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Australia 1986
Directed by
Richard Lowenstein
104 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Dogs In Space

This overlong film has achieved cult status, both because of its authentic portrayal of the late 70s post-punk Melbourne band scene (all the bands were actual performers of the time) and the presence of INXS lead singer, Michael Hutchence.

If that doesn’t sound interesting you’ll probably have trouble sticking through Dogs In Space although it is a well-made film with excellent cinematography by Andrew de Groot in what were no doubt the difficult filming circumstances of a cramped Richmond terrace house. Lowenstein scripted the film from his own experience, Sammy in real life being Sam Sejavka, lead singer of a band called the The Ears, and now a playwright and actor, with whom, as a Swinburne film school student, Lowenstein shared the exact same house as the one we see, and the Saskia Post character being based on the Christine to whom the film is dedicated. A very young Noah Taylor, who would appear in Lowenstein’s He Died With A Felafel In His Hand (2001), another version of share-house hell, appears in a couple of scenes along with a bevy of well-known names such as now-successful fashion designer, Alannah Hill.

DVD Extras: Umbrella Entertainment’s 2 disc collector’s edition release is a must-have for anyone with an interest in the era. There are 3 informative commentaries. One with Lowenstein and musical director Ollie Olsen, one with Lowenstein and cinematographer, Andrew de Groot and one with Tim McLaughlin and Charles Meo who play Tim and Chuck in the film. The first disc also includes the theatrical trailer and a director’s cut of the same. The second disc include the feature length doco on the scene, We’re Livin’ On Dog Food; Making of Dogs in Space; Rehearsal and behind-the-scenes vision and screen tests; 2 videos by The Ears and a video of "Rooms For The Memory", sung by Michael Hutchence; a Popcorn Taxi interview with Lowenstein; 2 of the director’s short films an on-set interview with Sam Sejavka and a stills gallery.

Available from: Umbrella Entertainment




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