The films of John Hughes: a history of independent screen production in Australia

Cumming, John S. 2014, The films of John Hughes: a history of independent screen production in Australia, ATOM, Melbourne, Vic..

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Title The films of John Hughes: a history of independent screen production in Australia
Author(s) Cumming, John S.ORCID iD for Cumming, John S. orcid.org/0000-0003-0080-6437
Publication date 2014
Series Moving Image
Total pages 303
Publisher ATOM
Place of Publication Melbourne, Vic.
Summary ABSTRACTIn The Films of John Hughes: A history of independent screen production in Australia filmmaker and academic John Cumming tells the ongoing story of Hughes’ work illustrating the delicate balance of individual, collective and corporate agendas that many contemporary artists need to negotiate. This story begins in the 1960s with a generation of intelligent, socially engaged young people who challenge established power structures, conventions and stereotypes in art, politics and the media. Experiments were being made with grassroots democracy, with new social formations and new ways of seeing and communicating. The book also pays attention to earlier periods of cultural and political activism that captured Hughes’ imagination in the 1970s and became the subject of a number of his films over a period of nearly forty years. Through these films Cumming traces the outline of post-war film culture and production in Melbourne from the 1940s and sets this history within the context of international trends in independent filmmaking throughout the 20th Century and into the 21st.The work of an independent filmmaker has always included a great deal more than directing films. Working in an artisanal mode, he or she often performs, or has a hand in, every aspect of craft at the same time as engaging in discussion and organisation around the wider sphere of screen culture and industry. In addition to having proficiency as a producer, photographer, sound recordist, editor, distributor and exhibitor of films, there is research, organisation, lobbying, entrepreneurship and mentoring to be done. As an independent producer-director, John Hughes has engaged in all of these activities – often simultaneously. He is also a scholar, writer, organiser, activist and teacher. As a television bureaucrat he was both eminent and innovative, and through his filmmaking he has become a leading historian of Australian documentary cinema. ‘… that view – that art and politics are inherently at odds – is still lurking around. It is at the heart of cultural conservatism; and John Hughes’s film-making, from the 1970s to the present, confounds its proponents. His cinema is at once crowded, detailed, elegant and absolutely lucid; at the same time, it is shot through with political and historical understandings.’ Sylvia Lawson, ‘Such a Bloody Wonderful Place’, Inside Story, 28 April 2013.
ISBN 9781876467234
Language eng
Field of Research 190201 Cinema Studies
190204 Film and Television
Socio Economic Objective 890402 Film and Video Services (excl. Animation and Computer Generated Imagery)
HERDC Research category A1.1 Books - authored - research
Copyright notice ©2014, ATOM
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30072621

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