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The art of cinema A cinematic journey

Filming of 'Pulp Fiction' 1994, photo: Alamy

Filming of Pulp Fiction 1994, photo: Alamy

Come on a cinematic journey with us as CJ Johnson presents a monthly lecture series examining iconic cinema stars, directors, film adaptations and new waves. From Marilyn Monroe, MGM musicals and Shakespeare on film to Stanley Kubrick’s triumphs and the rise of American and Australian cinema, this series has something for everyone!

CJ Johnson is the president of the Film Critics Circle of Australia. He is the head lecturer of screen storytelling at Sydney Film School and lecturer in cinema studies at Sydney Actors School, film critic for ABC Radio's Nightlife, a member of the international body of film critics and a voter for the Golden Globes.

The art of cinema A cinematic journey

Various Saturdays, 11 February – 4 November 2023
2–3.30pm

Art Gallery of New South Wales

South Building

Lower level 3, Domain Theatre

🛈 Find out what you need to know before visiting

Per lecture
$45 non-member
$35 member
$20 student

Series subscription
$425 non-member
$325 member

Bookings and enquiries: 02 9225 1878

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If booking tickets on behalf of others, you are responsible for communicating all correspondence from the Art Gallery Society of NSW to them.

  • MGM musicals

    Cinema in the 20th century yielded many unique treasures and pleasures. The musicals produced by MGM in the 1940s and 1950s represent the pinnacle of that particular type of cinema. In this lecture, Johnson will entertain with a giddy, colourful survey of some of the most purely pleasurable films Hollywood has ever produced.

    Saturday 11 February 2023 2–3.30pm

  • Marilyn Monroe

    Marilyn Monroe is a cinema icon but she is also much more than that. In this lecture, Johnson will investigate Marilyn Monroe as a consummate screen artist with a specific talent that has made her an enduring star.

    Saturday 18 March 2023 2–3.30pm

  • Shakespeare on film: part one

    The work of William Shakespeare has been vibrantly and excitingly brought to the big screen by many directors over the years, from Laurence Olivier to Kenneth Branagh, Orson Welles to Baz Luhrmann, Franco Zeffirelli to Akira Kurosawa, and Gus Van Sant to Joel Coen. In part one of this lecture, Johnson will investigate how Shakespeare and cinema found each other, and the people who finally started to figure out how to marry them successfully.

    Saturday 15 April 2023 2–3.30pm

  • Shakespeare on film: part two

    In this second instalment on Shakespeare, Johnson will examine why the Bard works in the cinema, who is best at adapting (and acting in) his stories, and how various filmmakers have approached the same plays in different ways.

    Saturday 22 April 2023 2–3.30pm

  • Stanley Kubrick: part one

    Many cinephiles consider Stanley Kubrick to be the greatest director of all time. Why do they think so, and are they right? In this lecture, Johnson will explore the ascent of Kubrick.

    Saturday 3 June 2023 2–3.30pm

  • Stanley Kubrick: part two

    In this lecture, Johnson will examine Stanley Kubrick’s triumphs and how he became one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema. His contribution to cinema was not simply making great movies; he was revolutionary and his brilliant visual style won him great acclaim.

    Saturday 1 July 2023 2–3.30pm

  • American cinema of the 1970s

    Hollywood was taken over in the 1970s by a new breed of ambitious, cinema-literate filmmakers who produced some of the greatest films ever made. In this lecture, Johnson will explore this golden age of American cinema.

    Saturday 12 August 2023 2–3.30pm

  • American cinema of the 1980s and 1990s

    Starting in the late 1980s, with Hollywood churning out formulaic product, a group of young auteurs worked outside the system on low budgets and instigated a thrilling wave of seminal films. In this lecture, Johnson will explore the indie revolution of American cinema.

    Saturday 9 September 2023 2–3.30pm

  • Australian cinema of the 1970s and 1980s

    Australia didn’t have much of a cinema industry before the 1970s, but when it emerged, it was with a ‘new wave’ of its own. Johnson will explore how the Australian film industry announced itself on the global scene with an incredible rush of great films.

    Saturday 14 October 2023 2–3.30pm

  • Australian cinema of the 1990s and 2000s

    After establishing its bona fides, Australian cinema was able to move past the thematic obsessions of its new wave to uncover more diverse, flamboyant and personal stories. In this lecture, Johnson will explore the coming of age of Australian cinema from the 1990s to the 2000s.

    Saturday 4 November 2023 2–3.30pm