Sunday, February 6, 2011


Some years back, fellow traveller Emma Crimmings and I got together and edited a saucy little book called Short/Site: Recent Australian Short Film which we saw as a celebration of some of the best short filmmaking going on at the time. It emerged from a frustration with the continual reductive discussion of shorts as a 'stepping stone' or 'launching point' for directors and never as a form in and of themselves. We decided to take a serious and considered approach to 10 short films, publishing the script for each film, an interview with the director, stills from the films and the director's storyboards or notebooks, and a personal, passionate essay by either Emma or myself, or one of a handful of invited writers - novelist and essayist Christos Tsiolkas, writer and filmmaker Spiro Economopoulos, filmmaker and cinema programmer Natasha Gadd (now my wife!), curator and filmmaker Fiona Trigg and programmer (now Sydney Film Festival director) Clare Stewart. The films we included had some of my favourite shorts and some of the more perfect shorts made in this country including 'Crackerbag' by Mr Glendyn Ivin, 'Dust' by Mr Ivan Sen and the sublime 'Flowergirl' by Ms Cate Shortland among others.

One of the films we included was a difficult choice as it was not available for any viewing other than on 35mm print and would, therefore, have been tricky for readers to get their hands on. Two/Out is, however, one of the finest short films ever made in this country by one of our now most prolific directors, Mr Kriv Stenders, so we didn't feel there was much of a choice. After this film, he seemed to have a production hiatus before bursting out of the gate in the last decade with feature dramas Illustrated Family Doctor, Blacktown, Boxing Day, Lucky Country and now Red Dog. Just today, it has finally been crunched down to postcard size and put up on youtube. It is definitely a big screen film - austere and expansive with incredible perfomances - but better to watch on the tiny screen than not at all. Dig it.

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