Tripping on the Light Fantastic: a bit of a look at Australian film

Adrian Mitchell

Abstract


In the beginning is the word: there has to be a script. But even before a word is said there’s light, and camera, and action. Films are before all else about light, and about what can be realised through light. That pre-eminence of light was acknowledged in the old-time movie theatres, in the custom, now regrettably lapsed, of having the projection illuminating the screen before the curtains were drawn open, so that the promised world of light could be glimpsed before revelation, symbolically seen through a veil which then parted — and behold, a new heaven and a new earth. Those who arrived late, after the houselights had gone down, followed their own little subdued pool of light, the usherette’s torch, down the carpeted aisles.

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