Melbourne-based Pulp Curry readers might be interested in the upcoming 3-day Screening Melbourne Symposium to be held in association with the Universities of Deakin, La Trobe, Melbourne, Monash, RMIT and Swinburne; and in partnership with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image & the Australian Film Institute, from February 22 to 24.
I’ll be co-presenting a paper with my friend and colleague, Dean Brandum, on Crawford Productions’ Division 4 series (1969-75) and its depiction of Melbourne as a ‘noir city’.
With Homicide a ratings hit on the Seven Network, Crawford Productions was commissioned by the Nine Network to produce a rival series, the even darker Division 4. Whereas Homicide presented a Melbourne where violent crime was a aberration to be corrected, Division 4’s police characters were shown as the last bastion of morality in a tabloid Melbourne of vice and organised crime. Accentuating this tone was Division 4’s aesthetic of high contrast monochrome depicting the shadowy laneways, sleazy clubs and pubs and ever threatening nightlife of the city, a ‘Noir City’, a vision rarely, if ever depicted on the screen as strongly and as consistently over the course of its 301 episodes.
This presentation is partly based on the research Dean and I did as recipients of the 2014 Australian Film Institute Research Collection’s research fellowship.
I’ll also be taking part in a panel event, Crime on the Streets: From Homicide to Jack Irish.