The Go-Betweens’ Right Here film gets cinema release date
After screenings in film festivals around the country, The Go-Betweens’ film Right Here hits the cinemas on September 28.
But before that, it closes the Brisbane International Film Festival on September 3, with appearances from drummer Lindy Morrison and director Kriv Stenders.
Right Here tells the story of the band that emerged out of Brisbane and, despite never getting a Top 40 hit, received global recognition for their cinematic art-pop sound – described in the movie by Paul Kelly as “this beautiful, mutant thing, which is longer lasting in the end” – and the quality of the output of the Grant McLennan-Robert Forster song writing team.
As Morrison opines, “We didn’t look the part, we didn’t sound the part, we were too intelligent.”
McLennan’s take in the movie is, “We’re not a trendy band, we’re a groovy band, and I like that.”
Kriv Stenders came to attention via Boxing Day, Red Dog, Lucky Country, Red Dog: True Blue and TV’s The Principal.
But he was in a perfect position to document the infighting, drugs, lack of money and doomed inter-band romances. Morrison and Forster were an item, for a time so were McLennan and violinist Amanda Brown.
He became friends with them after he won a film grant while at high school in Brisbane and was interviewed on A Current Affair about it.
That brought him to the attention of Damian Nelson, who’d signed The Go-Betweens to his fledgling Able label.
Stenders was invited to help out in the making a 12-minute movie Heather’s Gloves (1982) which McLennan had written.
He became part of their circle, and went on to make one of the two videos for Streets of Your Town.
Without the need of a narrator, Right Here uses comments from the band, their friends and peers as Ed Kuepper and Lloyd Cole to tell the story which started with McLennan and Forster meeting at the University of Queensland.
Part of the band’s brutally honest appraisal of their lives and music together came from Stenders’ strategy of bringing them all together on a farm and let them speak their minds.
Throughout, the film is high on emotion, in particular when it covers that day in December 1989 when the band broke up and on May 6, 2006, when McLennan died at 48 of a heart attack.