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Carlton + Godard = Cinema

Year: 2003, 145 mins
Code: SUP-CarltonPt2
ISBN: 978-1-921895-93-7

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Buesst’s leisurely, intimate and at times quite personal documentary on the ‘60s & early ‘70s independent Melbourne filmmaking scene centred in Carlton is one of the most significant cinematic contributions to Australian film history. A kind of underground chronicle of a period widely assumed to not have produced any filmmaking, it is a testament to the perseverance & energy of this important but neglected scene. It includes generous excerpts from such rarely screened but seminal works as Mangiamele’s Clay, Yackety Yack, Buesst’s own work & a string of films (Pudding Thieves, Hey Al Baby) made under the auspices of MUFS, the Melbourne Cinématheque’s galant predecessor.

The film premiered at the St.Kilda Film Festival on Sunday, June 1, 2003.

"In 2003, the veteran independent director Nigel Buesst made a documentary, Carlton + Godard = Cinema, about a small band of film-makers clustered around the Melbourne University Film Society from 1965 to 1975. Enterprising figures had scraped together enough money and resources to make a bunch of short films; their inspiration came primarily from the French New Wave, which had surged since 1960, and especially from the work of Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless, Contempt, Alphaville). Buesst's memoir shows how this buzz of activity intersected with trends in theatre, how it laid the ground for some striking feature films in the '70s.


For Australians, this is a fascinating, long-buried piece of cultural history - one of those stories that shows local artists engaging with trends from abroad, rather than gazing inwards at their nationalistic navels."    Adrian Martin, The Monthly

After graduating B Com from Melbourne Uni in 1960, Nigel Buesst sought work in the British film industry. He worked at Shepperton Studios as an assistant editor and on various other freelance assignments before returning to Melbourne in 1962 to work for the ABC at Ripponlea.
Since then he's worked in various capacities, as film editor, cameraman, sound recordist, producer and director.
He was particularly active in the '60s Carlton scene, made manifest in the doco Carlton + Godard = Cinema. He spent thirteen years as a lecturer at Swinburne University's Film and TV Department and five years as Director of the St Kilda Film Festival.

Nigel Buesst started out with a biopic about Squizzy Taylor and has returned to the form on several occasions, fascinated perhaps by the excitement and variety of other people's lives. Recent subjects have been Benny Featherstone, a memorable bandleader of the '30s, and Gerry Humphrys, the lead singer of The Loved Ones. There have been numerous shorts, mostly on 16mm and in collaboration with others, and a few features, the most ambitious being Compo in 1987. This filmed version of a play by Abe Pogos was screened at the 1989 MIFF and sold to BBC television. Nigel's main influences have been filmmakers who have achieved magic on minimal budgets, ranging from the British Free Cinema movement through to the French New Wave, to Andy Warhol in New York, Raul Ruiz, Werner Herzog, even the Dogma crowd. But he concedes that magic on any budget is alluring, like Mulholland Drive or Punch-drunk Love.

"This documentary is a must see" - Adrian Martin

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