- THE DOROTHY HEWETT AWARD
Mysteries of Cinema: Reflections on film theory, history and culture
By Adrian Martin
The major essays of the distinguished and prolific Australian-born film critic Adrian Martin have long been difficult to access, so this anthology, which collects highlights of his work in one volume, will be welcomed throughout film studies. Martin offers indepth analysis of many genres of films while providing a broad understanding of the history of cinema and the history of film criticism and culture. These vibrant, highly personal essays, written between 1982 and 2016, balance breadth across cinema theory with almost encyclopedic detail, ranging between aesthetics, cinephilia, film genre, criticism, philosophy, and cultural politics.
Mysteries of Cinema circumscribes a special cultural period that began with the dream of critique as a form of poetic writing, and today arrives at collaborative experiments in audiovisual essays. Throughout these essays, Martin pursues a particular vision of what cinema has been, what it is, and what it still could be.
The book consistently and rewardingly demonstrates Martin's rare gift for understanding (and savouring) ambiguities of cinematic expression.
Rick Warner, New Review of Film and Television Studies
A collection of lively, original and highly personal essays, Martin's book is a masterful act of synthesis which weaves together disparate writings from over a thirty-year period ... Mysteries of Cinema is an ambitious and erudite collection that compels re-readings to appreciate the abundance of ideas. At once complex and accessible, it is also a book about surprise and discovery: ideas and arguments gradually unfold and culminate in a revelatory denouement.
Felicity Chaplin, Senses of Cinema