can you elaborate?

it for laughs and you can’t play it as though it’s going to be shocking. You can only play the scene the way it is written. I wasn’t in that scene, but Michael is very funny and is very scary. Quite a few of the characters are paired off in terms of loyalty - Mr White and Mr Orange obviously, and Mr Blonde and Nice Guy Eddie - but Air Pink isn’t. He is something of a loner and that’s why he is a survivor. I never really thought about it. I don’t think he is a loner. He doesn’t have much emotional input for anyone else, because he didn’t have the same experience the others share with each other. Maybe he could have if he had escaped with M r White, for instance. But I know what you mean, because I think that M r White was drawn to Tim Roth’s character even before they got into trouble together. I just think Air Pink was very careful. He was told not to get to know these other guys, and he takes his job very seriously. So, I don’t think he is a loner. He is the most professional and that’s why he is a survivor. Do you think Air Pink is a primary contender for being the informer, even though we see the flashback of him shooting it out with the police, because in the pre-credit sequence the business about tipping marks Air Pink’s difference from the others? When I first read the script I didn’t suspect him as the informer. The only time that came up for me was in the scene with Harvey Keitel when he asks me how I escaped the police ambush. At one point in rehearsal, it occurred to me that he was asking that question out of suspicion. That was the only time for me. The reason Reservoir Dogs is controversial is obviously because of the violence, particularly in the torture scene. How do you feel about the whole violence debate?I I don’t view stories as simply violent stories. I want to do good scripts, good movies, and if they have violence in them then that’s what is part of the story. 32 ' C I N E M A



I think as an audience member you do feel the violence, whereas in some movies audiences are kind of desensitized to it and don’t realize how much violence there is in other films - even with something like H om e A lone [Chris Colombus, 1990]. That’s prob­ ably what I meant. I think we made a good movie that is different from what is being put out right now. It’s a smart film. You don’t really have to work hard to watch it, but it does require something from the audience other than passively sitting back and just watching. You do think about it after the movie is over. It is a character film and that is what I really like about it. I’m proud to have been a part of it. It’s a small-budget film that is quite creative and relatively success­ ful. Do you believe it may make studios re-appraise the way films are made these days ? I don’t think so. It didn’t get nominated for any Academy Awards, and wasn’t a huge box-office hit. So, I don’t think it is going to affect the way movies are made by the studios, or the stories that are told. I hoped it would, but I don’t think so. In the after-glow of Reservoir Dogs, what is next for Steve Buscemi? Right now, I am doing a studio film called A irhead with Michael Lehman and a couple of others. I’ve also written a feature that I want to direct. I’ve also made a short film which I’ve been trying to get into the festival circuit. It’s titled W hat H appen ed to Pete? I submitted it to the Sydney and Melbourne film festivals, but I don’t know what happened to it. I haven’t heard. The feature is called T rees’ Lounge, which is the name of a bar in Long Island. It’s about this guy who lives in a white middle-class suburban town and his life is just a series of one mistake after another. It’s a little bit of a comedy of errors, but again it’s a character film. There are a lot of characters in it and explores the incestuous nature of a small community that doesn’t really have a lot to offer some people. If they don’t get married and have kids, they just end up drifting along. They don’t drift out of town, they just drift along with the closed community. I’m trying to raise the money for it right now. I was hoping to shoot it this summer, but it didn’t happen, so hopefully I’ll be able to shoot it next spring. %





















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9 4 • 33



Australia’s First Films: With Australia’s cinema centenary approaching, Chris Long continues his eocploration into the myths and fictions surrounding the introduction o f the moving picture to Australia.

Ten years ago, Ross Lansell and Peter Beilby indicated the inad­ equacy of our cinema chronicles in their introduction to The D ocum entary Film in Australia: the output of the documentary sector of the industry has always outstripped feature film production, and is the backbone of the film industry; but documentaries, like the proverbial iceberg, have re­ mained submerged, awaiting their chronicler, whether verbal or visual.1 All too often, cinema studies have exclusively concentrated on post-1900 fictional films. The myths surrounding “Soldiers of the Cross” (1900) and T he Story o f the Kelly G ang (1906) are retold with progressive embellishment, while earlier or more noteworthy Australian documentary achievements are ignored. The implication is that these two fictional productions were the only creative output of a barren period. The reality is almost the opposite. By listing all of Australia’s earliest films, the documentary character of our pioneering industry should be self-evident. Prepar­ ing a filmography of this nature is much more than an academic exercise. Many ‘lost’ films are unidentified or wrongly identified in our archives, awaiting the rediscovery that this data will assist. Three ‘lost’ 1896 films by Australia’s first cameraman, Marius Sestier, have already been located through this research, two locally and one in France.2


Frame enlargement from R. W. Paul’s Q u e e n V ictoria ’s D ia m o n d Ju b ile e P rocession,

made on 22 June 1897.

34 . C I N E M A



linker ed

P er spective

Many cinema histories fail to recognize the creative evolution of editing and story-telling techniques in non-fiction films. These developed into “feature-length” productions by 1897, a decade before the advent of fictional features. Our first view of a “feature-length” news film was given in Sydney during September 1897.3 It is a record of the CorbettFitzsimmons boxing match at Carson City, Nevada, shot on 17 March 1897, running about 75 minutes on special “Veriscope” film of 56mm gauge.4 With unedited coverage and a static camera, it demonstrated no creative manipulation. Cinematic techniques soon overtook it. In the many long films taken of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in London (22 June 1897), several creative improvements were applied. R. WY'Paul used three cameras at various points along the procession, with editing in-camera to eliminate static moments, and then intercut the negatives to provide a comprehensive view. The coverage also saw the birth of the camera ‘pan’, as Paul built a special worm-drive head for his tripod to allow it to follow action.5 These elements of visual syntax and “time compression” evolved as a matter of economic imperative, economizing on film usage. The British film historian Stephen Bottomore’s article, “Shots in the Dark”, in Sight an d Sound (Summer 1988) used this example to demonstrate narrative construction in news films long before it appeared in James Williamson’s A ttack on a Chinese M ission (1901) or EdwinS. Porter’s G reatT rain R ob bery (190.3).6The same elements of narrative form can be found in many of Australia’s


lo n e e rs earliest actualities and news films. Most of these have never previously been listed, in spite of their extreme historical signifi­ cance.

Forgotten D

o c u m en ta r ies

O f the Australian documentary producers working in the 1890s, only Marius Sestier receives consistent coverage in the standard histories. Other pioneers are equally worthy of a place in the roll of honour. Alfred Haddon shot the world’s first in-situ anthropological research films in Torres Strait during September 1898.7 These survive. Fred Wills produced the world’s first governmental films in Queensland during 1899 - the first Australian multi-shot films exhibiting editing technique.8 These also survive. The Austral U nderworld (1900) and Under Southern Skies (1902) are major feature-length documentary productions of the Salvation Army’s Limelight Department, both long-forgotten. Major parts of Under Southern Skies, a massive two-and-a-half-hour documentary tracing Australia’s history from exploration to fed­ eration, survive today.9 Newspaper reports and the surviving films provide conclusive proof of our industry’s documentary inclination. Australian film production supplemented and complemented a predominantly imported fare. In that role, local producers gravitated towards the news coverage and documentaries which didn’t require expensive studio facilities. We developed considerable expertise in that field. Audiences were attracted by the novelty of seeing themselves and their familiar surroundings on the screen. It helped to span the vast distances across our continent. Bush residents could view sporting events and parades in the major cities via film. Industries and tourist attractions from remote corners of the country could be seen Australia-wide. Histories which only trace the development of Australian fictional film have entirely misrepresented our produc­ tion industry’s' raison d ’etre. Luckily, many of Australia’s earliest films survive. As a precious record of Australian history, their value equates with the product of our first printing: press, or with the first Australian photographs. Originally viewed as an ephemeral technical novelty, these films are of steadily increasing value with the passing of time. No represen­ tation of colonial Australia is more powerful and vivid than that given by our earliest movies.

B onds



m pire

In the 1890s, Australia was a remote collection of British colonies, a cultural backwater embracing the new nationalist feelings which led to federation in 1901. Our four million European colonists were isolated from the events and the arts of their distant homelands. Actuality and news films provided them with a window on the hub of their cultural life. Like most qf our colonial trade, the bulk of film imports came to us from Britain and Europe, where non-fiction film was far more

Typical projector of 1897: Riley Bros, cinematograph, advertised by its Sydney agents, Baker Sc Rouse, in A ustralasian P h o tographic R eview , 20 December 1897, p. 29.

favoured than in America. Raymond Fielding’s book, The Am eri­ can N ew sreel, speculates on the reason for this trans-Atlantic difference and concludes: American film producers were inclined to favour theatrical fare over journalistic fare. In contrast to the French producers, the first American filmmakers tended to bring subjects to the studio rather than to take the camera to the subject, a practice which understand­ ably favoured theatrical manipulation rather than naturalistic docu­ mentation [...] The early Edison and Biograph [American] cameras were the size of steamer trunks and could not by any stretch of the imagination be considered portable. The French Lumière camera, on the other hand, was much smaller and was easily carried from location to location [...] The news film content that resulted was as much the consequence of technological imperative as of artistic inclination.10 Australia’s first flurry of kinetoscope shows used American films, but by late 1896 they surrendered to the market dominance of British and French imports. This situation persisted until World War I and the rise of Hollywood. The popularity of European film was partly due to the Australian impact of the Lumière and R. W. Paul projectors which were used to show them, and partly due to audience familiarity with the geographic locations they exhibited. Our non-fiction film consumption was encouraged by the British film magnate, Charles Urban (1867-1942), whose London-based “Warwick Trading Company” produced a sizeable proportion of the films and projectors used in Australia after 1897. As late as 1910 Urban was quoted as saying:: With the life and scenery of the world, in every land upon which the sun sihihes, waiting to be recorded [...] time spent in finding ways and means.ofphotographing artificial comedies or artificial tragedies by 1 artìneiàl light is wasted.11 C I N E M A P A P E R S 94 • 35

IS THIS AUSTRALIA'S OLDEST SURVIVING FILM? This rough 8mm copy from a Lumière movie negative held by A. J. Perier is probably L a d y B rassey A w a rd in g B lu e R ib b o n to “N e w h a v e n ”, D e rb y W in n e r, shot on 31 October 1896 - three days prior to the 1896 Melbourne Cup. It matches original reviews of the film and the event very closely. This copy was taken from the NFSA video, F e d e ra tio n F ilm s, with the permission of Ken Berryman, NSFA Melbourne office manager.

(A) Lady Brassey (in white dress) approaches the horse, Newhaven, trying to complete the ribbon ceremony.

(B) The horse shies, dragging Lady Brassey, holding the ribbon, out of the frame, to the left.

While film copyright records confirm that the American industry turned almost completely to fictional film production by 190712, documentaries retained their appeal in France, Britain and Aus­ tralia. The Pathé company introduced regular weekly newsreel services to those three countries before similar production was attempted in America.13 It was symptomatic of fundamental differ­ ences between American cinema and ours.

Left: Alexander Gunn: Melbourne “manufacturer and importer of limelight apparatus”. In mid-1897, Gunn became one of the first large-scale exhibitors and importers of motion pictures. Below: Alex Gunn’s First Movie Projector, 1897, was fitted to the bottom stage of a “tri-unial” lantern slide projector. The device could project dissolving slides as well as movies. From E v e ry o n es, 15 December 1926, p. 126.

C) As dignitaries rush to Lady Brassey’s aid, all action moves out of frame. The camera stops.

F ilm D

i s t r i b u t i o n in

(D) The camera has panned slightly to the left in a second set-up, the horse now being paraded with its ribbon in front of Lady Brassey and dignitaries.


u s tr a lia : 1 8 9 0 s

Initially, there were no specialized cinemas in which films could be shown. Exhibitors usually bought their films directly frorrf British manufacturers, taking a set programme on tour through various public halls. Metropolitan showmen usually exhibited films as an interlude on a vaudeville programme. Exhibitions of film by itself were rare, and usually associated with news coverage of some notable event - perhaps a horse race or a Royal pageant. Venues devoted solely to the exhibition of film were limited to the major cities, and generally didn’t survive after 1898, when the medium’s early novelty declined. Specialized cinemas were not properly established until 1908. Film was especially welcome as an entertainment medium in the Australian bush, where it had no great competition from quality theatre and vaudeville. Portable and inexpensive, it brought city scenes to country halls on an increasingly regular basis as the 19th Century drew to a close. Contrary to the popular image of the “picture show man” in a horse-drawn waggon, the itinerant exhibitor of the 1890s generally travelled by rail or by coastal steamer.14 He stopped for a few days in each town, the duration dependent on regional population and his show’s popularity. In this way, the exhibitor simultaneously was the distributor in this pioneering period. A particularly well-established Melbourne film pioneer was the “lanternist and limelight apparatus importer” Alexander Gunn, with a shop and office at 242 Little Collins Street. He established a reputation for popular slide show entertainments from 1889, adding motion pictures to his repertoire in mid-18 97.15His services were available to clubs and organizations who hired him to bring his portable projection plant to venues right across Victoria. Eventu­ ally, his company became a leading cinema advertising concern, producing the familiar slides which precede film shows-today. Gunn’s son later recalled his father’s difficulties in importing films during the 1890s: In the early times, Mr. Gunn had to buy all his films from London from such makers as R. Paul, Gaumont, Cricks [&] Martin and [J. A.] Williamson. We would receive a list giving the names of the various films, the length and a [telegraphic] code word attached to each. My father had to put on his thinking cap and pick from one to six films on their titles only, and then cable the code word to London and chance his luck, also his money. The film cost 2/- per foot in those days and the total amount had to be cabled to London at the time of ordering, and we sat back for six weeks or so [awaiting their arrival]. The hiring of films was unthought of then.16 When film had to be imported without the opportunity of a preview, the more predictable usefulness of a local production made

36 • C I N E M A



FR A M E E N L A R G E M E N T S FR O M S E S T IE R 'S F ILM S OF 1896 M E L B O U R N E CUP E V E N T S . Copied from NFSA video, L iv in g M e lb o u rn e , courtesy of Ken Berryman.


(1) A R R I V A L OF T R A I N A T HILL P L A T F O R M , F L E M I N G T O N

(A) The train moves in. A sole policeman in white helmet waits to scrutinize the crowd.

(B) Train halts, passengers reach through the doors to grab handles and open carriage. Another train shunts in the distance.

(C) Passengers exit train, first men, then women in lacy hats. Smoke from a distant engine is seen above carriage.

W. Hickenbotham leads the horse around in circles before the camera, apparently outside the horse’s stables.

it a better investment. It could also generate desirable local newspa­ per publicity for the exhibitor. Naturally, Gunn became an early exhibitor of local film, though he doesn’t seem to have produced these subjects himself.17 The difficulty of importing film directly from England eased in the later 1890s when several local photographic warehouses estab­ lished Australian sales agencies for British and French producers. Méliès, Paul, Lumière, Warwick and Gaumont all had Australian representation by 1899. Two of the larger Australian dealers retailing their films were Harrington’s Limited and Baker & Rouse. Both had Sydney headquarters and both published their own journals, A ustralian P hotographic Jou rn al and Australasian P h oto­ graphic R eview respectively. Before 1903, these were the principal Australian information sources for cinematic developments and equipment exchange. New and used films were often advertised in the classified sections of both magazines. Researchers should note that these classifieds were removed from the New South Wales State Library copies before binding, but the Mitchell Library sets are intact. They document the sources from which Australian cinema developed.



E x h ib ito r ' s C

r ea tiv e

R ole

M ost of the early projectors, particularly the Lumière machines, could not accept films exceeding about 90 seconds in length.18Film subjects were mostly sold in 100-foot reels through the 1890s, and were only available “joined” or in greater lengths by special order. The sequencing of film programmes at this stage was the prerogative of the exhibitor, rather than the producer. Initially film programmes aimed at a maximum of variety, with as little similarity between successive minute-long films as possi­ ble.19 In Australia, the earliest programme to progress into some sense of continuity was probably the Sydney premiere of Sestier’s “tableaux” of the 1896 Melbourne Cup, which placed the various scenes into a rough chronological order, presenting the series as an integrated group.20 The practice was not maintained, and subse­ quent showings reverted to isolated segments of the coverage being sandwiched with unrelated subjects. This “sandwich-programme” principle only began to evolve in Australia after coverage of Q ueen V ictoria’s D iam on d Ju bilee (1897) proved the profit potential of single-subject film shows. By then, cinema’s initial novelty was on the decline. Film was increas­ ingly shot on specific subjects for specific purposes. Exhibitors often assembled films of similar character to form a narrative thread, frequently illustrating a lecture. In this manner, narrative feature films evolved, first as exhibitors sequenced existing films (and slides) on a single subject, then as films were shot to link existing films into a narrative sequence, and finally as an entire narrative was shot and sequenced by the producer.

Alex Gunn’s Melbourne shop, early 1898. Gunn was one of the first picture exhibitors locally offering his outfits for hire, and one of the most active Australian film exhibitors of his period.

In the past, researchers have found reviews of these single-subject programmes, and leaped to the conclusion that they’re fully-fledged feature films. A classic example is the mythology surrounding “Soldiers of the Cross”. This was Herbert Booth’s Salvation Army lecture, illustrated by a programme of slides and short film inserts by various makers, including the Salvation Army. After Booth’s biographer, F. C.Ottman, seized on it as being a “feature film” in his 1928 book21, the myth became an Australian icon through unquestioning repetition. The 90-second Lumière films used for this lecture’s illustration will be listed in our future instalments.




u s tr a lia n

P r o d u c tio n R ecord

During the 1890s, the few available films seldom exceeded two minutes’ duration and rarely contained more than one camera set­ up. Because exhibitors purchased prints rather than merely borrow­ ing them, many copies of each film were disseminated. The survival rate of films made before the advent of film libraries and exchanges is consequently better than one might expect. CINEMA


9 4 • 37

FRAME ENLARGEMENTS FROM SESTIER'S FILMS OF 1896 MELBOURNE CUP EVENTS. Copied from NFSA video, L iv in g M e lb o u rn e , courtesy of Ken Berryman.

(1) C R O W D S N E A R T H E G R A N D S T A N D , M E LB O U R N E CUP

Premiere 2 7 October 1896, first mentioned; in T he Sydney M orning H erald, 28 October 1896, p. 8. No surviving print is known. (2) Running o f the VRC D erby, Flem ington (shot 31 October 1896). A film of the Derby race itself is doubtful, but South Australian Register, 23 December 1896, p. 8, advertises “living tableaux of the Derby and Melbourne Cup”, so this film is a possibility. No further detail has been located, so that the making of the film and its content must remain matters for conjecture. (3) D erby D ay: The Betting Ring (shot 31 October 1896). Premiere 2 8 December 1896, first mentioned in South Australian Register, 28 December 1896 p. 8. No surviving print is known.

(A) Barnett (lower left) appears with woman, possibly Mrs Brough.

(B) Barnett appears (centre foreground) with another woman.


(a) Governor Brassey approaches. Police cordon in white helmets at left.

(B) Brassey throws an icy glance at Sestier’s camera before moving off.

(3) B R IN G IN G O U T TH E H O R S E S

(4) L ady Brassey A w arding Blue R ib bon to “N ew h av en ”, D erby Winner (shot 31 October 1896). Premiere 24 November 1896, first mentioned in T he Sydney M orning H erald, 24 November 1896, p. 2. The Bulletin (Sydney), 5 December 1896, p. 8, describes the film’s recording “the spectacle of Lady Brassey trying to rope iti Newhaven with the blue ribbon, and that animal striving to dodge her, and bobbing at times right out of the picture, then backing into it again”. O f the actual event at Flemington, T he Age, 2 November 1896, p. 5, states: “Newhaven was promptly brought back to the judge’s box after his win for ornamentation with the Derby blue ribbon [...] On two attempts made by Lady Brassey to throw the decoration over his neck he started away, but the third effort was successful.” Nothing similar to this incident occurred after the Melbourne Cup, so this is certainly a Derby film, shot on 31 October 1896. A print from an original Lumière negative, first held by A. J. Perier, matches the above description exactly. Frame enlarge­ ments from W. J. Foster Stubbs’ 8mm print of the negative, made in 1951, are reproduced here. This would appear to be the oldest surviving Australian film. The print has been released in the National Film & Sound Archive (NFSA) video, Federation Films (1991). NB: A similar film of the ribbon presentation was shot in 1897, Typical movie outfit and films for sale in Sydney, 1897.

jmUOMKCE.mE.flt E.rfRJtOROVflhR'l l (A) Bàmett indicates the camera to bystanders.

(B) Barnett gets blocked off by a horse, then glances sheepishly at camera over the horse’s rump.

We therefore publish the following filmographies and producer biographies in the hope that more of Australia’s earliest films will be rediscovered, identified and preserved. Commencing with this issue’s list of local films made during 1896-97, successive instal­ ments will progressively record the output of our industry’s pioneer­ ing period. M A R IU S



The activities of this Lumière company cameraman, who made Australia’s earliest documented films, were fully discussed in our previous instalment. All of his films were of 60 to 75 feet in length, providing about a minute’s screen time. Advertised film titles were not of fixed wording at this stage, being more often in the nature of a content description. I have tried to use the most commonly encountered title of each, or the most unambiguous brief descrip­ tion possible. French titles are appended in parenthesis. ( 1 ) Passengers Alighting from Paddle Steam er “B righton ” at M anly W harf, on a Sunday A fternoon (probably shot 25 October 1896). 38 • C I N E M A



FOR S A LE ¿Fé •551^


Qii b e r n a Outfit, C O M P R IS IN G —

1 C in é m ato gra p he C o m p le te ,1‘ B anks & G re a v e s ," (fro m A lh a m b ra , London) 3 O b je c tiv e Lenses 1 E le c tric L am p arid C onnections

L i s t o f F i l m s fo r t h e C i n é m a t o g r a p h e :— “ 2 A.M.”

. . . . (Comic) London Bridge New Engineer's Shop New Japanese Fan Dance -(Colored) Sandow, the Strong Man The Strand, London New Boating Party at Brighton Beach, New The Boxing Cats - New j Scene from the Milk White Flag j £

H ’’ >’ ” Arrival of the Train


Afternoon Tea Party (Comic) London Street Scene New Negro Dance (Alabama Coons) New Oxford Crew on ihe 1hames New

Feeding the Pelicans New The Gaiety Girls Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots (Colored) The English Derby Race Chinese Laundry - (Coniic) Burlesque Highland Fling Burlesque of Trilby - (Colored) New Rescue by Fire Brigade Henley Regatta . . . . Cow-Fight Blacksmiths at Work Lady Rifle Shot . . . . Acrobatic Song and Dance And a few others more or less effective.

C o m p lete L im e -lig h t A p p ara tu s, c o m p ris in g 3 Gas Bags (2 E nglish and 1 F re n c h )) E th e r S a tu ra to r, L a m p B u rn e r, 2 R e to rts , T u b in g . O paque Screen Q u a n tity o f C arbons, L im e s and Potash 3 0 L a rg e S ta n d s 4 0 0 D ay B ills Z in c B lo ck fo r Posters. TH E WHOLE COMPLETE AS A GOING CONCERN. FULLEST PARTICULARS FROM

BAKER & ROUSE, Ltd., 375 Georgs-street, SYDNEY.

which may be the film described here, but the exact fit to the 1896 description renders this unlikely. (5) A rrival o f Train a t H ill P latform , Flem ington (shot 3 November 1896).

SESTIER FILM: F IN IS H O F T H E M E L B O U R N E C U P R A C E Frame enlargements from NFSA video, L iv in g M e lb o u rn e , courtesy of Ken Berryman.

Premiere 24 November 1896, first mentioned in T he Sydney M orning H erald, 2 4 November 1896, p. 2. Lumière catalogue number 652 (A rrivée d ’un train à M elbourne, A ustralie). About 300 passengers depart a Cup train at Flemington station, while another train leaves the station simultaneously. The print has been released in the NFSA video, Living M elbourne (1988). (6) C row ds H ea r the G ran d stan d , M elbourne Cup (shot 3 Novem­ ber 1896). Premiere 19 November 1896, first mentioned in T he Age (Melbourne), 16 November 1896, p. 6. Lumière catalogue number 418 (M elbourne, les courses: la fo u lle). Promenaders, mostly upper-class folk, move about on the lawns with sunshade umbrellas and suits, the Flemington grandstand at the rear. Walter Barnett appears three times. According to B allarat Star, 19 April 1897, “the view on the lawn at Flemington enables one to recognise M rs. Brough, the well-known actress.” Brough is also mentioned in a Brisbane C ourier report of this film, 10 M ay 1897, p. 6. The print has been released in the NFSA video, Living M elbourne. (7) Arrival o f G overn or Brassey an d Suite a t Flem ington (shot 3 November 1896). Premiere 19 November 1896, first mentioned in T he Age, 16 November 1896, p. 6. Lumière catalogue number 419 (M el­ bou rn e, les courses: A rrivée du G ouverneur). A police cordon in summer uniforms (white helmets) holds back spectators while vice-regal carriages stop and passengers alight, moving towards the camera. Victorian Governor Lord Brassey leads the group past the camera at close range, followed by Admiral Bridge, Western Australian Governor Sir Gerald Smith (with wife and daughter), Viscountess Hampden (wife of New South Wales Governor), Lord and Lady Magheramore, Hon. T. A. Brassey, Lady Idina Brassey, Lord Richard Nevill, Lord Shaftesbury, several military VIPs and Miss Darley. Members of the public close in on the rear of the group as they pass. The print has been released in the NFSA video, Living M elbourne. (8) A ftern oon T ea Under the Awning, Flem ington (shot 3 Novem­ ber 1896). Premiere 2 4 November 1896, first mentioned in T he Sydney M orning H erald, 2 4 November 1896, p. 2. N ot in Lumière catalogue. No surviving print is known. (9) Finish o f the H urdle R ace, Cup D ay (shot 3 November 1896). Premiere 24 November 1896, first mentioned in T he Sydney M orning H erald, 2 4 November 1896, p. 2. No surviving print is known. (10) W eighing O ut F o r the Cup (shot 3 November 1896). Premiere 24 November 1896, first mentioned in T he Sydney M orning H erald, 24 November 1896, p. 2. Lumière catalogue number 420 (M elbourne, les courses: Enceinte du Passage). This is a rather nondescript view of horses passing the camera in a leisurely way on a lawn in front of a gentlemen’s lavatory, with spectators milling about. Horses pass from right to left, with men in suits oil their backs, on their way to the weighing scales, out of frame. Walter Barnett parades flagrantly in front of the camera for soine time, pointing at the camera and obstructing the horses. The print has been released in the NFSA video, Living M el­ bourne. (11) Bringing O u i thé H orses (shot 3 November 1896). Premiere 24 November 1896, first mentioned in T h e Sydney M orning H erald, 24 November 1896, p. 2. Probably the same film is advertised under the name, T he Saddling P a d d o ck , for its

(A) Waiting for direction from Barnett.

(B) Barnett runs out from behind camera.

(C) Barnett tells people to wave their hats.

(D) Barnett stands back to give clear view of finish.

(E) Barnett glances at camera to check that all went well.

(F) Crowd moves off to collect winnings.

Australian showings. Lumière catalogue number 421 (M el­ bou rn e, les courses: Sortie des Chevaux). This film must survive in France, as a frame enlargement from it appears in Jacques Rittaud-Hutinet’s book, August et Lou is Lum ière: les 1000 Prem iers Films, Paris, 1990, p. 177. It shows horses moving through the crowd near the grandstand, with the camera looking over the heads of men in the foreground. It is curious that this film was not repatriated to Australia with the others of the 1896 Melbourne Cup in 1969. An effort should be made to retrieve it. No copy exists in Australia. (12) Start o f the M elbourne Cup R ace (shot 3 November 1896). Premiere 19 June 1897 (?), first mentioned in B risbane Courier, 19 June 1897, p. 2. Not in Lumière catalogue. As the only reference to this film is the one cited above, the advertised item may be the product of exaggeration or wishful thinking, or perhaps this is another description of the foregoing item. The existence of this film awaits conformation from further research. (13) Finish o f the M elbourne Cup R ace (shot 3 November 1896). Premiere 24 November 1896, first mentioned in T he Sydney M orning H erald, 24 November 1896, p. 2. Lumière catalogue number 422 (M elbourne, les courses: L a C ourse). C O N T I N U E S






94 - 39




Keon Park Man collides with In this occasional co lu m n , p ro m in e n t in d u stry figures co m m e n t o n personal and p u b lic issues. H ere, w rite r Barry Dickins discusses, am ong m any varied th in g s, w o rk in g w ith d ire cto rs Brian M cK e n zie and Paul Cox, and d e v e lo p in g a fea­ tu re w ith p ro d u c e r Santhana Naidu«

I am a Keon Park man. I was born there and obviously will die there. Keon Park is the most obscene spot on the earth. It has an old squash court, the old Bostik glue factory, hundreds of lost heroin-addicted geography teachers who can’t get any work, a couple of depressing cricket pitches with hardly any concrete left in them, and one writer. Me. Keon Park is the ultimate white man’s happy hunting ground. You reappear recrucified eating a sherbet bomb and pushing a trolley up a hill with no sewerage on it, carrying useless or not bad scripts for imaginary movies. Still, I love Keon Park. It has given me bite. It has taught me hatred. I have been able to defend myself in the performing arts in Australia by reverting to type: a Keon Park thug. All of my writing, in a career spanning fifty Hills Hoists and covering a million sufferers in a million Melbourne backyards, all this work, has been about suburban misfits like me. They are all about lostness and foundness. Little things like life and death. Cups of tea and glimpses of heaven, seen through a crack in Everyman’s window. I write about what’s up with us, like going to the dentist, as I did in 1970, and getting a rough quote on getting my jaw removed. I write about my grandmother’s funeral service, a lot about poor people, even more about drunks and homeless folks. I write about what lollies sacked posties suck on the red rattler to Boot Hill, Box Hill, Bedlam and Paradise, which is a euphemism for Melbourne with its eyes closed. I have worked as a screenwriter and Ecks lemonade bottle pickerupper simultaneously, and wherever I have travelled I have written spontaneous poems about people hanging out for someone to speak with in dusty bus stops. I have been a school teacher, an English Keon Park one. I am an actor and dental student. I mow lawns for three bucks, night or day. For twenty-five years I have acted in my own stage plays, like The R otten Teeth Show , on at La Mama Theatre and later on at The Pram Factory. I have written lots of stage plays. Mostly they have to do with loneliness because I am happy and lonely simultaneously, like all Keon Park men who would kill for a potato cake. I come from a vanishing breed of bush poets who’ve only ever seen pollution, heard trucks, loved chaos; in other words, the city. About eight years ago I met Brian McKenzie, the documentary tennis player. But the will, his will, is Geelong Cement. Once it is set, “that’s chocolates”, as we used to say when men swore and women were handy when the plough horse broke down. I remember meeting Brian. He had a little editing room atop some crumbling edifice in Brunswick St, Fitzroy. He stared me in the eyes when I arrived, looking just like two burnt sultanas. Here is a man who never rests, I thought. Here is a pilgrim who loves the 40 • C I N E M A



people. And he does. Brian was editing his masterpiece, I ’ll B e H om e fo r Christm as, and wanted to know where I thought it went on a bit. I told him I’m a dickhead who can hardly understand TV W eek. He nodded, and we looked at his film on the rented editing machine. I have lived as a tramp; that boozy woozy lost life is known to me. For those who’ve not seen I ’ll B e H om e fo r Christmas, you ought to get your head read. Sad, it is the quintessence of sad. Funny, it is funnier than the grave. I know those homeless men in the park behind The Children’s Hospital. Brian’s film is the longest hour of the longest night. It cries; you watch. Brian believed for some reason that I understood film, that I could offer some suggestions for cuts and give him technical advice. I have devoured all film, and have written lots of scripts, perhaps the best-known being A W om an’s Tale, co-created with Paul Cox. That movie tells the tale of Sheila Florance, dying. It’s a comedy. And it’s sadder than living all your life in Albert Park. I don’t know anything about anything. I have an instinct for wistfulness, that’s all. That’s because I’m a dreamer. I’m sad for a living. And I’m a millionaire. Somehow or other I can write. There’s no school for it, apart from men’s eyes. Somehow or other, Santhana Naidu, an old Malaysian cobber of Cox, and Brian McKenzie and I started writing this movie about a Muslim boy who arrives in Separation Street, Northcote, from what heaven he calls “Our Tow n” in the steaming cauldron that is Malaysia. We started writing this funny and gently sad dream of this displaced boy, Ahmat, and his trials and tribulations, in Northcote. Santhana Naidu I first met hanging around the pingpong table at Illumination Films, a shop that sells dreams instead of Omo, in pretentious Albert Park, where every single deserted hot pant-suit old mum has a baby boy at the age of 45, and they all become frustrated filmmakers. Every single baby in Albert Park is a film­ maker addicted to flat white coffee. Santhana has worked hard and long for Paul Cox, putting up with his crazy tantrums, such as beating babies at pingpong one second after they arrive by caesarian method in the editing room. Sonny, as we call him, is perfectly charming and calm, and is always remembering his hometown, called Seramban, a hundred rolls of film from Kuala Lumpur. He dreams of his birthplace, and smells The Durian Tree fruit, he recalls lopping twelve-foot tigers and he sees, on his side, in his sleep, the portrait of his mother and father smiling in a kind of mythical jungle. I have written some movies with Paul Cox, the only man in the arts to smoke so much you can’t see him at the writing desk; just a column of revolting German pipe smoke is all you can relate to. He is old-fashioned and brilliant, and he is possessed of a beautiful laugh, and I love him, and he works too much and will die, I hope not, one day of everything related to movie-making. It’s too hard, he said to me once, even though he beat me 21-19 at pingpong, only after an argument, and the stark fact that his serve, the final one, the flick one, hit a bit of cake crumb on my side of the net, and spun off, leaving him victorious and more full of smoke than ever. Paul Cox is brave, and there’s an end to it. He also treats me well, and that’s never really happened before. Sonny and I started to make friends, even though once he j okingly strangled me among the gent’s runner piles at Melbourne Sports Depot. I was going to put him into the cops, but he didn’t mean it, so I didn’t. Sonny is a nice guy who also smokes too much. So do I.

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David Williamson, Ray Harryhausen, Peter Weir, Antony Ginnane, Gillian Armstrong, Ken G. Hall, The Cars that Ate Paris.

