Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

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Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph
 
     


Mark Savage
(Mark Kevin Savage)
b. September 17, 1962, Melbourne, Australia.

BIOGRAPHY:   Mark Savage is an independent filmmaker whose insatiable lust for cinema and telling tall stories has seen him crank out over 100 shorts, 12 features and numerous projects beyond categorization.

He started working in Melbourne but in more recent years has been making feature films in the US.

 

Mark is fiercely and proudly independent and has financed half his shorts and features himself and enlisted like-minded "patrons of the dark" to back the other half. He works with a loyal, professional, dedicated crew of proud, honest misfits and has no tolerance for poor lighting, bad framing or technically shoddy work in any film, and especially in his own films, no matter what the budget.

Mark has a deep love for European and Asian cinema and has written about his cinematic obsessions for the The Herald-Sun, Asian Cult Cinema and Filmnet, to name but a few. He is also a regular visitor and contributor to the Moebius Home Video Forum.

From age five, Mark wore an eye patch for four years. He credits this with his gradual slide towards all things bizarre, monstrous, dangerous, taboo and beautiful.



 

CRITICAL OVERVIEW:   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.

Over the 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.

Marauders, 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.

The Sentimental 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.

 

The Masturbating 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 Festival).

Sensitive 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.

Fishnet 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 lesbian trimmings.

Trail 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.

Cinema is 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.

Having recently 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.

Mark Savage, September 2003

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.

MS, June 2004

Purgatory Road TRAILER (2017)
Pond Scum TRAILER (2018)


FILMOGRAPHY:

 

Shorts (a selection)

Methusarla, Guardian of Hell (1977, 3 mins, Super 8)

Resurrection (1978, 5 mins, Super 8)

Tea for Three (1979, 10 mins, Super 8)

Crazy (1979, 8 mins, Super 8)

Off Season (1980, 13 mins, Super 8)

De Javu (1980, 10 mins, Super 8)

Harassed (1981, 3 mins, Super 8)

Horror of Methusarla (1981, 10 mins, Super 8)

 

The Ghosts (1982, 5 mins, Super 8)

Demon Pond (1982, 3 mins, Super 8)

The Apartment (1982, 10 mins, Super 8)

The Girls (1982, 15 mins, Super 8)

Friends (1983, 10 mins, Super 8)

Trip to Ciao (1983, 5 mins, Super 8)

Cemetery Spectres (1983, 10 mins, Super 8)

Cemetery Spectres 2 (1983, 15 mins, Super 8)

Pursuit (1983, 5 mins, Super 8)

Cruel But Fair (1983, 5 mins, Super 8)

Black Rock (1983, 7 mins, Super 8)

 

Black Rock 2 (1983, 7 mins, Super 8)

The Gardener (1983, 5 mins, Super 8)

The Neighborhood (1984, 20 mins, Super 8)

The Walker (1984, 3 mins, Super 8)

The Annihilator (1984, 4 mins, Super 8)

The Annihilator 2 (1984, 4 mins, Super 8)

Slits (1985, 20 mins, Super 8)

Contraband (1985, 40 mins, Super 8)

Horsing Around (1986, 10 mins, Super 8)

Beyond the Pale (1986, 10 mins, Super 8)

Rogues (1987, 10 mins, Super 8)

 

Undead (1987, 40 mins, Super 8)

Beyond The Pale 2: Violators (1989, 10 mins, Super 8)

The Shack (1990, 25 mins, Super 8)

Stained (2006, 30 mins, HD, Australia)


Features

Marauders (1987, 77 mins, Beta Sp)

The Sentimental Assassin (1994, 88 mins, 16mm)

The Masturbating Gunman (1997, 80 mins, Beta Sp/16mm)

Sensitive New Age Killer (2000, 88 mins, Super 16mm)

Fishnet (2002, 83 mins, Super 16mm)

Trail of Passion (2003, 88 mins, Super 16mm)

 

Defenceless (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)



Other

Let's Bop (2000, Music Video For Children, 45 mins, DigiBeta)

Soul Trade (2001, Trailer, 4 mins, Super 16mm)

Stressed To Kill TRAILER (2016)


Mark Savage, November 2017.

Contact Mark Savage

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis