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The Office Picnic

The Office Picnic (Tom Cowan, 1972) wr. Tom Cowan, prod. Tom Cowan; Melbourne; B & W, 35 mm, 83 min., Child's Play Moving Picture Company, dp Michael Edols; Max Cullen, Philip Deamer, Ben Gabriel, Kate Fitzpatrick, Gay Steel, John Wood

It's been a long wait to see Tom Cowan's Office Picnic again – since the early 1970s when it was released. Waiting a bit longer wouldn't've made it any better, though the copy might have been in even worse condition. It's a bit clunky – but also a bit creepy, despite its apparently bland subject matter. It's surprising that the lighting camera work is so poor given that the director is mainly a cinematographer.

The Office Picnic is a first feature film of great promise, and already displays the loose structure, gentle understatement and visual beauty which would crop up in Cowan's later work. Stratton: 185.

Garry Gillard | New: 7 October, 2012 | Now: 25 June, 2020