David Stratton’s Stories of Australian Cinema – A Watch List

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Every Sunday evening, for the last few weeks, I’ve been live-tweeting along to David Stratton’s Stories of Australian Cinema (you can revisit the threads here: episode 1 / episode 2 / episode 3).

While the theatrical cut played at the BFI London Film Festival back in 2016 (and again at a London Australian Film event in 2017), only now has the full, three-part documentary series – produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation – finally got an airing on BBC Four in the UK. If you missed it, you can catch up via BBC iPlayer where it will remain for the next twelve months.

In the series, David Stratton – Australia’s leading British-born film critic and long-standing fixture of the Sydney Film Festival (for which he served as director from 1966-1983) – presents a fascinating and jolly (if, understandably patchy) jaunt through Australian cinema, with episodes themed around ‘Game Changers’, ‘Outsiders’, and ‘Family’.

In conversations about the series on social media, quite a few people have lamented the fact that – unlike other shows of this ilk – the BBC have elected not to show a relevant film after each episode. Others have noted that Stratton’s documentary has given them a whole new bunch of films to add to their watch-lists, especially since the UK remains on lockdown due to Covid-19.

So, without further ado, and to help you on your way to (re)discovering some of the delights that Australian cinema has to offer, here is my brief round-up of how British audiences might go about tracking down some of the films featured in the series.

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Interview with Al Araby Television

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During the London Australian Film Festival at the end of June, I gave an interview for Tales of Cinema, a series of half-hour programmes on different aspects of the cinema, produced for London-based Al Araby Television. The episode in which I featured was broadcast to audiences across North Africa and the Middle East on August 6, and is now available to stream.

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