Conor Bateman
October 12, 2017 — By Conor Bateman

Tramp The Dirt Down: Landscape in Brian Trenchard-Smith’s Turkey Shoot

A video essay commissioned by RealTime about Brian Trenchard-Smith’s 1982 Ozploitation film Turkey Shoot.

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Tramp The Dirt Down – Landscape in Brian Trenchard-Smith’s Turkey Shoot (1982)

In this video, I have taken sequences from Turkey Shoot which involve the hunting of prisoners but have cut out the prisoners entirely. What remains is a series of comedic vignettes where the colonial powers attack the landscape, seemingly without purpose. And, since the original film sees prisoners rise up against their captors, I ensured that the landscape got that same opportunity.

“Like many fine artworks, Tramp the Dirt Down sets its conceptual parameters tight with a few basic rules: first, Bateman chooses clips of white people in Australian films shooting guns; second, through editing, they are made to shoot at the silent landscape; and third, the landscape eventually responds. The video is fired with intelligence, and its rage tempered with contemplative and conceptual consideration.” – Lauren Carroll Harris

“The result is a montage where white rage is directed towards an impassive, unimpressed natural landscape. An incongruous comedy that reveals the senselessness of the superiority that colonial powers lay claim to.” – David Verdeure, filmscalpel

“This clever and sardonic video essay takes a great work of Australian trash and makes it precisely what it is not.” – Daniel Golding