Dogs in Space

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Dogs in Space
Directed byRichard Lowenstein
Produced byGlenys Rowe
Written byRichard Lowenstein
StarringMichael Hutchence
Saskia Post
Nique Needles
Deanna Bond
Tony Helou
Music byMichael Hutchence
Distributed byHoyts (Australia)
Columbia TriStar Home Video
Umbrella Entertainment
Release date(s)Australia 18 December 1986 (1986-12-18)
Running time103 minutes
CountryAustralia
LanguageEnglish

Dogs in Space is a 1986 Australian drama movie about Melbourne's little band scene in 1978. It was directed by Richard Lowenstein. It starred Michael Hutchence as Sam, a drugged dazed singer of a band named Dogs in Space.[1]

The story was from Lowenstein's personal experience of living in a shared house in Melbourne in the late 1970s. Lowenstein had already worked with Michael Hutchence making rock videos.[2] He also produced video clips for songs from the INXS album The Swing. He wrote the lead role of Sam with Michael Hutchence in mind.[3] [4]

The character Sam is about a real member of a punk rock band that Lowenstein had lived with in the 1970s. The house in the movie was the one they had shared. It was rented from its new owners and changed back to its original condition for the movie. The cost for the deconstruction of the house was part of the movie's budget.

Copies of Dogs in Space are being preserved by the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.[1] This means the movie will be protected from damage that happens to older film that was used to make movies.

Cast[change | change source]

  • Michael Hutchence as Sam, the punk rock singer in the band
  • Saskia Post as Anna, Sam's heroin addicted girlfriend
  • Nique Needles as Tim
  • Deanna Bond as The Girl
  • Tony Helou as Luchio, a university student who really tries to study, even in the chaos of the house[1]

Plot[change | change source]

A group of young music fans share a house in the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond. It is not too far away from the city to be an active part of the music scene. Sam and Tim are members of a band named Dogs in Space. They share the house with a group of social misfits and quite troubled young people. These include Sam's girlfriend Anna and a really smart university student, Luchio. He is actually trying to study for exams even in the confusion of the house. There is also a nameless teenager, who is just called The Girl. She comes and goes; sometimes sleeping over.[5]

The scenes cover the day-to-day lives of the characters, mainly the sexual relationship between Sam and Anna. There are many party scenes with live music and drug use. During quiet times, the housemates move the television outdoors into the street to watch it on sofas and eat junk food and drink beer. The group makes frequent trips to a convenience store to restock.

Footage of Sputnik 2 is intermittently seen in the movie (in tribute to the title: "Dogs in Space"). The footage mostly shows Laika, the first Soviet Union dog in space. These scenes can also be seen in the background when the television is playing. There are trips to many local pubs for live punk music. In the end, the group's dangerous lifestyle costs a life of a loved one. Anna dies from a heroin overdose.

Soundtrack album[change | change source]

There was a punk rock soundtrack album released with the following songs and artists.[6] The album and the later CD are both out of print. Rare copies sell well and fetch the asking price.[7]

Side One:

  1. "Dog Food" (Iggy Pop)
  2. "Dogs In Space" (Michael Hutchence)
  3. "Win/Lose" (Ollie Olsen)
  4. "Anthrax" (Gang of Four)
  5. "Skysaw" (Brian Eno)
  6. "True Love" (Marching Girls)
  7. "Shivers" (Boys Next Door)

Side Two:

  1. "Diseases" (Thrush & the Cunts)
  2. "Pumping Ugly Muscle" (The Primitive Calculators)
  3. "Golf Course" (Michael Hutchence)
  4. "The Green Dragon" (Michael Hutchence)
  5. "Shivers" (Marie Hoy and friends)
  6. "Endless Sea" (Iggy Pop)
  7. "Rooms For The Memory" (Michael Hutchence)

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Australia's Irving Archive. "Dogs in Space". National Film and Sound Archive:. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  2. "INXS' Hutchence in Screen Debut". The Canberra Times. ACT: National Library of Australia. 27 November 1986. p. 4 Supplement: The Good Times. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  3. David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p142-143
  4. Kathy Bail, "Putting the Bite Into Dogs in Space", Cinema Papers, January 1987 p14-18
  5. "The Aussie Film Database Dogs in Space". Australian Cinema Unit at Murdoch University. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  6. "Dogs in Space Soundtrack @ Allmusic". Allmusic website. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  7. Kevin Sartori (20 July 2011). "Dogs in Space (Expanded) (1986)". Psychotic Leisure Music. Retrieved 1 September 2014.

Other websites[change | change source]