Myth and Meaning: Australian Film Directors in Their Own Words
Currency Press, $27.50 pb, 216 pp
The title of this book suggests that it will be less concerned with industrial aspects of Australian cinema than with ideological, but, as if this might limit its scope and resonance, Peter Malone’s subtitle suggests that other lines of inquiry and response might be accommodated as well. This proves to be the case.
Such interview books – and I know this from experience – throw up certain inevitable problems. What exactly is the status of the information they yield? ‘Directors in their own words,’ says the subtitle. Yes, but all their own words – with all the repetitions and half-finished sentences left in? (There are some of these.) Does anyone seriously want the purist recording of oral testimony? If editing has taken place, as, mercifully, it seems to have here, have the interviewees approved the edited version of their responses? (It’s not clear if this is so.) If they have given such approval, does this mean they have watered down their spontaneous replies and are thus on their best public behaviour? (One or two seem to be so.)