Ken Cameron, Claude Lelouch, Jim Sharman, French film, My Brilliant Career.

Igor Auzins, Paul Schrader, Peter Tammer, Liliana Cavani, Colin Higgins, The Year O f Living Dangerously.


NUMBER 42 (MARCH 1983)

James Stewart, Debbie Byrne, Brian Thompson, Paul Verhoeven, Derek Meddings, tie-in marketing, The RightHand Man, Birdsville.

NUMBER 2 (APRIL 1974):

Bruce Petty, Luciana Arrighi, Albie Thoms, Stax, Alison’s Birthday

Mel Gibson, John Waters, Ian Pringle, Agnes Varda, copyright, Strikebound, The Man From Snowy River.

Censorship, Frank Moorhouse, Nicolas Roeg, Sandy Harbutt, Film under Allende, Between The Wars, Alvin Purple

NUMBER 3 (JULY 1974): Richard Brennan, John Papadopolous, Willis O’Brien, William Friedkin, The True Story O f Eskimo Nell.

NUMBER 10 (SEPT/OCT 1976) Nagisa Oshima, Philippe Mora, Krzysztof Zanussi, Marco Ferreri, Marco Belloochio, gay cinema.

NUMBER 11 (JANUARY 1977) Emile De Antonio, Jill Robb, Samuel Z. Arkoff, Roman Polanski, Saul Bass, The . Picture Show Man.

NUMBER 12 (APRIL 1977) Ken Loach, Tom Haydon, Donald Sutherland, Bert Deling, Piero Tosi, John Dankworth, John Scott, Days O f Hope, The Getting O f Wisdom.

NUMBER 13 ( JULY 1977) Louis Malle, Paul Cox, John Power, Jeanine Seawell, Peter Sykes, Bernardo Bertolucci, In Search Of Anna.

NUMBER 14 (OCTOBER 1977) Phil Noyce, Matt Carroll, Eric Rohmer, Terry Jackman, John Huston, Luke’s Kingdom, The Last Wave, Blue Fire Lady.

NUMBER 15 (JANUARY 1978) Tom Cowan, Truffaut, John Faulkner, Stephen Wallace, the Taviani brothers, Sri Lankan film, Chant O f Jimmie Black­ smith.

NUMBER 16 ( APRIL-JUNE 1978) Gunnel Lindblom, John Duigan, Steven Spielberg, Tom Jeffrey, The Africa Project, Swedish cinema, Dawn!, Patrick.

NUMBER 17 (AUG/SEPT 1978) Bill Bain, Isabelle Huppert, Brian May, Polish cinema, Newsfront, The Night The Prowler.

NUMBER 18 (OCT/NOV 1978) John Lamond, Sonia Borg, Alain Tanner, Indian cinema, Dimboola, Cathy’s Child.

NUMBER 24 (DEC/JAN 1980) Brian Trenchard-Smith, Ian Holmes, Arthur Hiller, Jerzy Toeplitz, Brazilian cinema, Harlequin.

NUMBER 25 (FEB/MARCH 1980) David Puttnam, Janet Strickland, Everett de Roche, Peter Faiman, Chain Reaction, Stir.

NUMBER 26 (APRIL/MAY 1980) Charles H. Joffe, Jerome Heilman, Malcolm Smith, Australian nationalism, Japanese cinema, Peter Weir, Water Under The Bridge.

NUMBER 27 (JUNE-JULY 1980) Randal Kleiser, Peter Yeldham, Donald Richie, obituary of Hitchcock, NZ film industry, Grendel Grendel Grendel.

NUMBER 28 (AUG/SEPT 1980) Bob Godfrey, Diane Kurys, Tim Burns, John O’Shea, Bruce Beresford, Bad Timing, Roadgames.

NUMBER 29 (OCT/NOV 1980) Bob Ellis, Uri Windt, Edward Woodward, Lino Brocka, Stephen Wallace, Philippine cinema, Cruising, The Last Outlaw.


NUMBER 43 (MAY/JUNE 1983) Sydney Pollack, Denny Lawrence, Graeme Clifford, The Dismissal, Careful He Might Hear You.

NUMBER 44-45 (APRIL 1984) David Stevens, Simon Wincer, Susan Lambert, a personal history of Cinema Papers, Street Kids.

NUMBER 46 (JULY 1984) Paul Cox, Russell Mulcahy, Alan J. Pakula, Robert Duvall, Jeremy Irons, Eureka Stockade, Waterfront, The Boy In The Bush,A Woman Suffers, Street Hero.

NUMBER 47 (AUGUST 1984) Richard Lowenstein, Wim Wenders, David Bradbury, Sophia Turkiewicz, Hugh Hudson, Robbery Under Arms.

NUMBER 48 (OCT/NOV 1984) Ken Cameron, Michael Pattinson, Jan Sardi, Yoram Gross, Bodyline, The Slim Dusty Movie.

NUMBER 49 (DECEMBER 1984) Alain Resnais, Brian McKenzie, Angela Punch McGregor, Ennio Morricone, Jane Campion, horror films, Niel Lynne.


NUMBER 56 (MARCH 1986) Fred Schepisi, Dennis O’Rourke, Brian Trenchard-Smith, John Hargreaves, Dead-End Drive-In, The More Things Change, Kangaroo, Tracy.

NUMBER 58 (JULY 1986) Woody Allen, Reinhard Hauff, Orson Welles, the Cinémathèque Française, The Fringe Dwellers, Great Expectations: The Untold Story, The Last Frontier.

NUMBER 59 (SEPTEMBER 1986) Robert Altman, Paul Cox, Lino Brocka, Agnes Varda, The AFI Awards, The Movers.

NUMBER 60 (NOVEMBER 1986) Australian Television, Franco Zeffirelli, Nadia Tass, Bill Bennett, Dutch Cinema, Movies By Microchip, Otello.

NUMBER 61 (JANUARY 1987) Alex Cox, Roman Polanski, Philippe Mora, Martin Armiger, film in South Australia, Dogs In Space, Howling III.

NUMBER 62 (MARCH 1987) Screen Violence, David Lynch, Cary Grant, ASSA conference, production barometer, film finance, The Story Of The Kelly Gang.

NUMBER 63 (MAY 1987) Gillian Armstrong, Antony Ginnane, Chris Haywood, Elmore Leonard, Troy Kennedy Martin, The Sacrifice, Land­ slides, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Jilted.

Kevin Dobson, Brian Kearney, Sonia Hofmann, Michael Rubbo, Blow Out, Breaker Morant, Body Heat, The Man From Snowy River.

Stephen Wallace, Ian Pringle, Walerian Borowczyk, Peter Schreck, Bill Conti, Brian May, The Last Bastion, Bliss.

NUMBER 37 (APRIL 1982)

NUMBER 51 (MAY 1985)

NUMBER 64 (JULY 1987)

Stephen MacLean, Jacki Weaver, Carlos Saura, Peter Ustinov, women in drama, Monkey Grip.

Lino Brocka, Harrison Ford, Noni Hazlehurst, Dusan Makavejev, Emoh Ruo, Winners, The Naked Country, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, Robbery Under Arms.

Nostalgia, Dennis Hopper, Mel Gibson, Vladimir Osherov, Brian TrenchardSmith, Chartbusters, Insatiable.

NUMBER 38 (JUNE 1982) Geoff Burrowes, George Miller, James Ivory, Phil Noyce, Joan Fontaine, Tony Williams, law and insurance, Far East.

NUMBER 39 (AUGUST 1982) Helen Morse, Richard Mason, Anja Breien, David Millikan, Derek Granger, Norwegian cinema, National Film Archive, We O f The Never Never.

NUMBER 19 (JAN/FEB 1979)


Antony Ginnane, Stanley Hawes, Jeremy Thomas, Andrew Sarris, sponsored documentaries, Blue Fin.

Henri Safran, Michael Ritchie, Pauline Kael, Wendy Hughes, Ray Barrett, My Dinner With Andre, The Return Of Captain Invincible.

NUMBER 52 (JULY 1985) John Schlesinger, Gillian Armstrong, Alan Parker, soap operas, TV News, film advertising, Don’t Call Me Girlie, For Love Alone, Double Sculls.

NUMBER 53 (SEPTEMBER 1985) Bryan Brown, Nicolas Roeg, Vincent Ward, Hector Crawford, Emir Kusturica, N.Z. film and TV, Return To Eden.

NUMBER 54 (NOVEMBER 1985) Graeme Clifford, Bob Weis, John Boorman, Menahem Golan, rock videos, Wills And Burke, The Great Bookie Robbery, The Lancaster Miller Affair.

NUMBER 65 (SEPTEMBER 1987) Angela Carter, Wim Wenders, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Derek Jarman, Gerald L’Ecuyer, Gustav Hasford, AFI Awards, Poor Man’s Orange.

NUMBER 66 (NOVEMBER 1987) Australian Screenwriters, Cinema and China, James Bond, James Clayden, Video, De Laurentiis, New World, The Navigator, Who’s That Girl.

NUMBER 67 (JANUARY 1988) John Duigan, George Miller, Jim Jarmusch, Soviet cinema- Part I, women in film, shooting in 70mm, filmmaking in Ghana, The Year My Voice Broke, Send A Gorilla.

NUMBER 81 (DECEMBER 1990) Ian Pringle Isabelle Eberhardt, Jane Campion An Angel At My Table, Martin Scorsese Goodfellas, Alan J. Pakula Presumed Innocent

NUMBER 82 (MARCH 1991) Francis Ford Coppola The Godfather Part III, Barbet Schroeder Reversal of Fortune, Bruce Beresford’s Black Robe, Ramond Hollis Longford, Backsliding, Bill Bennetts, Sergio Corbucci obituary.

NUMBER 83 (MAY 1991) Australia at Cannes, Gillian Armstrong: The Last Days at Chez Nous, Joathan Demme: The Silence of the Lambs, Flynn, Dead To The World, Marke Joffe’s Spotswood, Anthony Piopkins

NUMBER 84 (AUGUST 1991) NUMBER 68 (MARCH 1988) Martha Ansara, Channel 4, Soviet Cinema, Jim McBride, Glamour, Ghosts O f The Civil Dead, Feathers, Ocean, Ocean.

James Cameron: Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Dennis O’Rourke: The Good Woman o f Bangkok, Susan Dermody: Breathing Under Water, Cannes report, FFC.

NUMBER 69 (MAY 1988)


Cannes ’88, film composers, sex, death and family films, Vincent Ward, David Parker, Ian Bradley, Pleasure Domes.

Jocelyn Moorhouse: Proof; Blake Edwards: Switch; Callie Khouri: Thelma & Louise; Independent Exhibition and Distribution in Australia, FFC Part II.

NUMBER 70 (NOVEMBER 1988) Film Australia, Gillian Armstrong, Fred Schepisi, Wes Craven, John Waters, A1 Clark, Shame Screenplay Part I.

NUMBER 71 (JANUARY 1989) Yahoo Serious, David Cronenberg, 1988 in Retrospect, Film Sound , Last Temp­ tation of Christ, Philip Brophy

NUMBER 72 (MARCH 1989) Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit, Australian Sci-Fi movies, Survey: 1988 Mini-Series, Aromarama, Ann Turner’s Celia, Fellini’s La dolce vita, Women and Westerns

NUMBER 73 (MAY 1989) Cannes ’89, Dead Calm, Franco Nero, Jane Campion, Ian Pringle’s The Prisoner of St. Petersburg, Frank Pierson, Pay TV.

NUMBER 74 (JULY 1989) The Delinquents, Australians in Hollywood, Chinese Cinema, Philippe Mora, Yuri Sokol, Twins, True Believers, Ghosts... of the Civil Dead, Shame screenplay.

NUMBER 75 (SEPTEMBER 1989) Sally Bongers, The Teen Movie, Animated, Edens Lost, Mary Lambert and Pet Sematary, Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader, Ed Pressman.

NUMBER 76 (NOVEMBER 1989) Simon Wincer, Quigley Down Under, Kennedy Miller, Terry Hayes, Bangkok Hilton, John Duigan, Flirting, Romero, Dennis Hopper and Kiefer Sutherland, Frank Howson, Ron Cobb.

NUMBER 77 (JANUARY 1990) Special John Farrow profile, Blood Oath, Dennis Whitburn and Brian Williams, Don McLennan and Breakaway, “Crocodile” Dundee overseas.

NUMBER 78 (MARCH 1990) George Ogilvie’s The Crossing, Ray Argali’s Return Home, Peter Greenaway and The Cook...etc, Michel Ciment, Bangkok Hilton and Barlow and Chambers

NUMBER 80 (AUGUST 1990) Cannes report, Fred Schepisi career interview, Peter Weir and Greencard, Pauline Chan, Gus Van Sant and Drugstore Cowboy, German Stories.

NUMBER 86 (JANUARY 1992) Overview of Australian film: Romper Stomper, The Nostradamus Kid, Greenkeeping, Eightball; plus Kathryn Bigelow, HDTV and Super 16.


catalogues especially prepared for the 1988 season of Australian film and television at the UCLA film and television archive in the U.S. are now available for sale in Australia. Edited by Scott Murray, and with extensively researched articles by several of Australia’s leading writers on film and televi­ sion, such as Kate Sands, W om en o f the W ave; Ross Gibson, Form ative Landscapes; Debi Enker, Cross-over an d C ollaboration : K ennedy M iller, Scott Murray, G eorge M iller, Scott Murray, Terry H ayes; Graeme Turner, M ixing F act an d Fiction; Michael Leigh, Curiouser an d Curiouser; Adrian Martin, Nurturing the N ext Wave. The B ack o f B eyond Catalogue is lavishly illustrated with more than 130 photographs, indexed, and has full

NUMBER 87 (MARCH 1992) Multi-Cultural Cinema, Steven Spielberg and Hook, George Negus filming The Red Unknown, Richard Lowenstein Say a Little Prayer, Jewish Cinema.

NUMBER 88 (MAY-JUNE 1992) Cannes ’92, Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom, Ann Turner’s Hammers over the Anvil, Kathy Mueller’s Daydream Believer, Wim Wenders’ Until the End of the World, Satyajit Ray.

NUMBER 89 (AUGUST 1992) Full report Cannes ’92 including Australian films, David Lynch Press Conference, Vitali Kanievski interview, Gianni Amelio interview, Christopher Lambert in Fortress, Film-Literature Connections, Teen Movies Debate.

NUMBER 90 (OCTOBER 1992) Gillian Armstrong: The Lasst Days of Chez Nous, Ridley Scott: 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Stephan Elliot: Frauds, Giorgio Mangiamele, Cultural Differences and Ethnicity in Australian Cinema, John Frankenheimer’s Year o f the Gun.

NUMBER 91 (JANUARY 1993) Clint Eastwood and Unforgiven; Raul Ruiz; George Miller and Gross Misconduct; David Elfick’s Love in Limbo, On The Beach, Australia’s First Films.

NUMBER 92 (APRIL 1993) Yahoo Serious and Reckless Kelly; George Miller and Lorenzo’s Oil; Megan Simpson and Alex; Jean-Jacques’s The Lover, Women in film and television. Australia’s First Films Part 2.

NUMBER 93 (MAY 1993) Australian films at Cannes, Jane Campion and The Piano, Laurie Mclnnes’ Broken Highway, Tracey Moffat’s Bedevil, Lightworks and Avid debate,

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Stone Age Coffeeshop For four years I lived in Northcote, in Separation Street, where an old man, a Scotsman, got run over by the Mooney Valley trots bus one night, at the tender age of 93, with two bottles of Invalid Stout under his arm. “Bob Jane T M art” you could read all up his stinking old tartan dressing gown. In that disastrous thoroughfare, that dangerous track of flung-off recaps and dead bodies, in that awful, choking, polluted hell-hole, I made only one friend, one acquaintance, in all that tedious time. His name was Said Tawadros. He ran a collapsing Milk Bar. It sold stolen P eople magazines and it sold warped Indian Jazz Records stuck, crammed hard into the arseholes of white, stale Italian bread on bizarre display in the window. Never was there a mixed goods business remotely like Said’s. One of the most heartrending evenings I have endured is the memorable occasion when I ’ll B e H om e fo r Christmas was screened to an audience of admirers and drunkards, current homeless chaps and social workers at The State Film Centre, at the arse-end of Parliament House, several years back. Brian asked me to make a speech about homeless­ ness, which I did. I am good at homelessness and I never shut up, so I did it, with relish. I turned on the old hobo charisma. It is long, the film, and upsetting, unsettling and funny, straight from life, and it depicts such things as homeless men grogging on, an Olympic lot of guzzling grog. There are a lot of pathetic tales and sorrowing speeches in it. Cinéma vérité behind The Children’s Hospital. It is the best of its kind, and the fact that it has never been shown on telly is a disgrace. I made what I estimated to be a not bad ad-libbed speech about the spontaneous kindness of strangers, the wit of them, the way society sneers at them (us) and I got a round of genuinely-felt applause (I assumed), but the big booboo I made was telling all the men there: Look, you chaps, don’t fuck off after the film of Brian’s. My wife and brother have brought stacks of alcohol. ‘I think there’s three dozen bottles of beer left, aren’t there, Sarah?’ And Robo has brought a bottle of Black Label and a few of red and white, and there’s plenty of smokes, so stick around after the tearjerker and we’ll have a proper grog-on. Little was I to know that every man there had taken the pledge. They were all in AA. And all hanging out. That was one of the biggest oversights of my life, I suppose. Anyway, on to Malaysia. The Malaysian film is based on Sonny Naidu’s life, when he arrived in Melbourne in the swinging 1960s, jet-lagged and Muslfm-eyed, tired and over-excited. His brother, who was studying at Melbourne Uni, made Sonny a giant T-Bone, Sonny’s first go at what we call “Home Cooked Proper”, and he leapt into the meat with due interest, only to vomit. In Seramban, Sonny had never come across a giant lump of Aussie meat. The poor bastard was extra crook.


Sonny has always wanted to write about the cultural hiccup between his hometown and that leap into the Keon Park world. Melbourne must have seemed very strange to him as a young pupil of life, commerce and intellectual life. Melbourne is strange no matter how you look at it. Brian’s skills with millions of micro-cassette tapes and collecting strange wisps of random anyone, his love of battlers and knowledge of the human condition; Sonny’s Seramban past and his interest in that which is true, dislocated and all the films he has helped make for his friend Paul Cox, his history mixed with my love of little wins and losses for little people - we wrote the Malaysian story using our dislocated selves, tapes, hoarse all-night talkings, the remembrance of thongs past, as I tramped for ten days through the steaming jungles of Malaysia in a pair of $1 bright blue ones. The toe-things have had it now. Ahmat, a young Muslim, helps out at his father Rashid’s coffee stall, in what we call affectionately “our town”, something of a play on the Thornton Wilder. His dad wants Ahmat to become a brain surgeon. He sends his boy off to Melbourne, his first experience of Northcote and crooked relatives and good people as well from “our town”; and Ahmat suffers sea-changes. He stays with the strange Said Tawadros, his uncle, who runs the weird milkbar. The first night there, rolling out his prayer mat to face Mecca, he faces Froot Loops. Prays to them. It is a rites-of-passage play, and C O N T I N U E S






94 • 41


R E V I■'■E WS .




oad movies have always been an opport­


(K y le

u n ity to take things to the limit. Everything is

changes. If George had gone a

in transit, if not in heavy duty transition: cars and

little off the straight and narrow

motor bikes screech their way along highways,

track by escaping to Reno with

S e c o r),

e v e ry th in g

wheeling through desert landscapes in clouds of

his stolen thousands, his - and

dust; cop cars take up the challenge, but usually

the film ’s - entire plot becomes

get left behind in these dubious trails of glory;

hijacked by the erratic counter­

and people, who find them selves in a marginal

demands of Chevy the hitman.

territory so different from the security of home

Colpaert playfully infuses the

and town, seem to be either looking for som e­

genre of the thriller/road movie

thing new and/or they’re on the run from some­

w ith

thing old.

Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960). In




A lfre d

Most particularly, the road movie has func­

that more consistently serious

tioned as the quest narrative of the automobile

thriller, the relatively “m inor”

era. Prophets of old may have wandered out into

crime of theft is also paralleled

the isolation of the wilderness to lose a sense of

to the more heinous crime of

themselves in the known world and to find some

murder. The lack of moral fibre

new kind of vision or inspiration. The road movie

e x h ib ite d by M arion C rane

has speeded up the pace and it has thrown in a

(Janet Lejgh) in taking a large

range of visual, aural and intellectual stimulants,

sum of money, and attempting

but it still basically tells the same story: taking a

to escape with it across the

turning off the main road of life may mean run­

desert and over the “state line”

ning the risk of losing the plot altogether, but it

to her boyfriend, is contrasted

also contains the possibility of new directions.

by the narrative with the exces­

Most of all, it’s a lot of fun, especially if you

sive madness, or complete loss

survive the particular kind of rite of passage it

of self-control, of Norman Bates


(Anthony Perkins). Norman -

Newcomer Carl Colpaert’s Delusion has it

and, in Colpaert’s film, C h e v y -

both ways: it follows in the tried-and-true narra­

are what it means to have

tive tradition of the road movie, yet also throws

crossed that “line” of control

in a few spoofs and hairpin bends of its own.

and socialized behaviour en­

George (Jim Metzler) is a yuppie business­

tirely. In Delusion, G eorge’s

man whose computer business, Mirage XT, is

“crime” initially seems leagues

going under, causing George to take his first

away from the kind of violent,

unexpected turning. He embezzles vast sums of

ruthless underworld inhabited

money and heads off with the cash in the boot of

by Chevy and his seedy con­


his Volvo, with the aim of setting the business up

nections. However, while Marion Crane retained

However, Colpaert continues to tease audi­

again in Reno, that city of fast deals. However,

her status as relative moral innocent, first by

ence expectations of the thriller/road movie

this means being catapulted out of the secure

repenting and then by becoming the helpless

genre. Loud m elodram atic chords ironically an­

world of penthouse, girlfriend and spa-bath, and

victim of Norman, George lives on to symbiotically

nounce the “significant” moment when Patti’s

traversing a terrain of ancient mesas, scorched

inhabit more and more of the moral no-man’s

pet lizard, Johnny, jum ps out of his glass jar or

fields and brilliantly blue sky now so unavoidably

land with Chevy.

when George is rescued by the unlikely bikergirl

rem iniscent of the desert extremis of Thelma &

There are moments of significant tension in

(Angelina Fiordelissi), who tells him she thought

Louise (Ridley Scott, 1991). Starkly beautiful,

the course of the seemingly pointless driving

he was her man whom she lost “in the revolu­

yet remote and always potentially threatening,

through the desert, as the two men battle for

tion” . “Which revolution?” , hollers George as he

this landscape turns out to be only a thin circum ­

control. (Patti stays largely in a world of her own,

clings on to her M ad Max-style machine; “Thé

stantial and moral crust away from danger and

her motivation and her loyalties remaining ob­

sexual revolution” , she replies.

hitherto unimagined behaviours.

scure.) There is also an element of real poign­

Also, when Patti threatens to leave Chevy,

The hermetically-sealed environment of the

ancy in Chevy’s “execution” of his one-time

Colpaert has them replay a piece of dialogue

Volvo and the sealed surface of the road itself

friend and mentor, Larry (Jerry Orbach). “ It’s

from that classic of Anhèrican cinema, Citizen

are both literally and metaphorically broken when

only business. Nothing personal” , says Chevy

Kane (Orson W elles, 1941), when Kane’s séc-

George swerves off the bitumen to help a couple

apologetically, as he edges him towards a clear­

ond wife walks out on him. “You can’t do this to

whose car has crashed in the scrub. When he

ing in the bushes, and Larry, the washed-up,

me” , Chévy demands. “Oh, so it’s you it’s being

offers a lift to the seem ingly hapless pair, Patti

has-been crook, is forced to recognize the valid­

done to” , Patti returns, thus signalling both the

(Jennifer Rubin), a “showgirl” from Las Vegas,

ity of this law of the underworld which he himself

overweening egotism that masks C hevy’s infan­

and her stomach-ulcer inflicted boyfriend, Chevy

first taught to Chevy.

tile nature and her own departure.

42 • C I N E M A

P A P E R S 94

All this may not quite add up the post-modern pastiche of The P layer (Robert Altm an, 1992),



fo r instance; however, there are enough disrupt tiens of a straight re-run of the road movie genre to enjoy the “w itticism s” it aims at its own illusory

I f reaking away from fam ily and cultural ties to pursue independence is the key them e in

nally reassured by a girlfriend that it will be okay provided no one knows, she takes the plunge,

and delusory system s while also being enter­

The H eartbreak Kid. Based on the stage play of

rationalizing it as one last, wild stand before she

tained by the excesses of the off-the-beaten-

the same name, this warm, multi-layered com-

becomes a good Greek wife.

track narrative.

ing-of-age film explores the lives of an Anglo-

In many respects, Christina sees love as

The character of Patti, who is certainly a

Greek school teacher and a student who fall in

conditional. She has a hybrid concept of love

visually lustrous addition to the scene, also serves

love despite opposition and disapproval from

reinforced by her parents, who see her m arriage

as a form of critique on the macho com petitive­

family, friends and colleagues.

as a kind of filial fealty, and reinforced by her

Caught in cultural crossfire, Christina (Claudia

fiance’s view of him self as the decision-m aker

c ia lly as th e y m eta m orph ose into b iza rre

Karvan) has divided loyalties to the views ex­

who expects her to be the obliging wife. At first,

alter-ego versions of each other. On one level,

pressed by her traditional Greek parents, hus­

she views her relationship with Nick in the same

she is the conventional door-mat, the gangster’s

band-to-be and the school where she teaches,

light: it is okay to an affaire on the condition she

moll, who is tacitly com plicit with his violence,

which are at loggerheads with her own progres­

marries her husband.

and an adornm ent in his grubby world when she

sive beliefs. This is econom ically expressed in

On the other hand, while Nick understands

is not just the “tenderloin” there for his sexual

the film ’s opening scenes, where the viewer

what love is, it is only when he falls in love with

pleasure. On another level, she is disconcert­

takes a glimpse at C hristina’s family, assembled

Christina that he realizes love’s responsibilities.

ingly disengaged from both the violence and the

to celebrate her engagement. Her parents, com ­

Their first sexual encounter is conducted at

tenderness of Chevy’s world. As she tells George,

fortably well-to-do, have thrown a swanky party

her girlfriend’s flat, whose walls are lined with

she’s not on anyone’s side: “ I’m in it for m yself.”

for their only daughter, evidenced by the well-

masks. The masks not only represent deception

If anything, her deepest feelings seem to be

dressed crowd, the abundance of champagne,

but signify that, in discovering love and coming

evoked by Johnny, the lizard, the w eeniest of the

and the line of expensive cars decorating the

of age, Christina and Nick have to remove their

film ’s phallic symbols.

driveway and streets. The engagem ent has all

masks. In C hristina’s case, that means confront­

In the final scene, which mocks the heroic

the trappings of being a perfect affair, except for

ing herfiance and family, and announcing she is

shoot-outs of the W estern narrative, George

C hristina’s uneasy smile. The viewer gets the

not ready for marriage; it also means throwing in

and Chevy stand locked together by their ha­

feeling the trappings and brouhaha have over­

her ‘safe’ job and asserting her independence

tred, their fear of and identification with each

whelmed her; she is having second thoughts

by moving out of home. In N ick’s case, it means

other, and their selfish desire for the ill-gotten

about marriage, which everyone has taken as a

applying him self to his studies and his second

cash which lies between them like a bait. Patti’s

fait accompli. Faced with the embarrassm ent of

love, soccer, so that he can prove to his father

departure at this point might be read as callous­

backing out, which would mean disgracing her

his love and worth.

ness on her part: Is she as ruthless as them,

family, Christina takes the easy path and resigns

No love is w ithout heartbreak, and both char­

because she abandons them to each other? Or,

herself to a typical Greek marriage. It is only

acters discover that in breaking away they em ­

rather, does her departure indicate quite a m ajor

when Christina falls in love with her student,

brace a new set of risks and fears. The film ends

rejection on the film ’s part of the now foolish

Nick (Alex Dimitriades), that she develops con­

on an up, but ambiguous, note: whether Nick

aggression played out by the male characters?

fidence and emotional strength to break away

and Christina stay lovers is not certain, but their

By walking out - or actually by driving out in

from smothering fam ily ties.

ness and violence of Chevy and George, espe­

relationship has enabled each to break free of

Larry’s ute - and especially by leaving behind

Nick, in the meantime, comes from the oppo­

the snare of the stolen money which had led

site end of the Greek social scale. Raised by a

George to this “ Death Valley” showdown in the

single parent, who works in a factory, Nick is a

Through the use of m ulti-cam era set ups and

first place, Patti indicates a rejection of the entire

w orking-class Greek who presents a challenge

hand-held camera techniques, director Michael

game of heroes and villains, of greed and vio­

to Christina, who sees his potential and is frus­

Jenkins has imbued The H eartbreak Kid with

lence, and leaves the boys to fight it out between

trated by his lack of interest in studying. His

spirit and vitality, exampled in schoolyard scenes

them selves.

interest in Christina is ignited when she lobbies

during a student soccer scrimmage: tangled

for the official acceptance of a school soccer

legs, bulky tackles and a ball haphazardly veer­

team that Nick has attempted to establish.

ing left and right, the action literally spills either

It’s a nice, “politically correct” touch perhaps, and certainly it offers a little more hope than the

conditional love and seek their own niche in the world.

desperate careening off the cliff by Thelma

Both Nick and Christina have

(Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarândon).

an idealist and passionate streak


Perhaps it’s the only way to really get away with

which lands both in conflict. In

a road movie these days w ithout looking too

fighting to establish Nick’s soccer

passé. Colpaert gives us some of the excite­

team, Christina finds herself ‘play­

ment of the chase, the glittering gruesomeness

ing m other’, at first with the staff

of the gangster world, and the “finding the tatty

and then later in cajoling Nick’s

truth about yourself through the experience of

father (Nico Lathouris), an ex­

crossing boundaries” routine, while also making

soccer star, to coach the team.

us feel that he knows this is already a muchtravelled narrative route.

Nick is attracted to Christina on two levels: she is the mother he does not have, which earths

DELUSION Directed by Carl Colpaert. Producer:

his storm y nature, and she is also

Daniel Hassid. Executive producers: Seth M. Williamson, Christoph Henkel. Scriptwriters: Carl Colpaert, Kurt Voss. Director of photography: Geza Sinkovics. Production désigner: IlkidoToth. Costume designet: Kimberley Tillman. Sound recordist: Al Samuels. Editor: Mark Allan Kaplan. Composer: Barry Adamson. Cast: Jim Metzler (George O’Brien), Jennifer Rubin (Patti), KylëjSecor (Chevy), Jerry Orbach (Larry). 1RS Media International and Cineville. Australian distributor: Bjóadétone. 3S,mm. 100 mins. U.S. 1992.

a foxy-looking teacher who turns his schoolboy hormones haywire. Nick’s youthfulness and energy inspires Christina; he is the an­ tithesis of Dimitri (Steve Bastoni), herfiance and “father-in-training” . Christina, concerned by what people will think, vacillates about having an affaire with Nick. Fi­



9 4 . 43

side of the screen. It is as if the camera cannot

celebration of the emergent prosperity and

roll movie, before retiring to the back seat of the

contain the action. By contrast, during love

changing morality of post-war Australia.

Holden for a marathon petting session.

scenes, Jenkins opts for a more static camera

Ken lives with his mother, Gwen (Rhondda

Clearly, then, Ken’s desire and attempts to

treatment, allowing the actors to build their own

Findleton), and his sister, Ivy (Maya Stange), in

lose his virginity are what provide the narrative

microcosm with the frame. The scenes have a

a modest and modern house In Perth. Obsessed

steam of Love in Limbo, and he is a sympathetic

natural charm and spiciness, thanks to Jenkins’

by the mysterious world of sex, Ken channels his

and familiar-enough character to engage our

unobtrusive direction.

fascination for the female form into a lucrative

interests adequately to care about how, when

In terms of its portrayal of ethnics, The Heart­

sideline by copying the figures from his mother’s

and with whom it will finally happen. But despite

break Kid continues to build on the breakthrough

dress-making patterns, disrobing them and then

the perpetual fantasizing to which Ken is prone

style of Wogs Out o f Work and Acropolis Nowby

selling the pornographic cartoons to his equally

and we are privy, there is little sense of despera­

creating multi-dimensional ethnic characters in­

eager schoolmates. When he is sprung In the act

tion in Ken’s approach, and thus little sense of

stead of grabbing laughs by just “soaping” their

(of selling) and expelled, Ken decides to chuck

tension in the film. Only one scene really seems

cultural idiosyncrasies. A great deal of attention

in school in favour of a job at the clothing factory

to capture the feeling a d e q u a te ly -th a t in which

has been paid to developing the stage charac­

owned by his uncle, Bert Bollinger (Bill Young).

Ken helps his mother to remove a dress on

ters and plot for the film medium, to prevent it

The workplace seems a far more liberated

which the zipper has become stuck, and is thus

appearing stilted and stagey. The script radiates

zone than the schoolyard, but Ken’s mother

briefly confronted with the sight of his topless,

good humour, which, rather than mitigate the

nonetheless feels it necessary for her son to

suddenly eroticized, mother. Tension seems an

film ’s dramatic scenes, lends a personable feel.

receive the old birds-and-bees lecture from the

essential element in the successful rendering of

closest thing he seems to have to a father, his

teenage male frustration, and a vital ingredient

THE HEARTBREAK KID Directed by Michael Jenkins. Producer: Ben Gannon. Co-producer: Barbara Gibbs.

hapless uncle. The scene is one of the best in

in the realization of the comic potential of the

Scriptwriters: Richard Barrett, Michael Jenkins. Based

the film, with the flow of information rapidly

scenario. Films like The Sum mer o f ’42 (Robert

on the play by Richard Barrett. Director of photogra­

changing direction as Ken patiently explains

Mulligan, 1971), and even those of the ilk of

phy: Nino Martinetti. Production designer: Paddy

concepts like “climax” to his intrigued and obvi­

Porky’s (Bob Clark, 1981), manage to milk that

Reardon. Costume designer: Lisa Meagher. Sound

ously uninformed uncle, while his aunt patiently

tension for, respectively, nostalgic or crude comic

recordist: John Phillips. Editor: Peter Carrodus. Com­ poser: John Clifford W hite. Cast: Claudia Karvan (Christina), Alex Dimitrlades (Nick), Nico Lathouris (George), Steve Bastoni (Dimitri), Doris Younane

waits outside the door wondering how on earth

effect, but Love in Limbo lacks such an edge and

something which takes so little time to do can

so comes across as somewhat bloodless -

take so long to explain.

though not colourless.

