O’Regan, Tom: Kenneth Slessor, poet and movie critic

O’ Regan, Tom

Kenneth Slessor goes to the movies‘, Inside Story, 4 January 2016

Renowned Australian poet and war correspondent, Kenneth Slessor, also liked going to ‘the pictures’ and writing about it in a special way, according to O’Regan in this piece. He wrote for Smith’s Weekly for most of the 1930s.

Slessor’s film criticism has dropped from sight though the critic Phillip Mead found cinematic elements in Slessor’s poetry.

Mead concluded [says O’Regan] that not only those interested in literature but also those interested in film needed to take Slessor seriously, not least so we could make sense of our film history and the presence of cinema-going in the cultural and social life of Australia in the 1930s.

Slessor was an important advocate for the early Australian film industry and a chronicler of the coming of sound to film. His film criticism deserves more recognition, says O’Regan. The piece reprints Slessor’s reviews of The Informer (1935) and China Seas (1936).


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