Title Details

Imaginary Life, An

A profile of the writer David Malouf, recognised as one of Australia's finest novelists and poets.
Year : 1996 | Total Duration : 57 Minutes | Producer : Don Featherstone
Director : Don Featherstone |
Aerial over grey rocky mountains, sun rising on horizon. David Malouf interviewed. He sits at desk typing on typewriter. Malouf on front verandah of terrace house. Corrugated iron roof with Centrepoint Tower in BG. Titles. Morning peak hour traffic. Elderly woman (Beatrice Bush) sells newspapers to cars waiting in traffic. Barber cuts hair of man. Man gets a light for his cigarette from passing man. Young couple kissing. Malouf signs copies of his novels - ÒThe Conversations at Curlow CreekÓ and ÒRemembering BabylonÓ in bookshop.
Access No. 62956 | 3 mins 18 secs | 1990s | Sydney, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Crowd arrives at Dublin Castle for the 1996 International Impact Dublin Literary Award. The award is announced. David Malouf receives the award for his novel ÒRemembering BabylonÓ. WS of Dublin Castle. Aerial shot of desolate Irish coastline. Water ripples along the sand with green hills in BG. Stone wall with ruined stone house. Stone walls map the countryside. Picturesque views of lake and shore with sun setting in horizon. Authors' Colm Toiben, Michael Ondaatje, Clive James interviewed.
Access No. 62976 | 3 mins 24 secs | 1990s | Dublin, Ireland | © NFSA | Colour |
Brisbane residential rooftops. Botanical Gardens, Brisbane. Exterior Treasury Tavern. David Malouf interviewed in public bar of tavern. He looks from window out at the passing traffic.
Access No. 62996 | 33 secs | 1990s | Brisbane, Qld, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Shot 1, B&W archival busy Brisbane street with pedestrians. Shot 2 & 3, B&W archival, POV tram travelling on track in Brisbane city passing cars, tram and pedestrians and busy intersection. Shot 4, B&W archival,Brisbane inner city residential street with terrace houses, cars and pedestrians. Shot 5, B&W treasury building
Access No. 63005 | 25 secs | 1940s | Brisbane, Qld, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | B&W |
David Malouf overlooking traffic intersection in Brisbane. Group of school boys in shade crossing road. Malouf interviewed. Tracking up towards front verandah and front door of Brisbane federation weatherboard home. Enter through front door down hallway pass tinted photograph of Malouf's grandparents, fox furs hanging on hat stand, picture of the Sacred Heart, through the lounge room to the dining room where Malouf sits at table looking through tin box containing photos.
Access No. 63009 | 1 min 58 secs | 1990s | Brisbane, Queensland | © NFSA | Colour |
Re-enactment of David Malouf's Lebanese grandfather sitting around kitchen table with two men speaking Arabic. Young boy, playing David Malouf as child listens to his grandfather from stairway. David Malouf looks at photos of his parents and grandparents and talks to camera.
Access No. 63027 | 2 mins 9 secs | 1940s | © NFSA | Colour |
Views of the backs of Queensland houses built on stilts including the open area between the stilts under the house. Children hand washing in tub in area under the house.
Access No. 63050 | 13 secs | 1940s | Brisbane, Queensland | © Filmworld | B&W |
Colour photograph of David Malouf as young boy. Malouf sits at table looking through box of memorabilia. Pan down to the area under the floorboards under the house cluttered with old furniture, paintings, and bric-a-brac. Malouf to camera. Camera pans across radio. V/O of announcer declaring the beginning of World War 2. WWII
Access No. 63055 | 1 min 44 secs | 1990s | © NFSA & Filmworld | Colour |
Shots 1 & 2, B/W archival CU Army bugle player and troops marching to war (WWII). Malouf recalls childhood memories of WWII news. Re-enactment of Malouf as young boy lying in bed. Shots 3 - 7 B/W archival newsreels on WWII including Hitler, German soldiers, tanks, planes superimposed on boy's pillow and wall. Shots 8 - 11 B/W archival two women enter cinema foyer, buy tickets, have tickets checked before walking in to cinema and couple shown to their seats by usher.
