Tag Archives: Alex Ryan

The return of Jebediah

Jebediah is back. I admit I didn’t know they’d been gone, but evidently their many fans have missed them and are delighted to have them back. Here’s one of the videos from their new album Kosciuszko.

Nicely directed, I thought, by one who recently completed the postgraduate directing course at the Australian Film Television and Radio School, who happens to be a close relation of mine and recent commenter on this blog. I was quietly pleased to see that the video had more than a thousand hits on YouTube after two days.

Soul Digger

Look at this music video of ‘Soul Digger’, a track from Alba Varden’s debut album.

Directed, rather well I thought, by someone with whom I share quite a lot of DNA.

Doing what I’m told …

… by a commenter, let me direct your attention to Your Big Break, in which a New Zealand tourist organisation is running a competition for the best three minute film pronoting New Zealand. On the basis of online submissions, a number of finalists will be flown to New Zealand in January to make their films with a budget of up to $100 000. A winner will be selected by New Zealand’s most famous director of blockbuster movies, and the film will be aired in the US. If this looks like the Big Break you’ve been waiting for, have a go.

You can look at the entries here. In particular, you can look at Alex Ryan’s entry here. There’s a little teaser and a draft script (if you don’t have a lot of time, the teaser is very short, and you can scroll to the end of the script to see how it pans out). Feel free to vote for him. Your vote counts.

Paternal boost

My elder son has put snippets of his film work up on Vimeo. Have a look.


On Friday at Luna Park, AFTRS had its first whole-school graduation ceremony. As you’d expect, there was plenty of multimedia, and also as you’d expect it was beset by technical SNAFUs – but came through in the end. It was a nice touch to have a new cohort of media professionals being released on the world in a large room with the Harbour resplendent outside one set of windows and fairground machinery spinning outside the other. Peter Garrett gave a ministerial speech and left. Sandra Levy gave a CEO speech and shook the hand or kissed the cheek of every graduate, except one or two who accepted their testamurs and walked past her, oblivious.

Then yesterday we spent the afternoon at the Entertainment Quarter watching the fabulous AFTRS graduate screenings: five hours, 17 directors, 17 short movies. We would have stayed on for the Graduate documentaries (1 hour, 24 even shorter films) but we hadn’t checked out the program thoroughly enough in advance and had made other plans. What we did get was terrific. Here are some of my favourites, so when they turn up at a festival near you you’ll be able to say you read about them somewhere ages ago.

  • Craig Boreham, Ostia – La Notte Finale: the death of Pasolini, in subtitled Italian neo-realism, presumably shot around Sydney
  • Lucy Gaffy, The Lovesong of Iskra Prufrock: a radiographer dares to love in spite of the shadow
  • Martha Goddard, The Bridge: extraordinarily economic (and funny and suspenseful) evocation of a young woman’s complex life as artist, cynical media employee, family member, tenant, receiver of kindness.
  • C J Johnson, The Bris: a comedy involving old age, death, genital mutilation, religious inflexibility, and finally tender celebration, from a short story by Eileen Pollack.
  • Maziar Lahooti, Loveless: of the many offerings about young people dealing with love, sexism, drugs, despair, etc., I liked this best, perhaps because it incorporated elements of the heist genre.
  • Tresa Ponnor, Sosefina: I wouldn’t be surprised to see this turn up on ABC3 – a Pacific Islander schoolgirl in a colour saturated world tries to join the’popular’ group, but finds home is best.
  • Alex Ryan, Valhalla: I’m the director’s father and make a brief appearance in the background of one shot, so feel free to discount my opinion, but I loved this grainy glimpse of a dystopian future, playing an elusive adventure story off against the tentative beginnings of a relationship.

Added later: Alex told me that some of his fellow graduates already have established bodies of work. I’ve added links.


I’m getting up scarily early tomorrow to catch a plane, but I couldn’t go to bed without a quick note about this evening. Penny and I and quite a few other people were extras in the film Alex is making as part of his year-long director’s course at AFTRS. That’s the Australian Film Television and Radio School. We spent hours standing around being bored, and minutes sitting in front of the camera – at least I was sitting, pretending to eat disgusting noodles, while Penny had a more upright role, wearing an anti-infection mask. I loved seeing – and being a small part of –  the well-oiled machinery of a film shoot in action, and I especially loved seeing the way the two actors, in the midst of so much noise and busyness, managed to make something happen between them. All this happened beneath the roar of the Expressway in Pyrmont, close to the city. I took a number of blurry photos with my phone camera. No time for more – here is Alex with actor Richard Green (of Boxing Day fame), a masked Penny, Alex in a variety of directorial  moments (including one with Anna Lise Phillips with an umbrella – did I mention it rained a fair bit? Anna Lise lent me her hoodie), and the disgusting noodles.