Dogs in Space (1986)
January 13, 2023 11:28 AM - Subscribe

"Richard Lowenstein’s 1986 masterpiece Dogs in Space was and remains controversial, divisive, compelling and inspirational. Made less than a decade after the events it is based on, using many of the people involved in those events as actors, the film explored Melbourne’s ‘postpunk’ counterculture of share houses, drugs and decadence. Amongst its ensemble cast was Michael Hutchence, one of the biggest music stars of the period, in his acting debut."

Description taken from David Nichols' Urban Australia and Post-Punk: Exploring Dogs in Space
posted by The corpse in the library (8 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:30 AM on January 13

I loved this movie as a teenager and saw it five times in the theater; I haven't seen it since then but I bet it's still good. The soundtrack is great (other than a jarring Michael Hutchence song at the end).

I posted this because I felt it went well with DirtyOldTown's current film festival of Times Square squalor.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:33 AM on January 13 [2 favorites]

Look's interesting! Sadly seems kinda hard to find around here...
posted by Going To Maine at 2:29 PM on January 13

Serious question: why was this controversial and divisive? Was it because it seems to have been loosely based on the director's own experiences?
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:28 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]

(also, I did see the movie and liked it; it was in the late eighties when I had access to cable for a few months and watched anything that came on that looked vaguely interesting.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:30 PM on January 14

God I love this movie. It is, in some ways, the Australian equivalent of Trainspotting.

The Australian Screen Organisation have some clips and a short essay about the film. And there's a 17 minute making-of documentary on YouTube.

I was never much of an INXS fan, but Michael Hutchence is electric in this: a sort of giant, sexy muppet.

(Also: I live a couple of blocks away from the Dogs in Space house.)
posted by davidwitteveen at 1:43 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

This film is still massively influential in Melbourne - many of the bands and personalities are still circulating, and I think that by and large the punk/post-punk/dolewave scenesters still think they're living it. But then, I'm living that dream too. Primitive Calculators blew my mind when I saw them in the background of that film, and in 2012 when I applied to do my PhD I met with my potential supervisor, who was interested in my ideas about sound and performance because of his experience being the frontman and bandleader of PrimCals. Which then led, inevitably, to my joining the band. It's a little weird to be in an outfit that anchors the nostalgic memories of a lot of folks, because there's a big chunk of the fanbase (such as it is) that don't want new material or innovation, and the whole thing about PrimCals and their contemporaries was tearing rock music apart to fashion something new (see Ollie Olsen's thudding industrial disco version).

The legacy of this film is still really present, I guess...
posted by prismatic7 at 3:48 AM on January 15 [8 favorites]

I find myself saying "I have indigestion and nausea" in a certain tone whenever I'm sick, even though nobody around me has seen the movie.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:41 PM on January 15

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