Backing Vocals by Michael Hutchence
on “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “Angelou”
Backing Vocals by Michael Hutchence
on “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “Angelou”
Backing Vocals by Michael Hutchence
Co-produced by Michael Hutchence
Michael appears also in the Video with Tim and Jon Farriss
Produced by Michael Hutchence and Ollie Olsen
Co-Written by Michael Hutchence (6 tracks)
Vocals by Michael Hutchence
Love Versus Money
Backing Vocals by Michael Hutchence with Vika Bull from Black Sorrows on “Take You Higher”
with the London Symphony Orchestra
Vocals by Michael Hutchence on “Under My Thumb”
Vocals by Michael Hutchence on “Baby Let’s Play House”
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Vocals by Michael Hutchence on “The Passenger”
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Vocals by Michael Hutchence on “Spill the Wine”
Vocals by Michael Hutchence on “Red Hill”
No Talking Just Head
Vocals by Michael Hutchence on “The King Is Gone”, written by Michael Hutchence
2 Cass Set (3 hours)
Michael plays three characters: e-z storage slacker, man at diner, happy
Work on his début solo Album with Tim Simenon (Bomb The Bass), Andy Gill (Gang of Four) and Danny Saber
Release October 1999
Photo by Herb Ritts
The Sixties died hard. In some parts of the world, they lived on for nearly a decade.
On a back street of a seedy neighbourhood in Melbourne, Australia, in 1978 is a house that could have been transplanted, occupants and all, from the Haight-Ashbury of 1967. The music is 80’s instead of 60’s, but everything else, from the hairstyles to the casual sexuality to the use of mind-expanding drugs, is the same.
The house belongs, at least nominally, to Sam, lead singer for the rock band “Dogs in Space”. But he shares it with an ever-shifting array of musicians, friends and strangers, some of whom come to party and stay to crash. Among the more constant faces are Tim, keyboardist, electronic non-genius and “born-again virgin” Anna, Sam’s lover, who aspires to some kind – any kind – of stability; Luchio, an engineering student frantically studying for his exams and bedeviled by the arrival of a possessive ex-girlfriend.
They all live in that magic, years-long summer that comes with the final flowering of youth, when there is seemingly no penalty for irresponsibility and the future stretches on as far the imagination can see, exactly like today. We can all remember that feeling of invulnerability; Sam and his friends have so much of the resilience that comes with being young that they can walk away from a car wreck or a bad drug experience and never even think about it again. They know that they will never have to conform to the larger world, never grow older, never die.
In the summer of 1978, Sam and his friends will find out how wrong they are.
“Dogs in Space” released world wide except Australia by Skouras Pictures, is an Entertainment Media/Burrows Film Group presentation of a Central Park Films production. The film was produced by Glenys Rowe and written and directed by Richard Lowenstein, with Robert Le Tet and Dennis Wright executive producers. Ollie Olsen served as musical director. The film stars Michael Hutchence, lead singer of the Australian band INXS, and Saskia Post.
Sam is a member of “Dogs in Space” and one of the residents of the punks’ and hippies’ household. He is from a neurotic, Catholic middle-class family from the outer suburbs of Melbourne. Sam is handsome and affects an endearing air of “puppy-dog” stupidity that makes him attractive to young women. This can be deceptive, however, as there is an element of ruthless ambition about him.
His girlfriend, Anna, has a vivacious, outgoing personality that is immediately infectious. She has shoulder length blonde hair and a gleam in her eye when she speaks. She is much more “together” than Sam but is crazily head-over-heels in love with him. Anna works part-time as a trained nurse and often has money to spend. Sam has little or none.
Michael Hutchence was born in Sydney and moved to Hong Kong with his parents when he was four. He returned to Australia when he was thirteen.
On his first day at school in Sydney, Michael met and became friends with Andrew Farriss. A few years later they formed INXS.
After finishing school, Michael spent the next few years on the dole, living in a communal house and pre-occupied with music. At a rehearsal for a drummer one day Andrew invited Michael to sing. This was the start of INXS.
