In 1967 I was asked if I’d offer a film history / film making class at Burwood High School, by English teacher Robin Hall. (I think that was how it happened.) I was a student at RMIT, and I enjoyed our Film Studies classes there, which were held at the State Film Centre library. It was all very classical National Film Board of Canada, early British film documentaries and I borrowed the films to provide the content for screenings at the Film Club. Then we started making our own (then Standard 8mm) movies, I hope it was a co-operative effort but a lot of the stills show Fred with the camera, so maybe I controlled stuff. It was always an anxious time when I picked up the 8mm reels from the lab, the expectations were high but we all seemed to enjoy the process when we screened them.
I was living then just across the road from the High School, in a fibro bungalow behind what had been my parent’s house that faced the Burwood Drive-in screen. They sold to a friend of my brother. I needed a room, and for little rent I had a space that offered a small studio with a white ‘cyc’ back ground, a bed and a space for a jug and coffee making. It proved to be a perfect private place to have girlfriends around.
In a comment on showing her the “Line’ video, my first ‘real’ girlfriend, Margaret, and who years later was to be my wife, said… “I do remember The Line. Always keen on a bit of political protest!” and gave me another link to fill in lost memories -“There’s a Facebook group for ex Burwood High students. Someone recently has been scanning and posting old magazines. I saw the one for which you did all the photos… 1967 or 68. The page is called ‘Burwood High School’ on Facebook.”
Teen age rebellion with a nod to Lindsay Anderson’s IF which we all identified with at the time, about all the things that mattered – a segregated school ground, strict uniforms rules…
The City film (Saturday March 25 1967)
Somehow I knew that this group film (always called just “City”) couldn’t be edited on the Standard 8 original, so I just assembled it to show to the club members and that mean’t it survived unscratched waiting for a digital edit years later 42 years later. It was meant to be cut to a soundtrack like the other classic City symphony films I had shown them. I know we talked about what music it should have, and thought it should be something spacey like Pink Floyd Ummagumma but their hit Ummagumma album (which I used on a Super 8 skiing trip film) was much later. So just think psychedelic, Procul Harum or Jefferson Airplane . when you see these images from it. The high quality transfer will come later. And then I’ll edit.The City did have a theme. After the set piece of the city waking up, it was ‘have and have nots’, old guys scrounging through bins, then slum suburbs of Port Melbourne and Fitzroy(?) and contrasted with Toorak and South Yarra apartments, luxury cars, kids playing in both places. I remember taking some of the sequences but thankfully there are pictures of the students using the cameras, and even me as an extra. We can date it exactly because I photographed the date on the poster for The Truth SEX IN MASSAGE PARLOURS. Shock, horror.
But these were kids who wouldn’t have normally gone to places like a Port Melbourne slum being demolished.
Frames from “City” (lowres Std 8) Images open in lightbox.