1 March 1990

Filmnews: Blown Up - life after burnout

Michael Hutak doesn't mourn the Super 8 transition...

Filmnews has always been one of the sites where that archetypical eighties idiom - Australian Super 8 film discourse-has played out its moves. I will therefore be assuming that my readers will be familiar with some of the terrain we are covering here. This is a true story of before and after, of the past and the future. Of progress without guilt - a sign of the advent of a new, post-industrial, modernism.

Remember the summer of 87/88, when the Super 8 phenomenon finally turned uneventful? After a good five or six solid years of hype, films, parties, more hype, writing, more parties and finally burnout, Super 8 wound down into a parody of itself - a fitting end to a scene which had always lovingly embraced a fatal strategy: its implosion became inevitable, it had built itself on the notion of planned obsolescence. 

But its participants didn't die, or move to New Zealand, or open hot dog stands, or even give up working with Super 8. Indeed what took place became known as the afterlife.