Oh yeah, it’s been a while, so I should probably mention that Screen Addict is currently on hiatus whilst I complete a dissertation for the Masters in Film Archiving from the University of East Anglia…
What am I writing about I (don’t) hear you ask? Well, if you must know – and you must – I’m looking at three Australian features from the silent period, examining their trade showing, marketing and critical reception in Britain during the 1920s.
The films were each the result of a prolific partnership between Raymond Longford and Lottie Lyell, featured Arthur Tauchert in leading roles, and were based (literally or notionally) on the work of C.J. Dennis. The first is The Sentimental Bloke (1919), often considered the finest Australian feature film from the silent era, which was quickly followed by Ginger Mick (1920) and The Dinkum Bloke [released in the UK as A Gentleman In Mufti] (1923), both of which now seem to be lost (barring a miraculous find of course, and they do happen occasionally).
The Sentimental Bloke is available to download/stream at the Internet Archive, but it has been transferred from an extremely ropey and incomplete U-matic tape. For the real deal, I would highly recommend picking up the brilliant Region 4 DVD box-set released by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia in association with the every wonderful folks at Madman.
Screen Addict will be back in action with a veritable shedload of updates in early October. In the meantime, treat yourself to a beaut’ lil’ slice of Raymond Longford’s adaptation of The Sentimental Bloke on the Australian Screen Online website.
Livin’ an’ lovin’–so life mooches on.