Access No. 63061 | 2 mins 15 secs | 1940s | Europe; Australia | © NFSA & Filmworld | B&W |
David Malouf sits in cinema watching screen with B/W archival newsreels. Shot 1 - 20th Century Fox and Movietone News logo. Shot 2 - Map of Asia and Australia. Shot 3 - Australian soldiers in Malaya. Shot 4 - Bombing of Singapore by Japanese. Shot 5 - Newspaper headlines. Shot 6 - 15 Shots of POW's in Changi. Malouf talks to camera. Shot 16 B/W of women life savers parading on beach. Shot 17 - 18 Two women unzip their skirts to reveal their swimming costumes. Shot 19 - Australian soldier's kissing women. WWII
Access No. 63082 | 2 mins 12 secs | 1940s | Malaya; Singapore; Australia | © NFSA & Filmworld | B&W |
Re-enactment. Scene from Malouf's novel ÒThe Great WorldÓ. Two cars parked on headland. One car departs. CU of young man and woman kissing in back of car. Mans hand rides up woman's leg. View of kissing couple from rear of car into back window. David Malouf to camera. Various stills of Malouf as young man. Scene from ÒJohnnoÓ -Triumph motor bike riding along coast road. Male rider rides off the road to edge of rocky coastline.
Access No. 63111 | 2 mins 21 secs | 1940s | Sydney, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Various B/W archival including Shots 1 - 2 H/A Piccadilly Circus and crowded London street. Shots 3 - 4 Soho Street corner, Evening Standard van driving in London street. Shot 5 Two men in suits, one with bowler hat walking down street. Shot 6 Busy London street. Shots 7 - 9 Bohemians in London.
Access No. 63128 | 35 secs | 1950s | London, UK | © Filmworld / ABC Library Sales | B&W |
Book publisher Carmen Callil leaves her London home with David Malouf and her dog. They take the dog for a walk and talk to the camera sitting on a park bench. Barges and fishing trawler on the Mersey River. View of Liverpool across the river. B/W photograph of Malouf as a young man standing at the gate of the boarding house in Birkenhead, Liverpool where he resided in the early 1960's. Malouf is interviewed standing outside the boarding house.
Access No. 63137 | 3 mins 3 secs | 1990s | London, Liverpool, UK | © NFSA | Colour |
Re-enactment. Scene from Malouf's novel ÒThe Year of the FoxesÓ. Tracking past fox furs hanging in house hallway . Taxi pulls up outside Brisbane house. American soldier and young woman get out of car and are greeted at the front door of the home by an older woman. She takes the hanging fox furs and gives them to the soldier who then places them around the young woman's shoulders. Young boy lying in bed. CU of fox face, cups and glass. David Malouf talks to camera. Tracking up stairs of house into dark hallway. Shafts of light come from under the closed doors.
Access No. 63155 | 1 min 46 secs | 1940s | Brisbane, Queensland | © NFSA | Colour |
Shots 1 - 3, archival Brisbane city busy street intersection with trams, pedestrians and cars.
Access No. 63168 | 14 secs | 1960s | Brisbane, Queensland | © NFSA | Colour |
David Malouf looks through old school magazine at a desk. CU of B/W photograph of high school boy. Malouf sitting at desk talks to camera. He opens and reads a letter.
Access No. 63171 | 2 mins 4 secs | 1990s | © NFSA | Colour |
Various B/W archival including Shots 1 - 7 miner lighting cigarette from the torch light of another miners hard hat, group of miners in transport cart heading underground, crowd of male workers, workers on their break eating at tables, two workers talking and two workers playing a stand-up oversized draughts game. Shots 8 - 10, group of men (possibly lifesavers) at beach, surfers alongside boards on sand, two male board riders holding hands as they catch a wave.
Access No. 63183 | 36 secs | 1940s | Ipswich, Queensland; Manly, Sydney | © NFSA | B&W |
David Malouf to camera. Re-enactment from scene out of Malouf novel - ÒRemembering BabylonÓ. Pan of weatherboard farmhouse. Two men make their way into derelict farmhouse. One is cradled by the other with a blanket. Malouf to camera. Re-enactment from Malouf's novel ÒAn Imaginary LifeÓ. Leaves of a water lily on pond. Deer walking past tree branches. Reflection of deer's face in water. CU of deer. WS of row of trees. Young boy in primitive dress takes water from the pond. Light reflecting on water.
Access No. 63193 | 3 mins 15 secs | 1990s | © NFSA | Colour |
David Malouf to camera. Tracking shot of lounge room with vase of daffodils. CU of dripping tap, sink hole and toothbrushes in bathroom. Open cupboards of kitchen dresser. Alarm clock on bedside table. China cups of tea on table with copies of The Times newspapers in lounge room setting. Bowl fruit at window sill. Behind view of Malouf opens the shutters of his Tuscany residence. Views of rural Campagnatico, Tuscany. Bells ringing from stone church tower. Malouf standing at his window. Tuscan rural scene.