(Evdokia), George Vidalis (Vasili), Louise Mandylor

Back at the factory, Ken becomes friends

The design of the film is staggeringly opulent,

(Eleni), W illiam Mclnnes (Southgate), Jasper Bagg

with sm ooth-talking Max W iseman (Martin

with reds, yellows and blues screaming for at­

(Graham), Fonda Goniadis (Con). View Films. Aus­

Sacks), the quintessential salesman and some­

tention in the ultra-modern 1950s house, furni­

tralian distributor: Roadshow. 35mm. 97 mins. Aus­

thing of a ladies’ man. Max introduces Ken to the

ture and objet d’art designs, as well as in the

tralia. 1993.

exciting world of jazz clubs and fast women, but

Australian landscape through which Ken, Barry

Ken soon realizes he is out of his depth and

and their prudish workmate, Arthur (Russell


forms a friendship with Barry (Aden Young), an

Crowe), travel on their way to finally do the

altogether less polished, but no less successful,

“beast-with-two-backs” in a Kalgoorlie brothel.

o note that David Elfick’s Love In Limbo is a

version of the homme fatale. When Barry buys a

At times, this design is used to comic effect (as

beautifully-designed film is to point to both

battered old Holden, Ken sees the chance to

in the above-mentioned birds-and-bees scene

its greatest strength and its greatest weakness,

make a move on his sister’s best friend, Maisie

which takes place amidst the m inimalist but

for it is surely one of the best recent examples of

(Samantha Murray), and talks Barry into taking

over-designed “nowness” of the wealthy Bollinger




the triumph of style over substance. Ostensibly

Ivy as his partner on a double-date to the drive-

living room), at others to pure aesthetic effect (as

a rites-of-passage story in which young Ken

in. Of course, Ivy doesn’t want a bar of Barry,

when the boys pull up to an outback gas station

Riddle (Craig Adams) makes the transition from

and Maisie isn’t too keen on Ken, so the Riddle

where the bowsers, the corrugated iron, the red

boyhood to manhood in a Kalgoorlie brothel, the

kids are left together in the front seat of the car

earth and the Shell logo all add up to an image

film is probably more fruitfully understood as a

while Maisie and Barry jitterbug to the rock-and-

somewhere between a Russell Drysdale paint­ ing and a Mojo petrol advertisement).


W hateverthe intention at any given moment, the visual style of the film is joyous and atten­ tion-holding throughout. But it still begsthequestion, “What for?” , because it is easy to dismiss this ultimately lightweight adventure as a post­ modern exercise of the most superficial kind: all pastiche and no perspective. And while the film is enjoyable enough, one can’t help but wonder why it was made (then again, one occasionally reminds oneself that it is just a film, Ingrid). Still, there are moments when it seems that there is quite a lot going on in Love in Limbo. Gwen, for instance, is necessarily interesting: a single mother at a time when to be such was relatively uncommon; determined to seek a ca­ reer at a time when to do such was relatively unusual; sexually active when to be so was to risk the wrath of the moralists. Of course, what Gwen represents is very probably not so much a departure from the reality of the female experience in the 1950s as it is a departure from the televisual and^fif#iic representation of that experience. This applies equally to other elem ents in the f i l m - kufelias

44 . C I N E M A



The plot is intriguing. Orlando (Tilda Swinton) is, first, a man, then a woman, who lives through four centuries. As a man, he is given property by a queen on the c o n d itio n th a t he neve r “w ithers” or grows old. He then experiences unrequited love, writes poetry, though not nearly as successfully as Orlando does in the novel, is sent to Asia as an ambassador, is wooed by a smitten archduke from England - called Harry (John Wood), what else? - transm ogrifies into a woman and returns to merry England where he becomes a victim of salon wits such as Pope and Swift before rejecting marriage proposals, los­ ing quite a deal of possessions and discovering the importance of self, soul and an overriding sense of individual resolve. The film is cunningly structured in accord with one of the most memorable of Elizabethan metaphors, the Seven Ages of Man. The first age is called “Death” and, not surprisingly, peo­ ple perish, though Orlando becomes a man of SASHA (CHARLOTTE VALANDREY) AND ORLANDO (TILDA SW INTON). SALLY POTTER'S ORLANDO.

property and means. The second age is called “Love” , and again there is nothing cryptic here,

ihje; admission of the existence of prostitution, and the presence of migrants as both integrated



and non-integrated members of the community hat would you see if you lived for 400

as Orlando seeks a wife. Shakespeare’s Othello is glimpsed and clearly the killing of Desdemona is intended to foreshadow the recurrent motif of

Elfick has actually dressed a fairly sophisticated


years? What would you learn? And what

(This point is reinforced vividly in the image of a

reyisionary agenda in the clothes of lightweight

of the mysteries of gender, death and history?

dead woman with a basket of fruit frozen be­


These are the types of questions that Sally

neath a transparent layer of ice.) The title of this

In the unlikely event that that is the case, the

Potter, the director of Orlando, is interested in.

section is also ironic since one of the salient

question of veracity arises. Robert Drewe noted

The novel by Virginia Woolf (upon which this film

symmetries is introduced here: the treachery of

in his Who Weekly review that anyone who

is based), though it does deal with such ques­

both the male and the female.

actually grew up in Perth in the 1950s may

tions, is not quite the sort of book that would give

quibble with some of the details of Elfick’s film.

satisfactory or authoritative answers to these.

poetry and diplomacy in the next two sections,

Being a child of the 1970s, I am in no position to

Indeed, the tensions that are generated be­

called “Poetry” and “Politics” . But public life

comment upon whether or not the film gets this

tween book and screenplay, novelist and direc­

cannot assuage the pain of failed love and con­

right. I can only note that Elfick’s vision of the

tor, text and image, are quite fascinating.

stant solitude, so, before the re-entry into soci­

- a n d might be reason enough to conjecture that

“withering” and the m utability of a way of life.

From love, Orlando proceeds to dabble in

1950s as a tim e and a culture on the brink of a

W oolf’s novel, it must be said, was intended

ety and the emergence of the fifth age, a

consumer and sexual revolution seems to ar­

to be an exploration of androgyny, of ambiguous

sea-change occurs. Unfortunately, Orlando dis­

or shifting personae within a personality. (In the

covers that women are not just as treacherous

history of film, this type of exploration is not rare:

as men but no less unhappy or unfulfilled.

ticulate what so many of the teen and rock-androll films of the era could only intimate. It is as if Love in Limbo were a 1950s film that had some­ how been allowed to break the code of silence that surrounded those areas that were still con­ sidered taboo - most notably sexuality - while still maintaining its surface coherence. Inthat sense, it is reminiscent of Jim McBride’s equally opulent Jerry Lee Lewis biopic, Great Balls o f Fire! (1989), and - to stretch a point David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986). But with nei­ ther the intrinsic biographical interest of the

consider Bergman’s and Godard’s interest in the

In the sixth age, “Sex” , despite the film ’s

subject as well as the idea of the double in the

insistence on the point that masculine and fem i­

films of Tarkovsky.) The novel was supposed to

nine are just different aspects of the one person­

provide a portrait of Vita Sackville-West. Though

ality - a somewhat Jungian idea - a number of

W oolf had set herself the serious objective of

differences are in fact suggested. Here, the

transforming “biography” as a genre, the novel

masculine is unfettered, attractive as well as

was also intended to give her some fun, to

repellent, and concerned with abstract notions

satirize, in a good-humoured way, the self-im ­

such as “liberty” and with the pursuit of grand

portance and pomposity of the male sex, of

universals, whereas the feminine is concerned

men’s alleged preoccupation with facts, logic,

with personal identity and the unities of the self.

evidence and the cold light of reason - all of

In the final age, “Birth” , Orlando is left with a

which, it seems, Woolf had observed in her

child and her progression, if that is what it is

father. (It is a pity that distinctions which would

supposed to be, is codified in a text which is a

seem to be commonsensical were not drawn

product of the ‘heart’ ratherthan, one presumes,

between the life of a single person and the lives

a product of the mind. But this text is also

LOVE IN LIMBO Directed by David Elfick. Producers:

of many others who cannot be encapsulated in

something that emerges from and possibly trans­

D a vid

stereotype, oversimplification or caricature.)

figures lives that have surpassed the tumultuous

former nor the graphic subterranean nastiness of the latter, Love in Limbo can’t quite break out of the never-never land of accurate, but fairly pointless, stylistic reproduction.

E lfic k , J o h n W in te r,

N in a S te v e n s o n .

Scriptwriter: John Cundill. Director of photography: Steve W indon. Production designer: David McKay. Costume designer: Clarrissa Patterson. Sound re­

The major problem for Potter, one would think, in adapting the novel to the screen is the

world of the great wars. We must, it seems, imagine this Sisyphus happy.

cordist: Guntis Sics. Editor: Stuart Arm strong. Com ­

claim that this may well be one of W oolf’s most

Overall, the film is both intriguing and attrac­

poser: Peter Kaldor. Cast: Craig Adams (Ken Riddle),

superficial books - a claim that is reinforced by

tive. Admittedly, the view of marriage which it betrays towards the end is somewhat simplistic

Rhondda Findleton (Gwen Riddle), Martin Sacks (Max

the fact that it was preceded by two master­

W isem an), Aden Young (Barry), Russell Crowe

pieces, Mrs Dalloway and To the Lighthouse,

and wilful, and not quite as fair-minded as the

(Arthur), Sam antha M urray (Maisie), Maya Stange

and succeeded by two not inconsiderable works,

v ie w in th e novel is. The humour of the book, too,

(Ivy), Bill Young (Uncle Bert), Jill Perryman (Aunt Dorrie), Vincent Ball (Cyril W illiam s), Diane Jeffries (Mojia): Palm Beach Pictures. Australian distributor: Hoyts. 35mm. 102 mins. Australia. 1993.

The Waves and Between the Acts. And the film

has not translated particularly well, the sharp­

itself may be open to just the same sort of

ness of W oolf’s satirical thrusts against the w rit­

criticism. But more of this later.

ing of biography through her appropriation of



94 • 45

parody, inflation and irony is lost, and one is left


and artistic concerns as subject m atter fo r the

with the thought that Orlando in th e film does not


film. In fact, Perry’s own compelling portraits of

seem to have gained more than one or two insights (none of which are uncontroversial) despite four centuries of education! But, the production designers have done a marvellous job, and the use of colour coding (for example, pale shades and tones of Uzbekhistan) is func­ tional and suggestive. And the editing and shoot­ ing - done in such a way that they suggest a discontinuity between the time spans and present the narrative as a sequence of carefully-articu­ lated, fantastic tableaux - are polished in gen­ eral. The techniques themselves, in fact, remind one of the chasms that can divide the past and the present, and of the need for that affirmation which is imaginatively transposed into meta­ phors and image of the recreated self. O RLANDO D irected by Sally P otter. Producer: Christopher Sheppard. Executive producers: Anna Vronskaya, Linda Bruce. Line producer: Laurie Borg. Scriptwriter: Sally Potter. Based on the book by V ir­ ginia Woolf. D irectorof photography: Alexei Rodionov. Production designers: Ben van Os, Jan Roelfs. Cos­


I really started to get interested in making films when, would you believe it, I saw Ken G. Hall making Smithy in 1946. In some large and éxpensive house there was this enormous film crew, with a giant 35mm camera and people with yellow make up. I was like a boy watching over the fence and I was fascinated. The other thing that happened round the same time was I went to pick up my young sister at a birthday party and the parents were showing the little kids Ballet mécanique [1924] by Ferdinand Léger, because these kids were always interested in ballet. The fact that I was drawn to these two different things may explain the way rhy work has always gone. - David Perry1

the Bolsheviks, which are featured throughout the film, are what the film was initially based on. Perry also plays the mature M alernik aild pro­ vides the reflective and inquiring voice of his character. Despite the com plexity of the story and is­ sues involved, Perry is not w ithout a sense of humour. Perry even looks like Trotsky, and it has been suggested that all his paintings of the Bolsheviks also look like him. On the other hand, this is really at the heart of the film. To the extent that these elements are present the film can be said to be autobiographical. W hat becomes ap­ parent in its telling, however, is that the idea of the centred subject and, by implication, the self

Through the same act by which he spins lan­ guage out of himself he weaves himself into it, and every language draws a circle around the people to which it belongs, a circle that can only be transcended in so far as one at the same time enters another one. - Wilhelm Von Humboldt2

the late 20th Century finally collapses into ques­

he Refracting Glasses Is a curious bricolage

M alernik confronts the fact of David Perry with

of narrative fiction and documentary fact. It

questions about artistic practices, political ide­

tume designer: Sandy Powell. Sound recordist: Jean-

of autobiography, is increasingly thrown into question - refracted, one could s a y - ju s t as the complex relationship between art and polilips in tions of self, identity and survival. These concerns are most clearly articulated in the form of a dialogue. The fiction of Constant

Bob Last. Cast: Tilda Swinton (Orlando), Billy Zane


(Shelmerdine), Lothaire Bluteau (The Khan), John

is a film written, produced and directed by artist-

als and philosophical poetics. Constant him self

Wood (Archduke Harry), Charlotte Vaiandrey (Sasha),

filmm aker David Perry, a leading figure in the

vacillates between the voice of the pragm atist

HeathCote W illiam s (Nick/publisher), Quentin Crisp

vanguard of Australian experimental film pro­

searching for tangible answers to his artistic


questions, and the voice of the philosopher who

Louis Ducarne. Editor: Herve Schneid. Composer:

(Queen Elizabeth I), Peter Eyre (Mr Pope), Thom Hoffman (W illiam of Orange), Jimmy Somerville (Fal-

A visual and aural diary, The Refracting

is entertained by the arguments and enjoys the

Film-Rio Film-Sigma co-production, with the partici­

Glasses is woven around the m editations and

quest. There are also other voices. There is the

pation of British Screen. Australian distributor: Ronin.

journeys of the fictional character-artist-film -

Voice of God (Taylor Owens) whom Perry has

35mm. 93 mins. U.K. 1992.

maker, C onstant M alernik. C onstant (Leon

likened to the Australian film industry .3 This is a

Teague) begins his creative

female voice, often cynical and dismissive, who

working life in Sydney in the early

continually challenges Malernik: “Who cares

setto/Angel). An Adventure Pictures-Lenfilm -M ikado


1950s. Like most artists, he is

about the Bolsheviks?” , she says; “PeopJe just

obsessed by many things. He is

want a good story.” There is also the voice of her

particularly compelled by the art

producer, who curtails the debate and just wants

of the early 20th Century and of

to hurry these people along. As C onstant

the Bolsheviks.

searches and quests to know, he encounters

These fascinations motivate

others with experiences and longings to re­

and even dominate most of his

count. Voices multiply, intersect, support and

personal and creative life: Con­

contradict each other.

stant’s quest is to understand

The richest, most poetic, densely-allusive

the complex and difficult rela­

site of refraction lie in the fascinating and com ­

tionship that exists between

plex images. The film is a collage of form s and

aesthetics and politics. Indeed,

styles. Photographs, paintings, documentary

his character becomes the em­

footage, dramatized fiction, optically printed

bodiment of that dilemma. But

special effects, and computer animation are

the more he interrogates his

juxtaposed, echoing, commenting and providing

motives and purpose, the less

ironic counterpoints to each other. These im­

he understands. He travels to

ages, forms and examples are further refracted

New York to view early cubist

as we are shown paintings and drawings in

paintings that he really admires,

books, film strips containing previously projected

and later to Russia, the penulti­

images now held up to the light; television screens

mate pilgrimage in search of his

in rooms, in cars, fram ing and reframing people;

heroes - the artists of the Rus­

computer screens writing texts that have just

sian R e v o lu tio n -o n ly to b e dev­

been spoken or the questions that are being

astated by the contem porary

asked; the artist with his camera; the projectdr

social decay of this once great

with its light beaming at us after the film has run

revolutionary culture. Though his

through. Many of these surfaces are further

art leads him to politics, his trav­

overlaid with the play of light and shadow, of

els lead him from revolutionary

wind-blown leaves and branches, flickering, os­

romanticism, perhaps even en­

cillating like the cinematic apparatus itself.

lightenment, to revolutionary dis­ illusionment.

46 • C I N E M A


In part, the film is a homage to these beloved objects - the m aterials of creation - and their

To construct his argument,

admired creators. T h e s e 'a re the sodrces-<of

Perry plundered his own life, art

inspiration and meaning, the beginning of the

quest. The first image we see is a hand drawing

portant about Ern M alley’s presence. The fact

God), Lydia Fegan (Lydia), Alla Karihaloo (Alla), lain

or writing the Russian word for cinema - Kino -

that Perry brings to life something that was only

G ardiner (Ern Malley), Skye W ansey (Ethel Malley),

onto a sheet of paper. The film is densely packed

ever imagined or dreamed about is a testam ent

with sim ilar references. For example, in one

to the power of the aesthetic-creative act. Perry

montage sequence echoing the early Soviet

paid $10,000 to Pavel Kyral, a Czech animator

film m akers, there is a direct reference to Dziga

living in Sydney, to animate T atlin ’s Monument

V ertov’s Man with a M ovie Camera (1929) as

to the Third international into being. This m as­

M alernik’s Bolex camera on a tripod becomes

sive inspired monument, that was never built,

Bobby Ferguson (Shostakovich in 1922). David Perry. Australian distributor: AFI. 16mm. 105 mins. A us­ tralia. 1993.




narrative preface at the beginning of Rich in

animated into life. The music of Shostakovich,

never was, becomes constructed before our

yet another passion of M alernik’s (and Perry’s),

very eyes. In another sequence, T atlin’s mam

fram es and heightens the emotional rigour of

powered flying machine, the Letatlin, is also

these images. In the midst of all this, there is

animated into life, flying across the frames of

change. The film itself, by Australian director

M alernik, the artist, gazing into his garden,

celluloid, bringing into reality a long-held dream.

Bruce Beresford, is rather more a hollow fo r­

iLove points to a contem porary fam ily drama

which draws its main characters into cathartic

dream ing of his films and paintings, imagining

These áre some of the most wondrous sequences

m ula-offering that has been shunted off the

the lives of his heroes, scanning the pages of his

in the film - the poetic transcendence of artistic

same Hollywood production wagon responsible

books, and plotting his way to a Cubist Picasso-

endeavour. The impossible becomes possible.

for D riving Miss Daisy (1989). Despite a few

But something else changes when Malernik

redeeming qualities, mostly in the acting depart­

Braque exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

and Lydia (Lydia Fegan) travel to Russia. For

ment, it appears short on passion and inspira­ tion, and big on predictability.

Just as Cubism was a style of collage and

Constant, this is a journey from the artefact to

refraction, working against a single point of view,

the source of his inspiration. In Russia, how­

Based on the novel by Josephine Humphreys,

and Russian Constructivism was characterized

ever, he seems immobilized. He even describes

the film traipses its way through a crisis in the

by the linking together of disparate elements,

his docum entary practices as “im pressions”

Odom family, whose home is set on the w ater­

R efracting Glasses collages and montages its

rather than “constructions” . The style changes

front in South Carolina. It begins interestingly

diverse moments, form al styles and points of

from the poetic to the diaristic, and we begin to

enough with a middle-aged man, Warren Odom

view. Though these revolutionary art movements

watch something rem iniscent of a personal trav­

(Albert Finney), arriving home from a fishing trip

are so essential to M alernik’s vision, his sense

elogue. For a while the story even becomes

to find Helen (Jill Clayburgh), his wife of 27

of self, they are also about the dissolution of self,

Lydia’s as she spends time with her fam ily and

years, gone. A note signed by her has been

of meaning no longer being centred on a single

locates herself within a community, within a

intercepted by the pair’s teenage daughter,

subject, or single point of view. M alernik’s (and

history. When Lydia has to return to Australia,

Lucille (Kathryn Erbe), re-written, then handed

Perry’s) dilemma, therefore, becomes the prob­

leaving Malernik alone in Russia, the story be­

to her father. The view er has reason to believe

lem of the subject: that is, how is the artist to

comes his once more. Only now he seems to

the road ahead will be an eventful one as Warren

reconcile subjective artistic vision within a politi­

have lost his way. He drives through Russian

enlists Lucille on a series of w him -driven

cal consciousness?

streets, searching for something that no longer

searches for the wife.

As M alernik journeys across continents,

exists, or maybe never existed. He visits the site

The early tension slackens, however, as

through time, into the past, searching forthreads,

of his imaginary construction of T atlin’s monu­

Warren resigns himself to his loss and retreats

links, patterns, pieces to the puzzles he has

ment to the Third International. He has become

into a type of nostalgic sleepwalk, oblivious of

created, increasingly his obsessions, the ob­

a mute in a deaf landscape searching for som e­

the fact that Lucille has made m ajor sacrifices to

jects of his attention, the sources of his interro­

thing he seems no longer certain of.

g a tio n s , his e n c o u n te rs , b eco m e fu rth e r

help him. What we are left with is a story that

Among the last images of the film, we see

focuses on the complexities of relationships

M alernik standing next to a Russian boy who

where, for the first time in his life, the patriarchal

Exactly half way through the film, Malernik is

offers him a cake. He seems lost. The words he

Warren is forced to look at his young daughter

on a train, a young man with a movie camera. It

speaks are of the beliefs and commitments of

(and, later on, an older daughter) as someone

is 1953. He is intrigued by the significance of this

others, almost as if his own capacity has left him:

with a life and opinions of her own.


date. M alernik reflects that this is the year “Stalin died. Tatlin died [and] Picasso did a very bad

Later C o nstan t tho ugh t of A lla [his Russian la n­ guage teacher], saying tha t R ussia tau ght h e rto

portrait of S talin.” Through the train window we

care fo r others, and [his Russian inte rpre te r]

see flickering images from the past. Any journey

L u d m illa ’s passion fo rfa irn e s s and equality, and

inevitably involves one in the crossing of bounda­

of the kindness and w arm th of Lyd ia ’s [R ussian]

ries. On this train he meets a man, like himself,

fam ily in spite of all the difficu ltie s.

who never existed. He meets the subject of the in fa m o u s lite ra ry hoax: Ern M a lle y (la in Gardiner). Two poets, Stewart and McCauley, created Ern’s poems by coilaging other texts, and created a character they considered crude and uneducated, who was to have left school at fifteen and someone whom they believed could never be an artist. This fabrication, which was once considered so scandalous, is now seen by

Albert Finney is quietly convincing in W ar­ ren’s transition from self-satisfied husband to gormless brooderthen, ultimately, new-age man of sorts. One suspects, however, too much has been demanded of the highly-esteemed Finney. Forone, he had to swap his classic Shakespear­ ean inflection for that of a laboured Southern

This is a subtle, humble ending to a film of true inventiveness, of breadth of style, and in­ spired sense of purpose. It is a film that David Perry has described as having grown out of images, rather than text. And it is the power and poetry of these images that remain with the viewer, while eagerly awaiting David Perry’s next refraction of his life as an artist.

drawl, which, after a time, becomes an im pedi­ ment to meaningful emotional exchange be­ tween him self and Erbe, who gives a good showing of a teenager whose strait-laced con­ ventionality belies an insight beyond her years. In fact, Finney and Erbe barely manage to hold the picture together until the much-needed ar­ rival of an older daughter, Rae (Suzy Amis), and

some as one of the first moments of post-m od­

1 C a ntrill’s Film notes, No. 51/52.

her new h u s b a n d , B illy M cQ u e e n (K y le

ernist practice.

2 Theodore Adorno, Prisms.

MacLachlan), about a third of the way through.

On the train, Ern is given form, b ro ug httolife ,

3 C a n trill’s Filmnotes, No. 69/70

The screenplay by Alfred Uhry (who won an

enacted. He is given a figure, a face and a voice.


Academ y Award for Driving Miss Daisy) re­

He speaks to Malernik. He recites his poems.

Perry. Producer: David Perry. Scriptwriter: David Perry.

hashes a thing or two about relationships and

Directors of photography: David Perry, Simon Smith.

the fragility of the human condition, but does not

Once again, there is a curious tension between fact and fiction. Perry claim s to feel a strong

Com puter anim ation: Pavel Kyral. Film anim ation: D avid. Perry. Sound recordist: Liam Egan. Editor:

conjure up enough dram atic tonic to make this fairly commonplace fam ily dilemm a as riveting

sense of identification with this non-academ i-

David Perry. Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich. Cast:

cally trained artist. (Perry apparently left school

D avid:Perry (Constant Malernik), Leon Teague (Con­

as it might have been. Even with the arrival of

at fifteen.)

stant ;Malernik in 1953), Tom m y Thom as (Constant

new, essentially-disparate characters and new

M alernik as a child), Taylor Owyns (The Voice of

conflicts, it has all been seen and done before.

However, there is something even more im­



94 - 47



oosely based on several Am erica’s Cup races,


and on a book, Comeback: M y Race fo r the

A m erica’s Cup, by form er Am erica’s Cup cap­ tain Dennis Conner, Wind explores the theme of winning and losing, using the emotional tug-ofwar between career and love as parallel narra­ tives. Wind charts the course of a young American skipper, Will Parker (Matthew Modine), who ditches his long-term relationship with sailing partner, Kate Bass (Jennifer Grey), to pursue his ambition to win the Am erica’s Cup. The film is divided into several chapters, each a self-contained fable complete with moral. At the beginning, Kate, an aggressive careerminded woman, forsakes her career to follow LUCILLE (KATHRYN ERBE) AND RAE ODOM (SUZY AM IS). BRUCE BERESFORD'S RICH IN LOVE.

(Cliff Robertson) to skipper the trial horse in

Warren falls for a fiesty redhead, Vera Deimage

counterpoint and a contributing agent to the

(Piper Laurie), and suddenly gets a spring in his

drama, in the way Paul Schrader’s culturally

step, while young Lucille shrugs off the ad­

surreal New Orleans reflects the innerturm oil of

vances of her high school admirer, Wayne

the characters in Cat People (1982).

Frobiness (Ethan Hawke), in favour of big sis­ te r’s new beau.

Beresford’s regular director of photography, Peter James, has an aesthetically pleasing eye,

The tone of the film remains fairly subdued,

but he and his director are prone to framing

except for a few moments of humour and some

bridges and tankers passing across the offing,

illuminating exchanges about life and love. “Mar­

as if to remind the viewer that this movie is

riage tells you who you are, then it’s gone and

supposed to be about impending change and

you’re a blank page” , says Warren at one point.

new directions.

In style and content, the picture bears sim i­

Despite being able to resist some visual

larities to Carl Schultz’s Australian drama Trav­

references to his homeland, Beresford’s strong

e llin g N o rth (1 9 8 7 ), w h ich

p o rtra y s the

narrative stamp is conspicuously absent, which

relationship between an elderly man (Leo

to many observers would be a disappointm ent

McKern) and a younger divorcée (Julia Blake).

after the tautness of his work on Black Robe

Both films are set on the waterfront and deal

(1992) and Driving Miss Daisy. One rather tacky

intrinsically with the fabric of emotional ties, but,

scene involving a draught horse’s urinating in

for mine, Travelling North, for all its carefully

front of a car is a needless distraction, while

observed simplicity, forges far deeper into the

another lengthy episode in a n ig h tc lu b -fo ra ll its

realm of fading hope, mortality, and the inherent

possibilities - does little more than introduce a

restlessness and tenacity of the human spirit. The oddly-titled Rich in Love rolls along with a kind of affectionate pathos - as, one might say,

Will, who is singled out by mentor Morgan Weld

minor character, Rhody Poole (Alfre Woodard), whose contribution to the story is effectively zero.

does life - without really attaining the sense of

The incidental score by the late Georges

catharsis to which it constantly alludes. It would

Delerue is easy to listen to and serves as an

be reasonable to expect this moment has ar­

appropriately benign backdrop, but several key

rived when the passive, pasty-looking Helen

songs risk over-statement (such as “ I’ve Been

surfaces for the first time more than an hour into

Loving You Too Long” in the nightclub scene).

the piece. Yet, fo ra llth e build-up, Helen’s return

Rich in Love is good to look at and easy to

is so anti-clim actic that it would have been better

listen to, but fails to lift the spirit or mind. If it is

to leave Jill C layburgh’s part on the cutting room

remembered for anything at all, it should be the

floor. (Clayburgh’s character is not helped by

following (now very fashionable) epilogue: “A

confusing dialogue which has her, in one breath,

chapter of ordinariness out of the book of life.”

preparation for the Am erica’s Cup challenge. This situation makes comment about the nature of “conditional love” - while Kate has ‘conceded’ to help Will achieve his dream, it is not without ‘paym ent’ - Kate is to be included on the old boy team. Although Kate is aware that Will is being baptized into the “w orld’s oldest boys’ club” , she is confident he will not succumb to the system. Her cockiness and confidence is shattered when Will buckles under pressure from Weld and his old boy cronies, who see Kate as a professional and emotional threat - she challenges the old boy system with her sailing prowess, and she puts an emotional wedge between Will and the boys. Will is informed by one of the syndicate men that it is unprofessional to include his girl­ friend as crew, but his arguments cease when he is rewarded with news that he has been appointed starting tactician on the defence. The scene^ highlights the double standards: on one hand, Will views Kate’s career sacrifice as a strong gesture of her love and devotion, but is quick to ditch this view when his career is on the line. Kate learns how selfish and weak-willed Will is; embittered by this new knowledge, she leaves Will to start a new life. In the second chapter of the film, a parallel is made between losing in love (first chapter) and losing in one’s career. Will, who has sublimated his love of Kate into sailing, hits a mark during an Am erica’s Cup final which costs the American syndicate the race. Up till now, Will has been very confident of success. He ish u m ilia te d by

stating that “We [Warren and I] drew love to its

RICH IN LOVE Directed by Bruce Beresford. Produc­

the loss, and learns that one must pay a price for

conclusion” , and in another, “That’s why I love

ers: Richard D. Zanuck, Lili Fini Zanuck. Co-produc­

every action, in his case the loss is double-

him” .)

ers: David Brown, Gary Daigler. Scriptwriter: Alfred

Clayburgh is merely a token piece in a cast that has too little demanded of it. Suzy Amis is the only performer who fills her character’s shoes with real depth and substance as the pregnant and temperamental Rae.

Uhry. Based on the novel by Josephine Humphreys. Director of photography: Peter James. Production designer: John Stoddart. Costume designer: Colleen

edged - all his training and efforts have not paid off, and in the process he has sacrificed his love. Like Kate, he finds himself no longer needed by

Kelsall. Sound recordist: Brion Paccassi. Editor: Mark

the syndicate and, depressed, embarks on a

W arner. Composer: Georges Delerue. Cast: Albert

journey to find her.

Finney (W arren Odom), Jill Clayburgh (Helen Odom),

The key difference between the first and

True to Josephine Humphrey’s novel, Rich In

Kathryn Erbe (Lucille Odom), Piper Laurie (Vera

second chapters is the observation made about

Love Is set in South Carolina where rambling

Deimage), Kyle MacLachlan (Billy McQueen), Ethan

Kate and Will. Kate is perceived as the stronger,

houses, big trees and water fill the canvas, but

Hawke (Wayne Frobiness), Suzy Amis (Rae Odom),

are inconsequential props on the screen. The film could have done more to capture the es­ sence of its locale in greater depth as both a

48 • C I N E M A



Alfre W oodard (Rhody Poole), J. Leon Pridgen II (Tick), David Hager (Parnell Meade). A Zanuck Com­ pany Production. Australian distributor: UIP. 35mm. 105 mins. U.S. 1993.

more aggressive and survival-oriented of the two, while Will is seen as being more passive and unconfident. In many respects, he sheds Kate to prove his manhood and show his inde-

pendence. Kate echoes this feeling when, in a fit

m an’s worth cannot be m easured by money,

tume designer: Marit Allen. Sound recordist: Drew

of anger, declares to Will that she is sick and

greed causes downfall, never let pride stand in

Kunin. Sound design: Alan Splet. Composer: Basil

tired of “getting sucked into his life” . It is only

the way of apology, and, the old chestnut, love

when W ill loses the race that he realizes how

conquers all.

much he needs Kate, both professionally and

Salvaged by some spectacular sailing se­


Poledouris. Editor: Michael Chandler. Cast: Matthew Modine (W ill Parker), Jennifer Grey (Kate Bass),

quences, Wind is an overly ambitious look at

Stellan Skarsgard (Joe Heiser), Rebecca Miller (Abigail Weld), Ned Vaughn (Charley), Cliff Robertson (Morgan Weld), JackThom pson (Jack Neville). Mata Yamamoto

In the third chapter, Will learns how inde­

one of the w orld’s most expensive sports and

Production, a co-production of Filmlink Inti, from Am eri­

pendent Kate is, which only makes him more

the price individuals pay to win the Am erica’s

can Zoetrope. Australian distributor: Hoyts. 35mm.

determ ined to woo her back. Kate and her new

Cup. Its portrayal of the Australian competition

125 mins. U.S. 1992.

love interest, Joe Heiser (Stellan Skarsgard),

as (pardon the image) sinking below the belt to


test gliders at an isolated airfield. Like Will, Kate

win the Cup is sure to offend some Aussie


has thrown herself into her work, which has not

patriots. The schm altzy

been very successful. She has become aloof

ending undercuts the

and resigned to her life until Will reappears. Will

film ’s cynical com m en­

and Joe discuss plans to win back the Cup. Kate

tary about the nature of

initially greets the idea with scepticism and hos­

the sport and its effect

tility, but W ill’s change of attitude coaxes her on

on relationships, liken­

side. In this chapter, the parallels between love

ing the film to a Mills &

and career continue. Will is faced with a dual

Boon romance set on the

task: to win back his love and to regain the Cup.

high seas.

But in order to do this he must not compromise


W IND Directed by Carroll

his principles; his love of sailing and his desire to

Ballard. Producers: Mata

win must not dom inate and usurp his life.

Yam am oto, Tom Luddy.

