Wednesday 15 November 2023

CINEMA REBORN 2024 FESTIVAL EXPANDS TO MELBOURNE - 1-7 May (Sydney), 9-15 May (Melbourne)

“It’s great news that the fabulous Cinema Reborn programmes will be shown in Melbourne in 2024.  I’ve greatly enjoyed a number of visits to the Sydney programmes, where it’s been so exciting to see restored prints on a big screen”.


Bruce Beresford, Director of Tender Mercies  (screened at Cinema Reborn, 2023)


Cinema Reborn, Sydney’s annual festival of restored classics showcasing the work of directors from Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa and North America, has been presented in Sydney since 2018, with the last four editions presented at Randwick’s heritage-listed Ritz Cinemas. The 2024 Sydney season will take place from 1-7 May and, in a first for Melbourne, Cinema Reborn will also be presented at the Lido Cinema in Hawthorn from 9-15 May. 


The Chair of Cinema Reborn’s Organising Committee Geoff Gardner said today: “The presentation of the 2024 Cinema Reborn season in Melbourne is a landmark moment in the short life of our event. Over the past six years our annual season of restored classics has built a loyal Sydney audience who appreciate the opportunity to see the cinema’s masterworks in state of the art digitally restored versions. We are delighted at the prospect of presenting our festival in Melbourne. We have just started the selection process and already news of our expansion has been welcomed by the local and international distributors and film archives from whom we obtain our program. 


Cinema Reborn in Sydney has become part of a worldwide network of events endorsed and supported by the Cineteca Bologna’s Il Cinema Ritrovato. Guy Borlée, the Co-ordinator of Il Cinema Ritrovato, has welcomed Cinema Reborn’s new step: “We are extremely happy that the desire to (re)discover good old movies inside a beautiful movie theatre, in the dark and in the middle of unknown strangers, will expand towards Melbourne. Il Cinema Ritrovato, the festival based on the same desire and organised by Cineteca di Bologna for 38 years, has supported Cinema Reborn since its birth in Sydney and will continue to do so in Melbourne.”


Cinema Reborn brings us fabulous restorations of cinema classics each year. Always enhanced by introductions by industry and academic cinephiles, it is a big screen experience not to be missed by film lovers.
Margot Nash Director of Shadow Panic, (Screened at Cinema Reborn 2021)


Benji Tamir, the General Manager of both the Ritz and Lido Cinemas, part of the chain of quality independent cinemas owned and managed by the Tamir family’s Moving Story company, has welcomed Cinema Reborn’s expansion to Melbourne: “Since we started presenting Cinema Reborn in Randwick we have been thrilled to be part of this unique event. We have seen audiences double and been impressed by the dedicated work of the Organising Committee of professional film-makers, critics and curators who present the event on an entirely voluntary basis. The range of films selected each year, many of them direct from the Classics sections at Cannes, Venice and Berlin, is a constant delight. We look forward to building a similar audience in Melbourne.”


Cinema Reborn’s 2024 program will be accompanied by the publication of a superb printed catalogue and a dedicated website with comprehensive notes on the film selection written by some of Australia’s best known film scholars and critics. The 2023 website is still posted here and you can read the pages of the 2023 Cinema Reborn printed catalogue here.


Cinema Reborn is an important site for accessing significant films which should not be forgotten. Long may it continue!


Arthur and Corinne Cantrill Director of In This Life’s Body, Screened at Cinema Reborn 2018)


The full Cinema Reborn 2024 program with titles, dates, session times and booking information will be released in March.


For further information contact:


Geoff Gardner

0416 912567


Benji Tamir

0433 505534


Guy Borlée

Tuesday 7 November 2023



Victoria Haralabidou in I Want to Make a Film about Women
(Dir: Karen Pearlman, 2020)


Karen Pearlman and I have our first ever Australian retrospective of our company Physical TV's films, entitled PHYSICAL TV: TEMPORAL ANOMALIES on Tuesday November 14, 2023, at 8.30pm, at the Thornbury Picture House in Naarm / Melbourne. The program is presented under the aegis of the Unknown Pleasures: Australian independent cinema series, curated by Bill Mousoulis and Chris Luscri.

