Frances Baldwin is a Television Curator at the NFSA.
In this National Year of Reading, Australian stories continue to be interpreted and produced as film and television productions, becoming part of our iconic screen heritage. One such production is Puberty Blues, Southern Star Entertainment’s eight-part TV series, which recently finished screening on the Ten Network. The timing of this latest series is not lost on me, as I reflect on my career and recall with fondness the story of the Puberty Blues that I knew three decades earlier.
Based on the bestselling book by Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey, the film version was released in December 1981. The story of Puberty Blues is the adoption of an image in order to be accepted; in other words, peer pressure, the proverbial teenage plot-line. In 1986, as a fresh-faced archivist, I was working in the NFSA’s documentation section when we received a well-loved suitcase from director Bruce Beresford. Amongst other papers there was an abundance of documentation material about the making of the film.