To succeed he has to battle with the estab­

E x e c u tiv e

p ro d u c e rs :

Francis Ford Coppola, Fred

lishm ent. Faced with lack of funds and a dream, Will enlists the PR help of Morgan W eld’s daugh­

Fuchs. Associate producer:

ter, Abigail. She is initially viewed as a bimbo by

Betsy Pollack. S cript-w rit­ ers: Rudy W urlitzer, Mac

Kate and Joe, but earns her stripes with her gift

G udgeon. S tory by Je ff

of the gab and her contacts. Abigail is caught

Benjamin, Roger Vaughan,

between being won over by W ill’s determ ination

Kimball Livingston. Direc­

and the lure of taking the Cup and finally proving

tor of photography: John

to her father her worth. The film raises some

Toil. Production designer:

cliched but often true viewpoints, such as a

Laurence Eastwood. Cos­

The 42nd Melbourne International Film Festival wishes to thank its supporters, sponsors and audiences for another record-breaking year!




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9 4 • 49

. ■

------------ ------- ------------------ ^


THE 1 7 T H 1N T E R N A T I O N A t KONG FILM F EST! VAL HONG _________ ____


50 • C I N E M A P A P E R S



■ ____ ______ ___________ _______________ A

ou know you aré in Hong Kong when the

Zhang Yimou, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Edward Yang,

pre-screening slides tell audiences to turn

Wu Ziniu, Stanley Kwan and others were all still

off their pagers and mobile telephones.

working on newfilms. Chen Kaige’s long-awaited

Not that they do and the incessant beep­

epic about Beijing opera actors, Farewell to My

ing precludes snoozing during movies. Still, that

Concubine (Bawang Bei Ji), had to be excluded

is about the only reminder at the festival of the

because Cannes Festival rules forbid prior

commercial hustle and bustle that is Hong Kong.

screenings at other festivals, even though thé

Now in its seventeenth year, the Hong Kong

film had already had a successful release in

International Film Festival is not only the most

Hong Kong. In these circumstances, it is disap­

important festival in our region but also a great

pointing, but perhaps unsurprising, that there

cultural event. It is not just a collection of pre­

were many competent but few outstanding Asian

views for the art-house circuit.

films at Hong Kong this year.

The international round-up and American

The one major exception was Malaysian-

independent film sections of the Festival would

born Taiw anese d irector Tsai M ing-Liâng’s

have been of great interest to local festival-

Rebels o f the Neon God ( Ching Shao Nien Na

goers because Hong Kong does not have a

Cha), a film about juvenile delinquency and

developed art-house circuit and this might well

urban anomie set in the grunge of modern-dâÿ

be the audience’s only chance to see these

Taipei. The main character, Hsiao Kang, is 3a

films. However, from an Australian point-of-view,

teenager bored with cramming schools and c o rff

many of these films have already screened here,

ing home to dinner with his parents. He becomes

and it is the Asian cinema section of the Festival

fascinated with an older youth, Ah Tze, a p e ti|

that usually holds the greatest interest, as many

thief who steals from phone boxeë tot fuel h i!

new films get shown here first.

video game habit, after Ah Tze S m asles Kang|s

Unfortunately, few of the major Asian direc­

father’s taxi'. To his parents uncomprehendirffj

tors had any new works at Hong Kong this year,

'fury and déspair, Hsiao K a ng d ro p so u to fsch d o l

and seeks revenge. Or is it that he wants to get

box-office in an ever more commercial economy

of the similarly-themed March Comes In Like a

to know Ah Tze?

and by the post-Tiananmen censor.

Lion of two years ago.

As intriguing as the ambiguous narrative is

The opening film, woman director Ning Ying’s

O therfilm s came garlanded with government

Tsai’s closely-observed detailing of the lives of

second feature, For Fun (Zhao Le), was a charm­

awards and praise, but we all know that is no

these marginal people in modern Taipei, from

ing comedy about a group of retired Beijing

guarantee of quality. The government-sponsored

th e video parlours and street stalls they hang out

opera fans. Although very enjoyable, well-acted

Equatorial Trilogy: Procession (A rak Araken,

at to Ah T ze’s apartment. The latter is ankle-

and well-observed, it is handicapped by a mi­

Teguh Karya) from Indonesia and the Japa-

deep in drain water that comes and goes at the

nuscule budget and a totally innocuous storyline

nese-Indonesian-Thai-Philippine portmanteau

will of the wayward plumbing. When Hsiao Kang

designed to keep the censor happy.

film, Southern Winds (Slamet Rahardjo Djarot,

smashes up Ah Tze’s beloved motorbike, Ah

The slick opportunism of Huang Jianxin’s

Mike de Leon, Cherd Songsri, Shoji Kokami),

Tze accepts bad luck, picks his way through the

tenement comedy, Stand Up, D on’t Bend Over

were predictably line-toeing, with the exception

sodden debris and gets on with life.

(Zhanzhi luo, bie paxia), with its message that

of Mike de Leon’s excellent fantasy satire in the

money can overcome all political differences,

latter about The Philippine Ministry of Entertain­

No other Asian film displayed the same sure feel for quiet observation of telling visual detail,

appealed to Hong Kong audiences apprehen­

ment’s search for something new to sell. After

and the local critics agreed that this is the Asian

sive about 1997, who gave it a spontaneous

going through schoolteachers who enliven their

find of the year. Apparently, Rebels o f the Neon

ovation. However, it came as a bitter disappoint­

class by fire-breathing and an all-singing, all­

God was declined by the Melbourne Film Festi­

ment to those who remember the radical expres­

dancing crucifixion, they determine the one thing

val on the grounds that it is too difficult for local

sionist style and biting political satire of his

The Philippines has no shortage of is pictur­

audiences. Let’s hope that proves wrong.

earlier films, such as Black Cannon Incident and

esque misery, squalor and despair.

Other film s were noteworthy for them atic

Samsara, both made before Tiananmen. In­

concerns, but all were heavily dependent on

deed, his new film would be better titled, “Lick

Return ( Wu Yan D erShan Chiu) is a movie of no

dialogue arid drama, lacking the visual style and

My Boots, Don’t Complain” .

end. Clearly inspired by Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s City

Taiwanese director Wang Tung’s H ill o f No

o f Sadness and Edward Yang’s A Brighter Sum­

Innovation of Rebels o f the Neon God. From

Other promising Asian features also proved

Taiwan was The Wedding Banquet, which had

compromised. Twinkle (Kira Kira Hikaru, George

m er Day, Wang has also decided to make a long,

already shared the Golden Lion as Berlin in

Matsuoka) and About Love, Tokyo (A i ni tsuite,

long historical epic. However, where Hou and

February, and was this year’s closing film at

Tokyo, Mitsuo Yanagimachi) promised well with

Yang chose topics sensitive today, Wang has

Hong Kong. Heralded as a crowd-pleasing com-

their respective themes of hom osexuality and

chosen the brutal treatm ent of miners by the

id y , some critics are saying this is 1993’s Strictly

the lives of mainland Chinese students in Japan,

Japanese during the 1930s, something the

Ballroom (Baz Luhrmann), on those grounds.

but a tele-feature look and sentimentalism un­

present government feels completely com fort­

Although not cinematically ambitious, it breaches

dermine the interesting material. Also from Ja­

able about, and so he has won many awards but

social taboos because it deals with homosexu­

p an ,

achieved little impact with audiences. Also, where

ality. The main character lives in New York with

(Ammonaito No Sasayaki Wo Kita, Isao Yamada)

Hou and Yang are international masters of sub­ tle observation, W ang’s film tends to endless

I ’ve H e a rd the A m m o n ite M u rm u r

his Caucasian lover. When he helps out a friend

is a beautiful to look at fantasy about a brother-

by agreeing to a passport marriage, his fam ily

sister relationship bordering on incest, but it

travels from Taipei for the momentous event,

doesn’t have the brittle edge and hidden depths


and much farce ensues. The Wedding Banquet shared the Berlin prize with O ilm aker’s Fam ily (Xiang Hun Nu, Xie Fei) from the People’s Republic. This was widely considered a diplom atic award. The film is a competent melodrama about the life of a woman Entrepreneur caught between the feudal values she was brought up with, and which oppress her in her personal life, and the modern world of the burgeoning Chinese marketplace. The film of­ fers insight into contem porary Chinese life, and is lifted by a moving, bravura perform ance from Mongolian actress Siqin Gaowa in the main role. jjp ||e v e r , while director Xie Fei’s work is competent it is also uninteresting, except when he steals sham elessly from the work of his form er students at the Beijing Film Academy, including a wedding scene lifted straight out of ¿hang Yim ou’s R ed Sorghum, hand-held shots from inside the red bridal sedan and all. Perhaps if is not surprising that the Hong Kong organizers deoided. to run the film in the regular screenings "and not feature it, despite the Berlin award. .Oilmaker’s Fam ily reveals just how much the |in e m a of the People’s Republic is suffering heyday in the 1980s. Now it is being Squeezed from both sides by the demands of the CINEMA


9 4 • 51

If the Asian features were rather a mixed bag, the documentaries were better. Australia’s Senso Daughters and Mrs Hegarty Comes to Japan by Sekiguchi Noriko went down a treat, and Noriko was surrounded by crowds of eager questioners after the screenings. Appropriately in the year of the Festival’s tribute to the great Japanese documentarian, Shinsuki Ogawa, who died in 1992, Living on the R iver Agano (Aga ni Ikiru, Satoh Makoto) takes up Ogawa’s baton with excellent results. Like Ogawa, the film m akers went to live with their subjects, and, as in O gawa’s films, the subjects are plagued by social ills, in this case Minamata disease as the result of mercury poisoning. The power of the film comes from the fact that it does not.focus so heavily on the disease and the locals’ efforts to fight for compensation as it does on how they go about their daily lives despite their sufferings. This is a depth of under­ standing, sym pathy and observation that could only be reached by following Ogawa’s technique of living in the community, andiis the complete antithesis to the conventional requirem ents of documentary objectivity. The resultant film seems slow at first, but rapidly becomes engrossing, LIVING ON THE RIVER AGANO (AGA Nl IKIRU) SATOH MAKOTO.

However, the big hit of this year from Hong Kong with audiences and critics alike is liable to

soap opera, despite its carefully-observed pe­

elude foreign audiences altogether. As its strange

riod detail.

hybrid title, 92 Legendary La Rose Noire {92

Similarly, Park Chong-W on’s Our Twisted

H eim eigui dui heimeigui), suggests, this film

Hero {W oorideui-ui llgreojin Young-Woong) as­

directed by Joe Chan is a relentless comedy-

pires to radicalism with a story about tyranny

action pastiche dependent upon the audience’s

and the difficulties of democracy and the rule of

knowledge of Cantonese cinema history.

the law in a high school. However, by setting the

La Rose Noire is a female thief from 1960s

film in the 1950s and depending upon the au­

cinema, when elegant jewel thieves were popur

thority of a new teacher to resolve the situation,

lar. A contemporary writer uses her name to sign

Park’s adm ittedly well-made and acted melo­

a note when she and her housewife friend acci­

drama hardly represents a challenge to present-

dentally witness some gangland murders. On

day Korea.

the run, they take refuge in a house populated by

In these circumstances, one turns to the

figures from Cantonese B-movies of the ’60s,

ever-dependable, energetic and lively cinema of

including La Rose Noire herself. The result had

Hong Kong to save the day, and save the day it

regular audiences rolling in the aisles from Sin­

did. However, it must be noted that the best of

gapore to Kowloon and Taipei, and local intel­

this year’s films may not play very well with

lectuals penning essays on post-modern Hong

moving and totally compelling viewing. As well as Living on the R iver Agano and the tribute to Ogawa - composed of N arita: Peas­ ants o f Second Fortress {Sanrizuka - D aini Toride no Hitobito, 1971), Narita: Heta Village {Sanrizuka - Heta Buraka, 1973), A Song a t the Bottom {D okkoi N ing en -B ush i/K o to bu ki-Jiyu Rodosha no Machi, 1975) and, longest of them all, The Tale o f M agi no Village: Sun Dial o f a Thousand Years {M agino-M ura M onogatari 1,000 nen Kizam i no Hidokei, 1986) - a signifi­ cant body of independent videos by mainland Chinese documentarists was featured. Until re­ cently, all filmm aking in China has been com ­ pletely under the control of the State. However, the advent of the video camera has made inde­ pendents possible. These new documentarians operate on m inimal budgets and distribute

audiences unfamiliar with Hong Kong cinema as

Kong, but it is likely to be lost on Australian


they depend heavily on pastiche and references



to past Cantonese cinema. What local critic and film festival organizer Li Cheuk-to has noted as a post-modern tendency has been building for a couple of years now. The most accessible films in the tendency stem from a return to the martial-arts genres and swordplay of the 1950s and ’60s. Classic directo rT su i Hark continues his successful revival of the late 19th century hero Wong Fei-Hung with Once Upon a Time in China III {Huangfeihong zh isa n shiw angzhengba), which marks a return to straight martial-arts films likely to appeal to foreign audiences despite the nationalistic theme. Swordsman II {Xiao ao jianghu II Dongfangbubai, Ching Siu-tung) and Swordsman III - The East is Red (D ongfangbubai fengyun za l qi, Ching Siu-tung, Raymond Lee) mark a return to an­ other type of martial arts, inflected this tim e by Taoist magic, with characters weaving m ysteri­ ous spells and leaping through space and time in a manner that delights local audiences but may seem unconvincing to the sceptical and literal imagination. 52 . C I N E M A




a p p a re n tty u n a w a re th a t th e y are being

makers, but both are moving and acquire added

caught in the act of gov-

significance when one considers the difficulties

e rn m e nt ce nso rsh ip.

and obstacles encountered in making this sort of

Some of the students

material in China today, and the com m itm ent to

appear coarse and stu­

filmmaking necessary to motivate their creators.

pid, others pretentious,

It is this comm itment to cinema that animates

and some opportunis­

the Hong Kong Film Festival as a whole. Even in

tic. Certainly, none of

a moderate year like this, with few exciting

them appear heroic.

discoveries, one cannot help but be impressed

Only gradually, af­

by the work that has gone into this event and feel

ter the interviews pick

that it is a model fo r film festivals around the

up again, does it dawn

world. As well as the two m ajor regular sections

on the viewer that these

offering a round-up of the latest international

are the same students

and Asian cinema, Hong Kong features a series

who gripped the world’s

of focuses and retrospectives that make it a

attention with the 1989

major event in international film culture that

s tu d e n t

goes beyond commerce and is a true contribu­

d e m o c ra c y

m o v e m e n t in T ia n ­



through private screenings only, since most of their film s are not cleared by the Chinese cen­ sor. The results are often crude but fascinating. The earliest of these documentaries began to appear a year or two ago, with Wu Wenguarig’s Bum m ing in Beijing , a lengthy work about the lives of m arginal artists and other members of the counter-culture in mainland China. Wu’s

thé very limited resources available to their

tion to the culture of our region.

anmen Square. Forob-

This year’s Festival included: a retrospective

vio u s re a s o n s , th a t

on Cassavetes; the works of the Iranian chil­

event is only discussed

dren’s film m aker Abbas Kiarostami; a section on

directly occasionally,

American independent work; a focus on recent


international documentary; and a m ajor retro­

th e

m o m e n t­

ousness of the procla­

spective of local M andarin-language musicals

mation “ I graduated!”

from the 1940s through to the ’70s, which was in

(despite what they did)

many ways the highlight of the Festival and a

and the emotion gen­

treasure trove of unexpected discoveries.

erated by their immi­

Obscure though many of these film s are, no

nent parting suddenly

screening I went to was less than two-thirds full.

becomes clear.

This is remarkable in a city with a very limited art-

Equally unlikely to

house circuit and relatively few film culture events

receive the approval of

outside the Festival itself. Yet the Hong Kong

the Beijing regime is

International Film Festival has worked hard since

The Sacred Site for A s ­

its inception despite limited funding to build a

ceticism, a sym pathetic video about a Tibetan

loyal and faithful audience who appreciate its

mountain and the devotees who live on it made

significance and the rare chances its screenings

by Han Chinese documentarians. W atching this


film, there is no doubt that despite all the govern­

Unfortunately, no event in Australia can hope

m ent’s claims that Tibet is and always has been

to compete with this cinematic banquet. Per­

an integral part of China, we are watching an­

haps it is not only in business management that

other world.

we can learn from our Asian neighbours?

Neither The Sacred Site fo r Asceticism nor / Graduated!are highly sophisticated works, given


most recent work, shown this year at Hong Kong, was 1966: M y Time in the Red Guards ( 1966: lNo de hongweibing shidai). Now m iddle-aged businessmen and doc­ tors, these are the kids who followed Mao’s calls to rebel against the elders and cre­ ated chaos throughout the country. W u’s interviews contain many fascinating de­ tails, and the clips from fanatical Mao­ worshipping documentaries of the time are compelling, but in this case one cannot help wishing he had edited out some of the repetition from one interview subject to another. More satisfactory are / G raduated! ( Wo biye le, The Structure, Wave, Youth, Cin­ ema Experimental Group) and The Sacred Site fo r Asceticism (m Chim s-phu, Wen Pulin, Duan Jinchuan). The form er con­ sists of sm uggled interviews with students about to graduate from Beijing and Qinghua Universities. They are asked about their attitudes to love and life at university, be­ fore campus offibials intervene com plain­ ing a b d u tfilh iih g w ithout permission and CINEMA


9 4 • 53



served. In 1961, Bogdanovich organ­

he borrowed the famous breakfast scene from

ized a retrospective of W elles’ work for

The theatre, and scripted sortie of the more

the Museum of Modern Art, and wrote a


16-page booklet on him. When Welles

Bogdanovich asks whether “deep-focus camera

and Bogdanovich finally met in 1968,

set-ups increase the ambiguity of a movie, be­

and decided to do a book of extended

cause the director doesn’t make choices for the

interviews, they also embarked on a

audience - they can decide who or what they

complicated friendship that was to last

want to look at in the fram e?”

17 years. They

e d it

p o in ts

d u rin g

re h e a rs a ls .

W elles replies, “T hat’s right. I did a lot of and

talking about that in the early days of my life as

Bogdanovich followed him round the

m et

in te r m itte n tly

a film m aker - when I was more shameless and

world, turning up on various movie sets

used to sound off on theory ... It strikes me as

where Welles was either directing or

pretty obvious now; I don’t know why I carne on

acting. But when Bogdanovich's own

so strong about it” .

career floundered and he suffered a

LateçBogdanovich asks, “Would you agree,

personal tragedy in the early 1980s, the

in genetal, that Kane is more self-conscious

tapes were put into storage. They were

d irectorial^ than any of youroth e rfilm s? ” Welles

only resuscitated after W elles’ death in

agrees and says, “There are more conscious

1985, with the help of W elles’ long-term

shots - for the sakjé of shots - in Kane than in

companion Oja Kodar, and have taken

anything I’ve done since.” He continues, “There’s

almost as long as some of W elles’ films

a kind of unjustified visual strain at times in

to reach the public.

Kane, which just came from the exuberance of

But now, finally, with This is Orson Welles, we have a feast as Bogdanovich

discovering the medium ... Now let’s talk about something else.”

satisfies his insatiable appetite, and asks

W elles clearly objects to those who wànt to

Welles seemingly every possible ques­

know everything about Kane while ignoring all

tion about his filmmaking.

his other films. When Bogdanovich does get

Bogdanovich writes in his preface

over this preoccupation, This is Orson Welles


that he was motivated by the “damaging books”

becomes even more interesting. We are given a

Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich, edited by

on Welles by Charles Higham, Pauline Kael and

detailed account of how the editing of The M ag­

Jonathan Rosenbaum, H arper Collins, London,

John Houseman “that did nothing to increase

nificent Am bersons (1942) went so térribly off

1992, 533 pp., hb, rrp $39.95

Orson’s chances of getting a job as a director.

the rails.

One book grudgingly gave him only Kane, the


other two tried to take even this away.”

Welles had been sent to Rio on a crazy political mission by Nelson Rockefeller, and editor

Orson Welles admitted that he would have rather

Most of the time it is Bogdanovich who is

Robert Wise was then at the mercy of the RKO

made films in America than anywhere else. But

asking the questions, but sometimes their roles

studio bosses, who in turn were at the mercy of

his own flamboyant nature, huge talent and

are reversed. Welles comments, “Emotional force

preview audiences. Bogdanovich quotes from a

provocative personality were too much for the

can charge up a living theatre, but on the screen

letter he received from W elles where he ex­

Hollywood studio bosses, and Welles was forced

there’s often trouble keeping it in focus. Strong

plains that, “The South American episode is the

into exile, making his films in any way he could.

feelings can get very messy. What the camera

one key disaster in my story, so of course, you’ll

So when Universal asked him to direct Touch

does, and does uniquely, is to photograph

want to get it straight.

o f Evil in 1956, on Charlton Heston’s sugges­

thought. Don’t you agree?” The more Holly-

“This is newly urgent for me, because, once

tion, Welles thought he’d come home. During

wood-oriented Bogdanovich replies, “Maybe, I’d

again, the legend that grew up out of that affair

the filming, the Universal heavies would watch

like to have a little more time on that one.”

has lost me the chance to make a picture ... Mr

his rushes and compliment him. Then they’d

Welles regarded radio as a friend: “You can

Higham seems to have spooked them ... Once

ask, “When are you going to sign a four or five

hear a phoney feeling before you can see it.” His

again I am the man who irresponsibly dropped

picture contract with us? Please come and see

famous hoax radio broadcast, “The War of the

everything to whoop it up in the carnival in Rio,


W orlds” in 1938, convinced the listening audi­

and, having started a picture there, capriciously

Then they saw the finished cut film, and were

ence that America had been invaded by Martians,

refused to finish it. No use trying to explain that

shocked. Welles says, “The picture rocked them

and catapulted him to Hollywood. Welles doesn’t

I didn’t flit down to South America for the fun of

in some funny way. They particularly loathed the

mention its writer, Howard Koch, in This is Orson

it ... It was put to me that my contribution as a

black comedy - the kind people now like.” He

Welles, and Pauline Kael has accused him of

kind of Am bassador extraordinary would be truly

was fired and Universal brought in another edi­

often taking too much credit for the show when

meaningful. Normally, I had doubts about this,


the press hysteria broke, thus ensuring; that

but Roosevelt hiffiself helped to persuade me

Koch didn’t receive the same publicity.

That I really had no choice.”

Barbara Learning writes in her book on Orson Welles: “As far as Hollywood was concerned,

o f H erm an

W elles is very persuasive on this, and. really

Orson had proved the validity of, had entirely

Mankiewicz in the writing of Citizen Kane, Welles

there is no reason why we shouldn’t believe him.

become for all time, the image of him that they

is much more generous.; He tells Bogdanovich

It’s certainly true.that more than any other singlp

had had all along” .

that his contribution to the script w as “enor­

event, the Rio fiasco changed his career and;he


was never really welcp.med in H pllÿ^|ipd;â.gdfc;

W elles’ own fame and notoriety haunted him

B ut on th e

c o lla b o ra tio n

all his life, but Peter Bogdanovich never felt

Nevertheless most of This is P rson Welles rs

W elles had received the critical acclaim he de­

about his own contribution. W hiles reveals that

54 • C I N E M A



But the o th ^ r.

W elles hirpselï(,

acknowledges is that his g p W B B B B ju s tH R

dark for Hollywood. He was delving into a side of

W elles’ lifelong battle to remain a film m aker

edy, Jardiwarnpa and Jindalee Lady, as well as

human nature that w asn’t really box-office (with

against incredible odds makes him an am az­

the work of the W arlpiri Media Association at

the exception of The Stranger, 1946, which

ingly endearing figure, even though one senses

Yuendemu and other com m unity media groups.

W elles didn’t write), and lacked the gloss and

that his memory of events may differ from oth­

Her comm entaries on these works are the most

glam our of Hitchcock, W ilder and other directors

ers. Bogdanovich describes it as his “seem ingly

detailed and satisfactory sections of the essay.

of the time.

perpetual youth: he never became an old vet­

In addition, there are more polemical and cur­

W elles in his indom itable way kept choosing

eran, a gray sage, but rather kept to the end a

sory accounts of m ainstream films and literary

film s that had unusually very off-beat themes.

sense of that first flash of irreverent and innova­

texts such as Jedda, Crocodile Dundee and My

The Stranger was the first comm ercial film to

tive genius with which he fired all the art forms he

Place. Along the way, she touches on the ethical

use footage of Nazi concentration camp atroci­

touched, all the other artists he inspired” .

and political aspects of film ic representation of

ties; his two Shakespearian films, Othello (1952)

On W elles the man, Bogdanovich writes that,

race and gender via references to The Good

and M acbeth (1946), were plays with tragic

“he was a rem arkably courageous man, yet he

Woman o f Bangkok, and the critical w ritings of

heroes and e xtre m e ly p e ssim istic endings

was perilously sensitive and vulnerable in a far

Michelle Wallace and M arianna Torgovnich.

(W elles him self says that M acbeth has “a sort of

more painful way than his confident dem eanour

The real strength of this essay lies in Langton’s

terrible m agic”) and The Lady From Shanghai

or his boisterous exterior personality would sug­

brave rendering of the complex politics of Abo­

(1948) portrays all its amoral characters with a

gest” .

riginal representation. She seeks to go beyond

sort of chilling precision. But This is Orson Welles also has moments

So if you are looking fo rth e definitive work on

the comfortable, if impossible, d em an dforin d ig -

Orson Welles, this is certainly it, though the

enous control of such representation to an in­

book still leaves some skeletons in the cup­

sistence on a more dynamic and inclusive notion

Bogdanovich that he struck a deal from a Rus­

board. This is Orson Welles comes complete

of Aboriginality as intersubjectivity. She rejects

sian investor courtesy of W inston Churchill.

with a very detailed chronology of W elles’ ca­

essentialist and unitary definitions arguing that

W elles was in Venice at the same hotel as the

reer, plus the written scenes from The M agnifi­

Aboriginality is “a field of intersubjectivity in that

great man, and W elles says that as he passed

cent AmbersonsXhaX were deleted and/or reshot

it is remade over and over again in a process of

his table in the restaurant, “ I bowed to him. And

by the studio, and detailed editors’ notes that try

dialogue, of imagination, of representation and

Churchill - I don’t know why, for reasons of

to clear up some of the major contentions sur­

interpretation” (p. 33). Both Aboriginal and non-

irony, to send me up, I can’t imagine why - half

rounding Orson Welles.

Aboriginal people participate in this dialogue.

w hich sh ow his g re a t m irth . W e lle s te lls

stood up, bowed, and sat down. I suppose it was

You can read this book and make up your

This theoretical insight enables Langton to

some kind of joke. Well, the Russian afterward

own opinions, which certainly can’t be said for

acknowledge that an ethical, post-colonial cri­

said, ‘Y ou’re close to C hurchill’, and the deal

the other books that have been published on the

tique and practice is possible among non-Abo-

was closed right then.”

man, his life and his art.

riginal filmm akers. Conversely she rejects the

Throughout the book W elles is an apologist

na'ive belief that Aboriginal people will neces­

fo r his art, but he also has intriguing words to say

sarily make better representations sim ply by

about alm ost everything involving filmm aking. On acting he tells Bogdanovich, “An actor never plays anything but h im s e lf... He simply takes out that which is not him self.” In another chapter he says, “C onversation is acting. Man as a social animal is an actor, everything we do is some sort of perform ance. But the actor whose profession it is to act, is then something else again” .

‘WELL, I HEARD IT ON THE RADIO AND I SAW IT ON THE TELEVISION...’ Marcia Langton, Australian Film Commission, Sydney, 1993, 93 pp., pb, rrp $14.95.

versity w ithout regard to the intersections of race with “cultural variation, gender, sexual pref­

Marcia Langton’s commissioned es­ say is defined by the author as an

W elles replies that he has m illions of them. “But,

“attempt to stimulate debate on a theo­

you know, I like the people who are ready and

retical and critical approach that could

willing to make fools of them selves - being, as I

guide and inform the Australian Film

am, a full m em ber of the fraternity” .

Commission and other readers and

One of the greatest regrets explored for the

policy-m akers in the developm ent of

first tim e in This is Orson Welles was that The

policies and programs to encourage

Trial (1963) was so misunderstood. He tells

Aboriginal production and distribution”

Bogdanovich, “You know why you don’t like The

(p. 81). It does this by repeatedly de­

Trial? You haven’t seen how funny it is - how

manding an anti-colonialist perspec­

funny I m eant it to be. Tony Perkins and I were

tive on representations of Aboriginality.

laughing all the way through the shooting.”

As Annette Hamilton notes in her Fore­ word, this explicitly political stance is

“W hat made it possible for me to make the

necessary given the potency of the

picture is that I’ve had recurring nightmares of

colonizing imperative in Australian art

guilt all my life. I’m in prison and I don’t know why

and film, even in these supposedly

- going to be tried and I don’t know why. It’s very

post-colonial times.

personal fo r me. A very personal expression,

such essentialism homogenizes Aboriginal di­


When Bogdanovich asks him about regrets,

At another point in the book, W elles adds,

virtue of being Aboriginal. As Langton observes,

Langton’s discussion ranges over

and it’s not at all true that I’m off in some foreign

conditions of production and distribu­

world that has no application to myself; it’s the

tion across ‘settled’ and ‘rem ote’ A bo­

most autobiographical movie I’ve ever made,

riginal film practice, and includes

the only one th a t’s really close to me.”

accounts of N ight Cries: A R ural Trag­ CINEMA


9 4 . 55

erence” (p. 27).

of “our right and our capacity to explore and

she suggests that Jindalee Lady is marred, ironi­

Langton’s discussions of Jindalee Lady, Night

change our alienated and/or colonised selves

cally, both by misogyny and a paternalistic “po­

Cries: A Rural Tragedy anti Jedda highlight her

and the discourse which continues to mystify our

litical correctness” . Langton asks “Why is it OK

concerns with both sexism and racism and the

conditions” (p. 57). Her rejection of censorship

to be portrayed as one-dimensional or as a

necessity to acknowledge their intersection in

and her condemnation of recent “politically cor­

brainless bimbo, and not as habitually drunk?”

colonialist representations. Her experience as

rect” portrayals of white invaders as single-

(p. 27) She acknowledges that Jindalee Lady’s

the lead in Tracey M offatt’s Night Cries: A Rural

minded brutal oppressors is coupled with an

low-budget soap form ula shouldn’t demand rig­

Tragedy gives a particular vitality to her reading

uneasiness about indigenous demands for ex­

orous internal logic, but nonetheless laments its

of this film in which she identifies a “feminine

clusively positive imagery. In a lengthy discus­

evasion of social and political conditions, and its

sion which draws heavily on the work of Michelle

romanticism of an essential Aboriginal spiritual­

gaze” in which “all men are disappeared” . Her discussion of the discursive formation of

Wallace, Langton attacks the conservative hos­

ity. She leaves as a rhetorical question the issue

Aboriginality stresses that all films are fictional­

tility to any portrayal of Aborigines as drunken,

of whether such a film should have been funded

ized accounts. They are not transparent reflec­

criminal or flawed. One is reminded of her de­

by one of the pre-eminent Australian film institu­

tions of reality but highly-constructed mediations.

fence of David Bradbury’s State o f Shock in

tions. (p. 84)

This is equally true of Aboriginal self-represen­

Filmnews several years ago. Langton’s position

This is one of a number of questions which

tations as of non-Aboriginal representations of

is a profoundly liberal one. She is opposed to

Langton leaves hanging in this essay. Another

Aboriginality. However, the lack of first-hand

anything which may restrain dialogue and crea­

which is particularly tantalizing is hersuggestion

contact with Aboriginal people for most Anglo-

tivity, and sees the cringe about negative por­

that Imparja has “failed in some respects” be­

Australians ensures the dominance of colonial

cause of the commercial nature of its licence

racist discourse in much mainstream Australian

trayals of Aborigines as leading to banality and conservatism.

film and television. Langton identifies some of

One of the most interesting sections of the

the familiar stereotypes and icons of Aboriginality

essay concerns Jindalee Lady. This interest

However, Langton’s account of the social

which are produced when dialogue with Aborigi­

derives as much from an unarticulated sub-text

and cultural underpinnings of comm unity video

nal people is missing. They include the ‘stone

as from what Langton actually says. It is essen­

and television production (Yuendemu, Ernabella,

age savage’, the Pelaco Shirt Aborigine, Venus

tial to realize that what led to the commissioning

BRACS, CAAMA) is well documented and in­

H alf Caste, Marbuk, Evonne Goolagong and

of this essay was director Bryan Syron’s accusa­

form ative. Her analysis of the negotiations be­

Bennelong. These “are figures of the imagina­

tion that the AFC’s initial refusal to provide post­

tween the W arlpiri Media Association and the

tion generated by Australian image producers.

production funding for Jindalee Lady constituted

filmm akers over the Jardiwarnpa fire ceremony

They are safe, distant distortions of an actual

racial discrimination.

nology. (p. 18)

reveal the possibility of equitable, non-colonial

Given this background, Langton’s equivoca­

collaboration. Similarly, her description of the

tion about the aesthetic merits of Jindalee Lady

video re-enactment of the Conniston massacre

world of people who will not bring down the neighbourhood real estate values” (p. 33).

and its dependence on expensive satellite tech­

Despite the pervasiveness of such racist

is perhaps understandable. In a strangely tan­

shows how complex kinship relationships and

stereotypes, Langton is adamant that she is not

gential discussion in which she draws parallels

story-telling rules were replicated in the video­

calling for censorship, which she sees as denial

with Madonna’s video clips and Paris is Burning,

making, and also how western technologies and

R in g us n o w fo r a c o p y o f th e la te s t F o c a l P ress c a ta lo g u e a n d p ric e lis t. P a y m e n ts b y c h e q u e , c r e d it c a rd (D in e rs n o t a c c e p te d ), o r c u rr e n t B u tte r w o rth s a c c o u n t m u s t a c c o m p a n y o rd e rs . P ric e s a re s u b je c t to c h a n g e w ith o u t n o tic e . B o o k s s o ld 30 d a y s o n a p p ro v a l.

