SPIR PhD student Garry Sturgess met with his thesis subject Barry Jones last week in a two-hour Biography Workshop centred on Garry’s two-hour film Barry Jones In Search of Lost Time - A Film Story. Organised by the National Centre of Biography, Garry presented on his film and oral history with Barry, with Jones on hand to respond and answer questions. The film, oral history and an exegesis based on Garry’s work with Barry (and the place of oral history and film in political biography) are the basis of Garry’s PhD format. Approximately 50 people were in the audience including; Dr Malcom Allbrook (Managing Editor of Australian Dictionary of Biography); John Kerin (former Federal Treasurer); and Daryl Karp (Director at the Museum of Australian Democracy).
The workshop looked at the motivation of the film-maker in making the 2-hour film Barry Jones In Search of Lost Time - A Film Story. It also explored the interviewer/film maker/biographer - subject relationship and the place of vested interest as a driver of the political biography exercise. Film is examined as a major influence and shaper of Barry’s life and political values. It is also used by Sturgess as a means of time-stamping and illustrating the formative episodes of Barry's life and as a vehicle to tell his story.
Film characters re-enact Barry's character or, at least, bits of it, while hinting at, or otherwise seeking to imagine, Barry and the characters of his world.
The films of Barry’s childhood are used to map his social milieu, depict events and sculpt his emotional landscape.
Barry also features in Barry Jones In Search of Lost Time - A Film Story as film critic and cultural commentator.