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KNUCKLEHEAD DREAMING: Interview with Carroll Karpany & Charlie Hill-Smith


KNUCKLEHEAD DREAMING: The superbly entertaining Motorkite Dreaming combines indigenous spirituality with goofball adventure.

For four years four Adelaide adventurers – Aidan Glasby, Daryl Clarke, Lexi Keneally and Elsie Clarke – planned a grand trek across the heart of Australia.

They would traverse 4000 kilometres from Adelaide to Beagle Bay (near Broome) in Western Australia. A grand journey by any measure, what would set this cross-country jaunt apart would be that Glasby and Clarke planned to fly two micro-lite aircraft the entire way, followed by their partners in a support motorcade on the ground.

Even more remarkable is that, after four years of planning, they left the all-important training in how to fly their second-hand flying machines to the final week.

Along for the ride was filmmaker Charlie Hill-Smith, who ended up shooting about 1000 hours of footage, and indigenous music legend Carroll Karpany.

Karpany founded the landmark Aboriginal band Us Mob, subject of the classic 1981 Australian documentary Wrong Side of the Road, and served as producer and protocol officer on the film. His duty was to make sure the 20 nations crossed by the adventurers were properly consulted and respected.

Nice shot: A sample of the stunning cinematography in Motorkite Dreaming.

Nice shot: A sample of the stunning cinematography in Motorkite Dreaming.

This cultural aspect is a crucial part of the film, which is intended as a conduit for cross-cultural understanding and respect. It makes its points with subtlety and sensitivity.

But Motorkite Dreaming is also a splendidly entertaining, visually stunning semi-comedy about a group of stumblebums trying to negotiate their way through an unforgiving terrain.

The film is laced with conflict, arguments and examples of what can best be described as dumb luck compensating for the evaporation of common sense. The weather might not have been on their side, but good fortune certainly was, otherwise it could have been a very different film.

As Motorkite Dreaming tours Australia, Carroll Karpany and Charlie Hill-Smith, both Melbourne-based, came in to chat about their remarkable film, its making and their hopes for it.

Independently made, the film has adopted a novel distribution model covering theatrical, DVD and online.

The film screens: 7pm Wednesday 24 August, Lido Cinema; 6.30pm Thursday 25 August, Readings Cinema (Geelong); 7pm Friday 26 August, Cameo Cinema, Belgrave; and 4pm Saturday 27 August, Palace Como Cinema.

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Watch the interview here


View a trailer for Motorkite Dreaming here