Focal Press

For a fu ll range of bo oks c o v e rin g all o f th e m edia arts Directing Corporate Video R a y D iZ a z z o P r o v id e s a c o m p le te , p r a c tic a l u n d e r s ta n d in g o f th is v ita l p r o d u c t io n ro le . B le n d s te c h n ic a l b a c k g r o u n d s , h a n d s - o n te c h n iq u e s , a p p lie d a e s th e tic s , d is c u s s io n s o f in d u s t r y p r o c e d u r e s a n d r e s p o n s ib ilit ie s , a n d e s s e n t ia l' p e o p le s k ills ' in t o a r e a lis tic v ie w o f h o w d ir e c t o r s w o r k in th e c o r p o r a t e v id e o b u s in e s s . 1993 288pp cl 0 240 80164 4 $80.00

Digital Nonlinear Editing New Approaches to Editing Film and Video T h o m a s A O h a n ia n T h e f i r s t c o m p r e h e n s iv e g u id e to a m a jo r t e c h n o lo g y . T h is b o o k d e ta ils th e p r o c e d u r a l, c r e a tiv e , a n d t e c h n ic a l fu n d a m e n t a ls o f e d itin g m o v in g im a g e s w i t h i n a c o m p u te r - b a s e d , in t e r a c tiv e e n v ir o n m e n t . R e a d e rs w i ll u n d e r s ta n d n o t o n ly w h a t n o n lin e a r e d it in g is a n d h o w it w o r k s , b u t a ls o h o w s u c h s y s te m s c a n b e u s e d to a c h ie v e g r e a te r c r e a tiv e f l e x ib i li t y a s w e ll a s c o s t a n d t im e s a v in g s . 1993 347pp cl 0 240 80175 X $100.00

Grammar of the Edit - Media Manual Series R ay T h o m p s o n E x p la in s in s im p le t e r m s th e f u n d a m e n t a l c o m p o n e n t s o f a n e d it. L is ts , e x a m in e s a n d e x p la in s th e c o n v e n t io n s a n d w o r k in g p r a c tic e s o f p o s t - p r o d u c t io n e d it in g . Id e a l f o r n o v ic e s t o th e c r a ft o f e d itin g . 1993 118pp pa 0 240 51340 1 $49.00 U -j- -j- ^ E 1 N E H

56 • C I N E M A





(3 A a c n

T” 1_1 N N 0 0 1 0 0 2 3 5 7

271 272 Lane Cove Road [Entrance 34 Waterloo Road] PO Box 345, North Ryde, NSW 2113 Telephone [02] 335 4444 Facsimile [02] 335 4644

1 I 1

artefacts have been incorporated into Aboriginal custom ary law. |V


W hile the breadth of Langton’s allusions is





rich, she at tim e seriously overreaches herself. In an 80-page essay, one shouldn’t necessarily require com prehensiveness or rigorous schol­ immediate interest for the readers of Cinema

body of critical literature about representations


of A b o rig in a lly is m anifestly ill-informed. For

Thomas A. Ohanian, Focal Press, Boston-Lon-

w ell-know n independent film m a ke r M onica

example, some of the writers whose work she

don, 1993, 348 pp., hb, rrp $100


ignores are Graem e Turner, Kevin Brown,


arship. But her claim that there is no sizeable

Stephen Muecke, Catriona Moore, Bob Hodge, Vijay Mishra, Tim Rowse, Heather Goodall, et

Like her films Veto Nero and Rabbit on the

Roy Thompson, Focal Press, Great Britain, 1993, 118 pp., pb, rrp $49

al., and Colin Johnson and Stuart Cunningham on Jedda - not to mention the work of Karen

Editing film was long considered resistant to

Jennings and David Hollinsworth!

technology. This belief is changing because

Another weakness of an essay which pur­

users of film and video are trying to find new

ports to be about aesthetics is the relatively

ways of combining the two forms, and this at­

scant attention paid to cinem atic features such

tempt is revolving around the use of computers.

as generic conventions, narrative structures,

Furthermore, the editing process is becoming

modes of address and othertextual devices. Her

increasingly complex with the increase in com ­

attention to the politics of representation and to

puter-generated imagery and 3D animation.

the modes of production and reception is much

The emergence of digital nonlinear editing

weightier. This imbalance seriously mars her

techniques and system s will fundam entally

discussion of Jedda and Crocodile Dundee and

change the manner in which pictures and sounds

“C rocodile” Dundee II. She only cursorily ad­

are combined, rearranged and viewed.

dresses Jedda’s melodram atic imperatives, for

Digital N onlinear Editing

Papers is that this collection contains a story by

aims to provide

Moon, Pellizzari’s story explores the conflicts of experiencing a dual cultural background. She tells of growing up in the western suburbs of Sydney, within an insular and protective family environment where the need to break away grates against Italian patriarchal traditions and where, being a woman, to cast aside her pre­ determined future is an extra hurdle. Pellizzari’s story aside, the collection as a whole is well worth a read for anyone interested in the growing concern with issues of cultural difference and ethnicity - issues which a breed of non-Anglo, independent filmmakers (Pellizzari among them), and critical commentators are currently engaged in.

example (see C unningham ’s Featuring A u s­

detailed explanation of the changes to tradi­

The book is the result of a literary competition

tralia). And her dism issal of Crocodile Dundee

tional editing techniques, and of different ways

organized by The National Italian-Australian

as perpetuating racist myths and stereotypes is

of bringing various media and ideas together.

W om en’s A ssociation, in co-operation with

disappointingly superficial and ignores her own

Gram m ar o f the Edit, on the other hand, is a

Alitalia Airlines. The essays, to quote the Asso­

injunctions about the need to recognize multiple

small beginner’s manual on how to make an edit.

ciation’s President, “are a vital documentation of

readings. Her selective quoting from Meaghan

It is not designed for the professional or experi­

a period of our history, a period of Italian immi­

M orris’ essay on Crocodile Dundee fails to ac­

enced editor, but is for the beginner to learn

gration to this country which needs to be re­

knowledge the anti-colonial potential which

good basic practices of editing. The author con­

corded in detail” (p. ix). To which one can add,

centrates on where and how an edit is made and

that as ethnicity becomes a major concern of the

not on the machine with which it is done.

Australian cinema, this collection provides in­

Morris and others have identified within the film. Such concerns do not diminish the signifi­ cance of this essay in asserting the need for


open and courageous engagement with the com­

Ray DiZazzo, Focal Press, Boston-London,

plex issues of representing a colonized people

1993, 288 pp., hb, rrp $80

as active subjects rather than objects of the

sight to the textual and them atic issues being grappled with.


white gaze. Langton is good at popularizing

Directing Corporate Video is, of course, forthose

theory and, at its best, her essay is both pro­

considering either a full- or part-time career in

vocative and challenging. It should certainly

corporate television. As with other such publica­

achieve its aim of stim ulating debate. Most sig­

tions, it is designed to establish a fram ework for

nificantly, it opens up some spaces in both film

opening the door to the corporate video world.

practice and comm entary in which “Aboriginal

The book is divided into four parts. The first

spective Jean-Luc Godard: Son + image, a pres­ entation of Godard’s projects from 1974, when

Edited by Raymond Beiiour with Mary Lea Bandy, The Museum o f Modern Art, New York, 1992, 240 pp., hb, rrp $90 This publication accompanied the MOMA retro­

and non-Aboriginal artists, including film- and

deals with defining the directing profession, and

videomakers, [can] say and do what they would

in exploring the differences between the corpo­

he first incorporated video technology into his

like to say and do” (p. 8 ).

rate world and the entertainment industry. Part

work, through 1991 when he wrote and directed

Note: Karen Jennings’ Sites o f Difference: Cin­

two looks at the basic aesthetic skills a director

Allem agne année 90 neuf zero ( Germany Year Zero) for television.

ematic representations o f Aboriginality andgen-

places on the foundational knowledge of the

der is to be published in August 1993 by the AFI

director’s role. The third part establishes a typi­

This is a beautifully conceived publication,

as the first in their it's of monographs, The

cal production scenario intended to illustrate

with the most immaculate photographic repro­

how the knowledge and skills are applied on the

ductions. Apart from Raymond Bellour, included

job. Finally, part four provides advice and looks

are other luminary Godard commentators as

M oving Image.

at the means for starting up one’s directing career. The book also provides case studies, and the appendices contain examples of the various

G ille s D ele uze , A la in B e rga la , J o n a th a n Rosenbaum, Peter Wollen and many others. The book will receive an in-depth review in the next issue.

types of organizational, business and creative documents used daily by the typical corporate



William J. Byrnes, Focal Press, Boston-London, 1993, 311 pp., pb, rrp $69.95

GROWING UP ITALIAN IN AUSTRALIA State Library o f N ew South Wales, Sydney, 1993, 212 pp., pb, rrp $19.95

M anagem ent and the Arts highlights the im por­ tance of developing managers in the arts. Its specific purpose is to coach the potential arts

This is a collection of non-fiction stories and

manager in how to help an organization and its

essays by eleven young Australian women of

artists attain their goals. To meet the objectives,

Italian descent talking about their childhood. Its

the arts manager must develop and apply skills CINEMA


9 4 • 57







he number of releases of film music on CDs continues to grow, and very little of

any real value and interest seems to be over­

from disciplines such as business, finance, eco­

looked these days by the record companies. Releases reviewed this issue range from

nomics and psychology. It is an introductory book intended for use by the arts undergraduate, and only hopes to pro­ vide useful information about how an arts man­ ager can be as effective as possible with given

music for Westerns in the 1950s to music for science-fiction in the 1990s, and, while the qual­

Picture SdHH^trAck

ity may vary, the standard overall remains high. One point for complaint: nearly without ex­ ception, the cover “notes” for film -m usic discs


are entirely inadequate. Sometimes it is even


difficult to discover who the composer is. Rarely

M w k lnj A l*h Menkei^fS Lyrics Inj How Art*Asfmw»

Mike Crisp, Focal Press, Great Britain, 1993,

is any information of any use, or interest, given.

Tim Rice

189 pp., pb, rrp $59.95 The Practical D irector is essentially a beginner’s guide book to basic ground rules in visual lan­ guage and technique. Its central aim is to initiate solid craft skills for the new or inexperienced director.


(varese sarabande vsd 5404)

Like the film, Cliff Eidelman’s score for this surprisingly sentimental piece moves gently along without creating much interest. Strangely, although the only written notes that come with the disc have director Tony Bill call the com­

Because film is a collaborative art, the book highlights the need for young filmmakers to acquaint themselves with the skills and instru­ ments of other personnel in the production.

poser “the best of the new” young composers, the opening and closing music on the disc were not included in the film, replaced, if I recall, by versions of the old hit, “ Nature Boy” .

This is not as detailed as other Focal Press publications, but still a good starting point for understanding what’s involved in the production and post-production phases.

Soporific would be the best word to describe the music, especially with the moderate tempos which are used throughout. Even tracks called “Stabbed” and “ Hockey Game” don’t upset the


overall placidity for very long.

Alec Nisbett, Focal Press, Great Britain, Fifth


edition 1993, 388 pp., pb, rrp $89.95

The seventh track on this eight-track disc lasts

This is a highly technical book, yet it aims to

for 25’ 20” and is called “Instrumental Suite”,

strike a balance between the creative people in

consisting of five separate but hardly distinct

(mcad 10863)

production and the technically proficient who

selections. Anyone with any interest in film mu­

deal with the recording and engineering aspects

sic would recognizethecom poseras John Barry


of sound.

almost immediately. Rich, spacious string chords

I have only just caught up with Danny Elfm an’s

Sometimes there is little common ground

and single-note piano meander relentlessly on,

score for this movie, serio-comic in tone, about

between technical perfection and the aesthetic

and could have come from any recent movie

scandalous conditions of care at a Veterans’

needs of work at a ground roots level. This book,

scored by this composer.


sarabande vsd


Hospital. Elfman is always interesting, and, even

however, assumes a desire for high standards

Once again, slow tempos are the order of the

though the first two tracks on this disc could

at all levels in that, according to the author, “high

day and there is nothing here to disturb one’s

have been written by any number of film com ­

quality work sets a standard by which all else

being carried peacefully away to slumberland.

posers, the third track (“Mayday”) is undeniably

may be measured” .

The other seven tracks are also on the slow side,

his, with its jagged rhythms, use of harp, piano

The emphasis is on general principles, but

but at least the vocals and arrangements all

this is a very detailed “A to Z” book of the sound

differ. Track 3 (“ If I’m Not In Love With You”),

and woodwinds scurrying along and keeping the ear alert.

studio which is essential in developing aural

written and performed by Dawn Thomas, is

Without having seen the film, one is uncer­

perception and critical faculties. The author dem­

p leasant and the old standard by Hoagy

tain whetherthe references to Bernard Herrmann

onstrates a thorough knowledge of the field,

Carmichael, “The Nearness of You”, is per­

are friendly plagiarism or have something to do

taking into account new technologies.

formed by Sheena Easton on Track 5 nicely

with the action. Even though this is a conven­

enough but, as if overcome by the general torpor

tional-sounding score, Elfman admirers will per­

throughout, the tempo is too slow.

haps want to add it to their collections. Try Track


I I (“ End C redits” ; 6’ 46”) before you buy.

WAITING ... A COMEDY OF ERRORS AND EXPECTATIONS Jackie McKimmie, University o f Queensland


To complete a trio of releases this month all


su ffe rin g from m onotony of tem pi com es

Ivan Reitman’s “populist comedy” , about a guy

This is the screenplay to the Australian film

Christopher Young’s spooky score for yet an­

w ho’s a dead ringer for the U.S. President,

comedy by writer-director Jackie McKimmie in

other movie based on a Stephen King yarn.

seems to be a movie made for attractive visuals

which Clare (Noni Hazlehurst), an artist and

There are plenty of ingenious sounds and it is

and a patriotic air. Certainly James Newton

mother-to-be, residing at an isolated farmhouse

well performed, partly by the Munich Symphony,

Howard’s score is both attractive and patriotic in

in an idyllic bush setting awaits and hopes forthe

partly by synthesizers and electronic percus­

a gentle, non-bom bastic way.

perfect home birth. Unexpectedly, however, three

sion, but after Track 1 (“ Prologue and Tumor”),

Howard uses a big orchestra here but the

girlfriends along with various men, children and

which lasts 6’14” , there seemed no real reason

scoring is never overbearing, and Marty Paich

animals converge from all directions to assist.

to hear in full the remaining 12. This will un­

puts it all down with skill on an imm aculately-

Waiting was nominated for five AFI Awards

doubtedly be effective with whatever visuals

engineered disc. Track 6 (“She Hates Me”) is a

and the Australian W riters’ Guild AWGIE Award

director George A. Romero dreamt up, but, as a

good example of this charming score from the

for Best Feature Film Screenplay in 1991.

listening experience, it has limited appeal

one-time keyboardist fo r Elton John.

Press, St Lucia, 1993, 7 7 pp., pb, rrp $12.95

58 . C I N E M A




(GIANT 9 24510-2)

ing Baby Raptors”), an exciting and eerie blend

Again Kathleen” gets a pretty good work-out,

of orchestral effects with added male voices on

along with other traditional tunes.

5, and a gentler but imaginative and restrained

and nice to have. There are too many tracks by

woodwinds, harp and piano on 6 , which creates

the Sons of the Pioneers, overall, but, since the

an otherworldly effect. There should be big sales

CD has 23 tracks, it seems churlish to complain

for this one.

too much.



Elmer Bernstein has been around a long time and it’s a pleasure to hear his happy-sounding and nostalgic score for this Neil Simon movie, sm artly orchestrated by Chris Boardman and Emilie A. Bernstein. Nothing very deep or pro­ found, but easy to listen to, and, as a disc, varied in style and tempo. It is a bit old-Broadway immtNAi

m o t io n

H o v m %ovmnthcK


The main theme ¡sail Victor Young, however,

interm ingling of high strings, female voices,

sounding from tim e to time, but then this is a Neil Simon play, so whadd’ya expect?

Johnny G uitarw as a starring vehicle for Joan Crawford as Vienna, owner of a frontier saloon and a tough cookie. The men, including Sterling Hayden’s Johnny Guitar, aren’t the equal of Joan and Mercedes McCambridge in this overthe-top and too-rarely-seen curiosity. Made in 1953 by Nicholas Ray some years after Rio Grande, the score has a faintly M exi­ can theme (Peggy Lee added a lyric and sings it on Track 2), and lots of m elodram atic atm os­ pheric stuff to go with the melodram atic action.


These discs, like the Fellini, are not the high­


est hi-fi, but are original soundtracks from forty

Disney Studios produced this latest version of

years or so ago, so it’s not surprising. Notes for

Tw ain’s classic, and one can tell from Bill C onti’s

Rio Grande are well worth reading, being part of

music that they haven’t emphasized the darker

a conversation with Harry Carey Jr. The notes

elements of the tale. There’s a very folksy feel to

for Johnny G uitar sound like the original puff

this score and plenty of sparkle. The “Main Title

from Republic Studios - anyone who uses the

Them e” will give you the idea. It is well played

phrase “glorious Trucolor” has got to be a pub­

and the Jack Eskew orchestrations are excel­


lent, but the recording sounds a bit dry and compressed at times.

NB: As usual, many thanks to Readings for supplying the CDs for review.


As the notes with this im­


(WALT DISNEY RECORDS 4 7 3 7 0 8 -2 )

Though the songs aren’t quite up to the standard supplied by the ingenious Menken-Ashman com­ bination for The Little M erm aid and Beauty and the Beast, and are given rather short-shrift in the movie itself, this disc is an excellent memento of the film. One can hear the clever lyrics - some supplied by Tim Rice after Ashm an’s death clearer here than in the cinema, and take even more pleasure in the vocal characterization. Robin W illiam s’ Genie steals the show listen to him enjoying him self on Track 2 (“ Leg­ end of The Lamp”) and sm artly vocalizing “Friend Like Me” (Track 6 ) - but credit should go to Michael Starolun and Danny Troob as well for their excellent orchestrations, and to the vocal work of Bruce Adler, Jonathan Freeman and others. This is a beautifully-engineered disc.


( m c d a d 108 59)

A n othe r big score from John W illiam s fo r

p ortan t issue state, the sound on this disc isn’t per­ fect. But it’s not bad either, and this is a chance for ad­


m irers of the Nino Rota scores for two of Fellini’s most successful movies to relive the past anytim e they care to putthis CD on. Sen­ tim ental, brassy, flam boy­ ant, haunting -

like the

movies th e m s e lv e s -th is is a must for buffs.



This round-up concludes


with two other soundtracks from the past by a som e­


Spielberg’s dinosaur movie. One has only to

what neglected “great” , Vic­

sample Track 4 (“Journey To The Island”) to

tor Young, both W esterns

know w e’re in W illiam s’ territory, but it’s hard to

but of very different types.


resist the sort of full-bodied, sweepingly-m e-

Rio Grande was made


lodic, sym phonic-sounding score this composer

for Republic Studios and

seems to be able to summon up at will.

directed by John Ford, and

The main them e from Jurassic Park, first

one has just to playthe main

heard on Track 2, is very attractive and is given

title track to be taken back

a good work-out through the rest of the disc. But

to the W esterns of the past.

perhaps the most original sounds are found on

Sentiment is neverfaraw ay

Tracks 5 and 6 (“The Raptor Attack” and “Hatch­

ana "i n Taxe You Home





9 4 . 59

Paul Cox:

Self-portrait of an exile

C O N T I N U E D F R OM P A G E 1 0

Given the story is set before the war, do you see any parallels between those times and today? We have hit the point where we should really appreciate our development. We have travelled very fast and have only learnt to celebrate the exterior. Our society is geared to ignore the interior. Death, for instance, doesn’t exist any more. When did you last see a dead body? People don’t die any more among people who love them; they die among strangers in bright little rooms in hospitals preferably drugged out of their brains! I have no hope at all for this civilization. I used to think that there was a little glimmer of hope, but there is none for me. I find it very sad and upsetting at times. I turn the television on and I see nothing that appeals to me. I go into shops and find nothing that excites me. I read the papers and see nothing I like. I’m not a bitter old man, but I’m very disappointed. I had high hopes and maybe this is the reason I am travelling back. We must pick up a few thoughts from these earlier times to start rebuilding, otherwise we have nothing. I’m making, too, a very silent protest against the whole develop­ ment of film. This is why it will be hated very much. I shouldn’t be making these period films because I was doing really quite well and I should have stuck to that! The idea of picking up on aspects from “back then” could be perceived as naive in that it often sounds as though earlier times were always more innocent. I’m saying this purely in terms of our environment. It is like we live in a cathedral, where we have run rampant with guns and shot holes in the ceiling. Instead of going around repairing those holes, we have sold a franchise to somebody at the entrance of the cathedral who sells umbrellas or rents them out, so you can walk through the cathedral when it rains. There might even be different people selling various colours of umbrella. This is regarded as very interesting and important. But we should tell them to get fucked, climb up to the ceiling and repair the holes. The Nun and the Bandit appears to be a definite stylistic change for you. Yes, though you always make the same film. It’s just a matter of different form. Here, I wanted to open the front door and go out into the street. That’s the only difference. Does that mean attempting to reach a broader audience? I find the idea of catering to a particular audience the most ludicrous thing on earth. Despite all my gloom and doom, I have much more faith in the individual than most. I still tend to believe that there are people rising from the ashes and standing on their own feet. I’ve always been able to survive because of that belief. I don’t say that because I’m an egomaniac, or because my ideas are right, but because I do everything with my heart and soul as best I can. I am not motivated by greed or hatred, and, hopefully, not by ignorance. Are your films aiming for a greater audience by the urgency of the issues they raise, such as the environment? I certainly never have an audience in mind, even though, of course, I love to share. For example, I worked myself silly for two years in an environ­ ment like Australia to make a film like Vincent[: T he L ife an d D eath o f Vincent Van G ogh]. That is a very weird thing to do: two years, day and night, obsessively working on a film. It was an enormous 60 . C I N E M A



job and I did most of it on my own, with the help of a very few friends. When the film was firstly screened to a full house - it wasn’t totally ready, but it had been cut - almost everybody walked out. You have to be very tough to survive something like that. We couldn’t get a distributor, and I was in incredible trouble financially. A lot of people wanted their money back. Then it screened in the Vancouver Festival and the audience exploded. They kept it up for about half an hour and to such a degree that I had to flee the cinema. A few months later, it was suddenly picked up by some big critic in the States and the film blossomed. Now it has become quite a classic. It plays everywhere in repertoire houses, except in Australia. We still make sales and the film will live for ever. We are getting so many letters from all over the place and it gives me great joy. If one sets out to work for an audience, already the substance has gone. Collectively, we have no judgement. So, I never concern myself about an audience, though I worry myself sick about it. My films are a message of love I hope to share. I see that as some sort of holy duty, but I can only do it in my particular way. ;/

Why are your films better received overseas than here?



It’s something to do with this tall poppies thing. I have always tried to say what I think and I’ve made enemies - not that I notice who these people are. Also, don’t forget I’m a migrant. There are only about three million original white Australians and they are pretty much like rednecks and very racist. Look at the people who hold all the so-called important jobs in this country; look at all the television presenters, the politicians. They all come from that stock of three million rednecks. They certainly don’t come from the wonderful ethnic mixture. I’m a migrant who, in a fairly bizarre way, is successful. I don’t think that appeals to anyone very much. To some it does. I am not a consumerist type of person. I couldn’t go on the Steve Vizard show and crack jokes about it all. That’s my biggest sin. By having a particular attitude, it’s interpreted as arrogance. But I don’t think I’m arrogant. I do think I have something to contribute and I do think a lot of my films have been very good diplomatic things for Australia. They have been seen very widely. They are not indul­ gences that have no commercial sense. I don’t think anybody else can say that their films, in general, return their money. In that respect, I am a very commercial proposition they should be proud of. I say this with a very humble heart. To what degree are the performances in The Nun and the Bandit improvised? I think you always make a film during the shooting; you don’t do it beforehand. I always allow the actors to contribute as much as possible. In fact, I have improvised on every film I have made. If it doesn’t feel right, I never stick to the script, even if it was written by me A film doesn’t have that much to do with literature or theatre; it is far more related to painting or dance or music. So, I’m not terribly concerned about the dialogue at times, which some people regard as a weakness in my films. It probably is, sometimes. All the talking in films gives me the shits. I’d rather see a silent film. In fact, my films are getting more and more silent. Given that you use the same actors quite consistently, do you ever fear audiences experiencing a sense of déjà vu? It’s up to them. You can have that sense of déjà vu or you can trust the actors. I’ve often been attacked for using the same actors, but look at what Ingmar Bergman achieved with the same group of people. In

the films they made not directed by him, they become very ordinary actors. But with Bergman, they really fused all their talents and created something unique and special. d’ve had so many chances, even in America, to work with all the so-called big shots. But when you meet these people and look at what they really have done, it’s nothing! I won’t give any names because I don’t think it’s fair. But there are hideous examples of overrated people who couldn’t act their way out of a paperbag. It is amazing how film can lie. On E xile, I used totally different people. They are very young and had never worked with me. They didn’t know what hit them! And I didn’t know what hit me! It was a very interesting and exciting learning experience. Claudia Karvan and Aden Young are quite spectacular and very wise for their age. At 2 0 ,1 didn’t know anything! I was a baby. They are only 20 but are very mature people and extremely talented. They have an incredible range of emotions and are capable of expressing them all. To tap into all that will take a few films. So you intend using them again? Oh, yes. But when I use them three or four times, people will say exactly the same thing about déjà vu\ £

Other projects [ANDREW

L. U R B A N ,


Last year you did a segment on erotica and you have a great variety of projects coming up, one of which is an American project. Originally it was an American film, but now it is an AustralianGerman co-production. It is set in Iran, but shot in Israel. It’s a big film, the biggest one I’ve ever attempted. From your own script? The original idea isn’t mine, but I re-shaped the script with the writer and now it is a 50-50 thing. I have never done this sort of thing before, but I like the idea. It’s basically about the Bahais and the Bahai religion, and how they were treated.

Barry Dickins

The film is close to being made, but .I’m still not quite sure whether I’m going to do it. I’ve just helped them because I believe in it. How did you become involved in Eroticon? ZDF, together with a German production company, asked me whether I wanted to do this sort of thing. They had set up this series and asked ten directors to do one episode each. They will probably make a feature out of it as well. It was fun to do and it was left totally up to me. After all, what is erotica? It surely is not Madonna. We produced our episode here and sent the components over. It was shot just before Exile, in a period where we had a bit of time. In one respect, it was quite a commercial step - backwards or forwards! Do you have any other projects? I have a film planned in Europe called Suicide o f a G entlem an, and also I’ve been working for years on a film on Nijinski’s life. It’s very hard to get the right support. It’s a similar sort of thing to Vincent. Nijinski wrote a quite stunning diary. It’s basically the words of a madman, but it all makes enormous sense and it links up with Vincent Van Gogh and his struggle. There is no insanity there; it is just the fact that he wanted to give to others that killed him. The people who didn’t love him killed him. That misconception of love always intrigues me. Vincent Van Gogh and Nijinski both talked about this white light, about a piercing stare from behind. What does that mean? Perhaps it is that one moment of glory, like the ballet dancer who spends ten years practising how to stand on one toe and on the big night there is one second of ecstasy before the toe breaks. But that’s enough; we must not expect any more. Van Gogh and Nijinski are perfect examples of great inner beauty. There was no taking at all, only giving, and the world of course was never ready. It treated them both like madmen and they had miserable lives. I always say to people who feel Vincent was mad, “No, he wasn’t mad at all. He had a marvellous life with moments of unbelievable ecstasy, which very few people will ever experience.” What else do you want in life? |


there are a million ups and comic downs. For ten days, Sonny, Brian and I drove through mud and slush and endless pineapple and palm plantations to find anyone interesting to develop the story, and we bumped into witch doctors, and pompous barristers who chuckled at the tragic and meaningless Barlow-Chambers executions; we collided with fourth Century money-lenders, badminton boasters, drugged tennis coaches, scrub wits and on-the-spot Honda spareparts dealers who can repair a busted gearbox with pine cones and mysticism. I have lots of Indian and Malaysian friends in Melbourne and Sydney. We are threading these disparate souls and ghoulish children and bright happy lot milkbar owners and their homesick wives into the plot. I had culture shock at K. L. Airport. But I get culture shock at Young and Jacksons. I have always wanted to get away from people like tne in my films, Brian and Sonny have allowed me to be freer, go further, be sadder, more wistful, funnier. T he Student o f M edicine is an appeal to universal homesickness. There’s no cure for the vanishing heart. The only part-cure is fun. And discovery. At least it is for this Keori Park Man. Keon Park M an forced to look at Asia. I close my eyes and still see, three months on.

The miniature printing presses in Seramban, the woman who sliced a giant pineapple up in her own hand with a sparkling machete, the poor man whom we named John who was silent and had accidentally killed three people in Indonesia, now living in a tree in the jungle, whose last feed he gave us, a feed of fried white bait. I remember the beauty and strangeness of the rubber plantations, the millionaire Chinese businessmen laughing at the friendly people born there, off in rags to sell chook at a faryhung farthing a year. The Marlboro M an who was everywhere, who followed us around like Doctor Cyclops. The insane development going on in Malaysia. The mad adora­ tion of America, and Coke and Salem. Girls born in Malaysia who can sing “Autumn Leaves” better than Nat King Cole could if he was alive, and a woman. These entertainers broke my heart a hundred times a day when we were bumping over mud cones and shale slats in those hang you on the spot misty mountaintops. This is a story about bright lostness. Ahmat will be saved. He will corile to Melbourne University. He will get the girl. He will go through Hell. We are writing a corriedy. Perhaps it is my first one. All I know is that I aril in the company of brave and funny men.



9 4 • 61

A ustralia's First Films

continued from p. 39

This is shot well back from the boundary fence at the winning post, with spectators in the foreground. The horses gallop past in the distance, and the camera concentrates on the reactions of the spectators. It opens with men looking back towards camera for Barnett’s direction, and, as the race finish draws close, Barnett runs out from behind urging the spectators to wave their hats. He backs out of the picture to give the camera a clear view of the race finish, then a stream of happy punters pass on their way to collect their winnings as the film cuts out. The print has been released in the NFSA video, Living M elbourne. (14) Cup Winner “N ew haven ”, Trainer W alter H icken botbam , Jo c k e y Harry Gardiner (shot 3 November 1896). Premiere 24 November 1896, first mentioned in The Sydney M orning H erald, 24 November 1896, p. 2. Lumière catalogue number 423 (M elbourne, les courses: L e Gagnant). Gardiner in jockey colours and Hickenbotham in suit lead “N ew haven” from his stable. G ardiner m ounts and Hickenbotham leads the horse around in circles in front of the camera, occasionally going completely out of the picture. The print has been released in the NFSA video, Living M elbourne.

Premiere 24 November 1896, first mentioned in T he Sydney M orning H erald, 25 November 1896, p. 8. Also recalled by Ted Breen in Every ones, 9 January 1924, p. 8. Shows people passing from Hyde Park, past St. M ary’s, into the Domain with passing cable trams. No print is known to survive. (18) Sydney Post O ffice from. G eorge Street (shooting date un­ known). Premiere after 5 December 1896 - listed in a handbill from the 478 George Street Lumière venue, reproduced in E xhibitor (Sydney), 29 July 1925, p. 40. The handbill’s content concurs with an abridged programme published in T he Sydney M orning H erald, 19 December 1896, p. 12. No print known. (19 ) Em ployees Leaving N.S. W. Governm ent Printing O ffice (shoot­ ing date unknown). Premiere between 24 November and approximately 6 December 1896 at Sydney’s Criterion Theatre. Film recalled by Ted Breen in Every ones, 9 January 1924, p. 8. No print is known to survive. The following films are either by Sestier or by a Baker &: Rouse employee using Sestier’s camera: (20) Sea and Breakers, C oogee Bay, Sydney (shot c. May 1897). Premiere 5 June 1897, first mentioned in Brisbane Courier, 5 June 1897, p. 2. No print is known to survive.

{15)N ew South W alesH orse Artillery at Drill (No. 1) (shooting date unknown). Premiere 24 November 1896, first mentioned in The Sydney M orning H erald, 24 November 1896, p. 2. Not in Lumière catalogue. Film taken at Victoria Barracks, Sydney, by permis­ sion of Lt.-Col. H. P. Airey. No surviving print is known.

(21) Elizabeth Street, Sydney (shot c. May 1897). Premiere 26 June 1897, first mentioned in Brisbane Courier, 26 June 1897, p. 2. No print is known to survive.

(16) N ew South Wales H orse Artillery at Drill (No.2) (shooting date unknown). Premiere 24 November 1896, first mentioned in The Sydney M orning H erald, 24 November 1896, p.2. Not in Lumière catalogue. No print known. The Sydney M orning H erald, 25 November 1896, p. 8, states that the second of these views, taken at Victoria Barracks, Sydney, by permission of Lt.-Col. H. P. Airey, showed “the guns and gunners [apparently] flying past the spectators at full gal­ lop”. No print is known.

The final Australian films made by the Sydney photographer H. Walter Barnett after his successful collaboration with Marius Sestier were a series of four items, each 50 feet (50 seconds) in length, of the stars of 1897’s cricket tests at the Sydney Cricket Ground, probably shot on 16 December 1897. Paper contact prints of a half-dozen frames from each of these Lumière films were registered for copyright at the British Public Records Office in Kew, Surrey, on 1 February 1898. The films were subsequently offered for sale by the Warwick Trading Company in London, and were widely exhibited in Australia. Warwick’s 1898 D escriptive List o f N ew Film Subjects itemizes these:

(17) P eople Passing St. M ary’s, Sydney, Sunday A fternoon (shoot­ ing date unknown). Lost since 1896, This frame enlargement is from Marius Sestier’s film, Bringing out the Horses, a sequence of the starting moments of the 1896 Melbourne Cup, which was not recovered from France with the rest of the coverage in the 1960s. The film is currently the subject of correspondence between Australia and France, and will hopefully return to this country in time for its film centenary.

