I am interested in people and ideas. In my first film Danny I was responding to the brutal inhumanity of a homeless man’s murder.
The next film Michael is based on my own experience as a determined but terrified 9 year-old, trudging ‘unwillingly’ to school. I had much to fear. The Christian Brothers employed the strap as did the secular schools. The strap was the consequence for lateness and not learning the ‘tables’ and poetry. I refused to learn poetry under those circumstances and although I love literature and learning, I prefer not to have something tainted in that way. I suffered the consequences. I was not a good social mixer either. My 9 year-old asks “Who made God?” I as an adult would reply “We made God.”
Mum is about love. The character ‘Mum’ is a Catholic unmarried mother who loves and protects her son. The adult son has a remarkable resemblance to Oscar Wilde. I incorporated that idea into the film. I went to school with the mother, she being my partner in the primary school Ball. I would often see her and her son walking around Footscray. I love to have my characters walking e.g. Leopold Bloom (James Joyce) walks around Dublin. Mum follows her impatient son, culminating at the now demolished Footscray Station.
In The Hoarders I am satirising the oppressive obsession of the Catholic Church in forbidding birth control, they preferring to allow the quality of a relationship to be dominated by that dictate.
In Eden, I am satirising the blatant oppressive chauvinism of the Garden of Eden myth – an excuse in my opinion to blame and oppress women. I am also asking ‘what do we need to believe in’, in order to have a fulfilling, intelligent existence, with the revered institutions e.g. the Church, the law, the medical profession, who have proved to be incompetent? I am suggesting self-reliant, independent thinking.
My latest film Boats is a response to the current disgusting demonising of asylum seekers – a short, snappy, satirical film.
- James Howard, March 2014.
(2004, 9 mins, digital video)
Michael (2006, 33 mins, digital video)
Mum (2008, 14 mins, digital video)
The Hoarders (2009, 20 mins, digital video)
Eden (2012, 28 mins, digital video)
Boats (2014, 6 mins, digital video)
Lawson (2014, 3 mins, digital video)
Charlene (2015, 11 mins,, digital video)
Gerty (2015, 5 mins, digital video)
Canterbury (2015, 25 mins, digital video)
James Howard, December 2017.
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