Associate Professor Adrian Danks
Dr Adrian Danks is Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and Media.
Adrian is a teacher, editor, curator, award-winning critic and essayist who has published widely across a range of books, journals and other outlets including: Senses of Cinema, Metro, Screening the Past, Popular Communication, Studies in Documentary Film, Studies in Australasian Cinema, Australian Book Review, Screen Education, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Traditions in World Cinema, Melbourne in the 60s, 24 Frames: Australia and New Zealand, Contemporary Westerns, the Criterion Collection, B is for Bad Cinema, Howard Hawks: New Perspectives, Refocus: The Films of Delmer Daves, Cultural Seeds: Essays on the Work of Nick Cave, Being Cultural, World Film Locations: Melbourne and Sydney, Australian Cinema in the 2000s, The Eisenstein Universe, and Twin Peeks: Australian and New Zealand Feature Films. His writing ranges across more traditional forms of research, criticism and reviewing.
He is the author of the edited collections A Companion to Robert Altman (Wiley, 2015) and American-Australian Cinema (Palgrave, 2018, with Stephen Gaunson and Peter C. Kunze), as well as the monograph, Australian International Pictures, with Con Verevis, to be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2023. He is also the co-curator of the Melbourne Cinémathèque (since 1992) - putting together hundreds of programs and seasons - and was an editor of the groundbreaking online journal Senses of Cinema from 2000 to 2014.
At RMIT he has held the positions of Associate Dean, Media (2017-2019), Director of Higher Degree Research (2013-2016), Director of Contextual Studies (2007, 2010-2013), and Program Manager of Media (2008-2009) in the Schools of Media and Communication and Applied Communication.
Adrian's research interests extend across many areas of Cinema Studies and include film history, film criticism, the cinematic representation of place, film technology, the relationship of domestic photography to cinema, film culture, film restoration, found footage cinema and appropriation, home movies, Australian and Iranian cinema, cinematic authorship, classical Hollywood, and the work of a range of filmmakers including Robert Altman, Agnes Varda, Victor Erice, Howard Hawks, Sergei Eisenstein, Martin Scorsese, Ken G. Hall, etc. He has also acted as a referee for various publishers and publications including: Senses of Cinema, Screening the Past, Continuum, Landscape Research, Australian Studies, Scope, Studies in Australasian Cinema and Studies in Documentary Film, Feminist Studies, Wiley-Blackwell, Bloomsbury and Media International Australia.
Adrian is a member of the Media Program team, and has taught an array of Cinema and Cultural Studies courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels (including Introduction to Cinema Studies, Authorship and Narrative in the Cinema, Histories of Film Theory, Australian Cinema, Asian Cinemas, Reading Local, National and Global Cinemas, Postmodernism and Popular Culture, Television Cultures). He also has significant experience and expertise as a leader and program manager across various areas of the School of Media and Communication.
He has also supervised many Masters and PhD students undertaking research, and has close to 20 completions as senior supervisor. He has successfully supervised dozens of Masters by Coursework and Honours students, and has examined postgraduate research theses (including creative practice) for many universities.
He is the co-curator of the Melbourne Cinémathèque.
Doctorate of Philosophy (Cinema Studies), LaTrobe University, Bundoora Campus, 2001
Dissertation: “To Become Immortal and then Die: The Representation of Home Photographic Materials in the Cinema”
Bachelor of Arts (Honours - Cinema Studies), LaTrobe University, Bundoora Campus, 1992
Thesis: “Deciphering the Indecipherable: Deconstruction and Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil”
Bachelor of Arts (Media Studies), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, 1991
Bachelor of Commerce, University of Melbourne, Parkville, 1988
Adrian is co-curator of the Melbourne Cinémathèque (and was President between 1988 and 2006), a not-for-profit film society involved in a long-term collaboration with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). The Cinémathèque has been operating for over 70 years and is one of the most significant and successful film culture organisations in Australia. It has also received long-standing support from various cultural institutions including Screen Australia, Film Victoria, the Japan Foundation, the French Embassy, the City of Melbourne and the Italian Institute of Culture.
Adrian was also an editor of the groundbreaking and internationally significant web-based journal, Senses of Cinema, between 2000 and 2014. He was co-convenor of the 13th Biennial Conference of the Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand (2006), the Screening Melbourne and Sounding Melbourne Conferences in 2017 and 2018, and presented and co-curated the Jean-Pierre Melville Retrospective at the 2006 Sydney Film Festival. He has also presented films and interviewed filmmakers at/for various cultural organisations including the National Film and Sound Archive, GOMA, and the Melbourne International Film Festival. He has served on the film selection committees, curatorial boards and judging panels of numerous organisations including the Melbourne International Film Festival, ATOM, AACTA, ACMI, Experimenta, ReelDance and the Big West Festival, and is on the editorial boards of Studies in Documentary Film and Found Footage Magazine. He has appeared on numerous radio programs - as a content expert - for outlets like ABC 774, 3RRR, 3CR, and Radio National, and has been interviewed for publications like the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, ScreenHub and the Herald Sun
Adrian is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association (affiliated with FIPRESCI) and the Screen Studies Association of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.
- Danks, A. (2021). The “absent circus master”: the “arrival” of Ingmar Bergman in Australia In: Popular Communication, 19, 112 - 124
- Danks, A. (2021). Bliss In: Metro Magazine, , 108 - 119
- Danks, A. (2021). ‘Beethoven Had His Critics, Too...’: The Australian Biopic in the Twenty-First Century In: Australian Genre Film, Routledge, United States
- Danks, A. (2021). March 1949, Melbourne: Eisenstein in Australia In: The Eisenstein Universe, Bloomsbury Academic, London, United Kingdom
- Danks, A. (2018). The Picture Show Man In: Metro, , 106 - 114
- Danks, A. (2018). Rudimentary modernism: Ken G. Hall, Rear-Projection and 1930s Hollywood In: American-Australian Cinema: Transnational Connections, Palgrave Macmillan, Switzerland
- Danks, A.,Gaunson, S.,Kunze, P. (2018). Where I'm calling from: An American-Australian cinema? In: American-Australian Cinema: Transnational Connections, Palgrave Macmillan, Switzerland
- Danks, A. (2018). Jeane Moreau in The Bride Wore Black In: Close-Up - Great Cinematic Performances Volume 2: International, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
- Danks, A. (2018). "Something short of fascinating": Re-examining Fred Zinnemann's The Sundowners (1960) In: Screening the Past, , 1 - 12
- Danks, A. (2017). Picking up the pieces: contemporary Australian cinema and the representation of Australian film history In: Australian Screen in the 2000s, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland
15 PhD Completions and 1 Masters by Research Completions6 PhD Current Supervisions
- Support for the XIIIth Biennial Conference of the Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand and Going to the Cinema public forum.. Funded by: Ian Potter Foundation Grant pre-2014 from (2006 to 2006)