On the Couch with Matthew Bate

Arts Review On the Couch Matthew BateWho is Matthew Bate?
Born North England. Now Australian. Filmmaker. Reformed raver.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’m unqualified for anything else.

Who inspires you and why?
1. My daughter Kit – Genetics and unadulterated love 2. Luis Bunuel – a master, a comedian and a necessary thorn in our side 3. Lux and Ivy from the Cramps – for teaching me about music. 4. The people of Ukraine – I just saw Winter on Fire an incredible doc that shows how ordinary citizens took on a gangster government and won.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I make films.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Tasmania. My family moved there a few years ago, and its beautiful and the rivers are full of trout.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Front bar of the Exeter Hotel. Cold beer, the run-down ambience, habit.

What are you currently reading?
The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux – which I bought because I liked the cover and the title, and I was flying long haul the next day and wanted to pretend I was in the smoking cabin with him, a hamper and a bottle of wine. I’m sure Wes Anderson read this book before he made that Darjeeling film.

What are you currently listening to?
I’m listening to Jimmy Page’s soundtrack to Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising – which Anger didn’t use in the final film. I just bought a box set of LP’s of Page’s film soundtracks – and this is the best by far. Interestingly the final soundtrack to Lucifer Rising was by Bobby Beausoleil (a one time Manson gang member) which he recorded from jail – and that is also great, but not Jimmy Page great.

Happiness is?
Kissing my kid/wife. Scooping leaves out of the pool.

What does the future hold for you?
Certain death.

Originally from the North of England, Matthew Bate has lived for most of his life in South Australia where he is one of the founders and co-directors of Closer Productions. His films unearth lost cultural treasures and champion characters existing on the fringes of the norm. Using collage, motion graphics and visual and sonic arcana his films search for meaning in the white noise of pop-culture.

His 2010 short film The Mystery of Flying Kicks, exploring the relationship sneakers on telephone wires have with murder, drugs, sex and politics, was in Official Selection at the 2010 SXSW Festival and won Best Short Documentary at the 2010 Melbourne International Film Festival.

His first feature-length documentary, Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure premiered in the World Cinema Documentary competition at Sundance 2011, and was selected in the 40th New Directors/New Films at the MOMA and Lincoln Center New York. Acquired by Tribeca Films it went on to release theatrically across the US.

Matt was the recipient of the David and Joan Williams Documentary Fellowship and in 2014 his hybrid drama-doc, I Want to Dance Better at Parties took out the 2014 Dendy Award for Best Film. Following its recent Australian Premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival, Matt’s latest film Sam Klemke’s Time Machine is now available worldwide on Vimeo on Demand.

Image: Matthew Bate