Christine Amphlett 1959 - 2013
On a cold night in 1981 at the Bayswater Hotel in Sydney’s King Cross. we shot a music scene for our film GOING DOWN. Henk Johannes was acting in the film, playing the part of a musician. He was in a band at the time and suggested we should use his band. They were unsigned but had a few good songs. The band was THE DIVINYLS. That night a young Chrissie Amphlett blew us all away with a voice and performance not easily forgotten. At this stage, Chrissie hadn’t yet developed her schoolgirl persona , but she had a mix of power and vulnerability that was entrancing. We shot “Boys In Town” and “Science Fiction” both of which became top ten hits when the band eventually signed with a record company.
The sequence was a winner and our film was nearly finished when Pat Lovell the producer of Monkey Grip rang to inform us that she would sue us if we included the footage in our film as she was using them in her film and had a contract! Being young and naïve and instead of telling her tostuff off we cut the scene and at our own cost reshot the whole thing with another band.
These images were captured by photographer Robert McFarlane are a lovely insight into who Christine Amphlett was. Her recent death is a sad moment for Australian music. She’ll be sorely missed.
Look at Life No.1: "ETERNITY"
An occasional film diary looking at life around us. This one is a look at the last exhibition at the Damien Minton Gallery in Redfern, Sydney before relocating. The theme was Eternity - the word made close to Sydney's heart by the late Arthur Stace as he wrote it millions of times on city's footpaths at night. Contributing artists include Martin Sharp, William Yang, Garry Shead, Peter Kingston, Jon Lewis.
Persons Of Interest - Opening Titles
Our four part series about people and their ASIO intelligence files is almost complete. To give you a taste - here's the opening titles. Each week this sequence will end with a different person of interest. That person will be the subject of the episode. The titles have been designed and created by Adam Thomas of Kingdom of Ludd and Music is by Charlie Chan.
OPENING TITLES - PERSONS OF INTEREST
Smart St inks sales pact with NITV
Smart St. has just reached agreement for the new National Indigenous TV network (NITV) to acquire a package of our films. The network which began broadcasting in December has purchased BACKROADS, NINGLA-A‘NA, TWO LAWS and PROTECTED.
These works are rare and important historical films about the struggle for justice and land rights by indigenous Australians. The network is rushing them to air in January. “Protected” will air on January 9th whilst “Backroads” and “Ningla-A’Na” will form a high profile double bill at prime time on Australia/Invasion Day January 26th.
Backroads, directed by Philip Noyce and starring Gary Foley and Bill Hunter is a classic road movie, Ningla - A’Na is Allessandro Cavadini’s unique record of the establishment of the Aboriginal tent embassy in 1972, Two Laws is an investigation of the relationship between the laws of white Australia and those of the people of the Borolloola community in the Northern Territory and Protected looks at the history of Palm Island, a concentration camp created to house disparate indigenous groups from around Queensland.
These films are available on DVD from smartstreetfilms.com.au
A taste of NINGLA _ A'NA
Gail Mabo and Paul Keating's Redfern speech
In December 1992 Prime Minister Paul Keating addressed a large crowd in Sydney's Redfern. For the first time an Australian Prime Minister admitted the carnage and destruction that white invasion had wrought on the Aboriginal population of the country. It was an extraordinary speech.
To mark the twentieth anniversary of the speech Gail Mabo, daughter of Eddie Mabo who prosecuted the High Court case which led to the concept of Native Title being accepted in law, made some comments on the speech and the developments in the years since it's delivery. We had a camera there to capture the moment for posterity
Gail Mabo was speaking at the Damien Minton Gallery in Redfern Sydney on Saturday December 8th 2012
Gail Mabo and Paul Keating's Redfern speech
Lost Negatives Of Screen Classic Found
In a strange and very happy twist of fate we’ve found the master negatives of our film PANDEMONIUM that had been lost for more than twenty years. The negatives, which had been held in a storage unit and then moved and paperwork lost. For the last few months we have been working our way back through a number of companies as each was taken over by another entity until we found someone who recalled them. “Not much chance,” he said. “We throw stuff out after seven years if we don’t have other instructions.” What a sinking feeling a comment like that engenders. Anyway we held our breath and two weeks later an email came through. Wonder of wonders - for some reason the negative and soundtracks had not been thrown away. No one knew why but a courier later and they were in our office waiting to go down to the National Film & Sound Archive where they will be stored safely.
Pandemonium is one of the most controversial feature films made in this country and while some people have been offended, many more love it. Trapped in a disused movie studio a young girl finds out why her parents tried to kill her at Ayers Rock. The tenants in the studio leave something to be desired…
Our first streaming film avalaible to watch on your computer now
We're pleased to announce that Alessandro Cavadini's historic documentary Ningla-A'Na is now available to watch via streaming on your computer. For $5.00 you can watch the whole film without the cost or delay of a DVD. This unique history of the 1972 Aboriginal Tent Embassy grows more valuable each year. This year is the fortieth anniversary of what many regard as the most significant political protest in the struggle for justice and landrights for Aborigines. Ningla-A'Na captures the drama from the inside. A film you'll never forget.
To watch the film click through to it's catalogue page, click the "Rent Movie" link and enter standard info. Payment can be by paypal, credit card or debit card. It's quick and you can be watching the film within a couple of minutes.
John Coooper Clarke in "Ten Years In An Open Necked Shirt"
NEW DVD RELEASE
Smart St. is pleased to announce the re-release of poet John Cooper Clarke's wonderful performance film - Ten Years In An Open Necked Shirt. For anyone who thinks poetry is boring this is the perfect antidote as John powers his way through his catalogue of punchy social commentary, humour and machine gun paced poems. The film provides a fascinating look into his philosophy and background and an insight into the punk rock scene where John has provided back up to bands such as the stranglers, The Clash and Joy Division.
A great poet and raconteur, John Cooper Clarke's poems are a precursor to Hip Hop and a real connection to young people and the world in which they live. We first saw the film at the London film festival where we picked it up and are now making it available on DVD for the first time. For more information check our catalogue page
Ghosts for sale
Ghosts Of The Civil Dead: We have a very limited number of DVD copies of this unique film for sale. Directed by John Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road) and Produced by Evan English this is one of the most extraordinary films to come out of Australia. A rumination on French philosopher Michel Foucault's theories on the power of fear and violence to control people.
There are now no authentic copies of Ghosts on the market; only pirates are available. We authored this extraordinary disc and these copies are from our personal supply. There will be no more made available once this supply is exhausted.