Tim Burstall, the celebrated director of Stork, Alvin Purple, and numerous other 'ocker' comedies, shook the Australian film industry out of its torpor. But before that, he kept a diary recording the world of the the 'arties' and 'intellectuals' he lived amongst in Eltham - where suburban rigidities could be mercilessly flouted.
Somehow, while holding down a public relations job in the Antarctic Division, and juggling his love affairs and obsession with the beautiful, brainy Fay, Burstall wrote 500 words almost every day for three years.
John Perceval at a Burstall party, Christmas 1954.
Betty Burstall at the woodpile, 1954.
Dan Burstall in a box cart made by his father, 1950.
Dan and the mudbrick Burstall house, early 1953.
Betty Burstall, according to the diaries, kept the show on the road, feeding friends after the pub, milking goats and working in her pottery, making bowls and mugs which Tim sometimes decorated at weekends.
Tim Burstall can write. He has an eye for the telling detail, and ear for cant and pomposity and, most endearingly, an ability to mock himself- always from the perspective of a bloke of his generation.