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Melbourne independent filmmakers

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Campbell Walker
b. March 23, 1972, Nelson, New Zealand.

BIOGRAPHY:   Campbell Walker is a filmmaker, artist and occasional critic from New Zealand, living in Melbourne. In 1999 he made his first feature, Uncomfortable Comfortable, which is often regarded as New Zealand’s first digital feature film. At the time he was living in Wellington’s Aro Valley (and part of the Aro Valley Digital Cinema movement of the late '90s and early 2000s), working in a cult video store and reviewing films for a left-wing community newspaper, and the film was seen and written about fairly widely in New Zealand.

Since then, he’s made three other features, various shorts/experimental works, and worked on multiple other no-to-low budget films in a variety of roles, as well as being active in sound and music communities in Dunedin, New Zealand, and Melbourne. More recently, he’s been working more in a contemporary art/video context, including a practice-led PhD based around improvisational and collaborative cinema methodologies drawing from the French post-nouvelle vague. He is currently working on a new Melbourne-shot feature, Here at the End.

 


CRITICAL OVERVIEW: As a film-maker, I tend to think of myself as a collaborator, an improvisor, and a listener, and these are the things that tend to drive the work I make. In New Zealandís very conservative and technologically-based film culture, makers tend to be focused on a narrow understanding of an industrial cinema style, so it was both very easy and very difficult to work against that. When I started making film I was much more aligned with New Zealandís lively experimental music and sound scene of the 1980s and 1990s, and it seemed to me that many of the characteristics of that scene made a lot of sense for film-making: small-scale, relatively domestic or home-made work based upon collaboration, a critical sense of ontology, a laterality of perfectionism, and the idea that if the received process of making something didnít work, the best approach was to find your own way of doing it.

 
 

Funding was a problem for experimental cinema Ė of course this is true everywhere Ė so an important part of the methodology of making films that we developed was to make a cinema of the possible. There seemed no point in trying to aim to make films that couldnít ever happen, and so I wanted to make films that could be made, and that were the kind of films I wanted to see about the world I lived in. I didnít necessarily have an interest in big crews, lengthy scriptwriting processes, interacting with the industrial apparatus. Cinema seemed Ė and seems Ė to me to be most interesting when itís about the recording of time and space by sound and vision, and these are the kinds of films Iím interested in making.

Iím also easily compelled to make films about relative intimacies and more private worlds, relationships, solitary spaces, looking, walking, waiting films. This came somewhat out of necessity, but it also seems something that cinema can do very well, and that requires tools that I feel I understand: a minimal apparatus, a collaborative and patient approach, a preparedness to listen and change from what comes out of improvisation, and an idea of what parts of the process require rigour.

Campbell Walker, May 2021.

Uncomfortable Comfortable (1999, 91 mins)
Why Can’t I Stop This Uncontrollable Dancing (2003, 110 mins)


FILMOGRAPHY:

 
 
Little Bits of Light

Three Nights†(1998, 19 mins, video, drama)

Uncomfortable Comfortable†(1999, 91 mins, video, drama)

Why Canít I Stop This Uncontrollable Dancing†(2003, 110 mins, video, drama)

Little Bits of Light†(2005, 119 mins, video, drama)

West Coast Beach (2005, 10 mins, video, short drama)

Remain The Same (2006, 20 mins, video, experimental)

W Lead (2007, 8 mins, video, experimental)

 
 
Here at the End

Broken Black Lines†(2007, 65 mins, video, drama)

water is meaningless without ships†(2011, 22 mins, video/sound work, experimental essay co-directed with Sally-Ann McIntyre)

Precariat Trees†(2015, duration various, video/performance/installation)

a less formal border, which may only appear within the search for it / An arc is just a line you can bend (2020, duration various, video/performance/installation, collaboration with Sally-Ann McIntyre)

Here at the End†(in production, 70(?) mins, video, drama)

Little Bits of Light (2005, 119 mins)
West Coast Beach (2005, 10 mins)


Remain the Same (2006, 20 mins)
water is meaningless without ships (2011, 22 mins)



© Campbell Walker, May 2021.

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis