Rob Ulitski - 14th Feb 2020

Director Matthew Thorne returns to his hometown to capture an authentic portrait of its people and places, in the video for The Only Boy Racer Left On The Island. 

Exploring themes such as lost youth, family dynamics and skewed perspectives on masculinity, the video is both highly affecting and beautifully shot. Thorne lingers on intimate portraits of strangers in the middle of their day to day activities, momentarily pulling them out of real life and giving them a chance to reflect as they stare down the lens. 

DP Adric Watson's composition of the landscape and establishing shots is also fantastic, keeping things wide to give context and showcase the action happening in the frame, whilst the steady, often locked-off shots represent the crew's role as observers, capturing a story that is solely about the community, not about their presence. 


It's the story of the working class that lies at the heart of Australian culture - and was my father’s upbringing.

"There is such a strong narrative arch and emotional journey in the song, and I felt like I wanted to honour that in the film. It recalled to me so many images of the failed masculinity of the men in my childhood, and especially in the forgotten northern suburbs of my hometown of Adelaide.

"The song spoke of this unfulfilled sadness - this petrol-headed masculine energy that is so fatally flawed, and it seemed to me to be a perfect match to the mostly disused industrial port, and former car manufacturing suburbs of Northern Adelaide. A landscape of forgotten Aussie battlers, full of life, and ingenuity, and passion - but also living a life draped in a struggle of generationally repeated sins, structural unassailable unemployment, under education and outmoded conceptions of masculinity. It is the story of the working class that Australia more and more would like to forget, but that lies at the heart of Australian culture - and was my father’s upbringing.

"The film for me was about that; doing justice to the incredibly emotive and moving journey the song takes you on, and doing that through an earnest portrait of my hometown - especially of the industrial areas where my father grew up, and the stories he told me of his childhood.

"It was a very cathartic experience, returning to these places that I had known so well for years and being able to work on crafting a film with the real people and real communities. There is an authenticity in the music that I wanted to carry on in the performance and story, and so that led us down the path of living and working in community, and making the film with all untrained / non-actors.

"This is a genuine portrait of a community and land that I love very much. It is a community that I hold dear to my heart, and that I have many formative memories from. It is very much made to honour them and their stories."

PRO Credits


DirectorMatthew Thorne
ProducerChristiana Roberts
Executive ProducerKatie Lambert
Executive ProducerMartha McGuirk
Director of PhotographyAdric Watson
EditorNikki Powell
ColouristPeter Schulz
Director's RepresentationHands
Other creditsService Company: The Pool Collective Son: Jaydan Bush Father: Nathan Bush

Rob Ulitski - 14th Feb 2020

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