David Stratton is the only consequential film critic Australia has produced. His autobiography is called, I Peed On Fellini (“a reference to a drunken attempt to shake Federico Fellini’s hand while using a urinal”).
In his new ABC show, “David Stratton’s Stories of Australian Cinema”, he says: “Like Muriel, I was also an outsider in my own family. The black sheep who loved movies.”
David’s brother Roger: “I don’t think any of the family would describe themselves as cinema lovers. I wouldn’t care less if I never saw another film in my life. Our father who was very interested in sport couldn’t understand how anybody on a nice sunny day would want to go sit in a cinema.”
David: “My father expected me to become a businessman like him. I was heir to the family grocery company but my passion was always cinema.”
Roger: “When David worked at the family’s grocery, he bunked off in the afternoons to go to the movies and there were rows at the supper table over his performance and the position that my father took was that it will never do you any good going to watch movies in the afternoon.”
David: “My escape from the family business came in 1963. The ten pound pom scheme offered cheap passage to Australia provided you stayed at least two years.”