PUB BEHAVIOUR ON FILM
FILMING two female backpackers bartending in a rough outback pub for six weeks enabled Hotel Coolgardie director Pete Gleeson to experience the environment from a new perspective.
The WA-filmed documentary follows 20-something Finnish backpackers Lina and Steph, who are forced to head to Perth to look for work after their money is stolen in Bali.
The job they secure is bartending at Denver City Hotel in remote Coolgardie, about 550km east of Perth, where they navigate the advances, innuendo and off-putting comments from the male-dominated clientele and put-downs from their boss.
After some experience with these remote pubs, Gleeson thought it would be a fascinating place to film.
“I wasn’t in the mining industry. I used to go out and work as a labourer now and then while I was at film school,” he said. “I’d be out there on the drinking side of the bar and hear the goings on.
“I became interested in making a documentary set in that bar: what does this culture look like from the other side of the bar and through the eyes of people who visit?”
For producer Melissa Hayward, the footage prompted her to reflect on how she handled similar environments.
“It taught me how I do things in that environment and what I should take on board and shouldn’t,” she said.
Producer Kate Neylon realised the universal nature of the documentary when she recognised pub behaviour she had seen outside of Australia.
“What was interesting was that it was very similar to a small country town I grew up in Scotland and that pub environment,” she said.
Hotel Coolgardie is in cinemas June 15 .
Hotel Coolgardie director Pete Gleeson. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d469605