Peter Tammer is a veteran Melbourne-based film-maker with over twenty films on his filmography. He is an intellectual gadfly and has an acute appreciation of the history of the Australian cinema that has swirled around him from the sixties to the present. He has made films on near to no budgets for all that time. The new digital technology would have been a liberation for him back in the day when he made films on 16mm like Mallacoota Stampede (1981, which ‘discovered’ the gorgeous Deborah Conway) and his indisputable masterpiece Journey to the End of Night (1982). Both of those films won prizes at the Melbourne Film Festival and Journey to the End of Night won the Jury Prize at the 1982 AFI Awards.
Paul Cox made the leap from low budget dramas and documentaries into a sort of big time. It involved modest government funding for ambitious personal dramas that chronicled otherwise overlooked lives, byways. Cox was supported by a dedicated group of producers, actors, technicians, distributors and sales agents who combined to get his films front and centre with the world’s leading tastemakers – key festival directors, critics, distributors and exhibitors.
Paul and Peter were friends for life and they came together for a day in 2012.
Peter was accompanied by Kriszta Doczy. They filmed Paul and his partner Rosie for about 3 hours using Kriszta’s digital camcorder. Kriszta took stills and they shared the interview questions, with filming and recording by Peter. The interview was recorded on two 60 minute DV tapes and from them emerged the completed 60 minute film. Editing did not start until 2014 while Peter pondered how to deal with the material, and whether he should include other filmmaker friends from that period.
Peter edited the film with Nigel Buesst between February – October 2014. About one day per week every few weeks. While Peter is responsible for the concept for the film, the structure and the form, Nigel did make many valuable contributions, including providing some of his own stills from the Ryan/Bolte hanging days.
The edit was completed in October 2014 with additional help from Alix Jackson
During the film Peter, Kriszta and Paul talked about Cox’s childhood, his relocation to Australia as a refugee, his photographic business (the film title refers to a scandal Cox created at his Punt Road Melbourne studio) and his earliest films.
With the help of extracts from Paul’s early films the end result is a fascinating documentary in which two long-time friends mull over their lives. The only public screening thus far was at the Warbuton Film Festival which took place after the film was rejected by the Melbourne International Film Festival. Now here it is in Sydney – a tribute from one Melbourne film-maker to another who has now passed on, a deeply personal documentary involving two film-makers who have both contributed landmark moments to Australian film.
- Filmed and Directed by Peter Tammer
- Interviews by Tammer and Kriszta Doczy
- Edited by Tammer and Nigel Buesst
- Australia, 2014, 61 minutes, HD file.
And He Shall Rise Again (1964), On the Ball (1964), Beethoven and All that Jazz (1964), Pisces Dying (1966), Our Luke (1970), Journey to a Broken Heart (1970), Flux (1970), A Woman of our Time (1972), The Curse of Laradjongran (1972, Co-production With Monique Schwarz), Struttin’ the Mutton (1975), Here’s To You, Mr. Robinson (1976, co-production with Garry Patterson), Mallacoota Stampede (1981), Journey to the End of Night (1982),Tryptich (My Belle, 1983, Hey Marcel… ,1984, Queen of the Night (1985), Fear of the Dark (1985), Hi Jim (1990), Flausfilm (2009), The Nude in the Window (2014), Chauvet Cave (2014), Lascaux Cave (2014), Munch: The Sick Child (2014), Janet Cumbrae Stewart (2014), Our World Trip (1950/51) (In post-production)