Michael first heard of Richard Lowenstein a few years later when the ‘Talking to a Stranger’ rock clip recorded by Hunters and Collectors was playing on television. Michael was very impressed by it and sent Richard some songs hoping he’d be interested in one.
“Working with Richard was the biggest thing on my mind before starting this film. More so than even the movie itself. I have always thought his work fantastic. As it turns out its been an incredible learning process. Its been the best thing I’ve done in years. I’ve been working in the music scene since I got out of school. It’s a bit like breaking out all over again. It’s funny because the first thing I ever wanted to do was act. And now I’ve done it!”
When INXS toured Queensland in 1983, Richard Lowenstein came up to Cairns and filmed the ‘Burn For You’ clip which won the 1984 Countdown Rock Clip Award. Since then, INXS have chosen Richard to direct rock clips for all of their hit songs, including: ‘All The Voices’, ‘Dancing On The Jetty’, ‘What You Need’ and ‘Listen Like Thieves’.
Between 1983 and 1986, INXS have developed into the most successful rock group in Australia. In 1985 and 1986 they won the Countdown Awards vote for Most Popular Band and Michael was voted Most Popular Male Personality. In the 1985 Live Aid Telecast link-up, INXS were the only Australian band to be televised worldwide.
In mid-1984, INXS were playing in Nice and Richard was attending the Cannes Film Festival with his first feature film, STRIKEBOUND. Richard attended the INXS concert and brought Michael back to Cannes. Over breakfast with an Australian film producer Richard outlined the idea for his next feature film. Michael was surprised to hear Richard weaving him into the story. After this, they started talking seriously about making DOGS IN SPACE.
Michael takes up the story: “DOGS IN SPACE is not a glossy version of what happened in the late seventies. It’s fairly close to reality. That’s the integrity of the movie and that’s the integrity of anything good, trying to tell like it is.
“I had had offers before to do movies but I didn’t want to make some cliched, easy, safe, cutesy movie where I looked good on the screen for the sake of my fans and my management. I had to convince a lot of people that I wanted to do this film. It was no whim of mine. The most difficult thing for me when we were filming was to try and not be myself. Richard really wanted me to play a caricature. He really pushed me. I guess he was trying to push me away from myself as far as possible.
“The other thing that shocked me was the amount of technical preparation. It was very difficult to maintain a pattern of thought for so long. For hours the crew would be getting things into place while we stood by waiting.
“The hard part to get across about the character Sam was the puppy-dog figure who would run around seemingly without a brain in his head but underneath being a very interesting person.
“Sam used to act dumb on purpose so that people would find him endearing. Obviously, he’s not that stupid, although he tends to look it sometimes with his squinting, short-sightedness and constant ruffling of his hair.
“Anna is a fairly together person. She’s got a job and her own apartment. Sam is the antithesis of that. Although he does change by the end of the movie. In a way, you could see the film as a process of Sam flowering, because by the end of it he’s gone through so much that he’s a new person.
“Sam and Anna have an almost reckless love for each other. Sam especially. He’s pretty wild and anarchic and expresses his love for Anna in strange ways. Like falling to the middle of the floor with her at the club. At the same time he loves to flirt. He is a romantic. He’s in love with love. He has it easy with women because women like him. So, it’s a frivolous, light, easy thing. That is how he relates to The Girl, although because she is a total stranger I think she scares him a bit. She sees through him perhaps.
“But in the end, with de death of Anna, Sam is alone. He has to figure things out for himself. He goes through a mourning and comes out of the dark side looking at a new world. He no longer wants to sit around, he no longer wants to take heroin. Underneath it all, he finds he has ambition. We see him with a new band and a new style of music.
“I think it will be interesting to see how young people relate to The Girl. She is a bystander. She has time on her side. Enough time to avoid the mistakes that she witnesses others make. She is unlike the others in the house. And she survives the era unscathed. The Girl becomes the connection with the new era.”
Born in Martinez, California, Saskia Post moved between America and Japan with her parents, before settling in Australia in 1975.
