I love contrast. Beauty and ugliness.
Kindness and brutality. Love and hate. My films explore our strong,
dual natures and the war these natures fight inside us.
We live in
a world that wants to place us in one box. We're misunderstood
because few of us belong in just one box. Still, society at large
feels safer if it can categorize us. My films come out of my anger
at the ignorance and repression around me. The worlds I create
in my films embrace rebellion and anarchy and scorn the conventional.
They celebrate the freedom to be what we choose.
My very first
films (Super 8) celebrated the fact that I was using a camera
for the first time. The stories existed to create simple visuals.
course of more than 100 Super 8 shorts, the subject matter darkened
and the tone became nihilistic. Then, I became fascinated with
the beauty hiding in the darkness. Films like The Tin Drum
and In a Glass Cage showed me the way.
my first feature, was self-funded with my brother Colin, television
producer Paul Harrington and indie director Richard Wolstencroft.
It was angry and cinematic, a kick in the teeth of a country that
saw censorship as valid.
Assassin married my European art house sensibility to Hong
Kong-inspired action. The theme - a man attempting to be a good
husband and decorated assassin - explored inner turmoil and deliberately
avoided dialogue, the curse of pure cinema.
Gunman is my most personal film, a dark, sometimes blackly
comic study of sexual obsession. Again, I explored stark contrasts
and raised the futility of forming opinions with first impressions
(the film won me Best Director at the Melbourne Underground Film
New Age Killer (aka SNAK), my biggest budget film to
date, explored themes ignited in The Sentimental Assassin,
though with less success, in my opinion. I like the film when
it's dark and kinetic, but I dislike the conventional "family"
material and some of the coverage. I changed as a person just
before I made SNAK, but I didn't reflect
that change in the film. That would take another few years.
was an experiment to make a "personal" film for an established
market - the erotic thriller. Shot quickly and efficiently, the
theme of obsession surfaced again and was played out with lipstick
of Passion, made for American Pay-Per-View, was a great experience.
Blending a crime "opera" with an erotic adventure, it
was a return to the stylistics of The Sentimental Assassin
and an injection of filmmaking energy. Working with DOP-of-choice
David Richardson, the film redefined what I love about making
movies: the collaboration of like-minded misfits fighting against
the world's default to the mediocre.
rebellion for me. It's the only alternative to the rest of the
world's generic dullness. Maybe because I don't drug or drink
or smoke or take caffeine I see filmmaking as my safety valve
where pressure is released. When cinema soars, there's nothing
like it. But it's also hell on earth at times. Heaven and hell.
That's what it is. That's what anything you truly love is.
split my focus between graphic genre pieces and children's fantasies,
I feel that I'm exploring the best of two fascinating worlds that
are not as different as they seem.
My new film
Defenceless is an attempt to make a completely dialogue-free
feature where there is no space for exposition. It's been a huge
challenge and, for the first time in years, I've combined my favourite
genres: the horror film and the children's film.
Purgatory Road TRAILER (2017)
Pond Scum TRAILER (2018)
Guardian of Hell (1977, 3 mins, Super 8)
(1978, 5 mins, Super 8)
Three (1979, 10 mins, Super 8)
(1979, 8 mins, Super 8)
(1980, 13 mins, Super 8)
(1980, 10 mins, Super 8)
(1981, 3 mins, Super 8)
of Methusarla (1981, 10 mins, Super 8)
(1982, 5 mins, Super 8)
Pond (1982, 3 mins, Super 8)
(1982, 10 mins, Super 8)
(1982, 15 mins, Super 8)
(1983, 10 mins, Super 8)
Ciao (1983, 5 mins, Super 8)
Spectres (1983, 10 mins, Super 8)
Spectres 2 (1983, 15 mins, Super 8)
(1983, 5 mins, Super 8)
But Fair (1983, 5 mins, Super 8)
Rock (1983, 7 mins, Super 8)
Rock 2 (1983, 7 mins, Super 8)
(1983, 5 mins, Super 8)
(1984, 20 mins, Super 8)
(1984, 3 mins, Super 8)
(1984, 4 mins, Super 8)
2 (1984, 4 mins, Super 8)
(1985, 20 mins, Super 8)
(1985, 40 mins, Super 8)
Around (1986, 10 mins, Super 8)
the Pale (1986, 10 mins, Super 8)
(1987, 10 mins, Super 8)
(1987, 40 mins, Super 8)
The Pale 2: Violators (1989, 10 mins, Super 8)
(1990, 25 mins, Super 8)
Stained (2006, 30 mins, HD, Australia)
(1987, 77 mins, Beta Sp)
Assassin (1994, 88 mins, 16mm)
Gunman (1997, 80 mins, Beta Sp/16mm)
New Age Killer (2000, 88 mins, Super 16mm)
(2002, 83 mins, Super 16mm)
of Passion (2003, 88 mins, Super 16mm)
(2004, 91 mins, DigiBetacam)
Kinder Play (2013, HD, Australia)
FertIsle (2015), HD, USA)
Stressed To Kill (2016, 108 mins, HD, USA)
Purgatory Road (2017, 98 mins, HD, USA)
Pond Scum (2018, in post-production, HD, USA)
Bop (2000, Music Video For Children, 45 mins, DigiBeta)
(2001, Trailer, 4 mins, Super 16mm)
Stressed To Kill TRAILER (2016)
Mark Savage, November 2017.
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