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2019 Summer Playlist

AFTRS Summer Playlist

In 2018, we brought you more original content than ever before. Once you’ve caught up on a year’s worth of AFTRS Top Tips, masterclasses, AFTRS Staff Picks, the groundbreaking BA student-created web series with half a million views, and our fresh-out-of-the-box podcast Lumina, why don’t you try your luck with the content that’s captured the imagination of our staff? This assortment of movies, TV, podcasts, books, web series and long reads will see you through this long, hot summer.

Movies – Long + Short

Shooting Cats
Directed by AFTRS alumna Inday Ford (Graduate Certificate Screen: Documentary, 2017), Shooting Cats is an observational documentary that explores the catastrophic impact feral cats have on Australian wildlife and the complexities environmentalists face in their attempt to find solutions to this epidemic. The 30-minute documentary develops the 5-minute doco Inday made for a class assignment in her first semester and already has been viewed over 300,000 times on the Vice’s channel.
– Richard Welch, Head of Documentary

The Hound of the BaskervillesDracula: Prince of DarknessThe WitchesQuatermass and the Pit, and The Devil Rides Out. Re-watching these Hammer classics! Old school atmospheric tales of terror with terrific production design to boot!
– Robbie Gadsbey, Administrative Coordinator

Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and Gaspar Noé Climax
– Milena Romanin, Post-production Coordinator

Difficult Pleasure: A film about Brett Whiteley
This revealing portrait of one of Australia’s finest painters was filmed in his studio and on location in 1989. It explores Whiteley’s art and life and is richly illustrated with some of his finest paintings. He talks of being “born with a gift” and the desire to test and abuse that gift, to enhance it with addiction but ultimately to share it.
– Kim Batterham, Head of Cinematography

The Favourite by Yorgos Lanthimos
As a Lanthimos diehard, this is a predictable recommendation from me, but it’s impossible not to obsess over this deliciously obscene film. War between the English and the French may be raging outside, but the real battle is being fought within the four walls of Queen Anne’s bedchamber. From Coleman’s tour de force to McNamara’s acerbically witty script and the flexing of fresh directing muscles for Lanthimos, this is unmissable. So, don’t miss it, obviously.
– Melba Proestos, Digital Content and Communications Manager

The Other Side of The Wind and documentary companion They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead make for the perfect Orson Welles double feature.
– Jessica Gillan, Administration Coordinator – Masters

Sorry to Bother You – a black comedy and dystopian in the vein of Being John Malkovich.
– Wendy Gray, Head of Industry

Lost & Found by Bradley Slabe
Written by AFTRS alumni Bradley Slabe (Master of Screen Arts, 2012), I love this short stop-motion film set in a sushi train that focuses on two main knitted characters, a fox and a dinosaur. At its heart it’s about love, friendship and hope and it is beautifully portrayed without dialogue – I’ve watched it twice and teared up both times.
– Kirsten Downie, Director of Marketing

Hereditary by Ari Aster
A good horror flick, well edited (by drama editor Jennifer Lame of Manchester by the Sea and Frances Ha fame) and well designed as well as a fantastic performance from Toni Collette. Also, no jump scares, whoo.
– William Tran, Content Assistant

2 Friends by Jane Campion
Though rarely discussed and even more rarely seen, Campion’s debut feature is a stunner. Made for the ABC in 1986 – three whole years before Sweetie – the film is finally being recognised as a key moment in Campion’s career. Written by Helen Garner, produced by Jan Chapman and scored by Martin Armiger, it’s a tale of adolescence and friendship told in reverse, charting the relationship between two 15-year-old girls from its painful dissolution to its hopeful beginning. Find it at Jane’s favourite video store Film Club in Darlinghurst, and the AFTRS Library.
– Melba Proestos, Digital Content and Communications Manager


This year, I loved seeing the diversity of characters and actors and women holding the show together. It’s not a hard show to watch, though a bit violent at times. I love that this show delves into class issues, surviving on the margins and also maintains some humour throughout. Further reading, for those interested, can be found at The Guardian here and here.
– Milena Romanin, Post-production Coordinator

Kim’s Convenience is relatable content for those who grew up in Asian families inside western communities but also genuinely funny with punchline after punchline, as well as a few beautifully emotional gems. The pilot’s good in the sense that it well represents what the show is about in one episode – watch it and you’ll fall in love. And, Lady Dynamite, a fun, dynamic sit-com about comedian Maria Bamford with her life, her career, her dysfunctional family and her mental health. De-stigmatises mental illness with laughter and great comedy writing.
– William Tran, Content Assistant

The first three seasons, in particular, because they’re full of movie and TV show references, but also ridiculous and funny.
– Simon Wellink, Content Producer

Schitt’s Creek
– Dani Torresan, Radio Lecturer

American Gothic
Released in 1995 and executive produced by Sam Raimi, this must be one of the most underrated TV shows of the horror genre. To talk of the plot would give too much away, but has fine performances by Gary Cole as creepy Sheriff Lucas Buck, a young Lucas Black (NCIS: New Orleans) as Caleb Temple and Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story) as Merlyn Temple. Enjoy your visit to the town of Trinity!
– Robbie Gadsbey, Administrative Coordinator

A beautiful period show set in the highlands of Scotland in the mid-1700s and the 1900s, you’ll have to watch to find out how that is!
– Isabella Stanhope, Technical Trainee

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel – I watched the whole first season on the plane from LA to Sydney; Ozark; and Dutch TV series Overspel on Foxtel BoxSets. Or you could just go back and watch the whole six seasons of The Sopranos. That should take care of the holidays.
– John Whitteron, Technical Store Officer

The SinnerThe Bleeding Edge, Making a Murderer Season 2, and The Staircase.
– Brittany Redfearn, Marketing Administrative Coordinator

RuPaul’s Holislay Spectacular and Nailed It! Holiday!
– Katie Duncan, Digital and CRM Coordinator



Tony Martin’s SIZZLETOWN
The world’s first late-night call-in podcast, hosted by comedian and broadcaster Tony Martin.
– Dani Torresan, Radio Lecturer

Finding Drago
This crazy ‘cast is the brainchild of comedian, agent provocateur and AFTRS alum Alexei Toliopoulos. Together with his co-host Cameron James, Alexei attempts to track down Todd Noy, the author of ‘Drago: On Mountains We Stand’, an unauthorized literary spin-off from Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky IV – the lesser Rocky, to be honest – that chronicles the life of the USSR’s greatest fictional athlete Ivan Drago. You can’t begin to imagine the high jinks that ensue. Certified fresh.
– Melba Proestos, Digital Content and Communications Manager

Psychiatry & Psychotherapy Podcast
– Milena Romanin, Post-production Coordinator

Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel
Esther is a therapist in the US and her TED talks have reached millions of people. In this series, we listen in on real sessions with real couples – it’s great.
– Taryn La Fauci, Administrative Coordinator – Radio

Animals in Film Part One: The History of the “Animals Were Not Harmed” DisclaimerAnimals in Film Part Two: Animals Were Harmed andAnimals in Film Part Three: How to Help
I happened to listen to a three-part podcast by animal advocate, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau today that is relevant to all of us working in film. It talks about the history, machinations and current state of play behind the phrase “no animals were harmed in the making of this film” disclaimer. Although an US-based podcast, it raises important ethical questions around what happens here in our own industry.
– Jackie Wolf, Lecturer

You Must Remember This by Karina Longworth 
I really like the Blacklist series and The Many Loves Of Howard Hughes, where she exposes Hughes desire to build his perfect woman through actresses and how damaging that was. 
– Jessica Gillan, Administration Coordinator – Masters

Malcolm Gladwell‘s podcasts, particularly Revisionist History, which is especially good and relevant to our teaching.
– Peter Herbert, Head of Producing

A BBC Radio 5 podcast jam-packed with gossip about Brexit from Westminster and Brussels.
– David Balfour, Head of Teaching and Learning

A popular weekly true crime-themed podcast hosted by an Australian man who remains anonymous. The series deals with solved or cold criminal cases, often related to well-known murders and serial crimes.
– Brittany Redfearn, Marketing Administrative Coordinator


An all-out David Byrne binge
– David Balfour, Head of Teaching and Learning

The La La Land soundtrack, The Brothers Johnson’s Strawberry Letter 23, Stevie Wonder’s Pastime Paradise, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ Henry Lee, Cheryl Lynn’s To Be Real, Childish Gambino’s Redbone, and Nina Simone’s Black is the Colour of My True Love’s Hair.
– Undine Marshfield, Marketing Campaigns Manager

5SOS’s latest album Youngblood is full of energy and This is The 1975 on Spotify is a playlist perfect for everything from dancing around the house to relaxing on your couch.
– Isabella Stanhope, Technical Trainee

Be the Cowboy by Mitski is sad, happy, fun, moody, and wonderfully produced and written. Bon Iver’s 22, A Million may be a little old now but it stands strong and feels as beautiful as it sounds. New age Bon Iver that’s still just as poetic.
– William Tran, Content Assistant



Stray: Human-Animal Ethics in the Anthropocene by Barbara Creed
Barbara was one of my lecturers at La Trobe Uni and she was great. I studied Psychoanalytic Film theory and Horror films that she taught. I came across a podcast where she discussed this book and found it a fascinating extension of her ideas.

The Body Keeps the Score is an excellent book about how the body and mind deal with trauma. And, I’m hoping to also start reading Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, which has been on my shelf for a while. I have been a big fan of Octavia Butler for over 20 years and her work is more and more important every year. I’m sorry she passed away too soon. She had such insight and vision. The book is titled in honour of her and with the hope to carry on her legacy. I can’t wait to read this and more of Adrienne Maree Brown’s writing as well.
– Milena Romanin, Post-production Coordinator

The Art and Making of the Shape of WaterGuillermo del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone and Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth
A trilogy of books featuring artwork, behind the scenes photographs and creative insights into the making of three modern-day fantasy classics.

Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History by David S. Cohen, James Mottram
What better way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Die Hard, than with this lavishly detailed history of the franchise.
– Robbie Gadsbey, Administrative Coordinator

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein
– Christina Alvarez, Acting Director of Partnerships & Development

Shipwrecks by Akira Yoshimura
– Sue Elphinestone, Project Officer

Adventures In The Screen Trade by William Goldman
– Jessica Gillan, Administration Coordinator – Masters

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
Markus Zusak’s highly anticipated follow-up to The Book Thief. He came to Canberra a couple of weeks ago and gave the most amazing talk, plus his books are really special. I’d recommend it as something really awesome to read these holidays.
– Jennifer Seyderhelm, Senior Radio Lecturer

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
– Katie Duncan, Digital & CRM Coordinator

Room to Dream by David Lynch and Kristine McKenna
I’m currently reading David Lynch’s biography and can’t put it down – it’s SO good!
– Raquel Caballero, User Experience Librarian

Motherhood by Sheila Heti
Distinct from the relatively recent deluge of books on the topic, Heti’s Motherhood takes mothering as a properly literary topic even while it is actually the meandering story of a woman’s decision not to become one. Heti is the Canadian author of the strangely hard-to-categorise memoir-slash-novel How Should a Person Be?which took a bare-souled, first-person approach to the inner life of a young writer trying to find a place for herself in the world. Here, she chronicles her circuitous and discursive vacillations about motherhood. Mandatory reading for everyone.

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
The best book I read in 2018.
– Wendy Gray, Head of Industry

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
I just think it’s neat. If you liked Slaughterhouse V, this is like the more fun version of that.
– William Tran, Content Assistant


Web Series

WorthIT S3 E8: $3 Ramen Vs. $79 Ramen
This episode is a great place to start if you’re new to the series. Reminds me of my favourite movie Tampopo.
– David Balfour, Head of Teaching and Learning

A Touch of Cloth and The Think of It
Two of my favourite British comedies that I’ve re-watched multiple times.
– Simon Wellink, Content Producer


Long Reads

Niall Ferguson’s Boston Globe pieces and his The Six Killer Apps of Western Civilisation, which is both controversial and relevant
– Peter Herbert, Head of Producing