Karen and I will be flying down from Sydney for the screening and for the post-screening Q&A moderated by Anna Dzenis of La Trobe University and the Victorian College of the Arts.

(The Physical TV Company is a critically acclaimed international film production company based in Sydney, Australia.  Physical TV creates dramas, documentaries, and dancefilms informed by scholarly research into the history and the future potential of the cinematic medium.  Its works have been commissioned or purchased for multiple broadcasts by ABC and SBS-TV in Australia, and picked up for broadcast in China, Europe and on cable TV in the USA.  Physical TV screen productions have travelled to over 300 film festivals on six continents, garnered over 100 awards or nominations, many have attracted grant funding or support through government or philanthropic arts funding bodies and been added to the collections of major film archives around the world.

(Founding Director of the Physical TV Company, Richard James Allen is also well known for his creativity as a poet, and most recently published a novel, More Lies (Interactive Press); while founding director Karen Pealrman is a leading theorist on film editing and feminist film histories, her most recent book is Cutting Rhythms: Intuitive Film Editing (Focal Press).  A number of Physical TV works include poetry by Allen and are informed by research by Pearlman.)

You can find comprehensive program notes on the nine short films to be screened at the Thornbury Picture House by Bill Mousoulis IF YOU CLICK HERE

Wednesday 1 November 2023

The 2023 Rod Wallace Memorial Lecture - Emeritus Professor Jenny Hocking AM FASSA speaks on Burnt files, lost files, and denials of public access: censoring Archives and the falsification of history

Ray Edmondson, President of the Friends of the National Film & Sound Archive writes: "Many of you will know of Jenny Hocking through the “Palace Letters” saga, which is now the subject of a forthcoming film.  On 28 November 2023  at 6 pm for 6.30 pm at the Arc Cinema, National Film and Sound Archive, Jenny will deliver the 2023 Rod Wallace Memorial Lecture for the Friends of the NFSA on 28 November at the NFSA’s Arc Cinema. Her subject is   Burnt files, lost files and denial of public access: censoring archives and the falsification of history . If you will be in Canberra on the date, I recommend it! But please book first!"   


Professor Jenny Hocking

In bringing to life the story of Gough Whitlam, his government, and its dramatic dismissal by the governor-general, Sir John Kerr, archives have played a central role. From Gough Whitlam’s early film appearance as a tuxedo-wearing extra in Ken G. Hall’s Broken Melody, his spontaneous knighting of Dame Edna Everage in Barry McKenzie Holds his Own, to the Queen’s secret correspondence with Kerr about the dismissal, the collections of the National Film and Sound Archive and the National Archives among others, have revealed a rich history of Gough Whitlam and the dismissal.

Jenny Hocking’s successful four-year High Court battle against the Archives to secure the release of the Queen’s correspondence with Kerr was a great victory for history, a highpoint in public access and transparency and the harbinger of an important recalibration of the history of the dismissal. However, it also highlighted the great damage to history done by the failure to release such critically important archives. The denial of access to the ‘Palace letters’ allowed a false version of the dismissal history to circulate unchallenged, one in which the Queen played no part in Kerr’s decision to dismiss Whitlam.

The release of the Palace letters in 2020 changed the history of the dismissal irrevocably. It also revealed a disturbing pattern of archival obstruction beyond just denials of access to public documents. From the destruction of Gough Whitlam’s ASIO file, Kerr’s burnt Royal letters of support, to the missing telephone logs, lost guest books, these innovative denials of access raise deep concerns for archives and for history. With the National Archives now imposing restrictions on researchers’ access to its records it’s time to ask, whose archives are they? In this important and thought-provoking lecture Emeritus Professor Jenny Hocking asks, ‘whose archives and whose history, is this - theirs or ours?’ 




The Friends of the NFSA have established the Rod Wallace Memorial Lecture as an annual tribute to a pioneer of audiovisual archiving in Australia.

