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.
GOLDEN SANDALS screens on Cable TV
Our mad trip into the world of Reg Mombassa is screening on Studio channel this Tuesday night, February 19th at 10 p.m. GOLDEN SANDALS - The Art Of Reg Mombassa is a repeat but as Graeme Blundell said in his review in the Australian: "the film is stylishly directed and as artful as any one of Mombassa's poetically aggressive paintings, - it is simply irresistible." If you're still up at that hour check it out. Here is the opening of the film which gives you an inkling of the man. The film is available on DVD from our catalogue
NITV screens our films prime time
This Saturday, January 26th is Australia Day or better known as Invasion Day to Aboriginal Australia. The new indigenous network NITV will be screening two of our films in prime time. At 8.00 p.m. Alessandro Cavadini's documentary about the Aboriginal Tent Embassy NINGLA-A'NA will air for the first time. The screening is 41 years to the day after the Embassy was established in 1972. This film has become a unque historical document being the only film made in conjunction with the protesters themselves.
At 9.30 international Director Phillip Noyce (Rabbit Proof Fence & The Quiet American) started making dramas with this film - BACKROADS. It's a great road movie starring Australian screen legend Bill Hunter and black activist Gary Foley. Two drifters cruise the backroads of New South Wales chased by police. Derek Malcolm of the U.K. Guardian called it one of the best road movies. This is the first local film to have Aboriginal creative input at every stage of the production and it shows. Some of the best dialogue in an Australian film. By turns funny, tense, and tragic this is a newly mastered copy which should not be missed.
These films the question "What's change in the years since they were made. Anything?"
Both films are available on DVD from our catalogue
TORCH A CAR PICK UP A FROG
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
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