Toshiyuki Chiba in Flowergirl (1999)
Flowergirl (1999)

Presented by the Melbourne Cinémathèque

The Little Chaos: Three Films by Cate Shortland (1998–2000)

Cate Shortland | MA15+
Virtual cinema

Released across only two years, these three short films chart Shortland’s quick rise to become one of Australia’s most celebrated and promising writer-directors.

Pentuphouse (1998) 14 mins – Unrated 15+
Produced independently through Anthony Anderson’s Red Carpet Films, Shortland’s sophomore short tells the story of an ageing jazz singer’s fading relationship with a young petty thief and demonstrates the influence of Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Todd Haynes on her early work.

Flowergirl (1999) 19 mins – MA15+
In a story featuring fascinating reversals of the male and female gaze, Shortland mixes neon-saturated analogue film imagery with digital video. Partially a reaction to anti-Asian sentiment prevalent in 1990s Australia, the veracity of this Japanese-language film is cemented by its cast of non-actors, many of whom were preparing to return to Japan themselves.

Joy (2000) 10 mins – M
Made while she studied at the Australian Film Television and Radio School, this is Shortland’s most experimental film, a portrayal of a night in the life of a teenage “mall rat” dynamically rendered through dizzying images, heightened subjective sound, and moving superimposed text.

Format: Digital
Language: English, Japanese
Source: Vimeo, ABC iview
Courtesy: Red Carpet Films, Australian Film Television and Radio School
Duration: 43 mins


8–14 Nov 2021

View online


43 mins




Streaming online for free on Vimeo

Streaming online for free on Vimeo

Streaming online for free on ABC iView

Accompanying feature

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