What was The Bazura Project?

From 2006-2008, it was a TV show about movies that screened on community television across Australia. In 2009 it was a safe word in Adelaide’s BDSM community. In 2010 it was military code for whenever a nuclear submarine runs aground and maims a bunch of sea lions.

Then, in 2011, nearly three years after the makers of The Bazura Project said “Jesus, it’s 2008 already”, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (or “ASIO”) commissioned The Bazura Project’s Guide To Sinema, a six-part series that looked at Violence, Sex, Money, Profanity, Drugs and Fame in cinema. Critics were universal in their acknowledgement of the show’s timeslot, and the ABC was quick to renew the show for another season, only this time with an entirely new cast and now called Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Since 2012, it has been a cautionary tale used to scare people who think they’d like a career in television, or believe that jokes about Roger Vadim can appeal to a wide audience.

I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening. What was The Bazura Project?

It was either a TV show about movies with lots of jokes, or a joke of a movie about TV shows. But it was definitely written and presented by Shannon Marinko & Lee Zachariah, and made by them and people who went by names such as Tim Egan, Tristan Nieto, Selin Yaman, Laura Kelly, Scott Jordan, Saraj Alkemade and Julian Lai. They and numerous others, all of whom are probably delighted not to have made the cut in the last sentence, devoted countless hours of their time to something that was, by any reasonable measure, an utterly absurd venture.

What does the word “Bazura” mean?

To be honest, we can’t remember. It’s either the Portuguese term for when you slander a viceroy, a mangled curse word relating somehow to entrées, or an acronym of words so offensively profane we cannot even hint at them here. Or it might have been a café we went to one time.

What was the format of Bazura?

You’d be surprised how often we get asked this leading question. Unless you guessed never, in which case you’d be spot on.

The community television version of Bazura consisted of:
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  • A special opening sequence which may look surprisingly like a scene from a well-known film, but if you even suggest that online our lawyers will come down so hard on you because they were all original works.
  • All the week’s big film news, absolutely none of which has dated in the decade or so since it aired.
  • A feature story, in which we explain everything from Hollywood accounting to how projectors work, explore significant film movements, or provide a detailed instruction on how to make a romantic comedy or save money at the cinema.
  • An interview with a luminary of the film industry, be they a movie star like Jason Schwartzman, a legendary director such as Danny Boyle, Gillian Armstrong and Dr George Miller, or a third type of person.
  • We wrap up the episode with reviews of the week’s key releases, treating you to the awful, reductive opinions you’d expect from a couple of white film nerds.
  • Finally, the outro, in which we throw to the credits. We only mention this because it has its own category. It’s really not worth pointing out for any other reason. Honestly, you could just skip this whole bullet point.

When Bazura hit the ABC in 2011, the format changed. Instead of being all weekly and topical, the six episodes took on special themes. The Guide To Sinema was not a typo, except when it was called The Giude To Sinema. But in exploring sins in cinema, such as violence, sex, money, profanity, drugs and fame, Bazura created whole new segments:

  • History Lesson: like a school lecture, except with moving images, these history lessons tell you everything you need to know about how sins were used both on- and off-screen in the movies.
  • Lee’s Therapy: Lee tells his therapist (David Stratton) about how his life was irrevocably ruined by whichever sin we happened to be talking about this week.
  • The Bazura Guide To: if you ever wanted to know how to direct a convincing sex scene, or make an Oscar-bait drug movie, this is the only guide you’ll ever seen.
  • Forgotten Films: Shannon finds the obscure gems of cinema and shines a light on the corners you probably never wanted to see.
  • The Future: Shannon and Lee find themselves flung into the future, where a robot (voiced by Shaun Micallef) tells them what sins will be like decades and centuries from now.
  • The Bazura Awards: a glamorous entertainment reporter (Kat Stewart) introduces a glittering ceremony in which our tuxedo-clad hosts present unique awards to some of cinema’s most/least-deserving recipients.

The Bazura Project’s Guide To Sinema is available to purchase on iTunes, or you can stream it if you have a subscription to Stan.

Can you talk more about the people behind The Bazura Project?

Look, if you really cared, you wouldn’t have waited until you were this far down the page before asking. It’s okay, we understand. But if you want to know who did what, just read the credits and then, we don’t know, google or imdb them or whatever.

Will Bazura ever return?

Like genital herpes, we will never go away completely. But whether or not new Bazura will ever be produced is in the hands of the gods, which is how network executives like to think of themselves. If we ever do return, we will definitely announce our comeback on this website and our social media accounts, unless we forget our password which has definitely happened several times in the past.

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