ACMI presents

Arthur and Corinne Cantrill In Conversation

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Wide shot of ocean waves and coast line

This February, we're thrilled to host a special event in which Australian experimental film luminaries Arthur and Corinne Cantrill will present a selection of their short 16mm films, and outline some of the key ideas that have driven their life and work.

They will be joined in discussion by Jake Wilson, freelance writer and film critic for The Age.

About the Cantrills

Arthur Cantrill, AM and Corinne Cantrill, AM share 60 years of experimental filmmaking practice. They have created a unique body of work through intense visual and material research. Their films explore a wide variety of subjects, including landscape studies, colour perception, the work of other artists and the performative aspect of projection itself. In addition to making films, the Cantrills have organised countless screenings of their own and other peoples' work, including landmark expanded cinema events.

In 1977 La Mama Theatre, Carlton invited the Cantrills to give a season of their first Film/Theatre Performance work: Edges of Meaning - projecting film and slides into a theatrical set, with the filmmakers as protagonists. They continued Film/Theatre Performance work at La Mama for three decades, opening up the film experience to the complex elements of live theatre. For many years, the Cantrills also produced and published the fiercely independent, yet inclusive, Cantrills Filmnotes in support of experimental and independent film and video practice in Australia and beyond.

Their work has been screened at international venues such as MoMA, New York, the Festival d'Automne in Paris and the Film Forum in Berlin.

The ACMI Collection team have been working with the Cantrills over the last few years to secure their legacy for the future, which has included the purchase of prints, digitisation and colour grading of their work. This work will ensure that physical prints remain accessible for as long as possible and that research access via digital versions will further assist to preserve the 16mm film prints.

Films showing in this session

The program includes works from the 1960s to the 2000s, with a focus on the Australian coast and the ocean, including rare imagery of Indigenous shell middens captured in the 1960s. By the early 1970s, the middens had been destroyed by  large-scale sand mining for minerals. Corinne and Arthur will also discuss the different film stocks and print histories of the works they are presenting. 

Banksia Serrata (1964), 16mm, B&W, 6 mins. 

Bouddi (1970), 16mm, colour reversal print, 8 mins.

Island Fuse (1971), 16mm, colour reversal print, 11 mins.

Kip & David (extract) (1963), 16mm, B&W, 2 mins.

Ocean at Pt. Lookout (1977), 16mm, colour reversal print, 46 mins.

Home Movie - A Day in the Bush (1969), 16mm, B&W, 4 mins.

Articulated Image (1996), 16mm, Eastmancolor print, enlarged from Super 8mm Kodachrome Reversal, 3 mins.

City of Chromatic Intensity (1999), 16mm, 3-Colour Separation work on high contrast B&W negative, 5 mins.

The Room of Chromatic Mystery (2006), 16mm, 3-Colour Separation work on high contrast B&W negative, 8 mins.