Natalie Gravenor | Sunday January 19th, 2014
Yet another artistic expat lured to Berlin, Australian filmmaker, choreographer and performer Diane Busuttil (she might not list those occupations in that same order) is creating a unique body of short film work that incorporates her diverse talents. Busuttil transitioned organically from dance theater to film, as the first film credited to her as a filmmaker, “Living Room Legend”, is a video featuring a TV-addicted housewife (played by Busuttil) shown as part of a theater play. Her subsequent five films as a director – SOUR MASH, DIRT & DESIRE, SUPER POWER, CURDLED and FRESH FRUIT – are all available on realeyz.tv.
Busuttil studied Dance on Film at the University of Western Australia in Sydney. After graduation she performed, choreographed and taught all over the world. She cites the difficulty of breaking into cinema as a choreographer-dancer and the limits for working across artistic disciplines as one reason to leave Australia. In 2000, a DAAD scholarship brought her to Germany, where she studied at the International Women’s University in Hanover and Bremen. She has been based in Berlin since 2001.
“Movement is my first language,” Busuttil has said in a video interview. Movement, both performed by the body and created through cinematic means (editing, camerawork) are key elements of Busuttil’s films. SOUR MASH (2006), shot in a Berlin apartment, begins with two campily made up chicks’ seemingly improvised ramblings into the camera about physical expression, demonstrated then in a solo dance routine performed by Busuttil. Female (and queer) sexuality, another major theme of Busuttil’s work, is foregrounded in DIRT & DESIRE (2009). Shot in black and the white in the style of silent comedies (with jaunty accordeon accompaniment, iris fades, exaggerated facial expressions and hand-written title cards), DIRT & DESIRE stars Busuttil as a farmgirl inviting friends and neighbors to an anything goes dinner party that gives “meat and potatoes” new meaning. Busuttil stuck to black and white for SUPER POWER (2011), but the similarity ends there. Set to raw, energetic electro by Pets on Prozac, SUPER POWER focuses on stop-motion animated headshots of Busuttil and mysterious, sexual flashcuts. CURDLED (2011) explores this further, presenting disorienting extreme close ups of glitter covered body parts, flesh folds and all. FRESH FRUIT (2013) screened at LGBT festivals worldwide and recently won the Taste Award. Carnal desires of all flavors, daydream and reality blur in this luscious fantasy set at a resort in Western Sicily.
Busuttil has recently been awarded a fellowship by AG Kurzfilm, the German short film promotion organization. We look forward to her next work which we hope to feature on realeyz.tv.