Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director


Australia, 1994 (MIFF 1994, Documentaries)

Director: Anna Grieve, James Manché

The subject of Anna Grieve and James Manché's lively, stimulating documentary is not simply a building and the theatre company (The Australian Performing Group) which it housed. What emerges here is an evocative analysis of a seminal episode in our nation's cultural history, namely, the radically alternative performing arts scene flourishing in Melbourne during the 70s. The collective-based Pram Factory constituted a testing ground and arena for the intellectual, artistic and political energies of those turbulent times.

Combining archival material with contemporary interview accounts, the film shows how a pioneering creative community grew, interacted and eventually splintered into disparate directions. Pertinent matters such as feminism, democratic self-management, censorship and drug usage are discussed by a host of Pram Factory luminaries including playwrights David Williamson, Jack Hibberd and John Romeril, novelist/screenwnter Helen Garner, director John Duigan, and actors Graeme Blundell, Max Gillies, Sue Ingleton and Phil Motherwell. With the wit and wisdom of hindsight, all these practitioners give voice and body to the notions of stretching boundaries, daring to be different, experimenting with the responsibilities of personal and public freedom.

Both the tempestuous rise and gradual decline of Melbourne's Pram Factory helped lay the foundations for a virtual renaissance in Australian culture. The enduring legacy of this liberating adventure, from Dimboola and Stretch Of The Imagination through to Circus Oz, is paid proper, yet also probing, tribute in this exemplary record of an idea that became a theatre, then a 'scene', then a whole exciting phenomenon.

See also...


Australia, 1994
On December 1,1942, a US airforce bomber crashed in the south-east corner of the Gulf of Carpenteria after a bombing raid over New Guinea. Four of the crew survived and, thinking they were near Cairn… More »


USA, 1993
There's no stopping contemporary renaissance man David Byrne. The painter turned art-rocker who became a pop star has more recently turned his interests to photography, musical anthropology and filmm… More »


UK, 1993
Challenging British director Derek Jarman's final major work has been compared in visual execution to Warhol's Sleep and Empire State. Where it outstrips them both is in the meticulously crafted and … More »


Italy, 1993
The boatman is Gopal. He rows the waters of the Ganges, the Sacred River of India, guiding his vessel through Benares, the city of Shiva, the city of the Dead. Creating the illusion of a moving point… More »


UK, 1993
Gangsta chic, violence and nihilism, the hard edge of Rap and Ragga increasingly dominates the image of black popular culture. Director Isaac Julian (Looking For Langston, Young Soul Rebels) and the … More »

© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

Site by MeccaMedialight. Powered by Textstem CMS.