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.
Lee, April 2003
A Contemplation of the Cross.
10 mins, Super 8/16mm)
Fungus (1971, 20 mins, 16mm)
Geographic (1972, 10 mins, 16mm)
Rose (1976, 65 mins, 16mm)
of the Rose (1977, 10 mins, 16mm)
upon Impermanence (1980, 40 mins, 16mm)
(1983, 60 mins, 16mm)
for Love (1984, 20 mins, 16mm)
Fire (1985, 17 mins, 16mm)
Contemplation of the Cross (1989, 27 mins, 16mm)
Dazzle Rhapsody (1992, 15 mins, 16mm)
(1994, 5 mins, 16mm)
Lee talks about The Mystical Rose" Cantrills Filmnotes,
No. 25/26, May 1977.
Lee's Meditation upon Impermanence", Cantrills
Filmnotes, No. 39/40, November 1982.
by Michael Lee, Cantrills Filmnotes, No. 43/44, 1984.
the Great Stream with Camera in Hand" by Dirk de Bruyn, Filmviews,
No. 133, Spring 1987.
& White and Colour: Aboriginies in Australian Feature Films
by Peter Malone (Spectrum Publications, Richmond, Victoria,
1987 pp. 97-99).
Screen edited by Albert Moran and Tom O'Regan (Penguin, 1989,
pp. 173, 231, 235, illus. 20).
by Dirk de Bruyn, Continuum, Vol. 8, No. 1, 1994.
Contemplation of the Cross: The intentions of the filmmaker"
by Michael Lee, Melbourne independent filmmakers
- a web resource, 2003. (essay written in 1989)
Mousoulis vision of independence", by Jake Wilson, RealTime
OnScreen #63 Oct/Nov, 2004
Michael Lee, April 2009
to Melbourne independent filmmakers index page