When she was five, Saskia recalls seeing THE SOUND OF MUSIC and since then has wanted to be an actress. At school she studied acting and singing. After finishing high school she spent a year attending acting workshops and dance classes in Sydney.
Saskia started a degree course in drama and arts at the University of New South Wales but gave it up after twelve months to attend a full-time course at The Drama School in 1981. Shortly after completing the course she obtained her first television role.
Saskia successfully auditioned for the role of Julia, a young Dutch refugee in THE SULLIVANS. She moved to Melbourne and worked with Crawford Productions for twelve months before leaving to take part in a feature film.
Saskia played Eva, a Czech-born bank teller in John Duigan’s ONE NIGHT STAND, a satirical drama about naivety and human fortitude. The film was set inside the Sydney Opera House on the night that World War 3 broke out.
While continuing to play in numerous television series since 1982, Saskia looks back on THE SULLIVANS as being “Great fun and highly rewarding. I haven’t enjoyed working in television as much since then.”
In 1984, Saskia appeared in the feature film BLISS as the young Honey Barbara. BLISS, directed by Ray Lawrence, won the 1985 A.F.I. Award for Best Film.
For Saskia, DOGS IN SPACE was very different from her previous work because of the subject and the environment on set. She had never worked with a large ensemble of actors and non-actors before. “This made a huge difference. It made the atmosphere so much more earthy and raw. We spent a lot of time together getting to know each other, hanging out in the house and going out as a group.”
Saskia had never met Michael Hutchence before the production of DOGS IN SPACE. She found him, “A very down-to-earth person. There was no issue made of his rock star image. Michael wanted to fit into the ensemble and that happened very quickly. We got on well together. Actually, working with him was fantastic. He had an enormous commitment to the film. We all did. It was a great experience. Intense but great.
“Richard gave us a lot of room to move with our roles from the rehearsal stage on. The script was really a skeleton script. People were able to develop their character from that. He gave us an immense amount of space to work in.
“The other thing with Richard was his unusual approach to filming. He would have such long scenes, all in one shot. Actors could then build something very real. Things would be going on in different parts of the house and Richard would get it all in one go. It made things so much easier working in this way.”
Saskia compares the characters in the film to pin balls in a pin ball machine. “They would be going in all directions and it didn’t matter to them. Except Anna, who cared a lot abut what was happening to her. She was not like the others. She sought some security in her life.
“A maternal and loving figure, she loved Sam a great deal. She believed in him. She wanted him to be successful. He may not have cared too much but she loved him. Besides, they had great sex!
“I think Anna took drugs with Sam to understand him better. She had no personal desire to use them but it was a way of finding out what he was experiencing. Unfortunately, the results were tragic!”
Born and educated in Melbourne Richard graduated from the Swinburne Film and Television School in 1979 with a Diploma of Art. In the same year, he completed his first film, a 25 minute drama, EVICTIONS, which won the Erwin Rado Prize at the Melbourne Film Festival.
Between 1981 and 1983, Richard wrote and then directed STRIKEBOUND, his first feature film. It was nominated for nine A.F.I. Film Awards including Best Film in 1984.
STRIKEBOUND played Cannes, Venice, Edinburgh Film Festivals, receiving high praise in Australia and overseas from film critics and the film industry. It had a successful commercial release in Melbourne, and also screened in other capital cities and in England.
In 1985 Richard directed a 50 minute film, WHITE CITY, for Pete Townshend of The Who in London. He then returned to Australia to work on the production of DOGS IN SPACE.
DOGS IN SPACE was written and directed by Richard and is his first feature film collaboration with producer, Glenys Row.
Richard is well known in Australia for his imaginative work in the field of rock video clips. The most notable of these include:
– Talking to a Stranger, Hunters and Collectors
– Lumps of Lead, Hunters and Collectors
– Burn for You, INXS
– What You Need, INXS
– Fraction Too Much Friction, Tim Finn
Richard has won the Australian Countdown Award for Best Rock Video in 1983, 1984 and 1986. He also won a Logie at the Australian television awards in 1986 for his rock clip, What You Need by INXS.
At 26, Richard Lowenstein was regarded as the hottest new talent in the Australian film industry.
