Approximately Panther

Approximately Panther was an Australian ABC investigation into youth culture and fashion, produced in 1967. The documentary investigates the ways the Australian teenager spends their average weekly $7 on entertainment. It’s hosted by the chain-smoking and self-proclaimed “Drunken Reporter” Douglas Panther.

The film explains that it was the first time in history where youth could afford to dictate their own culture and really explore their specified tastes, a cultural freedom that hadn’t been experienced ever before.

It’s filled with great interviews from some of the major ‘faces’ of the 60’s Melbourne scene, including singer Lynne Randell, model Jenny Ham, Thumpin’ Tum owner, singing duo Bobby & Laurie, poet Adrian Rawlins and band manager David Flint. Panther’s voice-over observations coupled with the interviews are presented with some priceless footage of Melbourne in 1966 – the drag races, fashions, music scenes and shops, vinyl-laden radio stations and discotheques – where people ‘shuffled’ around and socialised in their miniskirts, bowl cuts and beehives. There are also some brilliant music clips of the Loved Ones performing, highlighting the thriving Australian music scene at that point in time.

Ahhh… the days where chain-smoking on national television was the normality…

Alexa Meyerowitz is a sixteen-year-old reformed Jewish schoolgirl/blogger living in Sydney. When she isn’t dreaming of being a professional writer or eating ice cream with Janeane Garofalo, she is embroidering or posting videos of ‘super-old’ artists on her blog.