UPDATE 12/05/2020: For obvious reasons, this year’s Hippodrome Silent Film Festival was postponed to October. Sadly, this has also been cancelled, but I hope to be able to organise a belated centenary screening of the film in London at some point in the future.
On Friday March 20, I will be introducing a very special screening of Australia’s finest silent film, The Sentimental Bloke (1919), at the brilliant Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest) in Bo’ness, Scotland. Based on CJ Dennis’ vivid, colloquial verse about the lives and loves of working class folk, the film is the product of a brief but fruitful partnership between Raymond Longford and Lottie Lyell.
In the midst of a very busy last six months or so (including spending last term teaching five modules across three institutions, AND working a part time job!), I had the distinct pleasure of hosting Q&As after a couple of brilliant documentary screenings.
Last Saturday, it was my distinct privilege to host the UK premiere of Slam (Partho Sen-Gupta, 2018) in my capacity as Co-Programmer for the London Australian Film Society.
Slam is undoubtedly a confronting film, but it is also a very important one in the contemporary climate, and one that I was admittedly a little nervous about screening. Thankfully, audience reactions, both to the film, and to the interesting and illuminating panel discussion that followed, were overwhelmingly positive.
The feature will be preceded by a screening of short poetry film Borders (Shagufta K Iqbal / Elizabeth Mizon, 2017, and will include a post-screening panel discussion involving media commentators, scholars, and activists discussing a range of issues, from screen representation to the broader contexts of Islamophobia in Australia and Britain.
The recent British Life on Film: History and the Film Archive symposium offered a fascinating glimpse at the breadth of work being done with digital archival film from a host of filmmakers, artists, archivists, curators, and historians.
Last month, in the wake of the Christchurch killings, I gave an interview to CNN International journalist (and Australian ex-pat) Sheena McKenzie on the current state of Australian politics, and whether I thought Australian politicians had ‘learnt anything’ in the wake of the tragedy.
As mentioned on Twitter a little while back, I am pleased to confirm that the book I am co-editing with Dr Peter Kilroy – Screening Australia: Culture, Media, Context – will be published in 2020 by Peter Lang, as part of their Australian Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives series.
The details are obviously still under wraps, but the edited collection stems from a seminar series held at the Menzies Australia Institute a few years ago, and should include chapters on topics including early television, screenwriting, documentary re-enactment, artists’ moving image, Indigenous comedy, the Australian gothic, geology and cinema, and much more.