Proposal for a Film Gallery

I curated an exhibition at the Hawthorn Art Gallery in 1979 as a proposal for establishment of a exhibition space for art films, film art, and artists. It ran for two weeks, I bought the wine and cheese, the projector, U-matic and paid for some telecine transfers. Jim Clayden, Michael Lee and Jonas Balsaitis all went along with the idea, Jim brought his Ad Hoc ‘band’ friends, musician Chris Knowles and artist David Wadelton, to play one evening.  Continue reading “Proposal for a Film Gallery”

Cinema Papers Technicalities

The first article I wrote for Cinema Papers was for the November 1980 issue.  I knew Scott Murray and Peter Beilby, then the editors  (editor/co-founder Phillipe Moira left them to it in 1979) Scott as filmmaker and both by reputations.  We ended up working together in various ways for over twenty years. The last issue I contributed to was February 1997. If you were a filmmaker or part of the industry,  you always bought the magazine when it came out.  There are Australian film people who have grown up never knowing Cinema Papers which is now relegated to the libraries as a resource for film historians. The bits of it that recorded my education and formed my thinking will be linked here  on and include the original versions if I think it’s of interest. Many of the interviews are available in an expanded form with original notes, and some with the cassette audio complete with my ‘er’and ‘ums’. Continue reading “Cinema Papers Technicalities”

Losing the light – Arthur and Corinne Cantrill


This article was a  review of PROJECTED LIGHT, a live two screen presentation by Arthur and Corinne Cantrill at La Mama, Carlton on October 25th to 30th. 1988 (there was much made of the synchronicity of the date with their house  Prestonia in Moonee Ponds which was built in 1888). It was an examination of a major technical shift in 16mm avant-garde filmmaking, when Kodak ‘retired’ a direct positive print stock that had allowed filmmakers to order just a single print from their original positive film (by direct contact printing in the lab and not requiring an internegative to make copies).  Continue reading “Losing the light – Arthur and Corinne Cantrill”

Oshinbo – Eat your Manga.

First published in Sydney Morning Herald Good Living section September 2009.

Did you know that the biggest selling food writer in Japan has lived in Sydney for the past twenty years?

When he finished university Tetsuya Totsuka planned to be a nuclear physicist. Today he is one of the most respected writers of food manga in Japan. And with the release of collected editions of the series, ‘Oishinbo, a la carte’ translated into English, I suggested his impact is certain to be much wider. Continue reading “Oshinbo – Eat your Manga.”

When the things you know go on auto-pilot

According to traditional psychology, there are four stages of learning:

Unconsciously incompetent (i.e. you don’t know what you don’t know)
Consciously incompetent (i.e. you know what you don’t know)
Consciously competent (i.e. you know what you know)
Unconsciously competent (i.e. the things you know go on auto-pilot)

Wikipedia credits this to Martin M. Broadwell  who first articulated the model in his “four stages of teaching” in February 1969.

Another Country Diary

Another Country Diary (as in ‘Why does anyone need another country diary?’ It was an overdone web ‘meme’ at the time I did these, lots of back to the land, nature poets etc.). It was about my life in Bungendore, NSW. a country town just outside Canberra. With my wife Jan,  and at various times our three daughters, we lived there for 17 years. This records just four years of that life, but they’ve often been an aide-mémoire for me (and used by others like the town’s preservation society who have been raiding the images for years -with my approval).

I tried to create an entry for each day. I had a new digital camera and I saw the rigour of that schedule being useful as a writer and photographer. After a year of entries assembled to document each week, I decided to go for larger images and longer pieces instead of daily entries. It starts in 2002 and finishes with the February-March 2006 entry. Continue reading “Another Country Diary”


In his perceptive 2008 PhD dissertation on the importance of the San Francisco City Lights bookshop, James Gatewood quotes from a November 30 1959 LIFE magazine article about the Beat generation. The staff writer Paul O’Neill had either been commissioned to afront (LIFE was pretty conservative) or is himself afronted and goes on the attack on “some of the hairiest, scrawniest, and most discontented specimens of all time”. Hang on I said, that was me, I wanted to be Beat, did people really think that? Continue reading “Beat”

Sunbury Pop Festival 1972 – a document

You see different things from the inside, looking out at popular mass media when it’s watching you. This is a story about that. And about how in the 70’s some of us had the creative tools to tell our own stories, or at least talk back.

The (big) American music industry gave us the film Woodstock and it excited us. They were our music heroes, and across a multi-split screen, the audience looked to be the same wanna-be counterculturalists as us (or that we aspired to be, given a bit of time-delay across the Pacific). Not all pop festivals in Australia were destined to be Woodstock,  however much they promised us.

Continue reading “Sunbury Pop Festival 1972 – a document”

Howard Lindley ?-1972?

Howard Lindley was a music writer for POL magazine and a regular reviewer for Melbourne’s GoSet music paper. I met him first when he came along to some screenings at the Melb. Film Co-op in the late 60’s. He was also editing the experimental film section of Lumiere magazine and asked me to write a few pieces. I don’t remember what led me to helping him submit an application for a short film grant from the AFI but once that was done, and the grant (of $5,000) came through I found myself working as Producer and Director of Photography to Howard’s Director and Writer on a movie that I don’t think ever had a title. Easy to Lie is written on more than one film can (and that was a Doug Ford and Jim Keays, Apprentices track), I like it and I’m sure Howard would have too.

Like everyone given enough money to shoot a 30 min short at the time, we immediately set out to shoot a 16mm feature. Continue reading “Howard Lindley ?-1972?”