Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story by Paul Goldman [9/10]

I knew little about Michael Gudinski, the man who bestrode Mushroom Records, a constant feature of the post-60s Australian music scene and, significantly, my coming of age. I knew he was influential but discounted him as a marketer. Two aspects of Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story stand out. Firstly, it is a fulsome summation of a remarkable life, of a person with incredibly drive and musical appreciation, who is rightly seen as foundational for Australian rock music maturing onto the world stage. Secondly, and more importantly, director/writer Paul Goldman’s telling of the story, which could have been wooden and sequential, is, instead, metronomic, stylish, nuanced, and suffused with intelligence. Using a vast trove of archival footage and talking-heads material, Goldman weaves a compelling tale that amounts to more than a remarkable biography. Watching Ego, we find ourselves wondering: how could one person have so much intelligent energy, and, also, why was he so driven? Ego: The Paul Gudinski Story is possibly the best local documentary of 2023.

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