Count Vim's Last Exercise aka Farewell Citizen Vim

Genre: Short fiction
16mm Film, B&W
15 mins

Director/Producer/Script: Peter Weir

Cast: Peter Weir ("The Thin Man")


"In the organised state death is controlled to the second"

[from Underground 68 program, Union Theatre, Sydney University, Sept. 3-7, 1968]

Peter Weir: "In 1967 I decided to make a film for the Channel Seven Staff Social Club Xmas Revue I'd been organising. It was called Count Vim, and took a year to make and was about 15 minutes long. I think they got a surprise at the station because they thought it was going to be a comedy on funny characters around the place, the doorman and the head of the Channel or something with funny hats on, but it wasn't.

"The station executives liked the film and asked if I wanted a job directing the film sequence of what was then the last year of the satirical revue, The Mavis Bramston Show. 1968 was a very tough year because I really knew so little. I had to edit my own clips - it was a very hard school to go through and a very good one. I used to cut the original film which added to the tension - each time you made a splice you had to be very careful not to damage the film or cut in the wrong spot."

"I'd go to any of the 'underground' film screenings put on by UBU films - they took up Count Vim and put it in a program, Underground '68 I think it was called*. A film of Bruce Beresford's was shown too - he was working at the British Film Institute - and a couple of others who went on to do things, Albie Thoms being one."

[ Sue Mathews: 35 mm Dreams: Conversations with Five Directors about the Australian film revival]

* Underground 68, Union Theatre, Sydney University, Sept. 3-7, 1968

Note: Weir's memory might be faulty here - the Underground '68 program reproduced in Peter Mudie's book (Ubu Films, 1997) doesn't list any films by Beresford.

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