F il m s m a d e by H . W a lte r B a r n e t t a fter S estier ' s D eparture

(22) The English (Victorious) Team Leaving the Field a t the Conclusion o f the M atch. Warwick Trading Company catalogue number 3001. “The players file slowly through the gate, which is immediately in the centre of the view, and each is clearly recognisable by the audience as he passes.” No print is known to survive, except for the copyright strip of six frames. (23 ) T he Australian Team Leaving the Field (Sydney Cricket Ground). Warwick Trading Company catalogue number 3 0 0 2 .“Here, again, the features of the various players are reproduced with marvellous exactitude, and the picture affords a continuous source of delight to the audience as each well-known figure is recognised in turn and is enthusiastically cheered.” No print is known to survive, other than for the copyright strip. (24) Prince Ranjitsinhji Practising at the N ets (Sydney Cricket Ground). Warwick Trading Company catalogue number 3003. “This picture gives an excellent idea of the popular player’s method and style, and also affords a good opportunity of studying the marvellous celerity and power of his strokes.” A 37-foot section of a film answering this description, certainly featuring Prince Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji, the great-

62 - C I N E M A



est batsman of his day, survives in the British Film Institute in London. It may also, however, be a subsequent film of Ranjitsinhji which was offered by Warwick in 1901 (cat. no. 6915) filmed in London on 19 June 1901. Confirmation of the film’s identity must await comparison with the copyright registration strip. Film appears in the documentary, C elluloid H eroes. (25) Prince Ranjitsinhji an d H ayw ard at the W ickets, 5.C.G. Warwick Trading Company catalogue number 3004. “This is a picture which always arouses intense interest and enthusiasm, for it represents these two popular players during the actual progress of the game. At the moment the picture opens Prince Ranjitsinhji has just made a hit for four, and the accomplishment of these runs is an incident which invariably calls forth the greatest applause.” No print is known to survive, other than for the copyright strip.

N ext Issue


Four of Wills’ films were released on the NFSA video, Federation Films (1 9 9 1 ).


Refer NFSA video Federation Films for Royal Visit 1901 and C om m on­ wealth Celebration Day 1 January 1901 segments of this production.

10. Raymond Fielding, T he Am erican New sreel, University of Oklahoma Press, Norm an, 1 9 8 0 , pp. 66-7. 11. Quoted in D. B. Thomas, The First Colour Motion Pictures, Science Museum M onograph, HM SO, London, 1 9 6 9 , p. 31. 12. How ard Lam arr Walls, Motion Pictures 1 8 9 4 -1 9 1 2 , Washington D .C ., Copyright Office, Library of Congress, 1 9 5 3 , p. viii. 13. First French reel: Pathe-Faits Divers, early 1908. First British reel: Pathe’s Animated Gazette, February 1910. First Australian reel: Pathe’s Australian Animated Gazette, November 1910. First American reel: Pathe’s Weekly, August 1911. 14. Touring companies can usually be traced from venue to venue with the aid of an 1 890s Australian railway map. Horse-drawn waggons were too slow and automobiles hadn’t yet been introduced. 15. Scientific Australian, Melbourne, 2 0 September 1 9 0 0 , p. 8. Earliest record of an Alexander Gunn movie show that I have found was on 2 7 August 1 8 9 7

In our next issue we will look at the films of Ernest Jardine Thwaites and Robert William Harvie, as well as unveiling the work of Sydney’s first indigenous filmmaker, M ark Blow. Then on up to Queensland to tell the tale of the start of production there, by G. . Boivin (1897) and Professor A. C. Haddon (1898).

16. Every ones, Sydney, 15 December 1 9 2 6 , p. 126: “The E arly ‘Bioscope’ Days

A cknow ledgem ents

18. Longer films would not fit on the machine, and their excessive weight and

The current project has emerged from the Queensland Vintage Film Project, funded by Griffith University (Brisbane). Pat Laughren is alone responsible for the project and its funding, without which this series would have been impossible. O f the National Film & Sound Archive contingent, I remain indebted to Ken Berryman, the Melbourne office staff, and particu­ larly Meg Labrum, NFSA Documentation Officer. As usual, the assistance of my professional colleagues, Graham Shirley, Clive Sowry, Judy Adamson, John Barnes and Bernard Chardere, was vital. This group toils incessantly in resurrecting obscure but vital pieces of film documentation, much of which has been channelled to this series. George Ellis of the Salvation Army Archives, Ian MacFarlane of the Victorian Public Records Office and Tony Marshall of the W. L. Crowther Library in Hobart made essential contributions to the data base. Foster Stubbs came up trumps with, in all likelihood, the oldest surviving Australian film. His co-operation is profoundly acknowledged. The newspaper library staff of the State Libraries in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia pro­ vided the core of my data base. I hope that they may recover from my numerous access requests. Lastly, my thanks go to Prudence Speed, who assisted with my photography and consented to be my wife while this article was written.

Foo tnotes 1.

Ross Lansell and Peter Beilby, T he Docum entary Film in Australia, Cinema


Arrival o f a Train at Hill Platform was in the National Film & Sound

Papers and Film Victoria, Melbourne, 1 9 8 2 , p. 9. Archive (NFSA) but wrongly identified as “Arrival of Train at Melbourne 1 8 9 8 ” . Lady Brassey Aw arding Blue R ibbon to “N ew haven”, D erby

at Hawthorn Town Hall, Melbourne. Refer Haw thorn Citizen, 14 August 1 8 9 7 , p. 2. in Victoria” by Alexander Herbert Gunn. 17. Nearly all Gunn’s local films can be connected with the productions of E. J. Thwaites and R. W . Harvie in the 1890s. resultant inertia would resist the intermittent mechanism, causing the sprocket holes in the film to tear. Later projectors solved the problem by placing a continuously rotating feed sprocket immediately above the intermittent. 19. Typical examples of Carl Hertz and G. Neymark quoted in the second instalment of this series. Refer also Musser, loc. cit., p. 179 et seq.; p. 2 5 8 et seq. 2 0 . T he Sydney M orning H erald, 2 4 November 1 8 9 6 , p. 2. 2 1 . Ford. C. Ottman, H erbert Booth: A Biography, Jarrolds Publishers, Lon­ don, 1 9 2 8 , pp. 1 8 9 -9 1 .



OPEN CHANNEL is Victoria's development centre for independent film and video. As Australia’s largest community based video organisation providing access to production and training facilities, Open Channel's track record is m ore than impressive* Numerous awards, high quality programs, education and training courses and the accessibility of staff and facilities reflect Open Channel's commitment to quality and the community at large. Contact Open Channel for more information Award winning production house

W inner was held by W . J. Foster Stubbs. Bringing out the Horses (Lumière 4 2 1 ) is held by the Cinémathèque Française.



T h e Bulletin, Sydney, 2 5 September 1 8 9 7 , p. 8.


Charles Musser, T he Am erican Screen to 1 9 0 7 , Charles Scribner’s Sons,

13 Victoria Street Fitzroy 3065 Ph: 03/419 5111 Fax: 03/419 1404

New Y ork, 1 9 9 0 , pp. 1 9 4 -2 0 0 . 5.

Cassell’s Family Magazine, London, August 1 8 9 7 , “Living Photographs of the Queen” , by John M unro, pp. 3 2 7 -3 0 .


Sight and Sound, Summer 1 9 8 8 , “Shots in the D ark” by S. Bottomore, p.


2 0 0 et seq. A. C. Fladdon Papers, Cambridge University Library. Haddon’s journal refers to filmmaking on 1, 5 and-6 September,1 8 9 7 , on M urray Island (see item Î0 3 0 ).

3 6

O p e n C hannel acknow ledges assistance fro m R im Victoria a n d th e A u stra lia n R im C om m ission

• Production • Facilities • Training • CINEMA


9 4 • 63


Art dept co-ordinator Art dept assts.

NOTE: Production Survey forms now adhere to a revised format. Cinema Papers regrets it cannot accept information received in a different format, as it does not have the staff to re-process the information.


Fitness trainer À

EBB TIDE Prod, company

Genesis Films


$2.6 million

Principal Credits Director

Craig Lahiff


Craig Lahiff Paul Davies Helen Leake


Bob Ellis Peter Goldsworthy

Prod, assistants Production runner Production attach. Prod, accountant Account assts. Asst, accountants


Synopsis: A lawyer takes a compensation case against a chemical company, and becomes en­ meshed in a web of lies and corruption. [No further details supplied] 1


Focus puller

Scenic artist

Ray Pedler

Susan Maybury

Dave Moulder (LA)

Sketch artist

David Russell

Nick Goddard

Prod, company

Graphics fx super.


Daniel Scharf Prods


Kim McKillop

Props/Set dressers


Cathy Smith

Peter Foster

Nadeen Kingshott

Alex Slater

Cheryll Stone

Faith Robinson


2nd unit clapper-loader Key grip Grips



Bill Murphy

Prod, designer

StevenJones-Evans John Clifford White

Other Credits

Generator operator Riggers

Prod, manager

Elisa Argenzio

Art director Gauge


Cast: Aden Young, Tara Morice, Nadine Gamer, Ben Mendelsohn. [No further details supplied]

2nd 2nd asst director 3rd asst director

THE PENAL COLONY Prod, company

Platinum Pictures

Finance Production

Allied Film Makers May 1993

Principal Credits Director

Martin Campbell


Gale Anne Hurd Michael R. Joyce


2nd asst director

James Eastep

Script supervisor Set p.a. Set p.a. Boom operator

Michael Gaylin Joel Gross Phil Meheux


Terry Rawlings Allan Cameron

Editor Prod, designer

Extras casting

Wardrobe Paula Ryan

Wardrobe admin.

Helen Francis

Standby wardrobe

Robyn Elliott Heather Laurie

David Nichols Ian McAlpine

Andrew Short (on shoot)

Mark Abrahams

Emma Hedley (on shoot)

Matt Copping

Russell Coleman (on shoot)

Gary Vincent

Angela Grace

Brian Bansgrove

John Power

Colin Chase

Ken Barnett

Toby Copping Grant Atkinson

Chantal Cordey Lisa Meagher

Shaun Conway

Jane Murphy

Robbie Hechenberger 2nd unit wardrobe

Martine Simmonds Gillian Farrow

Animals Animal handler

Mark Gainford

Construction Dept

Will Milne Will Matthews

Phil McDonell



Roger Ford

Prod, designer

Terry Ryan

Costume designer

Roger Mason

Planning and Development Maura Fay & Assoc. Stephen Jones

Production co-ord's

; Barbara Ring


Mark Jones Kristian Kielland

Nathalie Tanner (U.K.) Portman rep.

Andrew Warren

Sogovision rep.

Yuki Otsuka

Prod, secretary

Lorelle Adamson

Producer’s asst.

Sally Bristoe

Peter Hill

Unit manager Production runner

Bob Graham

Make-up artistes

Brent Harrison

Prod, accountant

Cassie Hanlon 2nd unit make-up

Peter Woodward

Jamie Gardner Barry Heideman

Lesley Vanderwalt

Wayne Porter

Hair designer Hairdressers Make-up/hair assts

Special fx assts

Paul Williams

Athol Gill

Jan (Ziggy) Zeigenbein

Frank Goodwin

Clea (Wizzy) Molineaux Margaret Rose Singh

Rod McKeown

Jason Baird

Chuck Morgan

Brian Cox

Mark Oliver

John Lack

Welder Greensman

Stunts co-ordiriator Stunt supervisor Safety officer Unit nurse Still photography Unit publicist Caterer Catering

Legal services Travel co-ord. Camera operator Focus pullers

Danny Batterham Leilani Hannah Darrin Keough Rebecca Steel

Ross Pollard

Key grip

Brett McDowell

Wayne Porter

Asst grip

Alan Trevena

Gregg Thomas Gaffer Best boy Electricians

Martin Scurrah

1st asst director

Jacquie Ramsay

Harold Bell

Jim Townley

Anthony Bidgood Scott Bode

Dennis Davidson Assoc.

Wayne Haimes

John Faithfull

Robert Hiscox

Sue Bickers

Rod Leven

Gavin Smith

Campbell Thompson Michael Owen Prue Saunders Candy Burls

Greg Rawson Andrew Moore Paul Sellgren

2nd asst director

Fiona Searson

David Parkinson

On-set Crew

Steve Herrmann

Ian Gracie

Jet Aviation


Adam Smigielski Peter Agnew


Film Finances

Camera Crew

Bemie Ledger Peter Culpan

Wendy Elvhn

Hammond Jewell

Mallesons Stephens Jacques

Lionel Bimrose Trades assts.

Jamie Platt Sally Campbell

Insurer Completion guarantor

Conrad Palmisano

Art Department Art director

Greens assts

Bruce Snape Roger Porteous

Jo Wilkinson Driver

Guntis Sics Tim Wellburn

Lindsay Hedley

Kath Burton Dougal Thompson

Martin McGrath

DOP Sound recordist Ecftor

Bob McCarron Sonja Smuk

Jennifer Crowley

Unit assts

Alan Bateman Tony Morphett


Lesley Vanderwalt

Prosthetic make-up

Steve Courtney

Unit manager

Susumu Kondo

Phillip Roope

Production Crew

Tic Carroll

Yoshinori Watanabe

Prod, manager

Walter Van Veenendal

Transport manager

Chris Brown Hiroyuki Ikeda

Location manager

Melissah Norris

Murray Boyd Elly Bradbury

Victor Glynn

Bruce Fletcher

Jack Elliott Brock Sykes

Location manager

Executive producers

Gordon Finney

Jack Elliott

Travel co-ordinator

John Sexton

Leading hands

Greens standby

Laiwa Ng

Ian Barry

Director Producer

Construct, foreman

Gareth Calverley

Brian Pearce

Alexis Lloyd

Rutherford Vilms Holdings

Principal Credits

Production Crew

Greens foreman

Prod, secretary



Pamela Willis

David Hardie

Production assoc.

purge the mainland of crime.

John Rann

Garth Croft

Special fx

Tyler Kelly

future where dangerous offenders are sent to

Greg Hajdu

Kim Howard

Special fx co-ord.

Jennifer Scott

Ernie Hudson, Kevin Dillon, Michael Lerner.

Dennis Smith

Paul Gorrie

Producer’s asst.

Dennis Davidson Assoc.

Construct, managers

Guy Campbell

Pam Dixon

Co-producer asst.


Construct, supervisor

Colin Fletcher

Liz Mullinar

Colleen Clarke

Caroline Scott


Suzanne Johannesen

Production supervisor

Editing attach.


tion-adventure set on a prison island of the near

Wardrobe supervisor

Dave Young

Extras casting asst.

Tim Grover Alan Woodruff

Synopsis: The Penal Colony is a dramatic ac­

Naomi Yoelin

Casting associate

1st asst editor 2nd asst editor

Brad Howard

Special fx supervisor Casting directors


Graeme Burton

Norma Moriceau

Costume designer

Peter Hudson

Construct, runner

David Bowring

Meg Gordon

Cameron Watt


Cast:Ray Liotta, Stuart Wilson, Lance Henriksen,

Suzette Water (seq shoot) Ben Crabtree (on shoot)

Nikki Long James McTeigue

Emily Meike Nigel Washington

Michael Taylor

Ben Osmo

Sound recordist

2nd unit standby props

Paul Hilton

Brush hands

Walter Van Veenendal John Bowring

Wardrobe assts.

Justin Plummer Simon Ambrose

Nick Walker Adrian Ashendon

Leading brush hand

Gerry Nucifora

Cable puller Make-up designer

Jake Eberts

Exec, producer Scriptwriters

Weapons maker Armourer

Wardrobe buyer

On-set Crew 1st asst director

Scheherazade Mehonoshen John Osmond

Katrina Crook

Steve Szekeres Bob Wanger


Jo-Ann Bejkoff

Asst props/dressers

Simon Hammond

Phillipe Debar

Graeme Blackmore


Nic Brunner

David Wakeley

2nd unit DOP

Best boys GeoffreyWright


Alan Lasky Conrad Palmisano Jenny Quigley

Elisa Argenzio Jonathan Shteinman


Beverly Dunn Kris Torma

2nd unit script super.

DanielScharfGrip attachment Gaffer

Line producer Assoc, producer

Bryce Perrin

Christine Robson

John Martin


64 . C I N E M A

Props maker

2nd unit asst director

Principal Credits

Prod, co-ordinator

Karen Jones Russell Boyd

Standby props

Peta Black

Set finishers

Lesley Crawford

Set decorator

James Belkin

2nd unit director

Des Keena

Scenic painter

Corey McCroskey

Robert Skotak

Visual fx DOP

Ray Pedler Billy Malcolm

T revor Sorenson Jeff Thorpe

Frank Hruby Jem Rayner

Visual fx supervisor

Stewart Waygh Scenic artists

Caroline Polin

Leigh MacKenzie


2nd unit focus puller

L___________________ :_____ SPEED

Zane Von Furstenrecht


Jeffrey Fleck 94 mins

Rory Croft

Justine Dunn

Michael lacono

Warwick Hind


Colin Bidgöod

Andrew Moses

Camera Crew

Other Credits Gauge

Jenny O ’Connell Margie Rahmann Jamie Howie

Art dept runners

Fiona Searson, DDA

Unit publicist

Brett Langby Mark Belgum




Amanda Selling

John Pryce-Jones

Asst art director Art dept administrator

P. J. Voeten Emma Schofield

3rd asst director

Martin Williams


Alison Goodwin

Boom operator Sound attach. Interpreter Driver Make-up

Fiona McBain Louis Cullen Véronique Joukoff Andrew Crichton Viv Mepham Angela P. Conte

Hairdresser Special fx supervisor Stunts co-ord.

John Bird Chris Murray Rocky McDonald

unit nurse Still photography Unit publicist

Julie Deakins Robert McFarlane Fiona Searson Dennis Davidson Assoc.


Good Lookin’ Cookin’

Unit nurse

Maud Biggs

Still photography

Elise Lockwood


Kathy Trout Kaos Catering

Catering assts.

Denise Ward

Art Department

Jill Surch

Art director

Sarah Tooth

Art Department

Set decorator

Kerrie Brown

Art director

Set dresser

Jane Murphy

Props buyer

Jane Murphy

Asst art director Georgina Greenhill (Nth Qld) Art dept runners Priscilla Cameron (Brisbane)

Standby props

Colin Gibson

John Goward (Nth Qld)

Art dept asst.

Charlie Revai

Wardrobe Kerry Thompson

Standby wardrobe

Gabrielle Dunn

Wardrobe attach.

Judith Meschke

Construction Dept

Philip Drake

Props buyer

Kristin Reuter Murray Gosson


Bob Parsons


Construct, manager Carpenter

Frank Falconer

Construction Dept

Danny Burnett

Construct, manager

Dean Steiner


Leading hand


Cutting room


Set finisher Painter



John Platt Leah Ashenhurst

Camera type


Key grip

Warren Grieff

Asst grips

David Shaw Andrew Glasser


Ken Pettigrew

Best boy

Chris Fleet


Phil Mulligan


Suzanne Brown

Martin Connor

Sound editors

Tim Jordan (dial.)

husband Bill dies, Kate takes his place as one of

Asst sound editor

three partners in a Sydney advertising agency.


Adrian Pickersgill

Boom operator

Andy Duncan


Chiara Tripodi

Make-up asst.

Marilyn McPherson


Chiara Tripodi

Asst hairdresser

Marilyn McPherson

Special fx supervisor

Chris Murray Gary Johnston

Still photography

Asst editor

Unit publicist

Sue Currie


Bronwyn Gower

Art director

Kerrie Reay

Art dept co-ord.

Susan Antill

Mixed at

herto Mitsura, a design and computer whiz in the


graphics department. With his help, Kate lands

Shooting stock

a major account. An envious Vivien blackmails

Government Agency Investment

Ed into forcing


Crystal Palace

Set dressers

Robert Hutchinson

Atlab Kodak

Camera operator

Nino Martinetti

Focus puller

Warwick Field Richard Comelissen


Peter Kershaw

Key grip Gaffer

Nick Payne

On-set Crew 1st asst director

Paul Ammitzboll


Margot Wiburd

Boom operator

Mike Bakaloff Liz Goulding

Still photography

Roberto Rodriguez

Unit publicist

Catherine Lavelle, CLPR


Tony Marriott

Art Department Art director

Steve Ewings

Wardrobe Wardrobe supervisor

Gosia Dobrowolska

Post-production Asst editor

Rochelle Oshlack

Edge numberer

Oliver Streeton,

Sound transfers by

Eugene Wilson,

Filmsync Sound Services Sound editor

Art Department

The two other partners, Ed and Vivien, introduce

Marshalls & Dent

Camera Crew

Camera Cooks

Julius Chan (fx) Phil Judd

Motion Pictures Guarantors


Vicki Hastrich

Geoffrey Goodhew

Synopsis: A psychological thriller. When Kate’s

Kate out of the agency. Mitsura

Focus puller

Francesca Belli

Adam Smigielski


(Mitsura), Linda Cropper (Vivien), Craig Pearce (Ed).

David Williamson

3rd asst director

Martin Bruveris

Telecine transfers

Videolab Brooke Shields (Kate), Masaya Kato

Camera operator

2nd asst director

Brett Rawlins

Holland Insurance Brokers

Legal services

Dawn D’Or

Rod Russell


Completion guarantor


Camera Crew

1st asst director

Robert Podhajsky

Martin Connor


Travel co-ord.

David Rowe

Michael Ashton


Asst editor

Film Finances

On-set Crew

Wardrobe supervisor Standby wardrobe

Scenic artist

Steeves Lumley


Standby props

Wardrobe co-ord.

Insurer Completion guarantor

Sandra Carr Propsperson

Steve Pembroke

Props buyers

Adrian Cannon


Ian Andrewatha

Craig Carter



Neg matching

Meg Koemig



Screen ratio


Shooting stocks

Kodak 5245, 5296

Government Agency Investment Development

Film Victoria

offers Kate his support. But his sweet demean­


our cloaks a dark and dangerous personality.

Inti, sales agent

Total Film & Television

Inti, distributors

Herald Ace (Japan)


Marketing consultant

John Thornhill

Ronin (Australasia)

Wardrobe co-ord.

Inti, sales agent

Beyond Films

TRAPS Prod, company

$3.5 million

Andrea Hood

(Michael), Sami Frey (Daniel), Jacqueline

Wardrobe asst.

Nina Parsons

Pauline Chan

McKenzie (Viola), Kiet Lam (Tuan), Hoa Ngo (Tatie Chi).


Jim McElroy Tim Sanders

Producer Line producer Scriptwriters

Robert Carter Pauline Chan Dreamhouse

Based on the novel Written by

Animal trainer

Steve Austin

Synopsis: Louise and Michael Duffield travel to

Horse master

Graham Ware

Indochina on a journalistic assignment, but the orderly surface of Vietnam, its people and the

Horse wrangler

couple’s relationship is challenged by disrup­ tions.

Construct, supervisor

Kate Grenville



Kevin Hayward John Schiefelbein Nicholas Beauman

Prod, designer

Michael Philips

Costume designer

BAD BOY BUBBY (formerly Bubby) [See previous issue for details] BODY MELT [See previous issue for details]

Stephen Rae


Alison Barrett Casting

Production Crew Prod, manager

Rosslyn Abemethy Samantha Lukis

Producer’s asst. Prod, secretaries

Samantha Lukis (Vietnam) Melaini Lewis (Australia)

DALLAS DOLL Prod, company

Dave Suttor

Unit manager Production runners

Dan Maxwell (Brisbane) Mary Scott (Nth Qld) Michele D’Arcey

Prod, accountant

Lee Jefford

Accounts asst.

Hammond Jewell

Insurer Completion guarantor

First Australian

Completion Bond Company Tress, Cocks & Maddox

Dallas Doll Productions


Ann Turner


Line producer Exec, producer

Barbara Gibbs Penny Chapman

Assoc, producer

Ray Brown


Ann Turner


Paul Murphy

Sound recordist Editor

Nick Wood Mike Honey

Prod, designer

Marcus North

Costume designer

Jet Aviation

Planning and Development

Jet Aviation

Script editor

Camera Crew Kevin Hayward Richard Bradshaw Chris Hobbs ARRI III

Key grip

Gary Shearsmith

Asst grip

John Dolan

Gaffer Best boy

Steve Gordon Chris Short

2nd asst director

Maria Phillips

3rd asst director

Sarah Urquhart

Continuity Boom operator Make-up

Richard Pain Wayne Pashley Peter Hall

Daphne Paris

Prod, company


Illumination Films

Dist. company

Beyond Films

Budget Pre-production

$2 million 1/2/93 -14/3/93


15/3/93 - 25/4/93


26/4/93 - 27/8/93

Principal Credits Director

Paul Cox


Paul Cox Santhana Naidu

Exec, producer


William T . Marshall Paul Cox Priest Island E. L. Grant Watson

Sound recordist

James Currie


Paul Cox

Prod, designer

Neil Angwin

Planning and Development

Lisa Scott

Script editor

John Larkin

Budgeted by

Santhana Naidu

Prod, secretary

Lis Gilroy John Downie Andrew Marshall Lloyd Milne

Production runner

Gannon Conroy Jenriy Pawson


Sash Lamey

Prod, accountant

Safety officer

Bob Parsons

Accounts asst.

Penny Austen

longs to be with him. When the God-fearing citizens of the mainland learn of their life to­ gether, they demand the two be married.

GINO Prod, company

Filmside Productions

Production Crew Production manager Prod, co-ordinator Producer’s asst. Unit manager Assembly editor Prod, accountant Accounts asst

$2.8 million


Jackie McKimmie


Ross Matthews Sally Ayre-Smith

Assoc, producer Scriptwriters

Vince Sorrenti Larry Butrose Ellery Ryan

DOP Sound recordist

Ben Osmo


Emma Hay

Prod, designer

Chris Kennedy

Costume designer

Anna Borghesi


Roger Mason

Planning and Development Script editor Casting

Max Dann Liz Mullinar Casting Consultants

Budgeted by

Roberto Rodriguez

The Bottom Line Prod, supervisor

Andrew Marshall Santhana Naidu Vanitha Naidu

Sally Ayre-Smith

Prod, co-ordinator Prod, secretary Location manager Production runner

Fiona King Maria Moore Stephanie Finn Patricia Blunt Bob Graham Sophie Alstergren

Prod, accountant

Chris Haywood Rochelle Oshlack

Sally Ayre-Smith

Production Crew

Unit manager Paul Ammitzboll

22/2/93 ...

Principal Credits

Producer’s asst.

Cassandra Simpson

Unit manager

a young woman, who hears of his existence and

Nino Martinetti

Director’s asst.

Unit assts

and the ghosts of his present, until the arrival of

13/4/93 ...

Written by

Peter Lawless

There he lives, fighting the demons of his past

24/5/93 ...

Peter Pound

Location manager

a young man is


Lindy Davies

Prod, co-ordinator

Synopsis: In the 19th Century,

Peter Purcell


Dialogue coach

Annette Gover

Llewellyn-Jones (Jean’s Father); Hugo Weav­ ing, Barry Otto, C hris Hayw ood, Gosia


Storyboard artist

Malcolm Smith (ABC)

David Field

(Dullach), Norman Kaye (Priest (Ghost)), Tony

[No further details supplied]

Based on the novel

Prod, controllers

Aden Young (Peter), Beth Champion

(Mary), Claudia Karvan (Jean),



Production Crew


Catherine Lavelle, CLPR

Blundell, Frank Gallacher.

Liz Mullinar Consultants

Ray Brown

Beyond Films



Liz Mullinar Consultants

Shooting schedule by

Ian Neilson

Paul Ammitzboll Sue Smith

Inti, distributor

Cast: Sandra Bernhard, Victoria Longley, Jake

Extras casting

Paul Jones Margaret Stevenson

Fabian Sanjurjo Asst sound editor Mixer


Graeme Rutherford

On-set Crew 1st asst director

Liz Walshe

Sound editors

Rosalea Hood

Freight co-ord.



banished to an island after stealing a few sheep.


Ann Turner Tatiana Kennedy (BBC)

Travel co-ord.

Camera type

A.B.C. Construction

Asst editor

Ross Matthews



Dobrowolska, Nicholas Hope.

Construction Dept


Principal Credits

Melaini Lewis

Location manager

Focus puller

Graham Ware

Editing asst.

Planning and Development


Ware’s Livery Stable

David Rowe


Camera operator

Julie Middleton

Standby wardrobe


Legal services

Robert Colby

Cast:Saskia Reeves (Louise), Robert Reynolds

Principal Credits


Matt Bartley

Ayer Productions


Sound recordist

Standby props Armourer

Belle Eder Money Penny Services

Accounts asst. Insurer

Michael Foster Steeves Lumley (FIUA)

Completion guarantor

Film Finances

Legal services


Lloyd Hart


9 4 • 65

Camera Crew

Clem Stamation

Camera operator

Ellery Ryan

Focus puller

Martin Turner

Clapper-loader Camera type


Nicole Bensimon

Boom operators

Anna Townsend A R R IIV

Key grip

Lester Bishop

Asst grip

Terry Cook

Still photography

Matt Slattery



Boo Slattery

On-set Crew 1st asst director

Chris Webb

Katherine Forward

Shooting stock

Horse wrangler

Scott Barlow


Kodachrome 40 John F. Howard (James), Georgina

Construction Dept

1st asst, editor

Sue Midgely

Wardrobe co-ord.

2nd asst, editor

Nick Breslin

Standby wardrobe Cutter

Gabrielle Dunn Loris Perryman


Sheryl Pilkinton

Set dresser

Janine Ranford

Props buyer

Leanne Cornish Robert Moxham

Action vehicle coord.

Tim Parry


RED RAIN [See previous issue for details]

Prod, company

Wardrobe supervisor

Edie Kurzer Michele Leonard

Construction Dept

Samson Productions II WMG/Capitol F e b -M a r 1993 Apr - May 1993


May - Sept 1993

Principal Credits Phil Worth Jeremy Sparks Anthony Drapper Andrew Staig Laurie Pettinari Tom Read

Post-production 1st asst editor

Shawn Seet Abbey McNabney Andrew Plain


John Duigan


Sue Milliken

Co-producer Scriptwriter


Tara Fitzgerald (Estella), Pamela Rabe (Rose), Portia De Rossi (Giddy), Kate Fischer (Pru), Ben Mendelsohn (Lewis), John Poison (Tom); Elle McPherson.



David Lee Humphrey Dixon


Lab liaison

Production Crew

Denise Wolfsen

Unit manager



Unit assts.

Marketing Southern Star Victoria Buchan

Cast: Nick Bufalo (Gino Pallazetti), Zoe Carides (Lucia Petri), Bruno Lawrence (Joe Pallazetti), Rose Clemente (Rosa Pallazetti), Nico Lathouris (Rocco Petri), Fiona Martinelli (Maria), Lucky Fordali (Nonno), John Poison (Stan), Giordano Gangl (Vince), David Wenham (Trevor).

Synopsis: Gino Pallazetti’s life is simple. He’s in love with Lucia, and his career as a stand-up comedian is about to take off. But throw in the expectations of an Italian family, Lucia’s father, Rocco, an ambitious managerand an unplanned pregnancy, and life becomes comically compli­ cated.

OFFSPRING [See previous issue for details]

Financial controller Prod, accountant Accounts asst. Insurer

Wil Milne Dennis Aulm Martin Williams Money Penny Services Jill Steele Sarah Kaye Steeves Lumley FIUA

Completion guarantor Legal services

Film Finances Paula Paizes

Travel co-ordinator

Greg Helmers

Camera Crew Camera operator Focus puller Clapper-loader Key grip Asst grip Gaffer Best boy


Will Matthews

Paul Naylor Production runner


Geoff Burton Kathryn Millis Leilani Hannah Simon Quaife David Hansen Ian Plummer Grant Atkinson Robbie Burr

Prod, company

Innersense Productions

Budget Pre-production

$2,000 12/4/93-9/5/93

2nd asst director

John Martin



3rd asst director

Rowena Talacko Sue Wiley


4/6/93 ...

Principal Credits

On-set Crew 1st asst director

Continuity Boom operator


Bill Mousoulis



Bill Mousoulis

Make-up asst

Bill Mousoulis John F. Howard

Original screenplay

Andrew Preston

DO P ’s

Con Filippidis

Sound recordists

Hairdresser Still photography Unit publicist Catering

Elaine Fitcher Jan Zeigenbein Robert MacFarlane

Costume designer Composer

Clarrissa Patterson John Clifford White

Script editor Casting

Keith Thompson

Performance consultant Storyboard artist

Liz Mullinar & Assoc. Lindy Davies Brandon Hendroff Keith Heygate

Asst designer

Robin Clifton

Unit manager

Rick Komaat

Unit asst Asst, unit manager Prod, assistant Production runner Prod, accountant Insurer Completion guarantor

Russell Fewtrell Wil Milne Virginia Croall Julian Ryan Dianne Brown Steeves Lumley Film Finances Michael Frankel & Co.

Camera Crew Focus puller Clapper-loader Camera attachment Steadicam operator Key grip Asst, grip Gaffer Best boy

On-set Crew

Boom operators

Prisque Salvi Make-up

Bart Groen

Set dresser

Kerrie Brown

Con Filippidis

Props buyer

Andrew Short


1st asst director


Bill Mousoulis

A conversation, overheard by a stranger, has bizarre and unexpected repercus­ sions on two women’s lives.


Caroline Bonham

Generator operator

Sarah Tooth

Jacqueline McKenzie (Girl).


Gary Bottomley Mark Muggeridge Michele Duval

Flinders Media

Principal Credits Director

Jo England


Michael Warrell-Davies

Exec, producer

John Litt

Technical producer Scriptwriter

Rod Larcombe


Jo England Michael Warrell-Davies

Sound recordist Editor

Michael Warrell-Davies

Andrew Ganczarczyk


Matthew Atherton

Music performed by

Matthew Atherton

Sound editor

Joe Janes Tom Moody Andrew Smith

colleague to the use of motivational interviewing

Peter Chittleborough

techniques by means of reference to videotaped vignettes made at a counselling workshop. After

Keith Heygate

one unsuccessful attempt, he finds the tech­ niques useful in counselling for alcohol abuse.

David Woodward Pip ‘The Grip’ Shapiera

Nikki Moors Mark Van Kool

Synopsis: A general practitioner introduces her


Mark Worth & Simon Burton

Andy Duncan

Principal Credits

Angela Conte


Michelle Johnston Hairdressers

Flinders Medical Centre Dist. company

Andrew Ganczarczyk Cast: Don Barkers, Patrick Frost (Drinkers), Kathryn Fisher, Grant Pirot (Doctors), Kylie Mit­ ten (Teenage drinker).