Access No. 63224 | 1 min 55 secs | 1990s | Tuscany, Italy | © NFSA | Colour |
Shots of village life in Campagnatico including woman sweeping, children playing, David Malouf walking,elderly people outside their homes, a man standing in a courtyard with hanging washing, a dog by his kennel, a man sleeping on his chair in a stairwell, women peering from their balconies, young boy on his bike and a group of men congregating outside a bar. Malouf sits on his bed listening to the radio. Views of his kitchen, desk with typewriter, sitting in chair and B/W photo of Malouf with friend Agatina.
Access No. 63243 | 2 mins 9 secs | 1990s | Campagnatico, Italy | © NFSA | Colour |
David Malouf visits his ninety-four year old friend Agatina, the oldest women in the village of Campagnatico. They sit at her table talking. B/W photo of Agastina and her husband. Cat sitting at window. Malouf talking. Agastina gives Malouf a kiss. Malouf sitting at his desk with a view over fields. He looks through a typed manuscript. CU of manuscript with hand written corrections. CU typewriter keys. Bus driving through Tuscan countryside. Malouf on bus. Road sign to Sulmona. Bus entering Sulmona. Street scenes with traffic.
Access No. 63268 | 3 mins 52 secs | 1990s | Campagnatico, Sulmona, Italy | © NFSA | Colour |
David Malouf walks along street in Sulmona. Shots of city life in Sulmona including shops, people in square and traffic. Public square with the large statue of Ovid in centre. David Malouf looks at statue. Men on benches. Malouf walks through archway with view of buildings. CU of rocky mountains with clouds. Malouf at lookout over Sulmona and mountains. Water running over stones. Malouf and friends at the hot springs of Petriolo. Malouf and friends at garden party in Campagnatico. Sunset on horizon with orange sky.
Access No. 63303 | 4 mins 11 secs | 1990s | Sulmona, Petriolo, Campagnatico , Italy | © NFSA | Colour |
Sydney Harbour Bridge at sunset with boats on harbour and CBD. Inner city residential street in Chippendale with terrace houses and woman walking dog. CU on David Malouf's terrace house. Malouf in garden with his young grand nephews, Benjamin and David. Evening party at Malouf's house. He talks with his guests. Kings Cross at night with neon lights, spruikers, police, bikers and their bikes, sex workers and skateboard riders. Alleyway with used drug paraphernalia, stacked rubbish and slumped body.
Access No. 63348 | 4 mins 4 secs | 1990s | Chippendale, Kings Cross, Sydney | © NFSA | Colour |
David Malouf to camera. Shots 1 - 6 stock footage of Central Australia including rocky landscapes with trees, mountain ranges and clear blue skies. Shots 7 - 10 archival footage of Aboriginals drawing symbols in the sand with their fingers and feet.
Access No. 63389 | 1 min 47 secs | 1990s | NT, Australia | © Don Featherstone Productions / NFSA | Colour |
Waves rolling in to shore of Gold Coast beach . Jogger on beach. Pan to beach front Surfers Paradise high-rise apartments. Lone surfboard rider on wave. Woman with umbrella walking along sand. David Malouf standing on the balcony of his apartment looking out at the beach. HA shot of beach. Blue balloon flies over water and sand. Walkers on beach. Surfers with boogie boards walking in to surf. Interior of Malouf's apartment. Malouf writing in book. CU on hands writing.
Access No. 63402 | 1 min 49 secs | 1990s | Surfers Paradise, Qld, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
David Malouf to camera. He walks to the balcony of his apartment. HA surf and beach. Flock of seagulls fly above ocean. Various stock footage - Shot 1 - RAAF FA18 jet flying over ocean. Shot 2 - Satellite orbiting earth. Shot 3 - Food rations distributed amongst Somalian children. Shot 4 - PM Gough Whitlam with Vincent Lingiari. Shot 5 - Tanks driving down Tiananmen Square, Beijing. Shot 6 - Women kneels beside tank in Russia. Shot 7 - Berlin Wall comes down. Glasshouse Mountains at sunset. End credits.
Access No. 63417 | 3 mins 3 secs | 1990s | Surfers Paradise, Qld, Australia; Beijing, China; Russia | © Defence Force Recruiting / ABCTV Footage Sales | Colour |