Adrian Martin, one of Australia’s eminent voices in film criticism, once asserted that Philip Tyndall’s Words and Silk was "one of my all-time favourite Australian films." However, this hybrid documentary, focusing on the writer Gerald Murnane, has seen very little attention since its release in 1989, and that in spite of a recent spate of interest in Murnane’s work. As a writer of "true fiction," Murnane has been motivated from the start of his career by a "succession of images," and indeed, many of his novels owe a certain debt to motion pictures. In this essay, I discuss the relation of cinema to Murnane’s writing, considering how Tyndall’s film might serve as a useful means for interpreting Murnane’s oeuvre, and how it might be evaluated as a work of cinematic art in its own right.
"Words and Silk: Gerald Murnane at the Cinema,"
Antipodes: Vol. 29
, Article 10.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/antipodes/vol29/iss2/10