Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds

A feature film by Meaningful Eye Contact
In 1986, a bunch of enthusiastic young Sydney filmmakers headed off to the Australian outback to create a post-apocalyptic tale about a crippled inventor, his religiously-addled sister, their encounter with a stranger from the desert and their quest to build a 'flying machine'. Like the strange trio's construction of the flying machine itself, the film was an ambitious and eccentric project, but determination and commitment saw Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds completed in 1987, and released in 1989. It had some minimal cinema exposure and some good critical response at film festivals, but sadly reached only a small audience before disappearing into the twilight zone of independent movies that never quite accrue proper distribution deals.
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Original music release cover art - a pastels drawing by Alex Proyas

The music from the film managed to survive a little longer, and the original music release went on to have something of a life of its own, gathering a loyal fanbase and numerous impressive critical reviews over the years. Rolling Stone was outspoken enough to call the soundtrack 'an album of stunning instrumental beauty and exquisite soundscapes’, awarding it four stars out of five.

The original CD and vinyl editions, championed by the wonderful Philip Mortlock (then at WEA) were released only in limited numbers in Australia and Japan and have now pretty much become a collector’s items, but a new 30th Anniversary edition is now available.

Follow this link to an archive of Spirits behind-the-scenes images, productions sketches, continuity polaroids, publicity materials and other assorted items of interest.