Stratton in 2012
|Born||David James Stratton
10 September 1939
Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England
|Occupation||Film critic (At the Movies)|
|Employer||Australian Broadcasting Corporation|
|Known for||Film critic & television personality|
Life and career
Born in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England in 1939, Stratton was sent to Hampshire to see out the war years with his grandmother, an avid filmgoer, where he was taken to the local cinemas regularly and saw a diverse range of movies. He saw his first foreign film at Bath in 1955 – the Italian Bread, Love and Dreams. That was soon followed by Akira Kurosawa's Japanese classic Seven Samurai tracked down in Birmingham. At the age of 19, he founded the Melksham and District Film Society. David arrived in Australia in 1963, and soon became involved with the local film society movement. He directed the Sydney Film Festival from 1966 until 1983. At the time, he was the subject of surveillance by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, due to the festival showing Soviet films and his late 60s visit to Russia. This information was not made public until January 2014.
A highly regarded expert on international cinema, particularly French cinema, Stratton was President of FIPRESCI (International Film Critics) Juries in Cannes (twice) and Venice. He was also a member of the jury at the 32nd Berlin International Film Festival in 1982.
Stratton worked for SBS from 1980, acting as their film consultant and introducing the SBS Cinema Classic and Movie of the Week for 24 weeks a year. From 1986 onwards Stratton co-hosted the long-running SBS TV program The Movie Show with Margaret Pomeranz. Stratton and Pomeranz left SBS in 2004. From 2005 Stratton and Pomeranz have co-hosted the ABC film show, At the Movies.
Stratton has cited on numerous occasions that his favourite film of all time is Singin' in the Rain. He currently writes reviews for The Australian newspaper and formerly did so for the US film industry magazine Variety. He also does film reviews for TV Week, where he has been for a number of years. He lectures in film history at the University of Sydney. In 2008 he released his autobiography called I Peed on Fellini, a reference to a drunken attempt to shake Federico Fellini's hand while using a urinal.
- Stratton has a cameo appearance in the 1993 film Hercules Returns
- In 1995 Stratton made an uncredited cameo in Touch Me, one of the short films featured in Zieglerfilm's series Erotic Tales
- Stratton has also appeared in several ABC programs including The Chaser's War on Everything, Review with Myles Barlow, Good Game, Adam Hills in Gordon Street Tonight, Lawrence Leung's Choose Your Own Adventure and The Bazura Project, often parodying himself.
- On 1 January 2001 Stratton was awarded the Centenary Medal for "Service to Australian society and Australian film production".
- On 22 March 2001 he was appointed with the Croix de Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Literature), the highest rank for this award, for his services to cinema, in particular French cinema.
- In 2001 he received the Australian Film Institute's Longford Life Achievement Award.
- On 9 June 2006 Stratton received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Sydney in recognition of his career and his contribution to intellectual life at the university.
- In 2007, he received the 60th Anniversary Medal by the Festival du Film de Cannes and The Chauvel Award by the Brisbane International Film Festival.
- "David Stratton". Random House Australia. Retrieved 16 March 2008.
- Fenely, Rick (4 January 2014). "David Stratton oblivious he's been cast as a spy". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
- "Berlinale 1982: Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
- "Lies and Damned Censorship" by Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile (3 July 2003)
- "Film board chief on the defensive over banned movie" by Suzanne Carbone, The Age (5 July 2003)
- "Its an Honour – Stratton". Australian Government. Retrieved 18 October 2008.
- "French Embassy media release 04/2001". Embassy of France in Australia. 22 March 2001. Archived from the original on 29 October 2007. Retrieved 16 March 2008.
- "David Stratton to receive honorary doctorate". The University of Sydney. 7 June 2006. Retrieved 16 March 2008.
- The Last New Wave: The Australian film revival (1980) ISBN 0-207-14146-0
- The Avocado Plantation: Boom and bust in the Australian film industry (1990) ISBN 0-7329-0250-9
- Stratton, David (3 March 2008). I Peed on Fellini: Recollections of a life in film. William Heinemann Australia. ISBN 1-74166-619-8.
- Honorary doctorate Presentation
- Official biography
- ABC Radio biography
- Quickflix biography
- David Stratton at the Internet Movie Database