Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph

Philip Brophy
b. July 14, 1959, Melbourne, Australia.

BIOGRAPHY:   After a series of Super 8 shorts with Tsk-Tsk-Tsk in the early '80s, and the experimental short feature Salt, Saliva, Sperm & Sweat in 1988, Philip Brophy made his feature directorial debut with Body Melt in 1993, funded by the Australian Film Commission & Film Victoria. He has scored and sound-designed most of his films, and designed the sound and composed music for numerous shorts. In this field Brophy specializes in Dolby Surround applications and contemporary soundscapes.

He was also instigator and director of the Cinesonic International Conference on Film Scores & Sound Design held annually in Melbourne, and has edited 3 books from the conference published by the Australian Film TV & Radio School.


Having created the Soundtrack stream in Media Arts at RMIT, Melbourne, he continues to lecture and present on film sound and music internationally.

As a writer and speaker on film, Philip Brophy specializes in three distinct areas: (i) horror, sex & exploitation; (ii) film sound & music; and (iii) Japanese animation. He is widely published in all three areas internationally, and has curated numerous programmes for the Melbourne International Film Festival. His most recent book is 100 Modern Soundtracks for the British Film Institute, London. His forthcoming book is 100 Anime also for the BFI.

Body Melt

CRITICAL OVERVIEW:   I wanted to do films just to fuck with people, basically. It's very clear. You know, cinema was this big billboard type of thing, and I like horror movies and bodies all fucking up. I just love that shit and I wanted to do it. It's just a totally perverse thing. I had no bigger picture for change in cinema. Nothing. I just wanted to get those people I'd seen in sitcoms and I wanted to kill them. And that's what I fucking did in Body Melt. Unfortunately it didn't get me too far, so I'm still trying to get the next project up. I could only make what I wanted to see myself. That was always the simple impulse with Body Melt.

Philip Brophy, interviewed in 2003 (see reference below)

Philip Brophy displays an artistic will to never have just one story, path, focus or identification figure. His early short films and videos made with the collective Tsk-Tsk-Tsk characteristically lined up a parade of figures before the camera to utter pithy refractions of a concept or tag; they were an early '80s expression of Pop Art's predilection for the serial mode, or what artist Richard Dunn called a "strategy of parts". Working his way into relatively continuous narrative forms Brophy still contrives to have, inside his stories, a group of characters whose paths brush past or collide with each other; as well as, over the stories, structures (cyclical, serial, entropic, catastrophic) that pattern a differential grid of days, seasons, viewpoints or archetypal myths. His Salt, Saliva, Sperm and Sweat (1988) explored such a structure, with its 'four days in the life' trail that was also four stories and four ideas - and, across this segmentation, a gradually apocalyptic spectacle of crack-up on both an individual and collective scale.

Brophy is one of those practitioners of the film fantastique - like George Romero or Larry Cohen - fond of a certain form of allegory which is specific to popular art. This is not the stately, schematic, architectonic allegory of Peter Greenaway, but it has a similarly determining, almost didactic force. Narrative situations provide a kind of prism whereby a series of variations on a central premise are illustrated, demonstrated, explored, contradicted, synthesised. In the popular-allegorical mode, characters are conceived of as variable bundles of traits, tics and appearances that are exemplary in relation to film's chosen field of inquiry. In Brophy's work, pop-allegory meets the speculative ruminations of the essay-film.

Brophy's key subject has long been the body and our experience of it: life seized as a calculus of bodily effects, stimuli, drives, mechanisms. Horror cinema offers an expressionist statement of what is, for him, a kind of base, physical reality - bodies that devour and decay, consume and expel, peel and ravage.

Adrian Martin, Senses of Cinema (see reference below)

Body Melt

Super 8 films with Tsk-Tsk-Tsk:
Contracted Cinema (Excerpts) (1978, 14 mins),
The Phantom No. 692 (1980, 25 mins), The Opening of the 1980 Moscow Olympics as Televised by HSV Channel 7 (1980, 7 mins), Suspense/Play (1981, 8 mins), Romantic Story (1981, 16 mins), No Dance (1982, 15 mins), The Celluloid Self (1982, 11 mins), I-You-We (1982, 5 mins), Muzak: Rock and Minimalism (1983, 7 mins), Caprice (1983, 4 mins), and - Romantic Story and No Dance were re-made, on 16mm, in the mid '80s.

Salt, Saliva, Sperm & Sweat (1988, 50 mins, 16mm)

Body Melt (1993, 83 mins, 35mm)

The Sound of Milk (Prologue) (2004, 13 mins, DV)

Words in my Mouth - Voices in my Head (Anna) (2004, 7 mins, DV)


Strange Things: Body Melt by Adrian Martin, Senses of Cinema, Issue 16, Sep-Oct 2001.

Salt, Saliva, Sperm and Sweat review by Allan, on Terror Australis site.

Kill 'em all - Interview with Brophy by Nat Bates, on Sleepy Brain site.

Body Melt review, by Blake.

Philip Brophy, April 2005

Philip Brophy's website

Contact Philip Brophy

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis