From a young age I was fond of films. (Fond is probably underplaying it a little really.) However, my passion for celluloid really kicked in when I was about 8 or 9 years old and we were living in Darwin at the time. Every Friday that was available, my sister and I would dress up in our maxi-dresses (this was the first time around for the maxi-dress trend) and sandals and head off to the RAAF Base Cinema to watch whatever was on show that week.
We weren’t too particular in those days about the genre of film we just loved the weekly ritual of dressing up and going to sit in the cool, dark cinema that not only provided a well needed escape from the heat but that also transported us into many worlds, particularly of the imagination.
The first subject option I was able to choose for myself at University was Film Studies that I turned into a Minor Study and followed this up with a Minor in Photography (it would later become a much-needed practical skill when I was working in the Media industry).
It was at University that I developed a love for Hitchcock, O.Selznick and Zanuck amongst others. The old timers whose skills and eye for visual story-telling are still being copied today. (I don’t care what anyone says Hitchcock is still the Master of Suspense for me!) Later my taste grew more eclectic and I would frequent the independent cinemas of Sydney as often as possible developing a love for the off-beat and obscure views presented by Lynch, Greenaway and Australia’s own De Heer and Lowenstein. Today I am crazy about the Coen Brothers and Tarantino while my continued love for Weir remains strong.
Living in Leichhardt, NSW, throughout my 20s and into my 30s, I was never far from Glebe or Newtown and the cinemas there. But I was over-joyed when the Palace Cinema Leichhardt opened up virtually on my doorstep. I could in fact see part of the cinema from my top floor unit’s balcony. Many a Sunday morning would see me arise late from a correspondingly late night in Newtown, to fly into the shower, dress and run to catch a mid morning movie session. That was my preferred time as the cinemas were quieter with plenty of seats to choose from. (I also love the greater privacy this time-slot allows for one to laugh or cry hysterically which is often the case for me!)
When I changed careers and became a High School Teacher, I was employed at my first school on the basis that I set up a Media Studies Unit for Gifted and Talented Students and I made sure that I integrated film into the curriculum. Today I still teach film and have taught a specialised Film Appreciation Unit where I virtually all-but-ban the blockbuster instead presenting a program of Australian Films, Foreign Films, Alternative Cinema etc to expose students to genres that they might not otherwise see.
On this blog I will be sharing with you some of my observations, thoughts, knowledge etc about films and I hope that you will respond and share your views too.
While I love that DVDs now mean we can stay at home and watch whatever takes our fancy I still find nothing better than going to The State Cinema in Hobart to get a good old dose of cinematic medicine. (There is something about being in those big ol’ comfy seats in the dark that excites me!)
(PS. Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, the maxi-dresses are stuck in another time warp and can’t escape the dreaded clutches of the 70’s plastic photo album! So, for now here is a picture of the State Cinema in Hobart, less amusing but a wonderful place to visit.)