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AFI research collection
Reference Type journal
Title The Sydney Cinema Journal, Volumes 1-4
Author(s)Ken Quinnell,Michael Thornhill
Issue 1-4
State NSW
Country Australia
Publication Date
Citation Date
Comments Michael Thornhill founded the Sydney Cinema Journal with Ken Quinnell in 1966. Four issues were released between 1966 and 1968 all can be found at the State Library of Victoria. The publication featured a number of film reviews yet covered numerous aspects of the film industry. For instance some of the story titles included “Animation Situation,” “teaching the Masses Their Media,” The Ealing Power if Comedy” and Film in Australia – The Sound Period”. There were many different contributors to the publication, all from diverse backgrounds.

Frequent contributers to the SJC (appearing in at least two issues) included

- Frank Moorehouse, writer, journalist, lecturer and adult education tutor.

- John Hill, chief animator and director of “Graphik Animations.”

- Sylvia Lawson, film critic for ‘Nation.’

- Barry Baldwin, Associate Professor of Classics at Calgary University in Canada

Screenshots appeared occasionally in the SCJ but each publication featured a different shot on the front of each issue. It was particularly fascinating that the SCJ could be purchased for a mere fifty cents which put its historical significance into perspective. The obvious use of a typewriter also characterises the time bracket in which the SCJ was released.

I found an emotional editorial by Thornhill in the third issue very reflective of the problems faced by industry professionals during the 1960’s “There is no Australian cinema. That is to say there is no possibility for the potential filmmaker to make feature films. Many people would argue that no person has the god given right to make films. This is reasonable comment, all things being equal. In Australia it is impossible for the filmmaker to obtain finance from normal sources, film distributors or banks. Film distribution and exhibition in Australia is controlled by foreign ownership. The major hollywood distributors and the Rank organisation of great Britain have a complete stranglehold on film distribution and exhibition in Australia. For these corporations and their Australian associates, its strictly a matter of fruit for the sideboard.”

On the whole, it can be concluded by Thornhills opinion on the Australian film industry that no much has changed since the 1960’s, as Australian films continue to struggle for funding and in turn popularity at the box office. It is unclear why the SCJ only published four issues but a lack of interest in Australian cinema at the time of publication could be a viable reason.

It was relatively surprising that so few issues were published considering the publication featured numerous interesting articles from respected industry professionals.

Synopsis The Sydney Cinema Journal comprised of four issues released between 1966 and 1968. They covered issues of interest within the Australian film industry
tags: Barry Baldwin Frank Moorhouse John Hill Michael Thornhill. Sylvia Lawson The Sydney Cinema Journal 
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