All That Is Solid

1988 Documentary

Partly funded as a Bicentennial commission through the University of Queensland Art Museum and the ABC, Hughes’ speculative, essayistic documentary is an examination of the future of Australia in light of the processes of post-industrialisation, Walter Benjamin’s ruinous “angel of history” and Marx’s quixotic vision of modernity. Mixing together documentary and fiction, interviews and sketchy Brechtian set pieces, this state-of-the-nation mosaic draws on the forms of contemporary TV as well as the profoundly “historical” work of Kluge, Godard and Straub-Huillet to provide a consciously parodic and bracingly fragmentary postmodernist vision.