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Film Essays

Here you will find a wide range of essays and filmmaker notes from ACMI's international exhibition and film seasons. 

Encountering Bertolucci
Encountering Bertolucci
Writer Christos Tsiolkas provides a personal reflection on the films of Bernardo Bertolucci.

Voice of the Grain
Voice of the Grain: Films by Arthur and Corinne Cantrill
Jake Wilson, Melbourne writer and curator of Grain of the Voice looks back at the vast body of work produced by Arthur and Corinne Cantrill.

Tim Burton, Blue Girl With Wine
Twisted Tales: Tim Burton's Modern Fables
Assistant Curator Kate Warren explores Burton's affinity with the darker, subversive re-imaginings of traditional fairy tale and fable storytelling.

In the Dust of the Stars
East German Cinema
Dr Heinz Leo Kretzenbacher on the cultural value of East German cinema. Read the same essay in German here.

Boxing Day
Oz Noir
Melbourne crime writer Shane Maloney delves into the light and dark of classic Australian cinema.

Who Are You Polly Maggoo?
William Klein: Waiting for a Photographer
Film critic and scholar Dr Adrian Martin looks into the wild and wonderful world of William Klein.

Do the Right Thing
Spike Lee
Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and Africana Studies at New York University, Ed Guerrero discusses the rich legacy of Spike Lee's work.

Johnnie To
Johnnie To: A Current Appraisal
American film critic, filmmaker, and independent scholar Andrew Grossman examines the enduring and often enigmatic vision of Johnnie To.

The Saragossa Manuscript
The Saragossa Manuscript
In this excerpt from a Senses of Cinema essay, US writer and editor John Fidler decodes Wojciech J. Has' mysterious and baffling film.

Jim Henson
Jim Henson's Secret Cinema
Focus on Jim Henson curator Jim Knox on the work of the world's most beloved puppeteer.

Marv Newland
Under the Influence
Focus On Jim Henson curator Jim Knox on the work of Marv Newland and Sally Cruikshank, two Sesame Street animators whose independent work celebrates and satirises the crazy counter-culture comix universe.

Scarlet Diva
Asia & Dario Argento
Written to accompany the Focus on Asia & Dario Argento season, these pogram notes offer insight into the work of this father-daughter filmmaking dynasty.

Pan's Labyrinth
Guillermo del Toro
How a self-confessed special effects 'geek' from Mexico reinvigorated the fantasy horror genre.

Crispin Glover
Q&A: Crispin Glover
Writer, scene-stealing actor, film and trouble maker Crispin Glover answered some pertinent questions for ACMI on the eve of his Big Slide Show tour.

Barney Rosset
Barney Rosset on Barney Rosset
The maverick US publisher - the subject of Neil Ortenberg's documentary Obscene - reminisces in this essay for ACMI about the highs and lows (but mainly the highs) of independent publishing in '60s America.

John Cassavetes
Made in USA
Christos Tsiolkas on the films of the quintessential actor's director and the defining figure of American independent cinema.

Focus on Female Gothic
Lady Beware
Curator of our Focus On Female Gothic, Adrian Martin traces the path of the heroine through thriller and horror, women's cinema and the avant-garde.

Gus van Sant
Gus Van Sant
Curator of our Focus On Gus Van Sant, Roberta Ciabarra takes us through a role-call of Van Sant's fringe dwellers.

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