b. October 15, 1949, Townsville,
Michael Lee came to Melbourne in 1968
to study at Swinburne College, then the only film-making school
in Australia. He became involved in the blossoming avant-garde
film scene in Melbourne.
He was a member of the founding board
of the Melbourne filmmakers Co-operative and later served on
the board of the Modern Image Makers Association.
He has produced
over a dozen 16mm films.
My first film Fundeath (1969,
10 mins) was shot on Super 8 and later blown up to 16mm. All my
subsequent work has been on 16mm. My early films were primarily
animations, growing out of the drawing and painting I did as a
youth. As I developed I incorporated live action footage. Formally,
I was never concerned with characterisation or narrative but with
the communication of emotions and moods. Painting and music were
my inspiration rather than theatre.
from some shorter films concerned with formal structure and the
parameters of the motion picture medium, my main thematic concern
has been the search for meaning. My big efforts were The Mystical
Rose (1976, 65 mins), which expresses the confused dissolute
narcissism of my youth, Turnaround (1983, 60 mins), which
illustrates the search for a centre or foundation, and A Contemplation
of the Cross (1989, 27 mins), which communicates the acceptance
of Christian faith. My latest films are totally abstract animations.