Born in Melbourne in 1953, Glenys attended University High School before moving to Adelaide and graduating from Flinders University in 1977 with a B.A. (Hons) degree majoring in film.
In 1978 as a manager of the National Film Theatre of Australia she was responsible for the organisation and promotion of imported film seasons, her passion being the work of the new German directors.
In 1979 she left Australia to attend the Oberhausen Film Festival where she met Richard Lowenstein, there to present his first film EVICTIONS.
During the following two years, Glenys sold independent Australian films in Europe and Britain and working as an agent for Australian filmmakers, attended many of the major film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, Florence, Leipzig and London.
In 1981 she returned to Australia to work with the Australian Film Commission as distribution manager for the Creative Development Branch for 12 months. She then became exhibition manager at the Australian Film Institute, programming their three cinemas.
After leaving the AFI in 1983, Glenys worked as an independent film distributor for 12 months and then joined Ronin Films to market Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson’s Academy Award nominated FIRST CONTACT and Richard Lowenstein’s STRIKEBOUND.
In March 1985 Glenys commenced work as producer of DOGS IN SPACE. She has plans to produce two more films in the near future.
Ollie Olsen is a musician and a composer. He was born in Melbourne and studied synthesiser at an electronic music course and then taught himself guitar before playing in rock groups in the mid-seventies. In 1979 he formed his own band, Whirlywirld.
Whirlywirld played in Melbourne for two years and gradually developed a reputation as an innovative avant garde band combining electronic music, noise and punk music with the sound of wild jazz. They played the pub circuit and quickly developed cult status in the alternative music scene.
Ollie lived in Europe and Britain between 1981 and 1984 and attempted, unsuccessfully, to get a band, Hugo Klang, off the ground.
Ollie returned to Australia in 1984 and played with Hugo Klang and then Orchestra of Skin and Bone.
In 1984 Richard Lowenstein approached Ollie to have Whirlywirld appear in DOGS IN SPACE. Ollie has supervised the reforming of many of the little bands and then worked on the production of music recordings of the little bands for the DOGS IN SPACE soundtrack.
Ollie Olsen also composed the song, ‘Rooms for the Memory’, sung by Michael Hutchence and to be released as a single to coincide with the Australian premiere of the film.
Ollie Olsen now lives in Fitzroy and is working on rehearsals for his new band. No. He plans to compose music for films in the future.
Born and educated in Melbourne, Jill graduated from Swinburne College with a Diploma in Art, specialising in film and television.
After college, Jill started off with Fred Schepisi at Film House where she served in production and editing on commercials and documentaries.
She then spent a year teaching art and filmmaking at Preston Technical College before working on Fred Schepisi’s THE CHANT OF JIMMY BLACKSMITH.
Jill’s feature film credits including STRIKEBOUND, JUST FRIENDS and THE MORE THINGS CHANGE.
Jill lives in Melbourne and has travelled extensively overseas in China and South America.
Born and educated in Melbourne, Dean started in the film industry with Crawford Productions as an assistant sound editor and boom operator and then sound editor on DIVISION FOUR, MATLOCK POLICE, HOMICIDE and THE SULLIVANS.
After leaving Crawford Productions, Dean worked as a sound editor on Fred Schepisi’s THE CHANT OF JIMMY BLACKSMITH. Since then, he has worked on numerous feature films, including Richard Lowenstein’s STRIKEBOUND and Ray Lawrence’s BLISS. Dean also worked on the award winning television mini-series, A TOWN LIKE ALICE.
Dean lives and works in Sydney but holds a special fondness for Melbourne because it adopts a more explanatory approach to sound in film production.
Michael Hutchence's Official Memorial is graciously brought to you by Susie Hutchence, Jacqueline Ferrari, Mario Ferrari, and Ian Patterson.
We wish to acknowledge the kindly contributions to Michael's site by INXS, CIL, N. Kothari, R. Simpkins, and everyone else who have contributed. We especially send our gratitude to all of Michael's friends and fans around the World who have contributed so much through caring e-mails and the Guestbook.
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