Mildura Writers Festival presents: Oasis City

Mildura Writers Festival has produced a short film representation of Les Murray’s ‘Oasis City’, a poem about the city of Mildura and its surroundings.

Mildura Writers Festival
Duration
7 minutes

Mildura Writers Festival has produced a short filmic representation of Les Murray’s ‘Oasis City’, a poem about the city of Mildura and its surroundings, with visuals that creatively suggest images within the poem. The poem not only captures the festival’s city and surroundings, but it has been written by ‘the leading Australian poet of his generation’, as described by JM Coetzee.

Fiona Blair of the Old Van theatre company was invited to direct the film, calling the poem "a paean of praise to Mildura and the Sunraysia district."

"I guess any ride in a ute of such character that’s in the film was bound to be wild, but the joy of this project - despite the compression of time - lay in the freedom we had to simply respond to the poem rather than replicate it.

We decided to focus on what might lie behind the creation of such a poem; of making a poem as a job of work, like any other. A ‘making’ any one of us might attempt..." said Blair.

Les Murray attended the first official Mildura Writers Festival in 1995 and almost yearly thereafter until his death in 2019. He became the festival’s official patron.

‘Oasis City’ is one of four works titled The Sunraysia Poems that were written because of Les Murray’s experiences at the Mildura Writers Festival. 

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