Belinda Mravicic

Art dept runner


Cast: Victoria

Julia Ritchie Rowena Talacko

3rd asst director

Jenny Leach



Location manager

Rea Francis

Laurie Fayn

Development Production

Julia Ritchie


Asst art director

Government Agency Investment

Production Crew Prod, co-ordinators

1:1.85 Eastman Color Negative


Planning and Development

Kerry Fetzer

Art Department

Screen ratio

Don Connolly

Topher Dow

Art director


Prod, designer

Prod, manager

Super 16mm Blown up to 35mm

Henry Dangar Lissa Coote

2nd asst director

John F. Howard

66 . C I N E M A


Budgeted by

Kelvin Crumplin

A FC Longley (Julia), Angie Milliken (Stephanie), Richard Roxburgh (H a rry),

Tim Lloyd

Barbara Cope

Bill Mousoulis


Ron Hagen

Victoria Conant

Other Credits

Camera operators

DOP Sound recordists

Daniel Kotsanis Bill Mousoulis


Mark Keating Noriko Watanabe

Susan Lambert Megan McMurchy Jan Comall

Shooting schedule

Chris Rowell Productions

Shooting stock


Legal services P. J. Voerten

1/3/-2/4/93 5/4/ - Nov 93

Clem Stamation Rodney Bourke Editor

Neg matching 18/1/ - 26/2/93

Principal Credits


Tony Vaccher John Dennison Tony Vaccher John Dennison

Pre-production Production Post-production


Soundage Audio Loc Sound Design

Sound editors



Government Agency Investment

Sound design

Suitcase Films

Jayne Horvath Maude Heath

Leigh Elmes

Sound transfers by


Terry Ryan

Prod, secretary Location manager

Basia Ozerski

Edge numberer

Martin Hoyle

Roger Ford

Producer’s asst.

Post-production Asst, editor

Lab liaison



Chris Budryss Gregg Thomas




Construct, manager Greensman


Planning and Development

Shooting stock

Loris Perryman

Construction Dept

Prod, company

Tatts Bishop

Jackline Sassine

English clergyman and his wife to the famous artist’s country house.

John Duigan

Emma Schofield Susan Lane

John Bowring

In the late 1920s the controversy over a Norman Lindsay painting brings a young


Screen ratio


Prod, designer

Prod, co-ordinator

Atlab (Aust.) Rank (U.K.) Ian Russell

Costume designer

Prod, manager

Christine Woodruff

Government Agency Investment




Geoff Burton

Liz Mullinar & Assoc.

George Zammit

Standby props


Music co-ordinator Laboratory

Mixed at Laboratory Gauge

Richard Baldwin

Sarah Radclyffe (U.K.)

DOP Sound recordist Editor


Cast:Sam Neill (Lindsay), Hugh Grant (Anthony),

Distribution comp.


Frank Falconer

NSW Film & Television Office


Glen W. Johnson

Yvonne Gudgeon

Lab liaison

SIGNAL ONE [See previous issue for details]



Jane Murphy

returns home to find that things are and are not as they seem. Meanwhile ...

Peter Forbes


Yann Vignes

Set decorators

Or does it? A newspaper journalist in Bosnia

Christina Norman

Inti, sales agent

Art dept runner

Dean Steiner

Spike Cherry

Art dept runner

Sound editor

Art Department Danny Burnett

Noreen Wilkie

Hugh Bateup

2nd asst editor

Good Lookin’ Cooking


Art director Art dept co-ord.


Megan Howie


Synopsis: Nothing ever happens in Melbourne.

Johnny Faithfull

Standby carpenter

Rosemary Blight

Evanne Chesson

Animal handler

Art Department

Carpenter asst.

Animal trainer

Super 8

Judy Lovell

Corrie Ancone

Construct, manager Carpenter

Jo-Anne Partridge

Unit publicists

Gerry Nucifora


Standby wardrobe

Elise Lockwood

Still photography

Set finisher

Jo Weeks

Standby props

Sussanne Head

Harry Starverkos (Harry), Bill Jones (Bill), John Flaus (John).

Tanya Jackson




Greg Stuart

Safety officer



Still photography

Guy Norris

Mel Dykes Heather Laurie

PeterTsoukalas (George), Bruce Kane (Simon), John Penman (Jack), Anna Kotanidis (Anna),

3rd asst director

Make-up asst.

Standby wardrobe

Construct, manager

Geoffrey Guiffre

Stunts co-ordinator

Rocky McDonald

Campbell (Christina), Claire Paradine (Julie),

2nd asst director

Boom operator

Wardrobe supervisor

John Fox

Angela Mork

Make-up attachment Stunts co-ords.

Rodney Bourke Moose



Colin Gibson

Daniel Kotsanis Jenny Leach


Standby props


Angela Conte Michelle Johnston

Producer Scriptwriters

Simon Burton Mark Worth Simon Burton Mark Worth


MarkWorthStill photography SimonBurtonCatering

Editor Legal services

Sally Colechin


Marj Magee


Luis Da Silva

Sound design

Michelle Ziehlke

Simon Moran

Holding & Redlich Synopsis: With the use of archival material this

Art Department

film looks at how Australian fashion developed in

Art director

Tara Kamath


the decade from the late 1970s to the late 1980s and beyond.

Asst art director

Kylie McLean

Other Credits


Flinders Media Flinders Medical Centre

Dist. company

Flinders Media

Principal Credits Director

Michael Warrell-Davies


Michael Warrell-Davies

Exec, producer

Rod Larcombe


Dr. Michael Lee Monica Novick


Michael Warrell-Davies

Sound recordist

Andrew Ganczarczyk


Matthew Atherton

Music performed by

Matthew Atherton

Sound editor



Angela Giaprakas

Andrew Ganczarczyk Skye Innes (6 year old Girl), Peta Ann

Joyce (16 year old Girl), Kathy Shepard (25 year old Woman), Lisa Hughs (35 year old Woman). Voices: Sid Brisbane, Shane Tindall, Jessica Lawson, Kathy Shepard.

■ Synopsis: A succession of girls and women of varying ages are observed in their normal envi­ ronment. In the background are voices, mostly male, vocalising unacceptable behaviour pat­ terns and attitudes. A 35 year old woman notices her 16 year old son emulating his father’s behav­ iour. She decides to stop the continuation of these events immediately. She takes her child and goes to the police station to invoke a Sum­ mary Protection Order. The voice-overdescribes the mechanics of Summary Protection Orders.


Prod, company Budget Pre-production

$130,000 1/12/92-31/1/93





Principal Credits Director

Michael Bates


Michael Bates Sue Bennett Shamelle Magee

Line producer

John Winter

Assoc, producer

Anna Messariti


Michael Bates

Lighting Lighting assts.


1st asst director

Production Crew


8mm telecine to 1“

Prod, co-ordinator

Ian Farr Foley Mixer Fx mixer

DavidWhiteSynopsis: As Henry sits awaiting execution by the chair, he is taunted by confusion, guilt and

Music mixer Mixed at Opticals

Counterpoint Sound SO S


Legal services

Lab liaison


Neg matching

Chris Rowell Productions


Kelvin Crumplin



Screen ratio Shooting stock

1:1.85 5248





Angela Giaprakas Waldemar Wawrzyniuk Cinesure Michael Frankel & Co.

Focus puller Camera assistants

Annie Benzie Scott Hamilton Ian Brett

Camera type Key grips Asst grips Gaffer Best boy

Arriflex ARRI 3 Mark Ramsey

1st asst director

Kath McIntyre

Principal Credits

Scott Brokate

Gaffer AlexChomicz Best boy AlexChomicz

Richard Rees-Jones

Miriam Ready

Continuity Eva Sukova DamianWyvillMake-up/Hair

Patricia Balfour Beverley Freeman

Still photography

Basil Krivoroutchko

Lisa Tomasetti

NigelTraill Catering

Editor Prod. designer

Shirley Payne

Art Department

MargKewley Art dept asst RobertChomicz Standby props


Key grip

Tony Bosch

Construction Dept

Wardrobe NikkiCavenagh MelaniLewisCostumier


Post-prod, supervisor Narrator

Focus puller 1st asst director 2nd asst director Continuity Make-up

Merilyn Cox Phil McPherson

Phillip Adams

BlairMaxwell Production IanGrant

Sound consultant

Interzone Studio



Cast:Jennifer Bacia (Eva Sukova), Charlie Boyle (Kurt Snide), Jonathan Hardy (Film Critic), Peter Kent (One-armed Man), Daniela Miszkinis (Ice­ cream Girl), Mark Hembrow (Blind Man), Gary Ellis (Project Officer). illness that haunted her throughout her life, the

Dylan Jamieson

radical feminist and experimental filmmaker Eva

Warren Meams

Sukova committed suicide, leaving behind a

16mm SP Beta

Shooting stock

Hendon Studios

Kodak 7293


Lynne Broad


Mark Bakaitis

Noreen Wilkie


Mark Bakaitis

Look Film Productions

Video special fx


Government Agency Investment Production

Mark Bakaitis

Julia Cotton

Jon Luscombe

Austalia Council A FTR S Ian Phipps

Cast: [No details supplied.] Synopsis: A 15 minute television documentary based around the life work of 81 year old Syd­ ney-based artist Ralph Trafford Walker. From the early ’30s until the late ’60s Ralph estab­ lished himself as one of this country’s leading sculptors. His credits include the doors to the Mitchell Library in Sydney, and work in New Guinea as an official war artist. In the 1970s he discovered his convict origins, which became the focus of his art.

See previous issue for details on: KEMBALI UHAT - RETURN LOOK SIMPLE SPRING BALL




Dist. company

Film Australia

Atlab Andrea Brock


19/4/93 ...

Kodak Plus-X Negative 16mm 14 mins

Leveme McDonnell, Luciano Martucci, Ulli Birve, Eileen Darley, Claire Jones, Nick Skibinski, Henry Collins.


14/6/93 ...


20/9/93 ...

Principal Credits Directors

Kate Woods Fumitaka Tamura


Terry Jennings

Exec, producers Scriptwriters

friends-lovers who travelled overseas independ­ ently, to the same destinations, two years apart. One has lost her luggage in transit, the other has just brought back the world.



Kazuo Sasaki

Other Credits Casting

Liz Mullinar Consultants

Prod, manager Asst hairdressers

Cathy Flannery Dale Duguid Ian Thorbum Photon Stockman


Never Too Proud Look Film Productions


John Patterson Martin Daley

Prod, designer

Special fx

CONVICTS (working title)

Ron Saunders Kagari Taiima David Ogilvy

Tentative first meetings for two

Dist. company

Daffydd Mackle

Australia Council

Tony Young


Terror Dacktil Films

Warren Beaton


Off-line facilities

Prod, company

Creative Development Fund

Prod, companies

Principal Credits

Kodak 7248

Video transfers by

Stephen Houston


curious legacy of avant-garde cinema.




Tracey Richardson

Government Agency Investment

Special fx

Guy Campbell Cathie Napier



EmilySaunders Sound editor JohnWareham Mixed at Geoff Owen Mixer Margaret McClymont Laboratory Grunt Film Grips Lab liaison WadeSavage Stock VeraBiffone Gauge LizPerry Length NuggetMcCabe

Camera operator

Brent Taylor

Fiona Pawelski


Costume designer


Scott Brokate

On-set Crew AlexChomicz 1st asst director


Prod, company

Jon Goldney

Asst grip

Fondle With Care

Sound recordist

Shamelle Magee

Liddy van Gyen

Key grip


ARRI SR II Sony Betcam LDK 90

Marketing consultant

Camera asst.

Brisbane Independent

Written by

Peter Coleman


Camera Crew

Obscure Films

Virginia Hall

Judy Lovell

Stephen Houston

Prod, assistant

Lindsay Carr


Sound designer

Miriam Ready

Angela Casey

^lake-up consultant

James Kalisch Johnny Dady

Prod, manager

2nd asst director

Special fx supervisor

James Kalisch Steve McDonald Stephen Houston

Production Crew

3rd asst director Make-up

James Kalisch

rorized by a malevolent photocopier.

Synopsis: Fearing another attack of the mental

Alleyn Meams

James Kalisch


group Etcetera who play corporate persons ter­

Grahame Litchefield

On-set Crew


Prod, designer

ogy running amok, featuring the performance

Recording studio Kim Vaitiekus

March - May 1993

Sound recordist

humorous exploration of technol­

Based on

Clapper-loader Camera type

Sound editor



Peter Coleman

23/2/93 - 27/2/93

ecutive B), Edwina Entwistle (Limbo Puppetry).


Peter Coleman

Focus puller




Camera operator



Sarah Tindill Alison Bailache

Camera Crew


Russell Garbutt (Copier Man), Mark Blackwell (Executive A), Charles Russell (Ex­

Dist. company

Prod, accountant

Peter Rees


Principal Credits


Synopsis: A

Budgeted by

$39,463 18/1/93 - 22/2/93


Wenona Byme Peter Rees

Construct, supervisor



Government Agency Investment

Key grip

Camera Crew Camera operator

he simply the pawn of a complex establishment in which he has no say?


Peter Rees

Shooting schedule by

self-doubt. Is he responsible for his crimes or is

Animation Allsorts


Location manager



10 mins Cast: John Morgan (Henry), Melissa Woolley DavidWhite(Diedre), Chris Drury (Thirsten), Brad Taylor DavidWhite(Prison Guard).

Prod. Co-ordinator

Production runner


Merrin Kemp

Still photographer

Roger the Trumpeter Kate Gauthier

Rowan Walker

Planning and Development

Wayne Freer

Wayne Freer

Prod, accountant

Kim Lowes


Music performed by

Tara Kamath

Angela Giaprakas

Daffydd Mackle

Deb Harris Susie Spittle

Jack Moeller

Prod, designer

Prod, secretary

Robert S. Murphy

Sound recordist Editor

Jizam Hunter Christopher Jones


Sue Bennett

Fabian Sfameni


Production manager

Prod, manager

Wenona Byme Peter Coleman


Other Credits

Production Crew

Peter Rees

Wayne Freer

Kim Vaitiekus

Michael Bates

Will Davies


Mark Blackwell

Michael Bates

Storyboard artist

Peter Rees

Exec, producer

Musical director

Sound editor


Ian Farr

Wenona Byme


DOP Luke Foster

Construction Dept


Planning and Development

Principal Credits Director

Bradley Taylor

Construct. supervisorPrompt Scenery Services Scenic artist Rodney Bumsdon

Prod, campany

Much Ado

Anne Liedel

Noreen Wilkie



Mark Hartley

Production assts.

Wardrobe supervisor


Editor Art director

Alan Bentley

Technical producer

Oliver Day

16 mm /1"

Government Agency investment Development

Film Australia

A FTR S $15,000 plus facilities 20/4/-9/5/93

N.H.K. Production


Marketing Marketing exec.



Inti, distributor




Kim Henderson Rim Australia Lesna Thomas



94 - 6 7

Synopsis: When

Principal Credits

make the workplace a safer and more efficient

3rd asst director

Michael Garcia

moon, lo, explodes, five children and their par­


Andrew Ellis

environment. This video gives an overview of the

4th asst director

Henry Ellison

ents are forced to flee to a derelict space station


Laura Tricker

range of workplaces - city and country, high and


in orbit above them. They hastily convert it into a


Shirley Alexander

low tech, large and small - which WorkCoveris

Boom operator

Andrew Ellis

brief covers. It is designed to promote the


Roger Dowling

WorkCover Authority and to increase public

Make-up asst.

a mining colony on Jupiter’s

life raft, and embark on a hazardous voyage across the solar system to Earth.

DOP Creative &



Principal Credits Director

Rodney Long


Geoff Cleminson


Rodney Long


Phil Donnison


Carey Harris

Other Credits Off-line editor

Mark Jago

On-line editor

Mark Jago



Prod, manager

Lucy Sparke


Hoyts Television


Betacam SP


Owen Delaney


NSW Police Service

Synopsis: A

training programme designed to sensitize New South Wales Police to the rela­ tionship between alcohol and crime.


Peter Smith Productions

Principal Credits Director

Peter F. Smith


Peter F. Smith


Thrilling & Willing

Interactive design Sound

Herb Peppard Scott Ferguson

On-line editor

Stephen Dunn

Sound mix


Prod, manager

Laura Tricker

Prod, assistant

Shirley Alexander

Project manager

Shirley Alexander

Camera assts.

Tony Jennings Tim Thomass


Chris Lockyer Paul Johnstone


Graeme Shelton Continuity


Other Credits

Nicola Mill Graphics-animation Laboratory

Laughing Zebras Visualeyes

Laboratory Gauge Sponsor


video is designed to promote

New South Wales as an international business opportunity. The video argues persuasively for the allocation of investment in NSW by showing the viewer the positive aspects such as political and social stability; existing overseas industry already in place; natural resources; a skilled workforce and quality of life and culture.

OCEAN GIRL (series) Westbridge Productions Beyond Distribution $3.58 million

Budget Pre-production

15/1/93 ...


7/6/93 ...


7/6/93 - 25/2/94 Mark Defriest (eps 1-7)

Directors Producer

Jonathan Mark Shiff

Line producer Exec, producers

Jonathan Mark Shiff



Computing & Information Service

Charles Boyle


David Phillips

JUST ANOTHER DOMESTIC Prod, company Oliver Howes Film Production

Craig Barden

DOP Sound recordist

John Wilkinson


Director Producer

Karen Myers


Tony Peterson


Bruce Hogan


Matthew Brand

Other Credits


Make-up Laboratory



12 mins Betacam SP

Gauge Narrator

John Downes


NSW Police Service

Cast: Synopsis: A

training video for the New South

Simon Quaife

of all facets of domestic violence. The video uses actors and police as themselves to enact typical situations of domestic violence which require

Nicki Moors Visualeyes

police intervention.

David Wenham, Michele

Fawdon, Zoe Carides, Skye Wansey, Andrea Moor, Christopher Morsley, Lea Ansara, Annie Byron, Penne Hackforth-Jones, Sam Wilcox, Gia Carides, Kristoffer Greaves, CazLederman, George Rubiu, Patrick Dickson, John Ramsay, Carrie Vidler, Michelle Filo, Michael Scicluna, Paul Macri, Ruby Urquhart. series of short drama “triggers”

centred around the school and home lives of several children at risk of abuse and/or neglect. The film raises the problems faced by govern­ ment, community, professional and child care workers when intervening in cases of child abuse, legally, culturally and psychologically.



Animals Wrangler

Karina Eagle

Construction Dept


Construct, manager


Prod, company

World’s End Productions


William McKinnon


Thrilling & Willing


Kriv Stenders

Other Credits Christopher Gill

Off-line editor

Adrian Brant


Peter Hepworth

Script editors

Michael Joshua

Casting asst. Budgeted by

Post house

Jo Rippon

Ant Bohun

Amanda Garland Jennifer Clevers


Production Crew

Film stock


Producer’s asst.

Emma Honey

Prod, secretary

Belinda Leigh

Trainee prod.

Filmlink Laboratory

Location manager

Michael McLean

Unit manager

Shane Warren


Robert Bailey


Kerry Baumgartner

Financial controller

Jennifer Clevers

Prod, accountant

Kay Ben M’Rad


Mandy Robertson

Completion guarantor

Film Finances Inc.

Hammond Jewell

Lab liaisons

Ian Anderson Lui Keramidas

Government Agency Investment Development

Qld Film Development Office


Film Victoria FFC

Marketing Inti, distributors

Tele Image

Beyond Distribution Cast: [No details provided.]

Legal services

Barker Gosling

Synopsis:The story of Neri, a mysterious young girl from the ocean, and her discovery by the

Travel co-ord.

Paula de Romanis

young inhabitants of an underwater research

Jet Aviation

colony. Set in the tropical rainforests and spec­ tacular coral reefs of far north Queensland.

Mobile phones

Barry Browse Hirecom

SHIP TO SHORE (series)

Focus puller Camera assistant 2nd unit D O P ’s

Craig Barden

Prod, company

Barron Films (Television)

Angelo Sartore


22/2/93 ...

Trish Keating Jeff Fleck Ross Issacs


2nd unit asst.


Ron Elliott

Ross Issacs

Karl Zwicky

Paul Jackson Samuelsons

Gaffer Best boy 3rd electrix

Synopsis: WorkCover is a state-wide organiza­

Line producer Exec, producer Scriptwriters

David Rapsey Barbi Taylor Paul D. Barron John Rapsey Everett De Roche

Dick Tummel

Ranald Allan Glenda Hambly

Adam Williams

Judith MacCrossin DOP*

Chris Page (eps 1-7) Ray Hennessy (eps 8-13)

2nd asst director


Daryl Pearson

On-set Crew 1st asst directors

Amanda Smith Glenda Hambly

Gary Bottomley Ron Hagan

Film equipment

5/4/93 ...

Principal Credits

Ron Hagen

Craig Dusting

tion which works with workers and employers to


Tara Ferner

Travis Walker

10 mins

Lyn Molioy

Jo Warren

Prod, co-ordinator

Key grip

John Downes WorkCover Authority

Steve Taysom

Freight & rushes



Chris Berry Deidre McLeland Michael Vann

Kristin Henderson


Dale Duguid

Sarah Pumazelle

William McKinnon


Carter Lewis Visual effects

Neil Luxmore

Prod, assts

Michaela Settle

Andrew Scott

Post-prod, assts

Gina Black

Phil Rigger

16mm to Betacam SP

Philip Watts Anne Carter

Jenifer Sharp

Prod, manager


Post-prod, supervisor Asst editor

Photon Stockman

Story editor

Underwater DOPs

Camera asst.

Crawfords Studios

Planning and Development

Clapper-loader Adrian Brant

Mark Elliot

Garry McDonald


Darcy Smith

Frank Mangano


Laurie Stone

Camera operator

Principal Credits Director

Runner Studios

Jane Hyland


Michael McLean Andrew Thompson

Green room

Camera Crew


Betacam SP NSW Child Protection Council

68 • C I N E M A P A P E R S

Robbie Austin McCabe Studios

David Hensen


Cast: Will Goodman,

Lily Krupica

Wales Police Service, aimed at making all offic­ ers familiar with the legislation and procedures

Continuity Gauge

Prod, manager

Ann Folland

Jennie Godfrey

Costume designer

Oliver Howes

Robin de Crespigny


Frank Mangano

Philip Watts

Tracy Watt

Alby Farrawell

Standby wardrobe Wardrobe driver

Anne Carter Andrew Scott Prod, designer

Principal Credits

Robin de Crespigny

Prod, manager

Chris James

Standby props




Michael Gissing Christopher Gordon

Rolland Pike Phil Chambers

Location dresser

Ian Coughlan



Rolland Pike Brian Alexander

Set dressers

Construct foreman


Sound mix

Adele Flere

Alison Niselle

Robin de Crespigny

Matt Sweeney

Props buyers

Denise Morgan


Quintin Phillips

Adele Flere

David Wenham, Celia Ireland, Paul Van Reyk, Joyce Hopwood, Carmel Mullin, Alan Flower, Pearl Davem.

Principal Credits

On-line editor

Art directors

Grant Piro, Henry Salter, Peter Dunn,

Glenn Fraser

Camera asst.

Henry Ellison

Art Department

Gina Black

Jenifer Sharp

Camera asst.

Other Credits

Darren Lewtas


Brendan Maher (eps 8-13)

Neil Luxmoore

Jacqui Walker


Debbie Withers

Unit publicist Catering

Jill Eden

30 mins

Off-line editor

Geoff Burton Rob Stalder

Greg Noakes Steve Brennan

Principal Credits

Peter Hepworth



Eddie McShortall

Safety officer Still photography

Tele Images

Dist. companies

Jennifer Clevers

Synopsis: A

Chris Anderson New Generation Stunts



Dale Duguid

Stunts co-ordinator

Betacam SP to

Prod, company Honky Tonk Angel Productions

Prod, company


Maggie Kolev Doug Glanville Photon Stockman

N TS C Laser Disc

Dept of State Development

Synopsis: A

Special fx supervisor

Frame, Set & Match

creation of computer systems for that organiza­ ScottMcEwing tion. The design allows students to make choices Library and through those choices if a mistake is made Karen Watson they can experience the ramifications of that Acme Photo Video mistake. Betacam SP

Music Prod, manager


provide a safety net for every worker.

sonnel to elicit information as preparation for the

Off-line editor

Synopsis: This

Hairdresser asst.

Mahalya Middlemist

training touch-screen interactive MaiHamilton video designed to teach students how to com­ Paul Moss municate effectively with an organization’s per­



many work-related accidents as possible and to

Other Credits Stephen Barbour

Maggie Kolev Doug Glanville

awareness of WorkCover’s role - to prevent as

Toivo Lember Off-line editor

Paul Kiely Ray Phillips

Rachael Evans

Sound recordist Editor Prod, designer

Brad Pearce Gary Carr Geoff Hall Tim Femer

Costume supervisor Composer

Helen Mather

Shane Brennan

Set finisher

Jim Gannon

Bruce Rowland

Nicola Woolmington


Andrew Walpole

Planning and Development Script editor

Susan Macgillicuddie


Deborah Cox

Sound transfers by

Barbara Bishop

Production Crew

Robert Greenberg

Prod, supervisor

Trish Carney

Prod, manager

Kerry Bevan

Prod, secretary

Toni Raynes

Location manager

Jane Sullivan

Transport manager

Tony Rhodes

Unit manager

Aubrey Tredget

Production runner

Margot Evans

Prod, accountant

Robyn McFadgen

Accounts asst.

Leanne Bolton

Completion guarantor

Film Finances

Camera Crew


David Foreman Nino Martinetti

Sound recordist Editors

John Phillips Edward McQueen-Mason Ralph Strasser

Prod, designer Costume designer Script consultants

Steve Peddie


Danny Featherstone

Casting Dialogue coach

David Cross

Production Crew


Greg McKie

Prod, manager

Guy Bessell-Browne

Best boys

Joe Mercurio

Jamie Crooks

Liz Mullinar Julie Forsyth

Kerri Ryan Unit manager

Joey Heffernan Sophie Siomos

Judith Whitehead (Block 1) Insurer


Karen Sims

Completion guarantor

Safety reports

Peter West

Legal services

Art dept runner

Samantha Forrest

Props buyers

Clayton Jauncey Nigel Devenport Tania Ferrier

Standby props

Kelvin Sexton

Wardrobe Standby wardrobe

Lisa Galea

Animals Animal handler

Jim Maher

Construction Dept Construct, manager S/B Carpenter

Steve Rice Matthew McGuire

Props maker

Chris Norman

Post-production Supervising editor

Geoff Hall David Fosdick

Picture editor

Meredith Watson

Editing asst Laboratory


Cast:Clinton Voss (Kelvin), Heath Miller (Ralph), Jodi Herbert (Julie), Kimberley Stark (Geraldine), Cleonie Morgan-Wootton (Babe), Christie Pitts (Sally), Ewen Leslie (Guido), Ronald Underwood (Billy), Greg Carroll (Hermes).

Synopsis: The

ern Australia. Some of the kids call it paradise, the others call it a prison and long for the excite­

Camera type

Jenny Buckland

Greg Helmers

Helen Carter Arriflex 16SR

Brian Adams Nick Payne Tim Morrison

Prod, company Pre-production

15/2/93 ...


26/4/93 ...

Principal Credits Directors

Mario Andreacchio

Patricia Edgar

Exec, producer Scriptwriters

Patricia Edgar Jeff Peck Tony Morphett Jan Sardi Mac Gudgeon


Judith Bland John Reeves

Researcher Casting Extras casting

Jan Pontifex Nikki Longstaff

Betty Parthimos Greg Ellis

Anne Went

Unit managers

Peter Allen

Screen ratio

4:3 7245, 7293 AAV/GTV 9

Video transfers Off-line facilities

Crawfords Australia

Ross Porter Ron Sinni Shirley Martin

Completion guarantor First Australian Completion Bond Co. Legal services R. Garton Smith & Co

Catherine Marshall Greg Noakes Patricia Webb Food for Film

Travel co-ord.

Victoria Hobday Allison Pye Paul Macak Denise Goody Richie Dehne Shane Aumont Jeff Thorpe Tim Disney Vanessa Thomas

Wardrobe Sandi Cichello Isobel Carter


Focus puller Clapper-loader

Gus Lobb Walter Sperl Robin Hartley Martin Kellock

Peter Hepworth

Frank Savage Godric Cole Jim Bartholemew

; Sue Hpre

Phil Hyde


Marketing Inti, distributor

Eaton Films


Nine Network


Sigrid Thornton (Christine McQuillan), Robert Taylor (Dave Griffin), Bruno Lawrence

(Monk), Daniel Rigney (“Daisy”).

of investigation, Superintendent Dave Griffin is set to nail a prominent brain surgeon for fraud when an American Senator is shot and federal agents become involved in a web of intrigue.

SNOWY (mini-series) Prod, company

Simpson Le Mesurier Films

Dist. company Directors

Paul Maloney Ian Gilmour


Roger Le Mesurier Roger Simpson

Assoc, producer Scriptwriters

David Boutland David Alien Katherine Thompson

Rosie Cass Greg Tuohy Danny Lockett

Graeme Koetsveid

Brett Hull lain Mathieson

Mac Gudgeon Peter Kinloch Robyn Sinclair DOPs

Brett Anderson Craig Barden

On-set Crew 1st asst director 2nd asst director 3rd asst director Continuity Boom operator

Ros Tatarka Roger Simpson Tom Hegarty Vince Gil

Trish Keating

Key grip

Best boy

Beyond International

Principal Credits

Showt ravel

Asst grip

Brendan Campbell

Prod, designer

Tel Stolfo

Monica Pearce

Other Credits

Andrew Power

Script editors

Roger Simpson

Art director

Bernie Wynack

Tom Hegarty

Kirsten Voumard Jenny Sutcliffe


Nine Network

Andrea Cadzow


13 x 60 mins

Special fx supervisor

Brian Pearce



Stunts co-ordinator

Arch Roberts


Make-up Hairdresser

Stunts Safety officer

Evanne Chesson

Film Victoria

Camera Crew


Art Department


Tony Möller

Paul Nichola Eddie Macshortall

Government Agency Investment

Tim Scott

Peter Stubbs Michael Bladen


16mm neg to 1” video

filmed in Australia and Hong Kong. After months

John Reeves

Jo Friesen

Accounts asst.

Cameron Clarke

Charlie Ellis, AAV


Bruce Rowland

Chris Page

Cheryl Williams

Construct, manager Foremen


Synopsis: The Feds is an action-packed story

Prod, manager


Horse wrangler

Ian Anderson

Sally Grigsby

Ian Kenny

Prod, accountant

Standby wardrobe

Kerith Holmes

Phil Jones

Production runner

Wardrobe supervisor


Lab liaison

Po), Rachel Griffiths (Angela Braglia), Alex Menglet (Dr. Steven Jellicoe), Lewis Fiander

Bill Murphy

Production Crew

Kirsten Veysey

Draftsman Standby props


John McKerron

Planning and Development

Steve Vaughan

Art director Art dept co-ord. Art dept runner Set dressers

Crawfords Australia

(Icehouse), Peter Hosking (Roland Cloke), Nicki

Prod, designer


Still photography

Chris Pettifer

Mixed at

Wendt (Melita Reale), Stephanie Chen (May

Costume designer Composer

Boom operator

Unit nurse

(Fairlight MFX 2) Music editor

Vince Moran


Paul Harding

Safety officer

Colin Swan David McDonald

Joseph Pickering

Sound recordist

Transport manager

Scenic artist

Rick Maier

Jan Mamell Bruce Gordon


Damien Grant

Jutta Goetze

Stephen Measday

David Caesar

Exec, producer

Location manager

Special fx

Fx editors



Andrew Power

Construction Dept

Ray Bosley

5/4/93 -11/6/93


3rd asst directors

Mark Shirrefs Christine Madafferi


Rob Visser

Steve Jodrell Margot McDonald

1/3/93 - 2/4/93

Principal Credits

2nd asst director

Julian McSwiney Producers

Crawford Productions


Prod, co-ordinator Prod, secretary


A C T F Productions

THE FEDS (tele-feature) Prod, company

Antony Tulloch

On-set Crew


Andrew Jobson


Shooting stock

Antony Tulloch




Associate producer Liddy Van Gyen

Scott Brokate

1st asst directors

Tracy Grimshaw

G TV 9

Film Finances

Asst grip

Generator operator

Bruce Climas


G TV 9

Jon Goldney

Best boys

(Fairlight MFX 2)

Video special fx

Key grip Gaffers

Ross Porter

Dialogue editor

Video master by

Richard Cornelissen

Unit publicist

ment of city life on the mainland.

world and of others.

David Birrell Nadia Trantino

26 x 30 mins space adventure

Warwick Field

comic adventures of kids who

live on Circe Island, a fishing community and a communications base just off the coast of West­

Masters), Petra Jared (Nikki Colbert), EmilyJane Romig (Maggie Masters).

Post-prod, supervisor Editing asst

Eaton Films

Camera Crew


Crawfords Australia


11/1/93 - 26/2/93

T raveltoo Focus pullers

Peter McNee

Construct, manager



Diaan Wajon

Construction Dept

Dist. company

Skip Watkins Travel co-ord.

Keely Ellis

Steeves Lumley

Paul Walsh

Art director

Monticelli (MarieColbert), ZbychTrofimuik (Mike

Synopsis: A

Sue Miles

Wardrobe asst

Moneypenny Services

Giancarlo Mazzella

Art Department

Nine Network

Cast: Steve Jacobs (Tony Masters), Anna Maria

Kevin Morrison

Prod, accountant

Jan Rogers

Jenny Buckland A .C .T.F.

Stephen Brett

Production runner

Runcible Spoon


the universe, but with the discovery of self, the

Noni Roy

Unit publicist



Caaran Englehardt

Standby wardrobe



Tania Vujic-Powell

Vikki Barr


Government Agency Investment

Amanda Crittenden

3rd asst director

Still photography


Prod, secretaries

2nd asst director

Unit nurse

Shooting stock

Prod, co-ordinator

Andy Pappas

Jenny Sutcliffe

Ian Anderson

Sky Trackers deals not just with the discovery of

Asst unit manager

Boom operator


Lab liaison

series revolving around two families, a tight-knit

Michael Faranda


Video post-prod.

community and a wide range of youthful visitors.

Location manager

1st asst directors


Yvonne Collins

Clive Rippon

On-set Crew

Robert Greenberg Christine Madafferi

Key grip Gaffer

Jeff Peck Esben Storm

Peter Goodall

Focus puller

Kerri Mazzocco


Inti, distributor

John Fox

Wardrobe supervisor Soundfinm

Planning and Development

Script editors

Camera operator

Peta Lawson



Brad Smith

New Generation Stunts Tom Coltraine


Film Victoria Cast: Bill Kerr, Catherine Wilkin, Annie Jones,

Les O ’Rourke

Bernard Curry, William Mclnnes, Neil Melville,

Unit publicist

Maryanne Mason


Sweet Seduction

Jochen Horst, Rebecca Gibney, Lucy Bell, Charles Powles.

