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Sunday
Jun232019

OZPLOITATION PIONEER'S CLASSIC COLLECTIBLES SEEKING NEW HOME

Despite being sidelined by high-minded historians as a peddler of lowbrow schlock, the late Australian director John D. Lamond was in every respect a passionate advocate for and great lover of cinema. The director of Ozploitation classics Australia After Dark (1975), The ABC of Love and Sex: Australia Style (1978) and Felicity (1978) passed away at the age of 71 in October 2018, leaving behind not only a body of work adored by his legion of fans but also film memorabilia spanning his five decades in showbusiness.

Filmmaker Andrew Leavold (The Search for Weng Weng, 2007; The Last Pinoy Action King, 2015) became a close friend of Lamond and his family in those final years; the 2002 interview between the two men, a moment in time that Leavold points to as the starting point of their friendship, provides profound insight into their kindred spirituality. With the blessing of the director’s widow Diana, Leavold is overseeing a vast eBay auction of Lamond’s remarkable legacy. “I’d say the collection is like the inside of John’s head,” asserts the Queensland-based director and author, “a Carry On film directed by Stanley Kubrick.”

“I miss John so much it still feels like an open wound,” says Leavold (pictured, right), who would spend long hours with his friend and mentor at the family home at Mermaid Beach, on Queensland’s Gold Coast. “The healthy John I remember was a one of a kind, mischievous, with the crassest sense of humour I’ve ever encountered. (He) was housebound because of his Parkinson’s, but it didn’t stop him from trawling through his memorabilia and watching movies with me, telling tall stories, and generally being a sweetheart. He was such a generous man.”

The collection is comprised of artifacts from Lamond’s career both behind the camera and in the distribution sector. In addition to material collated from his own films (amongst them, the much-derided 1980 romp, Pacific Banana, and his 1982 mainstream romance, Breakfast in Paris), Leavold will be releasing marketing assets held over from Lamond’s mid-‘70s tenure as a publicity executive with distributor Village Roadshow. Alongside industry giant Alan Finney, Lamond oversaw campaigns for such films as A Clockwork Orange, Dirty Harry, Blazing Saddles, The Exorcist and Deliverance. (Pictured, below; from the Lamond Collection, a series of promotional stills from The World of Suzie Wong, 1960)

According to Leavold, the collection represents a more truthful portrait of Lamond and his lifelong love of film. “It perfectly reflects John’s eclectic taste, ranging from the silly and low-brow to classical Hollywood,” he says. “He was a well-travelled, cultivated man who was often overlooked in serious discussions on Australian cinema, yet here are letters from directors such as Robert Wise and Ken G. Hall thanking him for his friendship.” Other item certain to attract the attention of cashed-up buffs include Australian daybill posters for Vertigo and Gone With The Wind and a huge selection of soundtracks, including original pressings of all the early James Bond scores, Star Wars and Mad Max (“Still in its shrink wrapper!”, exhorts Leavold)

At the heart of the collection is Lamond’s beloved 16mm camera, dating back to the 1960s, which Leavold calls “a magnificent beast” and which he believes was used to lens the landmark box-office hit Australia After Dark. Also highlighted is a treasure trove of material from Leavold’s favourite Lamond film, the bawdy coming-of-age tale Felicity. “We found the working script with John’s handwritten annotations, shooting schedule (and) wardrobe lists, all in a modest manila folder. In a frame next to it was the original Felicity concept art ,” he recalls. (Pictured, below; Lamond with the original Felicity art) 

In addition to helping Lamond’s family recoup medical costs, Andrew Leavold hopes the sale of these items helps paint his late friend in a different light. “Someone like John was often seen as a footnote or a punchline in Aussie film industry as he made genre films rather than David Williamson adaptations, but he was the real deal, a self-made man who lived life to the fullest,” he says. “I want the name John Duncan Lamond to live on in the hearts of unrepentant Aussie cinephiles, and I can safely say that will happen with Felicity smiling down proudly from someone’s wall.”

All proceeds will go to paying the medical costs incurred by the family in those final years, when Lamond began to suffer the late stages of the Parkinson’s Disease that he had fought for nearly two decades. 

The JOHN D. LAMOND MEMORIAL AUCTION can be found at the eBay page here. The full collection will roll out over the coming weeks.

Andrew Leavold will commence the TRASHFEST 2019 Australian Tour on June 26, a month-long screening road-trip to launch his FILM SAFARI Kickstarter Project and promote the Lamond Collection sale. The filmmaker will be present at the following venues:
Wednesday 26th June: The Bison Bar, NAMBOUR
Thursday 27th June: Elizabeth Picture Theatre, BRISBANE
Sunday 30th June: Mercury Cinema, ADELAIDE
Friday 5th July: Nova Cinema, Carlton, MELBOURNE
Sunday 7th July: Brisbane Hotel, HOBART
Thursday 11th July: First Coat Studios, TOOWOOMBA
Friday 12th July: Private Event, BURLEIGH HEADS
Saturday 13th July: Star Court Theatre, LISMORE
Sunday 14th July: The Regent Cinema, MURWILLUMBAH
Monday 15th July: The Press, TAMWORTH
Wednesday 17th July: The Royal Exchange, NEWCASTLE
Friday 19th July: Pink Flamingo Cinema, Marrickville, SYDNEY
Saturday 20th July: Canberra Technology Park, Watson, CANBERRA
For further details, contact Andrew Leavold at andrewleavold@gmail.com.

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