RetrOz! / AFW + NFSA #44: Michael Lee

8pm, Thursday November 29, 2 Kerr St Fitzroy

mystical rose .jpg

The Mystical Rose is a collage film, featuring both naturalistic footage and animation/experimental sequences, creating a style somewhere between surrealism and psychedelia. It's as strong as Anger and Jacobs. It's got a kick to it. Lee and de Bruyn and Arthur and Corinne Cantrill are great Australian filmmakers, the equal to other experimental filmmakers in the world, if not universally acknowledged as such.'

- Bill Mousoulis (Pure Shit)

Mystical Rose  (1976, 68mins)

Mystical Rose (1976, 68mins)

Described by the NFSA as a ‘disturbing cinematic opera from Melbourne film-maker, Michael Lee, presenting an intense emotional collage of film clips, original footage and complex object animation, structured loosely in the form of a Catholic Mass, to communicate the film-maker's traumatic Catholic experience.’ Mystical Rose was a film the artist made in reaction to the iconography of Catholicism and his encounter with religion in the Australia of his youth. He has since denounced the film.

Turnaround  (1983, 58mins)

Turnaround (1983, 58mins)

Funded by the Australian Film Commission’s Creative Development Branch, Lee’s later film is described as ‘A spiritual journey, symbolised by the spiral, through images and sounds selected from the physical world over several years as the filmmaker moved between city and country and journeyed to the centre.’ Lee also created the soundtrack, adding some field recordings and music to enhance the mood of the film. Lee presented the film as a mirror in which the image is distorted by his own consciousness.

A paper by Dirk de Bruyn on Lee’s The Mystical Rose -

All films screen on 16mm, courtesy of the NFSA


FUNDEATH (1969, S8, 4mins20secs)