Yackety Yack

yackety-yak

Director, Screenplay, Producer, Editor: Dave Jones
Director of Photography: Gordon Glenn
Sound Recordist: Peter Beilby
Assistant Director: Rod Bishop
Production Assistance: Andrew Pecze, Ian Armet
Additional Sound Recording: Lloyd Carrick
Experimental Film and Television Fund
16mm Black and White 86 minutes

Cast: 

Dave Jones……………………………Maurice
John Flaus…………………………….Steve
Peter Carmody……………………..Zig
Peggy Cole……………………………Caroline
John Cleary…………………………..Assistant Building Manager
Professor Jerzy Toeplitz………..Man in the Street
Doug White…………………………. Socrates
Rod Nicholls………………………….Kirilov
Andy Miller…………………………..Mishima
Fiona Mackie………………………..Dissenter

Dave Jones

In the early 1970s, Dave Jones (aka D.B. Jones) was lecturing in the Media Centre at La Trobe University in Melbourne. A thoughtful, polite, reserved man and a Canadian specialist in documentary filmmaking, he suddenly surprised all his colleagues and students by directing one of the most outrageous and idiosyncratic feature films ever to emerge from Australia.

The Film

A dark, black and very funny comedy, Yackety Yack consistently challenges the political correctness of its times. Jones plays a mad-as-a-cut-snake film director who enlists the support of his students and fellow academics, challenging them to make a meaningful, politically engaged, collective film (“This can still be a collective film as long as you do what I say”).

Shot over seven days and mostly set in a film and television studio at La Trobe University, Jones deliberately photographed in 16mm on the grainiest film stock available (Kodak 4X), sacrificing technical quality for his manic script-and-actor driven narrative. There really is nothing like it – a unique mash-up of brutal Monty Pythonesque parody, intellectual barbarity, film buffery and political satire.

The issues, people and topics covered include: Chaos theory, Norman Mailer, entropy, existentialism, gender and feminism, Exploitation Cinema, the Vietnam War, “meaningful” suicide, Jean-Luc Godard, political correctness, Academic Boards, academic tenure, film critics and, of course, collective filmmaking.

Jones returned to Canada before the final release prints were struck. He resumed his career as a thoughtful, polite and reserved specialist in documentary filmmaking. Only in Australia did he release his alter ego Maurice, a lethal creation, a physical and intellectual bully and one of the most outrageously funny dictatorial film directors to grace the screen. An underground masterpiece.

Notes on the Restoration

High Definition scan from release print held by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. Restoration funded by the Library at University of Technology, Sydney, instigated by Margot Nash.

notes by Rod Bishop

yackety-yack-poster

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