‘Clunk’ drops into town
Saturday, 9th February, 2019
By Callum Marshall
A Mad Max One extra and a documentary crew have joined up at this year’s Silverton Collective, as they look to explore the film series’ culture and its personal connection to the extra who played ‘Clunk’ in the original film.
Bertrand Cadart played the role of ‘Clunk’, a member of Toecutter’s motorcycle gang, in the original 1979 Mad Max film.
He has led a fascinating life, once serving as the Mayor of Glamorgan Spring Bay Council in Tasmania, and said he pitched the idea of a Mad Max 40th anniversary documentary to long-time friend and filmmaker Eddie Beyrouthy.
“A year and half ago, the organisers of the Mad Max 40-year anniversary festivity in Maryborough called me and said, ‘you must be coming,’” he said.
“I said, ‘listen guys I would really love to but I’m pretty stuffed with my health and I doubt I’ll be able to come.’
“I’ve been diagnosed with terminal cancer, myelodysplasia.
“One of the organisers though, Brett Burge, said ‘Bertrand, you are going to make it.’
“That was nine months ago when the doctor said I wouldn’t live for (longer than a few) months.
“So I’ve been through a huge amount of chemotherapy and it seems to work, I’m still alive.
“So with Brett pushing me to come to this Mad Max One affair, one day Eddie rang me casually and I said to him, ‘listen, I might have a good documentary here.’
“I knew he was working on another film but I said to Eddie, ‘this is a big deal, it’s the 40-years anniversary.’
“So I sent him a synopsis of what I thought would be a good thread to follow which is Clunk, now living on the Sunshine Coast and seventy years old and very ill, goes back on the road and through the wasteland back for the fortieth anniversary as the last thing he does.
“Kind of like the old warrior going back to forty years ago, before he dies.”
Bertrand said the original idea was about going along to the Maryborough event, which took place last week.
However, when they bumped into the Mad Max Two crowd, the documentary expanded.
“Originally it was just to go to Maryborough for Mad Max One and I’d go and that’d be the end of that, but then Eddie learnt that Mad Max Two fans were coming to Silverton for this event,” he said.
“He said, ‘Mr. B, we’re going to Silverton. I need you to be there as Clunk and help me with the interview, and you need to come for an extra ten days.’
“The idea was that it would be a fantastic continuation of the culture and what they want to do.
“So the script took a turn I never anticipated.”
With the documentary acting as almost a last legacy to his life and love of Mad Max, Bertrand said he had accepted the inevitable a long time ago.
“At home I have my coffin in the lounge and I’m ready to go,” he said.
“I had it made of cardboard and painted in Ducati red. I have already received my tombstone which resembles a Salvador Dali scripture.
“I have booked my spot in the local graveyard between two Germans, so we’ll be the European little corner.
“I have prepared all my legal documents for my children.
“In other words, I have now come to terms with the fact that there’s nothing I can do.
“The doctors have given me my option and it’s very simple, they cannot cure me.
“All they can do is prolong me and so far they have done that by over a year, so I’m not complaining.”
Producer and film partner to Eddie, Phil Lambert, said the ‘Beneath the Outback Sun’ documentary would serve as a love letter to the culture of Mad Max and to individuals like Bertrand.
“(At the moment) we’re following Bertrand’s journey, his last journey to the wasteland,” he said.
“So he’s come to these events before, he’s very passionate about Mad Max of course and he’s had an extraordinary life.
“He’s been mayor in Tasmania, he did the Black Dog Ride for charity, and he’s a very passionate man for charities and the leukaemia foundation.
“So we followed Bertrand all the way down from Queensland and we’ve gone to places like Tamworth and Lightning Ridge and followed his journey as he reminisces over his life, Mad Max and fans along the way.
“Then we followed him along to Silverton to join the Silverton Collective.
“(But alongside Bertrand), the heart of this project is all about the fans and their passion and the inspiration behind what they do.
“(That idea of), ‘why don’t we all have this kind of passion?’
“These guys are dressing up and are really into it, while a lot of people don’t ever really achieve their own passion.
“So it’s talking to someone like John Wren who is absolutely inspirational, and gave one of the best interviews I’ve ever been part of.
“His story and passion drove him to walk again and to get down to the cinema because that’s his love.
“So I think that’s a huge part of this documentary, and hopefully people have a look at their own life and think ‘hey, maybe I should go to that place overseas or realise those dreams and things I’ve always wanted to do.’”