D’ART – Film Review

“G-o-g-g-o, Goggomobil.” A phrase that has been embedded into the core memory of many Australians. A little Yellow Pages advertisement that would become a classic in Australian culture. But what is a Goggomobil? D’ART is a documentary filmed in Melbourne that is an introduction to the Australian designed Goggomobil Dart, through the collaboration of collector and an artist.

So what is the Goggomobil? After WWII, there was a need for a more economic mode of transport and thus sprung the ‘micro car’ revolution. The Goggomobil went on to become one of the most successful vehicles of its time. In the 1950s, Australian designer Bill Buckle decided to create a new sports car. Using the original chassis from the Goggomobil and the newly created fibreglass materials, designed and created the Dart.

The film is quite slow to start off as we are introduced to many different people from the art and motor communities, notably Robert Clinch and his wonderfully talented works of intricately detailed buildings and landscapes, but also his affinity with the paper dart and how he includes them into his works. The time spend during this lengthy introduction isn’t without reason, as we are given a detailed history of how Clinch found his way to the Dart owner, Jeff Brown. Dr Joseph Brown, Jeff’s father, had represented Clinch’s works in collections and galleries for many years. With Jeff Brown’s love of collecting classic cars and his father’s connection to fine art, combined with Clinch’s love for paper darts, it was a match made in heaven and they joined forces to create the Dart Art Car Project.

Whilst this film is a great piece of history of the Dart vehicle, the story jumps around way too much from person to person, as they each discuss the vehicle and their love for the arts. I feel this unfortunately detracts from the story, as you don’t get the opportunity to truly take in what each individual has just said before you’re onto the next person for another quick quip on the car. It’s not until about halfway through the film that we actually get to dive into the art project itself. This left me wondering whether the documentary could have had more of an impact had the been without so many different contributing and focused more on the development and work of the project car itself.

The topic of this film is great; however, I feel it only just missed the mark with its execution. Half of the people that were introduced during the beginning of the film are completely forgotten about towards to end. It also would have been beneficial to have their names on the screen more often. By midway of the film, I had forgotten some of the names of the speakers because of this. The pacing is all over the place, but the film is at its best when it slows down. In saying that, one thing that is clear as day is Clinch’s passion for art and Brown’s passion for motor vehicles and collecting. Hearing them talk about their passions certainly put a smile on my face. D’ART is still an interesting piece and you should check it out as the final result of the project is absolutely worth the wait.

D’ART is available to watch through the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival screening digitally online until August 2nd. For more information on the film festival, visit: https://www.mdff.org.au
If you want to see the Dart car in person, head to goggodartproject.com to see where it will be appearing next.

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