Day 281: The Dressmaker 2015

Day 281

6 April 2018   11.55pm

The Dressmaker  2015

A Jocelyn Moorhouse Film

Left of them and right of them, onward they came, the six hundred. And so was this film. It came from far outside of the scope of my project and I knew nothing about it – but happened to own because someone offered it to me for $7 on blu-ray – which is a long story.

I had no idea that this was an Australian film. I had no knowledge of the director, writer or composer. Such is my anitpathy now towards films, made in my own country which I once was the first person to see, that I now avoid watching most Australian films.

I’m not proud of this fact. It is probably (PTSD) Post-Traumatic Stress-Disorder. Recognise it, see it, and walk away. But, it has a sad foundation in being burned by the industry I used to love, as good or as bad as the films are now. After forty feature film credits and ten films as composer I found that I couldn’t do the ups and downs and merry-go-rounds. There’s a point where beating your head against a brick wall becomes painful and bloody.

In 2016 I approached fifteen producers to put fifty important soundtracks online. The resistance and the excuses were so abundant that after a year of trying, I gave up, having achieved just one contract. It left me tired and sad that my head and brick-walls kept smashing into each other. It left me in tears. But all of that is another story.

Meanwhile, The Dressmaker, was really well-done. Mim suggested we watch it tonight instead of La-La Land and I didn’t have a strong opinion left, right or centre.

If I’d know it was an Australian film I probably would have said no. If I’d known it was Jocelyn Moorhouse, I would definitely have said yes. [What happened to her with Russell – the big bully – Crowe – the film that had a green light which she stepped away from – makes me her fan for life. Such courage in the face of what must have seemed to her like surrender or defeat. For her to walk away from a film which had a major Hollywood studio as distributor, means she had enough confidence in herself to say that she wouldn’t proceed under those conditions or she had a nervous breakdown. – I don’t know her so I’m guessing that it was one of two things. But I could be completely wrong.]

If I’d known she wrote this film with P.J. Hogan I would also have said yes to watching it.

There’s a point in filmmaking where the (apparent) point of production is unimportant anymore.

For me, it’s now about someone saying, “there’s a film I’m interested in watching made by BLAH and made in BLAH (an undetermined country.)”

Anything from anywhere is my motto.

– Philip Powers, April 2018

“Okay,” I’ll say. Almost always.