.In recent months there have been revival celebrations for two Australian films: Bert Deling's Pure Shit (1975) and Ted Kotcheff's Wake in Fright (1971).
Adrian Martin lists Philip Tyndall's Words and Silk : The Imaginary and Real Worlds of Gerald Murnane (1988) in his top 10 Australian films. Despite this, and despite this film receiving awards at several festivals overseas, it has never been screened at any major Australian film festival.
In the recently published Oxford Companion to Australian Film (Oxford University Press, 1999), Philip Tyndall's Words and Silk: The Imaginary and Real Worlds of Gerald Murnane (1990) - one of my all-time favourite Australian films - does not rate a mention. This is sadly symptomatic of how strange, unique, unclassifiable works tend to go underground rather speedily in Australia.Gerald Murnane has been nominated for the Nobel Prize; has received the Patrick White Award (1999); a Special Award at the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards (2007) and an Australia Council Emeritus Award (2008).
Adrian Martin, March 2000 : full article here
Murnane has been the subject of a film and various critical studies but his work is better known in Sweden than it is here. He is an advocate for both the prominence of Australian Literature and the Australian landscape within it and his work can be read as one large story that folds upon itself, seeking always greater and greater detail. His fictive terrain is called ‘the plains’ – an imaginary place that exists simultaneously at the edges of his sight and deeply inside his mind.It seems worth noting therefore that Words and Silk has just received it's first ever Sydney screening, at the unreviewed avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the Literary world (below) at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Extract from the Judges' Comments at the 2007 New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards.