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Melbourne independent filmmakers

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Monique Schwarz
b. Lausanne, Switzerland.

BIOGRAPHY:   Monique Schwarz is a well-known filmmaker in Australia. Her films are highly regarded for their story-telling skill, strong research base and imaginative cinematic treatment.

 

She has made short films, documentaries and dramas, and works primarily as a writer, director and producer on her own works.

Monique's films have been screened on television and in the cinema, internationally and in Australia. Her most recent film MAMADRAMA: The Jewish Mother in Cinema (2001), was funded internationally.

Her work has been represented at film festivals in Australia and internationally, including the Berlin Film Festival and the Jerusalem Film Festival.

Monique studied film-making at the Swinburne Film School in the late 1970s and has worked in Universities as a lecturer in film. She has done extensive guest lecturing in Australia, USA and Israel to do with Jewish issues, Women and Film.



CRITICAL OVERVIEW:  Monique Schwarz has been involved with film since the Melbourne Film Co-Op days. She has tried to broaden conventional documentary form without losing its real-worldly immediacy and accessibility. As a filmmaker, her sense of color, rhythm and movement gives the dramatic recreations and montages of archival footage a welcome poetic touch...Ultimately, Schwarz' exploration of the personal documentary film fits well with her ongoing investigation of Jewishness. Her films have long given expression to a modern idea of Jewish identity: pleasurably adrift in a materialistic world, but also longing to make some connection with the past and its traditions. The essay-film turns out to be the perfect medium for this tentative and fragmented quest.

Adrian Martin, October 2001 (see Bibliography for details)


FILMOGRAPHY:

 
 
MAMADRAMA

As Writer, Producer, Director

Margaret At Seventeen A Beauty Queen (1980, 10 mins, B&W & Color 16mm, documentary)

Pauses (1988, 45 mins, B&W 16mm, documentary)

Pieta (1988, 80 mins, B&W and Color 16mm, drama)

Eine Familie Braun (1990, 30 mins, B&W and Color 16mm, documentary)

Women, Education And Abortion (1990, 20 mins, B&W video, documentary, Educational release)

The Gulf Between (1992, 60 mins, B&W and Color 16mm, documentary)

Bitter Herbs and Honey (1996, 70 mins, B&W and Color 16mm, documentary)

MAMADRAMA: The Jewish Mother in Cinema (2001, 73 mins, B&W and Color 16mm, documentary)

Forgotten Children (2011, 60 mins, digital video, documentary, Australia and Israel)
The story of a group of Israeli teachers from the Hebrew University Jerusalem, taking a English language learning program called Yachad to the Aboriginal communities in the center of Australia. The program was initiated by Professor Marcia Langham.

Tree of Life - Refections on Torah and Environment (2012, 30 mins, digital video, documentary, Israel)
Tree of Life reflects on the Torah, the Bible, and the actions that it commands humans to take in order to care for the environment. Made under the auspices of the Society for the Protection of Nature Israel.

Beyond Paranoia (2014, in post production, digital video, documentary, Israel, USA and Australia)
Thoughts on the New Anti-semitism.


SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY:

 

Books / journals:

Don't Shoot Now Darling, Independent Women Filmmakers in Australia eds. Freda Frieberg, Annette Blonski and Barbara Creed, Greenhouse Publications, 1988.

Australian Independent Film Australian Film Commission, 1989.

Women's Companion to International Film ed. Annette Kuhn with Susannah Radstone, Virago Press, London 1990.

Women In Film an International Guide ed. Annette Kuhn with Susannah Radstone, Fawcett Columbine N.Y. 1990.

Women In Film and Television Handbook, W.I.F.T. 1991.

Australian Directors with Ethnic Backgrounds Australian Broadcasting Commission 1991.

Autralian Film 1972-1992 ed. Scott Murray, Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 1993.

Australian Cinema ed. Scott Murray, Allen & Unwin, in association with Australian Film Commission, 1994.

Australia on the Small Screen 1970-1995: The complete guide to tele-features and mini series ed Scott Murray, Oxford University Press, 1997.

"Mamadrama" by Freda Frieberg, Metro Magazine, M131-M132, September 2002.

Newspapers:

"Tribute to a community" by Margaret Pomeranz, The Herald Sun, 18/7/1996.

"Fond Portrait of early Carlton" by Barbara Creed, The Age, 18/7/1996.

"Bitter Herbs and Honey" by David Stratton, Variety, December 2-8 1996.

"This he thinks is funny" by Danny Katz, The Age, October 11th, 2001.

"Essay form suits Schwarz's portrait quest" by Adrian Martin, The Age, October 11/2001.

"Mamadrama: The Jewish Mother in Cinema," by David Stratton, Variety, October 15-21, 2001.

"Mama dearest" by Zelda Cawthorne, The Australian, November 10-11th, 2001.

"When one Ma is enough already" by Sandra Hall, Sydney Morning Herald, 29/11/2001.

"Mother Love" by Julie Szego, The Age, October 10th, 2001.


Monique Schwarz, February 2014

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis