Experiencing Interruptions?

Rodeo Days

A personal film about my Australian ancestry and identity, employing archival footage of 20th century rural life, given vibrant expression in a hybrid of experimental film, spoken word and music video. My father and his brothers and sisters lived through desperate poverty during a childhood in the Depression-era. Their father abandoned the family, leaving their mother to take care of all six children alone and without work. As the boys reached early adulthood, they took to the rodeo circuit, travelling wide distances between events, a life on the road. Talented horsemen, they became well-known as rodeo champions. Rodeo was appealing to poor country men partly for providing a sense of status they were sorely lacking, and because of the prize money on offer. Rodeo events at that time offered high prize money to the winners, often 20 times more than the average wage for a rural worker. Newspaper reports at the time record the many broken bones for those rough riders, and worse. The heroism of these men who were otherwise in the lowest strata of workers in society, was often accompanied by alcoholism and family violence. Rodeo Days combines what I witnessed of this time and its recent memory in my father's generation, my own personal family experiences, and wider observations about the history of anglo-Australian society and my personal place as part of it.

  • Marie Craven
  • Marie Craven
  • Marie Craven
  • Paul Foster aka The Night Programme
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Music Video, Short, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
    Poetry film
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 40 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 17, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    archival film
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Marie Craven

Marie Craven is a film-maker in Queensland, Australia, who has been making shorts for 35 years. Her films have exhibited extensively at international festivals and events, and gathered many awards. She creates video poems collaboratively, often via the net, with writers, musicians and other artists around the world. Over the decades, she has been a sessional teacher at universities, technical colleges and community centres, a reviewer of films and books, an arts administrator, and programmer. She is co-editor with Dave Bonta, of Moving Poems, the world's major website for video poetry.

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Director Statement

Rodeo Days sits at the intersection of experimental cinema, poetry and music. The text was created by selecting phrases from a longer prose piece, and reconstructing them to form a new and shorter text in the process of music composition.

As such, the text is not a poem in the classical sense, but instead created via contemporary methods of deconstruction and re-composition. In this, the text, music and film all bear a relation to a tradition of avant gardism that began in the early 20th century.