Still photography

Art Department Art director Set dresser Propsperson Props buyers

Phil Chambers Timothy Disney Alex Dixon Danae Gunn Richie Dehne

Standby props

Stuart Redding

Synopsis: A tempestuous love story set amidst the grandeur and spectacle of the Snowy Moun­ tains. [No further details supplied.]

See previous issues for details on: STARK (series) THE WEB



9 4 . 69



A Damage Report from the Laboratories


h ile ta lk in g w ith C liv e D u n c a n (th e n e w m a n a g e r o f M e l­ b o u r n e ’s D ig ita l F ilm L a b s , o n c e V F L ), h e d e s c r ib e d th e



Th e Lab In the wake of an economic depression, and an increasingly electronic world, the Sydney labs are both looking to the future with confidence. I

la b o r a to ry e x p e rie n c e g iv e n a s p a rt o f th e fo rm a l tra in in g

spoke with Martin Hoyle, Marketing Manager at

w h e n h e s ta rte d a s a c a m e r a m a n a t th e A B C : “ In th e e a r ly d a y s o f m y

Movielab, and Peter Willard, Atlab’s General Manager. Both showed great confidence in the

tra in in g , I w a s s e n t d o w n to C in e v e x to le a rn a b o u tth e w o rk in g s o f th e la b o r a to ry . I h a d a d a y th e r e . T h e A B C w a s s h o r t s ta ffe d , s o I n e v e r w e n t b a c k a n d I m is s e d o u t o n a m a s s iv e s lic e o f w h a t s h o u ld h a v e b e e n m y e d u c a tio n in th e in d u s tr y .”

industry at present. Peter Willard felt that the industry was “surviving well for the time of year, considering the obstacles to growth, and the economy in general” . Movielab, according to Hoyle, had done at least ten m ajorfilm s this year

T o d a y , if a n y th in g th e r e is le s s c o n ta c t w ith th e la b o r a to r y a s p a rt o f th e c a m e r a a s s is ta n t’s tra in in g . W ith th e e c o n o m ic r e a lity th a t v id e o w ill b e a b ig p a rt o f th e ir p r o d u c tio n e x p e rie n c e , o u ts id e th e film s c h o o ls n o o n e is g o in g to ta k e th e tim e to ta lk a b o u t w h a t h a p p e n s

- mostly documentaries and features - and was continually growing.

New intermediate stock revolutionizes blow-ups At Movielab, in the Film Australia complex at

a fte r th e film c a n s h a v e b e e n d ro p p e d in to th e n ig h t s a fe , u n le s s th e

Lindfield, Martin Hoyle spoke about the swag of

in d iv id u a l c a m e r a p e r s o n ta k e s th e tim e to fo llo w th e p ro c e s s th ro u g h

documentary and feature productions going

f o r h im - o r h e rs e lf. U n le s s th e d ir e c to r o f p h o to g r a p h y c a n ta lk a b o u t

through the lab at present. Several productions recently have been shot on Super-16. Hoyle was

th e re la tio n s h ip b e tw e e n lig h tin g ra tio , s to c k c o n tr a s t ra n g e s a n d le s s

enthusiastic about the excellent results of the

c o m m o n te c h n iq u e s s u c h a s fo r c e p r o c e s s in g a n d s ta n d a r d p r in te r

35mm blow-up, and said that Kodak’s new inter­ mediate stocks 5244 and 7244 are the key to the

lig h ts , ta k in g a t r ia l- a n d - e r r o r a p p ro a c h to le a rn in g a b o u t th e c r a ft c o u ld ta k e y e a rs . T h e te m p ta tio n to p la y s a fe a n d a v o id e x p e rim e n tin g w ill a ls o p u t c r e a tiv e fre e d o m a n d a c h a n c e to d e v e lo p in d iv id u a l s ty le s b a c k y e a rs . 1 6 m m p e rs o n a l film m a k in g u s e d to b e o n e w a y th a t y o u c o u ld le a rn a b o u t th e b o u n d a r ie s o f th e s to c k a n d th e r e la tio n s h ip to p r o c e s s in g a n d p rin ts ; n o w th a t ’s to o e x p e n s iv e fo r m o s t in d iv id u a ls .

success: With the old 7243, you could always see the grain building up. That’s why 16mm opticals were never very good. But now the new stock 7244 - is much better. It uses the EXR grain technology like the camera negative stocks, and the results are amazing. When a 35mm blow-up duplicate negative is required from a Super-16 production, there were

It’s m y e x p e rie n c e th a t th e s till p h o to g r a p h y a s s is ta n ts h a v e a

always two ways of doing it, with arguments for

b e tte r u n d e r s ta n d in g a b o u t th e te c h n ic a l p a r a m e te r s o f e x p o s in g a n d

both. M aking a c o n ta c t-p rin te d S uper-16

p r o c e s s in g film th a n m a n y o f th e c in e m a to g r a p h e r s I’v e w o rk e d w ith

interpositive was much cheaper than a 3 5 mm blow-up interpos (4,000 feet of 16mm blows up

(th e s till p h o to g r a p h e r s o fte n d e a l w ith th e la b a n u m b e r o f tim e s d a ily

to 10,000 feet in 35mm) and usually eliminated

a n d o fte n d o te s t e x p o s u r e s b e fo re e x p o s in g th e fin a l fra m e , s o it’s a n

the tendency of negative splices to jump in the blow-up printer. However, the quality of the

e a s ie r a n d fa s te r le a rn in g c u rv e ). T h e re is a ls o a lo t le s s th a t th e la b o r a to r y can te ll y o u , n o w th a t th e n e g -to - ta p e te le c in e tr a n s fe r h a s e lim in a te d th e o n e - lig h t w o r k p r in t in m a n y c a s e s . W ith o u t a w o r k p r in t to p ro je c t, a la b o r a to r y n e g re p o r t is r e d u c e d to a d a m a g e re p o rt. H e n c e th e title fo r th is c o lle c tio n o f s to rie s o n th e c u r r e n t s ta te o f o u r

16mm interpos was never as good as it might have been on 35mm. Now that problem is gone, and a Super-16 interpositive gives results that match 3 5 mm on the older stock. Using the new stock for the dupe negative as well has made for the best-ever results. According to Martin Hoyle:

la b o r a to rie s . W h e n w e ’v e b e e n d o w n s o lo n g th a t a n y th in g lo o k s lik e u p , th e c a r e fu l o p tim is m h e re is re a s s u r in g . 70 - C I N E M A P A P E R S




The printing lights are very different from the old ’43 stock, and it looks different as well: it’s a light

ne in Sydney pinkish colour, more like stills negative - not the orange colour of the old stock. We did all the tests with Kodak to get the new standards.

more features are going to a tape edit, then a post-production supervisor is essential.”

into the Movielab area at Film Australia.

New 35mm wetgate printer at Movielab


their35mm Schmitzerwet-gate printer.

While discussing blow-ups, Martin Hoyle com­

The Schmitzer is a total, immersion

mented on some other points for Super-16 pro­

attachment that fits onto a standard

The blow-ups are printed for Movielab by Rick Springett of Springett Optical Services, which has recently changed premises to move

ductions: The framing of the shots is quite critical: al­ though the camera view-finder is marked up for 1:1.66 ratio, the blow-up will be projected in 1:1.85. Sometimes, we’ve had to re-position some shots a bit higher or lower in the frame to avoid cutting things off. That’s the advantage of doing the blow-up on an optical printer - it gives more power for correcting those shots where they haven’t framed for the tighter ratio.

The Post-production Supervisor Budgets are getting slimmer, crews are getting smaller, schedules are getting faster: but at the same time, post-production is getting more and more complex, as film gauges, editing formats and sound techniques are mixed and matched in ever-increasing variety. Hoyle highlighted one key rôle that should never be skimped on: We’ve had productions coming through where the budget has been cut and cut just to get the film started at all. Shooting ratios have gone from 10:1 to 8:1 ; a five-week shoot has been cut back to three weeks; the crew have finished up exhausted. With a tight budget, usually they don’t have a workprint, so the shoot is being judged from a video monitor. If it was planned for 35mm, maybe it’s gone to Super-16 to save money. By the time it gets into post-production, it’s complicated! Often the budget hasn’t allowed for a post-production supervisor. The editor doesn’t have time to act as one. So, the lab ends up having to sort out facilities, arrange sound dubs, mixes and a whole host of other things outside the lab. Martin Hoyle’s advice is that every produc­ tion should allow for a supervisor to follow through and tie up the final post-production stages: “ If

The latest acquisition at Movielab is

Model C contact printer (the universal printerthat has been the work-horse in most labs for the past 30 years). As negative and raw print stock run past the printing gate, they are totally sub­ merged in a chamber of wet printing fluid, tetrachlorethylene. This liquid matches the refractive index of the film base itself, thus making scratches or other surface blemishes totally in­ visible. Martin Hoyle recalled one re­ cent production: We printed Etcetera in a Paper Jam wet gate. It’s a 35mm short from the AFC. Some of it had picked up cam­ era scratches from the pixillation tech­ niques they used, running at 4 frames per second. The wet gate completely eliminated the scratches - and it looks sharper too. The fluid brings the nega­ tive and the stock into better contact, so the definition is better. ALAN GAMBIER THREADS UP THE 3 5 M M SCHMITZER WET GATE AT MOVIELAB.

Rick Springett moves to Lindfield Springett Optical Service has been a feature of Milson’s Point eversince the closure of A.P.A. in I978. But after 15 years, Rick Springett is taking his business to the Film Australia complex at Lindfield. Business for a film optical company has changed dramatically over those fifteen years. Rick pointed out that film optical work for com­ mercials had been declining rapidly as video effects became more and more powerful. How­

the cinema version is needed they simply send the one-inch master out for a kine transfer to 35mm film. Of course, they don’t have much control over the quality of domestic receivers, but, with a cinema commercial, where the pro­ jector must be within a certain brightness and the screen has to be standard, they can achieve good results. So, it’s worth remaking the opticals on film. Most times the opticals would cost less than a kine transfer anyway.

ever, there was a corresponding increase in

According to Rick, SOS had stayed out of the

cinema commercials. These were usually re­

feature market because it didn’t really fit with the

makes of the successful television version.

demands of his commercial clients:

When an agency has spent a fortune on tape effects for a TV commercial, all too often when

With TV commercials, everything has to turn around in 24 hours. If you’re doing opticals for a CINEMA

P A P E R S 9 4 . 71

feature, you can get locked into it for weeks at a time. Then you can’t service the commercials clients.


But as film opticals for TV commercials are

that contrast, although it stretches the mid tones

declining, so SOS is finding more cinema work.

and rolls off the highlights and shadows very

The intermediate print provides the proper toe and shoulder and straight line that fits magnifi­ cently with the Ursa. The 5244 has allowed me to get remarkably close to the experience I would hope to have watching a projected print.

In particular, Rick is now ideally placed to print

smoothly to give the classic “film look” . Unfortu­

Transferring from a graded positive saves

blow-ups for Super-16 productions. For Black

nately, in contrasty scenes (that is nearly every

tim e -th e film g raderhasdone much o fth e work

River, he made the titles by way of a 35mm

scene that isn’t lit expressly fortelevision), trans­

- and places every scene in the right part of the

interpos, but the body of the film was printed at

fers from prints lead to massive areas of shadow,

telecine’s response range. The advantage of

negative, that leads to burnt-out skies with no A normal theatrical print actually increases

Movielab to a Super-16 interpos, and then blown

in which everything from the mid-tones down

using the new intermediate stock is that shadow

up by Rick to make a 35mm dupe negative.

tend to disappear into black.

densities are much lower than they would be on

Rick says the main reason for his move was that the lease had expired on the old premises: It’s convenient being next door to Movielab for some of their work, but I still get my hi-cons processed at Atlab. So, I’m quite independent of both labs.

Telecine compatible intermediates

The traditional iow-contrast print improves

a normal print, so it’s easier for the telecine to

matters somewhat, especially if the production

respond in the shadow range, without having to

is specially graded for television. But now Atlab

sacrifice the highlight detail.

is trying a new approach: the telecine-com pat­

Peter W illard was keen to stress one point:

ible intermediate, or TCI.

This technique uses the new 5244 intermediate stock, but we’re using a special set-up to suit the telecine’s requirements. Don’t confuse it with an interpos: you can’t take a TCI and use it to dupe from, or to make prints.

Atlab has run tests with three video houses Apocalypse, Omnicon, and Videolab - supply­ ing test prints for transfer on the new 5244 intermediate stock. According to Peter Willard,

Kodak’s new intermediate stock, 5244, crops up

the results are “very encouraging” . Kodak’s Gary

Atlab is recommending the TCI mainly for

again as a tool for improving telecine transfers.

O’Brien points out that telecine transfers from

transfers of commercial and non-theatrical pro­

It has always been difficult to get exactly the

intermediate stock are nothing new: but the

ductions, and further information may be had

same results on a telecine transfer as would be

masking on the 5244 is new. Kodak is obtaining

from Atlab’s Jim Parsons.

expected in the cinema. Firm believers in neg-

Telecine Analysis Film (TAF) samples on the

to-tape transfers are matched by equally ada­

new stock, so that the film can be complemented

mant supporters of the television contrast print.

by a matched masking set-up on the telecines

It’s impossible to discuss anything about the


labs these days without the issue of workprints

The trouble with neg-to-tape is that the nega­

Workprints revisited

tive encompasses an enormously wide range of

A Kodak newsletter describes similar work in

brightnesses on a more-or-less linear scale, and

the U.S.: John Sayles’ Passion Fish was trans­

latest statistics at his fingertips - reports that this

there is no video system that can accommodate

ferred from 5244 at the Tape House Editorial

year 60 per cent of Atlab’s 35mm negative

the whole range. The loss is most noticeable at

Company in New York. Telecine Director John

processing was “process only” , compared with

the low signal end of the range; in the case of

Dowdell said:

27 per cent last year. In 16mm, the percentage

coming up. Peter W illard - as always, with the

O U R IMAGE H A S N EVER BEEN BETTER W e ’ve got to where we are by providing the same high standard of quality and service demanded by Australian cinematographers year after year. Atlab has been consistently achieving the results they look for when it comes to film processing. W e ’ve been able to project an image that’s a faithful reproduction of what they see through the viewfinder, shot after shot. Cinematographers are getting the quality, service and performance from a film processing laboratory committed to excellence.

d jjs lr d ld

47 Hotham Parade, PO Box 766, Artarmon, NSW 2064, Australia. Phone: (02) 9060100. Fax: (02) 906 7048. Henderson Partners A TL005

72 • C I N E M A P A P E R S


without workprint has risen from 58 per cent to

our quality control and ensure less waiting time

tures, and directed by Martin Campbell. With

72 per cent. Peter believes that the cost of

for screenings” .

credits for Term inator2 and Aliens behind Hurd,

workprints is not the major issue: Non-linear editing has every advantage over a film cut —it wins on creativity, on speed, and on the overall cost, not just the workprint saving. When you have everything going that way, it doesn’t leave many arguments in favour of film editing. But both labs are agreed on the disadvan­ tages when there is no workprint. As Martin Hoyle explained: We’ve had shoots where there have been focus problems and lighting problems that weren’t evident on the tape rushes. It wasn’t until we came to make an answer print that these prob­ lems became apparent. The film grader only sees a half-inch video of the final cut - which looks fine - then puts the negative up on the colour analyzer and, ‘Oops!’, all of a sudden there’s a possibility of disappointment. And at that stage, everybody’s reputation is on the line. It needs a workprint at the time of the shoot. Taking sample rolls from each set-up is one way: but if there’s a problem, what are the chances that you’ll get it in the roll that you’ve printed?

Coming n o w -in p h a s e 2 o fth e b u ild in g -a re

and Cam pbell’s Edge of Darkness, this $22

improved facilities for chemical mixing and a

million feature is the biggest off-shore produc­

streamlined bulk print handling facility.

tion yet.

Some people resent the fact that we do the bulk printing for overseas clients, saying it distracts our service for local producers. But we need bulk printing to help keep all the services that the local industry needs in place. We think that these extensions will serve all our needs for the next ten years, and we’ll be able to support the industry for that time. Central to the bulk-print operation will be improved security for the lab. Entry to the print­ handling area will be by security entry cards only. This will complement the anti-piracy cod­ ing that the lab has been incorporating into release prints for nearly five years. As far as Peter Willard knows, there has not been a single case of video piracy in that time that has been caused by a leak within Australia - and it’s a reputation that Atlab wants to uphold.

Atlab expands (2 )

The processing facility is within the Movie World studios, and facilities include 35mm and 16mm developing, printing, and grading right up to answer print. Services such as negative match­ ing, sound mixing and opticals, as well as blow­ ups, are all provided by the main lab back in Sydney. Says Peter Willard: Most overseas or co-productions will finish over­ seas, so they only need a rushes service, while local productions tend to do post-production in Sydney. But we’re offering the full facilities, and, if the demand is there, we’ll provide more serv­ ices up in Queensland. The lab operates an overnight rushes service, and is open through the day, mainly for enquir­ ies, film deliveries and maintenance. As well as major productions, local commer­ cial producers, Telescan, the Australian Film Company and Roly Poly, have been big users of the laboratory.

Atlab’s new laboratory on the Gold Coast has

The lab was established with the help of a

been open for three months, and already has a

Queensland Government grant of $500,000, part

Meanwhile at Atlab, Filmlab Engineering has

number of productions to its credit. The latest

of an on-going programme by Premier Wayne

recently completed an upgrade to the second

and biggest production is The Penal Colony,

Goss to attract film and television production to

Colormaster film analyzer. Now both machines

produced by Gale Anne Hurd for Platinum Pic-


Grading upgraded


are fitted with the “ Prismatic” gate, so the nega­ tive can be viewed “on the run” . Previously, the


second machine only allowed the image to be seen in the stop-frame mode (the only way to


grade, but hard to see the continuity from scene

The rise of the polyester-based print

to scene). Atlab believes this upgrade will con­




siderably improve productivity and results in grading all productions. In addition, Atlab’s negative matching de­ partment has switched up from their initial OSC/ R junior negative-logging system to the full OSC/ R. Peter Willard explained that all their work was now logged and negative matched using OSC/ R, whether editing was on video or workprint: The only thing we don’t do is give OSC/R rushes reports - the negative is logged after telecine transfer, ready for cutting when the EDL comes back. The full system extends OSC/R’s capabili­ ties to NTSC (30 fps) timecodes. First produc­ tion to use this feature is Lorimar Telepictures’ The Flood.

Atlab expands (1 ) Showing great confidence in the future for film ­ processing laboratories, Atlab is spending half a million dollars on building expansions at its


Hotham Parade headquarters. Peter Willard

P olyester (the common name for polym er

photography, it is a widely-used flat stable base.


Polyethyleneterephtalate) is formed from the

Yet despite attempts to introduce it as the pre­

combination of two petrochemical industry by­

ferred motion-picture base and its acceptance in

The building extensions really came about be­ cause of the dramatic downturn in local produc­ tion over the past 3 years. We closed the Whiting Street lab, so we’ve had to make room for all

products. As a base for film emulsion, it is a

Europe, it has had marginal impact in Australia

(currently) cost-effective alternative to triacetate

until recently.

(formed from cotton and wood products).which

Agfa uses the trade name GEVAR for its

has been the chosen film base for m otion-pic­

polyester base and its current print film, CP-10,

ture stocks for some years. It has been used for

is a competitively priced and processing com­

The alterations have already provided an

machine leader, sound stock, archival films and

patible with the Eastman print stocks. It is signifi­

extra screening theatre for the lab, to “improve

was widely used for bulk printed Super 8 . In still

cantly different in that it doesn’t use a carbon

those facilities over here.



94 . 73

black backing layer that is conventionally used to absorb the light scatter, or “halation”, that




comes from the light bouncing back from the base layers. Stocks with the black backing re­ quire a pre-bath and brush wash to remove the carbon. The Agfa CP-10 stock uses an anti­ halation technique Agfa calls CLD, Controlled Light Diffusion, which is a special coating be­ tween the three emulsion layers and an anti­ halation coating between emulsion and base. The savings for the laboratory are in time and water use; for the client, the advantages come largely from the stock itself. The properties of polyester are superior me­ chanical strength, toughness, tear resistance and lower brittleness which reduce film breaks and scratching, and extend perforation life. Extended print life and smoother transport from the more flexible base are just two of the reasons that are attractive to distributors. The thinner base also means reels are sm aller (or can have a 15% longer projection time for the conventional diameter) and there is a 6 % weight advantage which can reduce shipping costs. For archival (or just traditional long-term) storage, there is no ‘vinegar effect’ caused by the release of acetic acid by hydrolysis in cellulose triacetate. Prints can also be stored without concern for shrinkage extending the traditional life of a lib­ rary print. The first major release on the Agfa stock locally is the Hoyts Fox Columbia Tri-Star picture, H ot Shots! 2 (Jim Abrahams). There have been a number of traditional


The born-again lab Inthe warren of buildings thatw as Victorian Film Laboratory in Hawthorn, Clive Duncan’s office is strategically placed at the front door and under­ stated to the point of being, ah, plain. Shared with laboratory supervisor Steve Mitchell, the only hint that the office belongs to the world that

reasons for avoiding polyester stocks. Unless

the new name Digital Film Laboratory, sticky-

there is a cut in the edge of the film, it won’t tear

taped to the front door, suggests, is the back­

and this was supposed to mean that, instead of

ground hum of the portable computer on C live’s desk.

the film snapping, if there was a jam in printing,

The reason fo rth e austerity became obvious

processing or projection, it would damage the machinery.

after a few minutes of conversation: DFL is soon

The idea that the film should be used as a

to move to the AAV building complex in Bank

clutch is a bit of an old chestnut and was laughed

Street, South Melbourne, a move that has occu­

at by the people I spoke to. A tthe labs, Cinevex’s Grant Millar pointed out that everyone uses

pied Clive’s time since he took up his position four months ago.

clear polyester leader to feed and follow the film

From his camera-operating, then director-

though the processing machine anyway, with no

cameraman, background, Clive was obviously

problems. Tape slices or thermal splicers must

an experienced choice for the position as Gen­

be used to join polyester but in projection it’s

eral Manager of The Film Business, a Sydney-

touted as a plus. The fact that tape splices must

Melbourne commercial production company. It

be used means that the operator can pull a join

was his friendship with Melbourne’s acclaimed

apart and remake it without having to lose frames

editor Mike Reed that led to him being offered

as happens if a cement splice is made on

the chance to “stop signing cheques and get

triacetate. Stronger sprocket holes are also a

back to more hands-on administration of physi­

positive advantage with the newer digital optical

cal film ” . Clive believes that as an administrator:

soundtracks that use the area between the

booth with the warmth and friction the stock

You have to have a passion for the industry or you could just as well be making plastic rubbish bins. As a freelancer for twenty years, I think I understand how complex and emotional the in­ dustry can be, and, if you understand the charac­ ters, you can give better service.

attracts dust more than triacetate. The use of

It is service that Clive believes is the basis of

static discharge devices are recommended in

what’s happening today in society and business:

sprockets. There is always a catch and polyester’s is static. The film comes with an anti-static coating which protects it in the lab, but in a projection

projection, and abrasive dust is a problem that is being widely addressed to extend the life of conventional prints. For more information about the advantages and changes to conventional print handling us­ ing Agfa CP-10, contact Graeme Wisken on (02) 391 6611, or at Agfa-Gevaert Ltd, 875 Pacific Hwy, Pymble 2073. 74 . C I N E M A


in all businesses customers come and go for lots of reasons; it may be service or technical. In this business, you don’t get a second chance. The lab side is fairly unknown to most people and they don’t give you the right of recall. If they think that you’ve done wrong, they won’t wait for an explanation: they change to your opposition, especially if you point out to them that maybe they were at fault. It’s the nature of business. We already deal with the states that don’t have labs, such as South Australia, W.A. and Tasmania, and, with the new technologies and couriers and fax machines, there is no reason why we couldn’t service a feature film out of Sydney. We’ve just done a job where rushes were flown down overnight, we processed and telecined them, and put them on a plane. They were watching their rushes on cassette at ten o’clock the next morning in Queensland. So it can be done.

The sreenins of Bank Street We’re about to shift to South Melbourne and be the ‘born-again lab’. With things like positive pressure air conditioning, it will lift the cleanli­ ness side of our game considerably. With the growing importance of telecine, neg dirt comes from somewhere and, if you can wipe it out on your side, it helps everyone to pin-point the problem. We’ve also had discussions on the chemical side with Kodak and, if we put in the new ma­ chine at Bank Street, it will be the first green lab that recycles and reconstitutes all its chemicals. We are doing it to meet the requirements of the authorities and also to be seen to be ecologically

It’s the time of the 24-hour suit or the five-minute hamburger. People want things ‘now’ and, apart from planning a feature film, people don’t look

aware. It saves money because you are not tipping things down the drain. But you have to spend money first.

six months into the future, particularly in adver­ tising. Once upon a time you used to be able to fob them off by saying, ‘Well we do have specific run times’, but not today. I don’t know if it’s a

We’re remodelling one of the floors in the AAV building, so hopefully we will be shifting the dry section of the lab there very soon. You have to be perceived to be making a change; just chang­ ing the name and the manager won’t do it.

good thing but more and more people are work­ 94

ing on the weekends and you just have to service them on weekends.

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¡¡gl H

Watching the cash flow This should be seen as a positive move and we’ve been waiting for cash flow to do it, but we decided that unless we do it, the cash flow won’t improve. To improve your business you have to spend the money. I think AAV and Mike Reed bought the lab for - two reasons. A film laboratory can be a financially-viable business. Once you’ve bought the plant and equipment, it can return a small but steady profit. The reality is that it’s still film that’s 16 and 35mm wide, the only side that has really changed in the hardware is that analog meters are now digital. It’s like the internal combustion engine: the heart is the same, but the control gear is different and that gives you a more sophisticated edge. The other reason was an emotional one, es­ pecially for Mike. VFL was one of the premier labs in Australia; it just hadn’t kept up with the times.

the film and video people under the one roof so that they can interact easier, hopefully we will gettechnicians who know what’s going on across the board. We’ll be able to resolve problems faster if they are all ‘medium’ literate, ratherthan just in their own little compartments.

with a question about Clive’s own hopes for the future: I’d really like to convert this side of the industry into the service industry that it should be. I can see that the companies that do give good serv­ ice and are flexible in their work habits will win more customers. I also think I got the biggest kick of my career

The digital outlook The purchase of VFL by AAV and Mike Reed is

out of working on Spotswood [Clive was camera operatorfordirector of photography, Ellery Ryan]. I’ve done a lot of commercials that I thought were good, but that was the only film I worked on that I really felt happy with. There was no sex, no violence, no car chases - just a timeless piece of cinema. Sitting down at the double-head, you knew that you’d done something good. I hope I get the chance to do work on films here just as satisfying in the future.

an interesting move that all the parties have obviously thought out. The experiences of Atlab and previously Colorfilm in Sydney showed that the integration is not an easy task, but with the converging of the two technologies the situation has changed. A lot of people will be looking at how DFL handles the changes. With camera experience of Clive Duncan at the helm, the reactions will be very different to the existing laboratory management. I ended the interview


film tech meets digital




Film is still the best medium to gather informa­ tion, but not the best for manipulating the images afterwards. It’s very expensive and time- and labour-intensive to rotoscope things, to do film mattes and hi-con mattes with all the registration difficulties. Doing these things digitally makes much more sense. Cinema is re-emerging as a social event. The complexes in all the suburban shopping centres H point to a return in cinema-going after years of television. So, whatever we do digitally now has to be able to be returned to film for release and now it’s possible. That’s why we’ve called ourselves Digital and why we’re investigating Cineon and the alterna­ tives that we see happening. There will be con­ ventional methods around for a long time; the contact printers, etc., are all attractive because of the high costs that this new hardware will pass on. The commercial companies will embrace it first because it gives them a hook, and that’s'why there will probably only be a few of the big houses doing digital opticals in Melbourne and Sydney. It will come down to who is the most .financial. I can see a war between those with the most cash flow. Film and video have been too remote for too long. It’s time that people started to talk and get their act together and that can happen if it’s just a matterbf^i walk through the building and be at the telecine chain and the digital suites. Obvi­ ously there are advantages for clients with that feeling of security. But we are going to make that an important part of moving, to demystify what people see as a dark art. The cameraman is losing contact with his fòótage. With a workprint the lab can say, ‘Hey, this looks a little overexposed here; check your . meter’, or The colour looks like there’s been an 8$ left on.’ But the telecine operator will just grade all that out, and it’s not until the neg pull is done, and we are matching the final, that anyone finds.a problem. The cameraman can be way off - jbeam with a new stock, or maybe it’s as simple as the gels on the lights being faded and worn '•out, and he can kick the gaffer and say ‘Put fresh ones on, it is looking a bit pink.’ Telecine operators also have to be educated II!n the ways of film so that they can see these things with a final film release in mind. If you put


The other Melbourne laboratory is, of course,

the continuing work from the ABC, have com ­

Cinevex, sited almost across the road from the

pensated, and interstate work is steady.

ABC in Elsternwick and the last remaining of a

Grant also believes thatthe fall in workprinting

group of laboratories that all received a share of

quoted in Sydney happened some years ago in

the work from ABC Television. With tape pro­

Melbourne. Melbourne embraced neg-to-tape

duction of news and current affairs, the situation

almost two years before Sydney, which is one of

today is much different and the move of the ABC

the reasons that Cinevex hastened its involve­

to new facilities in South Melbourne will not

ment with OSC/R. Cinevex is now one of three

affect the lab. In fact, as I began the conversa­

Beta test sites in the world for the Canadian

tion with Manager Grant Millar and Technical

Adelaide Works software (OSC/R matches film

Manager Chris Sturgeon, they pointed out the

Keycode numbers to time-code numbers in an

Natural History unit (by far the major user of film

off-line edit decision list). Unlike in Sydney, it is

at the ABC) was moving into buildings even

the labs that do most of the neg matching in

closer to the lab.

Melbourne (at Cinevex, it’s Paul Cross and Rohan

Grant was not as positive about the industry

Wilson), and the experience Cinevex has gained

improving for at least another twelve months,

with the process has brought it work that, Grant

suggesting that the research they have done

Millar says, has almost compensated for any fall

indicates even a slight decline. He is confident

in the volume of workprinting. Chris adds:

about their position in the market and cites the wide custom er base of the Melbourne lab as being the reason that they have not been as affected by the fall off in advertising commercial vyork. Series, features and release printing, plus

As with any piece of technology, there are areas for error. We are not going to hand our (ives over to the computer and we have a lot of human checking which has helped give confidence to our clients. We introduced OSC/R gradually, CINEMA


9 4 • 77

Super-1 #

blit no hdtv yet

The other area of Cinevex; expertise is with Super-16, and films such as Rom per Stom per (Geoffrey W right), Stark (Nadia Tass) and, cur­ rently going through the lab, Body M elt (Philip Brophy). Twelve months ago the push for Super-16 was to prepare for HDTV, but, with the technical and standards delays there, customers are still unsure about the format. Of the four or five longconform 16mm projects going through the lab at the moment, Chris says that none of those customers has decided to go Super-16 for HDTV reasons. That it will be an issue is pointed to by the BBC co-financed Stark, which, like a number of European television productions, was shot in the wide-screen form at to give them that future option. If there are any trum pets to be blown with the quality of Super-16, Chris feels that it should be for Kodak, which has in the past two years improved camera and intermediate stocks so


that for the layman the results on-screen are and today the package is frame-accurate and

Green but dirty

bullet-proof, and we have been able to help with,

E nvironm ental concerns are grow ing and

the other areas, such as telecine and non-linear

Cinevex has spent over $50,000 recently to

in pinpointing problem areas. Software doesn’t

ensure that it can face the day when no chemical

stay the same: there are continual changes and

can be added to waste water. It is recycling and

refinements and we’re expecting version 3 of the OSC/R software in a few months.

bourne Water) is leading the other states in

re-using processing chemicals. Victoria (or Mel­ these concerns.

There has been a gradual improvement in the edgecode readers as well, and Chris says that Cinevex is glad that it waited before pur­

One of the environmental issues that will come to a head soon is with the chemicals that are used in film cleaning. Due to be phased out

chasing. The only problems now, he says, are

in two years, there are still no practical alterna­

with a workprint that has the code bars printed

tive solutions being offered. Chris Sturgeon feels

too lightly. Here it will not read at all, or has to be

that they are totally in the hands of the big multi­

trimmed up, a fa r less dangerous situation than

national players like 1CI and Kodak in this re4

giving the operator ‘almost right’ numbers.

gard. If not, watch out for dirty prints!

indistinguishable from 35mm. On the loss of workprint, Grant M illar added a final, sobering coda: There is no going back, but I wonder what is going to happen in ten year’s time. What will happen to our young cinematographers who are not going to see workprint? Where will they gain their skills, because they won’t get them from seeing their work on a telecine chain. There.is no reference point for them for the final film result. Other labs will tell you that they have had films where the results are all over the place because the cinematographer is not seeing the progres­ sion of the work each day and adjusting accord­ ingly. Things like soft shots are not as easy to see on a twenty-inch [50cm] monitor as on a twenty-foot [6m] Screen. / %

In the next Issue of Cinema Papers read an exclusive interview with director Lynn-Maree Milburn, producer Julie ; Stone and director of photography Andrew de Groot about this award-winning film«

78 • CI N EM A P A P E£ S ? 4

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Photographed at K IN EP O LIS , Brussels-Belgium.

The Key to Superior PresentationQuality in Cinemas.

Maintaining high quality cinema presen­ tation is a major ongoing challenge to the motion picture industry. Agfa’s polyester print films are a genuine contribution to this cause. Increased mechanical strength, better dimensional stability and the inert chemi­ cal structure of polyester make it the ideal film base for cinema release prints. Edge and perforation damage as well as base scratches are reduced to a minimum while invariable perforation pitch ensures the smoothest possible transport in the projector. In other words: less breaks and prolonged high presentation quality. In addition, polyester base film does not contain solvents, making it less harmful to the environment and easier to recycle. If you are interested in achieving the best cinema presentation quality, try polyester base print films. Agfa-Gevaert Ltd. 875 Pacific Highway, Pymble NSW 2073 Contact G. Wisken. Tel. 02 391 6611



U .A T *


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Cinema Papers No.94 August 1993  

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