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Australia, 1998 (MIFF 1998, Pump Up The Volume)

Director: Rob Payne

Ever since Nirvana's Nevermind stunned pundits and became a runaway multi-million seller, ushering in a new era of upstart rock & rollers, the stage has been set tor a documentary like Deadset. Rob Payne (almost a one man band himself as writer, director, producer, cinematographer and sound recordist) has captured the essence of the Aussie Indie nation. Splicing together live footage, interviews and commentary by a Who's Who of current bands, Deadset is almost a definitive historical work sitting somewhere between landmarks like Sunbury and The Big Day Out.

Virtually no Australian group of current significance is left out of this thorough and probing account of the state of play in non-mainstream Australian music. Acknowledged experts like Triple J's Richard Kingsmill provide considered analysis of the music, leaving the band members of Regurgitator, Ammonia, Custard, Powderfinger, Jebediah and Spiderbait, amongst many others, to offer criticisms, witticisms, back-stage antics and, most importantly, ROCK!

"Darling, the only thing worse than being called a rock star is not being called a rock star," offers You Am I frontman and wag Tim Rogers - confident that Oscar Wilde and Monty Python wouldn't object to his updating of their boast. Payne has dispensed with a voice over, wisely allowing the personalities and music to speak. Above all else Deadset is irrefutable evidence that Australia is possessed of some phenomenal talent.

"What I'm trying to address in the film is that you have got this whole culture - for me it was The Big Day Out - where different types of kids come together with this alternative music. Maybe that's the norm, but in ten years it might be different, and this could be an important time." - Rob Payne

Rob Payne was born in Perth in 1974. He redirected his career to filmmaking after studying Photography at the Central Metropolitan College of Art. After two years in Asia working on commercials and documentaries, Payne returned to Australia to commence work on Deadset, his directorial debut.

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