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Australia 1969
Directed by
Albie Thoms
85 minutes
Rated G

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars


Albie Thoms’ avant-garde/experimental feature-length 16mm film, produced the same year as Tim Burstall’s 2000 Weeks, the two being the only Australian features released that year, as the title suggests, is a kind of homage to Futurist theories. How well it exemplifies the movement’s ideas and style in both form and content is debatable. The film is undeniably a intense rush of imagery although the absence of narrative and characters will sorely test most people’s patience. In the second half of the film Thoms veers into more personal territory featuring a lot of footage of naked women. This is a unfortunate decision as it comes across as quite prurient and he was understandably criticised at the time for exploiting women. Aside from that, it simply sits incongruously with the film’s Futurist agenda.

Based in Sydney Thoms was a leading player in the counter-cultural movements of the day and the film is principally of interest as a legacy of it, both in itself and for the references to artistic activities of the time (including Thoms’ own made-for-television Bond spoof Blunderball) and, indeed, the lifestyle and mores of the time, including some rather good footage of Kings Cross before it was sanitized.

Thoms and his independent Ubu Films group toured the film nationally as a roadshow to good audiences and took the film overseas but like the times in general the collective spirit was not able to withstand the commercial and social realities and the high hopes gradually withered. The group morphed into the Sydney Filmmaker's Co-op which survived until the early 80s.




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