Roderick J. Wallace AM (1916-1997) was a founding staff member of the Film Division of the (then) Commonwealth National Library, joining it as a cataloguer in November 1945. He became head of the Division in 1956, and a decade later he was promoted to head the emerging Special Collections area of the National Library, embracing not only films, but music, sound recordings, materials conservation, photography, pictures and maps. During the 1950s he guided the development of Australia’s non-theatrical film library network across all states, with the Film Division as the central member. In the 1960s he conducted, in his own time, the first national crusade to track down what survived of Australia’s early film history – conducted, of necessity, by laborious research and letter writing, since there were no pathways to follow . In the early 1970s he oversaw the creation of the National Library’s film archive and sound archive staff units. In all of these areas he was an innovator, pioneer, skilled negotiator, advocate and mentor. A quiet achiever, he retired in 1977. He had laid the foundation for the eventual creation, in 1984, of the National Film and Sound Archive as a separate institution, an event that he regarded as one of the great moments of his life.

Each year a distinguished speaker will be invited to prepare and deliver the Rod Wallace lecture. It will be a public event, open to the public and recorded for subsequent dissemination. The topic of the lecture is left to the speaker, with the suggestion that it reflect an aspect of the preservation and dissemination of the audiovisual heritage - taking that term in its broadest interpretation.

Sunday 29 October 2023

Streaming on SBS On Demand - HIDDEN ASSETS (Two Series, Showrunner Peter McKenna, Ireland/Belgium, 2021- ) & KIN ( Two Series, Created and written by Peter McKenna, Ireland, 2021-)

Charlie Cox, Ciaran Hinds, Kin

Aha Peter McKenna. ... A name to conjure with. Full Forward for Collingwood for 13 years and 838 goals before  playing a final season with Carlton and 36 goals. Never played in a premiership side, though he did win the Coleman Medal twice, though not in 1969 and 1971 when he kicked 143 and 134 goals respectively. Hudson beat him both years.

Peter McKenna

Collingwood of course was once the domain of John Wren who made his money running an illegal tote  down in its very dirty backblocks of the day. Wren loved the football club and Wikipedia informs us that he was well known for supporting exemplary Collingwood players in the VFL's  pre-professionalised era. While players were paid a per-game salary, the amount was meagre until the late 20th century when the sport became professionalised. To compensate for this, Wren was known to send monetary gifts to players who performed well, often paying ten to twenty times the normal game salary to certain Collingwood players. Among the beneficiaries included Collingwood legend Gordon Coventry after he scored a then-record 16 goals in a game in 1929; however, in his case, League Laws prevented him from doing this, so he exploited a loophole by gifting 50 quid to Coventry's wife (A$1,995 in 2018 terms) to buy a suite of furniture. In the thirties when, as now though not so easily, money could help buy a premiership, Collingwood won a lot including four in a row from 1927 to 1930, the only time it has ever been done in VFL/AFL history. 

Wikipedia tells us the tote eventually earned Wren £20,000 per year (A$2,646,000 in 2021 terms). Wren's wealth also caused other family dysfunction problems and once again Wikipedia lays it out simply "Others of his children had troubled lives. His son Anthony committed suicide after being disinherited following an argument with Wren, while his daughter-in-law Nora and grandchildren only received a meagre allowance. When another of Wren's grandchildren, Susan Wardlaw, died, her two brothers had her buried without notifying her husband Greg, who was then given 24 hours to leave the family home, while another of Wren's daughters, Angela, purportedly died of malnutrition when she was 39, leaving an estate worth £97,000.

My goodness. You could write a book or make a TV series out of it though I'm not sure that Peter McKenna despite his post-footy media career would have been up for it.

But Peter McKenna (no relation, above) is these days the author of two terrific crime series made in Ireland and now streaming on SBS. McKenna however might be channelling something from Collingwood and Wren's past with his tales of dysfunction, betrayal and sheer brutality among a couple of Irish crime families. Kin is the more ferocious of the two. You get the impression it might be written from close hand observation or knowledge. In each series there is one crime lord who stops at nothing to have his way. The body count piles up throughout. In series one that lord is played by the wonderful Ciaran Hinds as Eamonn Cunningham, a rival of and supplier to the Kinsella family and in series two, having been set up at the end of series one he's played by Francis Magee as Bren Kinsella,  fresh out of prison and more violently psychotic than anybody else on screen. (Spolier alert). Things dont turn out well for either.

