Urban Cinefile
"Let the make up do the acting, yep, that's exactly what I did. I thought to myself, there's no reason to act like a dog or animal, or it'd get a bit unreal."  -Temuera Morrison on his role as a dog-creature in The Island of Dr Moreau
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Friday May 22, 2020 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



A picture is worth a thousand words and this book is full of them. The recently published The Shadowcatchers is a vital record of Australian cinematography. Andrew L. Urban flips through it.

I flipped it open and landed on page 238, a full page shot of a wildly bucking bull tossing its rider off caught mid-air by cinematographer Michael Joy, who is himself in motion, as if stepping backwards, but his hand held camera about 50 centimetres from the bulls nose. His face contorted by effort, Joy is at creative and physical stretch. Behind him and supporting his body is a rodeo wrangler. The still shot is stunning enough, and I can imagine what Joys camera is capturing.

This is just one page in 288 from The Shadowcatchers, a magnificent coffee table size book chronicling the history of of cinematography in Australia by filmmaker & cinematographer Martha Ansara for the Australian Cinematographers Society.

You can flip it open anywhere and be grabbed by the eyeballs; printed on 150gsm art paper, each page measuring 340 x 245 cm, its a substantial book both physically and editorially. Superbly presented, deeply researched and fabulously illustrated, its a book for anyone in love with images and image making.

The images are about cinematographers going about their work, from dusty outback locations to the tops of skyscrapers, to tiny sets or special rigs under/over vehicles ...

The text begins with the first filmmakers (1896 1913) and ends up at the revolution in technology.

The book, a product of the ACS Book Committee, pays tribute to the art and craft of the men and women who have put Australia on the cinematic map and does so in a powerful and evocative book worth its weight in gold. And its heavy!

Published June 28, 2012

Email this article

Soft cover edition (hard cover sold out) $66;

Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020