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.
8–14 Nov 2021