In the meantime, it's the women of the family who have the most intriguing parts  as wives, sisters, mothers, children and lovers. In most circumstances they are just smarter and more subtle than the blokes, with the possible exception of Michael Kinsella (Charlie Cox), also fresh out of prison and shortly thereafter committing another murder. Must see stuff.

Wouter Hendrickx, Angeline Ball, Hidden Assets

With Hidden Assets you get the impression that McKenna probably had a research team to help with the intricacies of money laundering, technical police investigation involving a lot of banging away at computers followed by 'gotcha' moments, and the various bits of business chicanery that take place in Ireland and Belgium. There's also the background of a false flag terrorist operation and the involvement of a populist/racist but corrupt politician. But again it's family betrayal, dysfunction and retribution that keep you on edge. However, the cops are much more prominent in this one, especially the Belgian detective Christian De Jonge (Wouter Hendrickx). Strangely the Irish female cop in series one is only referred to as having 'got a promotion to Madrid' to explain her absence in series two. Maybe the character,  the rather abrasive Detective Sergeant Emer Berry (Angeline Ball) didn't play well with the focus groups. Similarly terrific. 

Our Peter McKenna has long left the footy and media scene. Their Peter McKenna seems likely to develop a following. Perhaps next a series about Irish crims in Melbourne. You could start with a roman a clef about John Wren.

"A kind of complicity" - Part Two of Tom Ryan's 2005 conversation with Cedric Klapisch and Romain Duris rediscovered - The interview with Romain Duris


In the earlier part of this 2005 interview with director Cedric Klapisch and actor Romain Duris, Tom Ryan discussed the creation of the character Xavier who is the central character of the films L’Auberge Espagnole/The Spanish Apartment  and Russian Dolls. In this section of their conversation Tom talks to actor Duris about the role and working with Klapisch. Duris also appears in Greek Salad a  new series created by Klapisch which is streaming on Amazon Prime and was reviewed here by Peter Hourigan


 A very laidback Romain Duris (2005), a man with a very mischievous sense of humour.
Photograph by Tom Ryan.

Do you think that you and Xavier have anything in common?


During the shooting of the film, given that Xavier is a character who doubts constantly, I did get the feeling that that doubting could infect me as well as a person. But I got over that.


When did you find out that a sequel was in the works?


Very early on with L’Auberge Espagnole, we realised that it could lead to a sequel. And I expect that we’ll now do a third movie, after Xavier and Wendy have had children. But I don’t want to be Xavier every time I work with Cedric. I want to keep working with him, but I want to play other roles too. We work together really well. I look at Cedric and understand automatically what he wants next. I haven’t had that kind of complicity with anyone else.


How has he changed since you first worked with him in 1994?


He’s evolved a lot. He’s more mature in his work and, with the experience he’s gained over the past ten years, he’s become very professional in his approach while at the same time he’s always had the most wonderful carefree insouciance. He hasn’t lost the light-hearted approach that he had when he was younger. The freedom that he encourages means that you can take risks, that you’ll embrace the danger. But his vision of people, of human beings, hasn’t changed. He's somebody who likes people and it shows in his films…


Romain Duris and Cedric Klapisch during the shooting 
of Russian Dolls

How do his working methods compare, say, to Jacques Audiard or Benoit Jacquot?


Cedric’s style is always very close to comedy. He likes to be subtle about it, not to be overt and overstep the mark. Like Audiard, he likes to have inputs from others that will help the story and the characters to evolve. That’s what makes working with him such a joy. It’s real creativity.


Others, like Audiard and Tony Gatliff seem to be making films on the run. Does it feel like that to you when you’re working with Cedric? 


Audiard is the fastest. He likes things when they’re not prepared. Gatliff used to be like that, but as he’s gone on he’s become more in favour of organising things. Cedric is much more organised. He needs more time so as he can attain this undercurrent of comedy. It doesn’t happen immediately. You have to work on it. 

