Queensland (John Ruane, 1976) prod. Christopher Fitchett, wr. John Ruane and Ellery Ryan, dp Ellery Ryan, ed. Mark Norfolk; John Flaus, Bob Karl, Alison Bird, Tom Broadbridge, Jack Mobbs, Patricia Condon; Melbourne, colour, 16mm, 52 min.
John Flaus, who plays the lead role of Doug, always tells me it's one of Australia's first social realist films. I think there is a truth to that because we were trying to capture the way people spoke or the way those particular characters spoke, No one said what they really meant. We were trying to get some kind of subtext to the dialogue. I think we did.
John Ruane, talking to Peter Malone, as published in his Myth and Meaning: Australia Film Directors in Their Own Words, Currency, 2001: 98.
Doug is a factory worker living a withdrawn existence in a gloomy Melbourne suburb. He spends his free time in the pub, at the greyhound races and sharing a bleak room with an invalid pensioner, Aub. For Doug, Queensland represents an ideal of a new life - sunshine, a decent job and an escape from monotony. The film follows his fumbling and futile attempts to re-establish contact with Marge, a woman he used to live with and whom he still loves, and to organizse their departure together for Queensland in his battered Holden car. ... The film was made for $12,000 (with assistance from the Experimental Film and Television Fund), while John Ruane was a film student at the Swinburne College of Technology in Melbourne. Pike & Cooper: 302.
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