Tuesday 25 October 2016

A letter from Colin Bennett

Colin Bennett was the film critic for Melbourne's The Age newspaper for more than two decades, all the way through the very lively times of the fifties, sixties, the Australian film revival in the 70s and on into the early eighties.

A short while ago I and a handful of others reminisced on the Film Alert blog about our contact with Colin and his influence on both us as individual cinephiles of the day and on the key issues affecting film in Australia. You can find those posts if you click on these links for thoughts from myself & Peter Hourigan,  Adrian Martin & Rod Bishop  Scott Murray Michael Jasper & Bruce Hodsdon and Richard Brennan & Brian Kavanagh.

Colin has now responded to all this attention and has written this letter which I am delighted to publish here. In a way it rounds things off in a most satisfactory manner.

Dear Geoff,

As Mark Twain put it all those years ago, the report of my death was an exaggeration!

Someone has sent me all the kind comments you and others have recently published about me in your blog (whatever that is).
For your own information, since leaving the Age, (after doing the same film writing in London before that) I resigned from the paper and with my second wife opened a horse riding school at Buxton, taking trail rides and camps.

Finally, after selling up and returning to Melbourne I began a third career - Art! Painting in oils and pastels, mainly portraits - which is possibly what I should have been doing for the entire 65 years.

Once again, Geoff, many thanks for the articles and all the very best to you.



  1. Colin's contributions in early days of Australian Film Institute are warmly remembered. Another who retired to Art was Malcolm Otton, DOI and before that Tasmanian Govt director and producer.

  2. What was DOI, they ask: in wartime Department of Information, then of Interior, then Commonwealth Film Unit then rather grandly Film Australia.


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