Berlin by Sea: screening of St Kilda’s punk rock past

The installation, Berlin by the Sea, pays homage to St Kilda’s enormous influence on the punk rock music scene of the 70s and 80s. The scene in St Kilda was reminiscent of what was happening in the German capital at the same time. , inspiring the name of the exhibition.

The three-part exhibition was developed as a unique collaboration between Council, Renew Fitzroy Street and the St Kilda Film Festival. Screenings are best viewed at night from 8 p.m. and are on display until February 16.

Berlin by the Sea celebrates the musical and cultural spirit of Fitzroy Street’s youth in 1980, told through the punk rock lens of filmmakers Tony Stevens and Sue Davis and photographer Peter Milne.

Everyone has experienced, breathed and documented this extraordinary cultural moment and movement that changed the shape of Australian music and youth culture.

Their film, Punkline, is screened on the window of the White Room at the George, home of the legendary Crystal Ballroom where the film was filmed. The shots from the film are shown at Aperture, 77 Fitzroy Street and Peter Milne’s fabulous photograph can be seen at 39 Fitzroy Street.

Performers and performers featured in the program include Rowland S Howard, Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Phil Calvert and Tracey Pew, Polly Boreland, Lisa Creswell and many more.

Other faces in the exhibit include the crowd in the Crystal Ballroom (at the George) filmed watching The Cure and The Birthday Party for the movie Punkline.

“It was an absolute joy to explore a tiny part of the St Kilda and Melbourne punk scene of the early 1980s,” said Richard Sowada, Film and Industry Manager for the Town of Port Phillip.

“People come out of the woods with all kinds of stories and connections, and it was a surprise to see how deep, present and personal these roots are within the community. I hope that this exhibition will bring back this closeness.

Diana J. Carleton