The Archive Box, a three DVD box set, provides an in-depth encounter with the stories, sources and contexts of Melbourne’s Realist film movement, including the feature documentary The Archive Project.
Disc 1: The Archive Project feature documentary (96 mins, 2006)
The Archive Project examines the work a small group of dedicated film enthusiasts active in Australia in the early Cold War years. The Melbourne Realist Film Unit forged an Australian response to threats to freedom of speech and sought social justice through an engagement with European and American documentary, feature and avant-garde cinema. Their enterprise and creative ambition was not welcomed by governments of the day.
In their body of work – their films and equally importantly their exhibition practices – lays an important foundation of Australia’s contemporary independent film culture. Their story is told through the first person account of a filmmaker today, digging through archives.
Disc 2: The Realist Film Unit’s films (52 mins 1946)
This disc contains the surviving films of the Melbourne Realist Film Unit in full. The films are enhanced with options for commentary tracks and alternative sound tracks. A menu section entitled New Theatre Performances includes introductions that cite contemporary reviews. There is also a text based 'index' providing supplementary documentation.
Oral Histories on the New Theatre, the Melbourne Realists, the Australian National Film Board, ASIO and blacklisting, and the Margaret Walker Dance Group.
Margaret Walker, 5 minutes, 48 seconds
Philip Adams, 9 minutes, 30 seconds
Richard (Dick) Mason, 6 minutes, 20 seconds
Dot Thompson, 5 minutes, 18 seconds
Don Munroe, 5 minutes, 20 seconds
The disc also contains seven caches of photographs and a text based selection from Realist Film Association publications.