Australian Centre for the Moving Image

Wonderland

April 12, 2018

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is the very definition of a classic. On first publication in 1865 it did for children’s books what Don Quixote had done for romances of chivalry: making a mockery of their pompous, moralising tone; using wilful nonsense to expose the unwitting variety. The author, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-98) was an Oxford … More


Hollywood Costume

July 27, 2013

In Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, a turning point arrives through a change of costume. James Stewart, playing the damaged cop, Scottie, sees a girl who closely resembles the dead woman who haunts his thoughts. That woman, Madeleine, is on Scottie’s conscience and in his heart. In Judy, a shop girl from Kansas, he recognises Madeleine’s double … More


Tim Burton

August 28, 2010

In his bravura performance as the Joker in Batman (1989), Jack Nicholson delivers a line that says a lot about director, Tim Burton. “We mustn’t compare ourselves to regular people,” he tells Kim Basinger. “We’re artists.” One should never underestimate middle-class mediocrity as a spur to greater achievement. Burton’s entire career as graphic artist, animator, … More


Dennis Hopper & the New Hollywood

April 10, 2010

When Dennis Hopper read the script of David Lynch’s 1986 film, Blue Velvet, he is reputed to have called the director and said: “You have to let me play Frank Booth because I am Frank Booth.” Nobody who has seen Blue Velvet could ever forget Hopper’s performance: a blue-eyed psychopath puffing pure oxygen from a … More


Len Lye, Screen Worlds & A Day in Pompeii

September 26, 2009

Len Lye had charisma. The British poet, Alistair Reid dubbed him “the least boring person who ever existed,” and everyone who knew him seems to have fallen under his spell. Not bad for a working class boy from New Zealand who arrived in London in 1926 with no contacts and no money, sustained only by … More