One of Cedric’s strengths is his desire to pursue the philosophical underpinnings of a scene, to make it light on the surface but serious underneath, which brings him very close to one of the people he admires, Fellini. Only the packaging is lightweight. The same as with a lot of the American films with Cary Grant, like the Howard Hawks ones. 


They’re comedies, but what they’re about, what they’re saying, is very powerful. They’re about the search for self. Xavier is constantly looking for something. And making mistakes all along the way. So you might take the films as philosophical tales of our times. Xavier is fortunate enough to be able to take time to ask questions of others and, most importantly, of himself. It’s a luxury. There are many for whom that would be an impossibility.

Saturday 21 October 2023

THE PARIS WRITER'S SALON 11 - John Baxter and Samuel Lopez-Barrantes propose discussions on Romantic Love

 Bonjour everyone,

        Samuel Lopez-Barrantes and I are happy to announce the 11th Paris Writers Salon, this time discussing three books on the perennial topic of romantic love. Samuel and I look forward to welcoming you into the heart of literary Paris for another stimulating series of conversations.



Salon No. 11: Paris, Love & Memory/

In the film An American Paris, Leslie Caron says “Paris has ways of making people forget” but Gene Kelly disagrees. “It's too real and too beautiful to ever let you forget anything. It reaches in and opens you wide and you stay that way.” The books in this Salon all deal with love and forgetting, and the impact of Paris on the emotional life of those who live here.

Every Sunday at 7pm CET

November 19 - December 10 2023.

The cost is 300 Euros or $300. For more details, see

Watson is a dedicated Salon member

Sunday, November 19.

Bonjour Tristesse/Hello Sadness by Françoise Sagan (1954)

Written when she was 18, this novel made Sagan a household name. People accustomed to dismissing teenagers as gossiping bubbleheads were shocked to discover they could experience grand passions and existential despair. Cecile, a sassy Parisienne holidaying on the Côte d'Azur with her widowed but womanizing father, all but drowns in the whirling currents of his love affairs and her attempts at defining her emotional needs.

Sunday, November 26

In the Café of Lost Youth by Patrick Modiano (2007) 

Nobel laureate Modiano is both jaded and hopeful, intellectual and romantic. Four lonely people congregate at the Café Conde in central Paris, their lives illustrating the precepts of philosopher Guy Debord, who re-defined our view of city life. “Ever-present through this story,” wrote onc critic,”is the city of Paris, almost another character in her own right. This is the Paris of 'no-man's-lands', of lonely journeys on the last metro, or nocturnal walks along empty boulevards; of cafés where the lost youth wander in, searching for meaning, and the older generation sift through the memories of their own long-gone adolescence.”

Sunday, December 3

Of Love and Paris: Historic, Romantic & Obsessive Liaisons by John Baxter (2023)

“She wanted to die,” wrote Gustave Flaubert of his doomed heroine Emma Bovary, “but she also wanted to live in Paris.” In 32 essays, John examines why the city has exercised such a potent influence on the romantic lives of those who live here. From Napoleon and Josephine to Rimbaud and Verlaine, Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg to Henry Miller and Anais Nin, and the real-life lovers who inspired the novel and film Jules et Jim, he analyses why Paris inspires such extremes of emotion and attracts the people who wish to experience them. For a sample published earlier on this blog CLICK HERE

Sunday, December 10

Open Forum Salon

As usual, the last session opens up to thoughts and suggestions. If earlier salons are any guide, the conversation will range far and wide and provide a lively discussion to bookend the eleventh rendition of the Paris Writers’ Salon.

Friday 20 October 2023

Brisbane's 2nd Annual Film Noir Festival - Joel Archer sends in a note and a booking link


Bri and I (to a lesser extent Ezekiel) are getting excited for the one-of-a-kind film festival we are hosting in Mid November.

We are showcasing 8 fantastic films at the stunning Palace Cinemas on James St in Fortitude Valley. One of the screenings will be inside a Brewery at Newstead Brewery in Milton Brisbane!
Tickets are on sale now for this terrific slice of Classic Hollywood at home, look forward to seeing you there. Great excuse for a Date Night or a unique weekend in Brisbane: