Gillian Leahy – My Life Without Steve (1986)
An essay film, staged as a short drama deploying a first person, diary film narration over exquisitely designed object oriented “still life” tableaus, Gillian Leahy’s My Life Without Steve (1986) was a sensational hit in the mid-1980s. It won the Grand Prix and the Irwin Rado Award for Best Australian Film at the Melbourne International Film Festival, and the General Category of the Greater Union Awards (today’s Dendy Awards) at the Sydney Film Festival. The film screened widely and generated passionate debate.
The film is recognisable today as an example of “stasis” or “slow cinema” – think Jim Jarmusch’s Stanger Than Paradise (1984) or Todd Haynes’ Safe (1995), a slow cinema characterised by minimal movement, distanced framing, restrained emotional expression, and an estrangement of affect. The film is moving, but often not through the usual means of sutured emotional identification with character and story. It’s more Maya Deren, with a horizontal narrative dimension and a vertical poetic or associative one.
1.18GB | 50m 26s | 720×576 | mkv