David Stratton: A Cinematic Life is a captivating story about the birth and evolution of Australian cinema, and the role it played in the life of one of Australia’s most respected film critics, David Stratton.
A self-confessed cinephile, David Stratton has seen in excess of 20,000 movies in his lifetime. His love for the silver screen developed at a young age, and quickly put him at odds with the rest of his family.
This is highlighted by anecdotes from his brother, who recalls spending his boyhood days in England playing cricket with his friends, while David was seeing films and rushing home to his bedroom to write about them.
David’s father had intended for his sons to take control of the family business, which had been in operation for generations.
Instead, while on holiday in Australia in 1963 – a country that had first captured his imagination through the film ‘The Overlanders’ starring the iconic Australian Actor Chips Rafferty – he became involved with the local film society movement, and the rest is history.
After securing a dream job at the Sydney Film Festival, David had to tell his father he would not be returning home to work in the family business. He would go on to serve as the festival’s director for 17 years.
A Cinematic Life explores some of the most iconic moments in Australia cinematic history, including Australia (and the world’s) first feature film, Australia’s first colour feature, and first film starring Aboriginal actors, as well as some of the more controversial films to have been produced here.
David felt so uncomfortable with one such movie he refused to review it all – a decision that would drive its writer to throw a glass of wine over him at a party.
As well as being a compelling insight into David’s personal life and a behind-the-scenes look at his successful and storied career, A Cinematic Life is a fascinating look at the history of Australian cinema through the eyes of one of its greatest advocates. A fitting choice for both casual fans of cinema or movie-goers equally as obsessed as David, A Cinematic Life is a must-see for any true fan of the world of cinema.
Words by Megan Laws
Image courtesy of Transmission Films
Details: 100 minutes| Release Date – 09 March 2017 | CTC Distributed in Australia by Transmission Films