Category Archives: Vainglory

*** New Book***

For more than a decade now, this blog has burst into rhyme every November and occasionally at other times. I’ve just published the fifth hard copy collection of these rhymes: Take Five.

I’ve given copies as New Year gifts to a number of people. If you think you should have received one, there may be one earmarked for you but still sitting on my desk because of my CPS (chronic procrastination syndrome). Email or text me and I’ll rectify the omission. Likewise if you think you should have received one or more of the previous four books.

If you don’t feel entitled to ask, you can buy a copy, cheap, from It may also be available from Amazon at a slightly higher price. The previous four books are for sale there, here, here, here and here. There’s information about all five books on my Publications page.

*** New Merch***

As regular readers know, every now and then this blog bursts into rhyme. This has been happening in November for nine years now, and occasionally at other times. I’ve just published through the fourth hard copy collection of these rhymes: Four, Good Measure.

I gave copies to a number of people as glorified Christmas or end-of-year cards, I still have some left. If you think you should have received one, email or text me and I’ll rectify the omission.

Otherwise, you can buy one, cheap, from It’s not listed at Amazon yet, but the previous three books are for sale there, here, here and here. There’s information about all four books on my Publications page.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.


3tlIt’s all very well reading stuff online, but for my money you can’t beat the feel of a dead-tree book in your hand. Likewise, I enjoy putting my verses up on the blog, but it’s not the same as having them in an actual book. So in December last year, for the third time I collected verses written during the previous 12 months and got a book together thanks to, again with a cover by the Emerging Artist, this time one of her fabulous ceramics. It’s now available from Lulu and Amazon.

Apart from pure vanity, my main motive for this and previous self-publishing ventures is to make a small gift to give friends the end of the year. If you’re a friend who hasn’t got a copy, then it’s an oversight on my part. Tell me in the comments or by email and I’ll send you one.


Our movie at Flickerfest

Flickerfest, the festival of short films that is one of Sydney’s cultural institutions, is on again at the Bondi Pavilion in the middle of next month. I confess to having appreciated it from afar until now, but this year I plan to be there. My elder son, Alex Ryan, sometimes known in these pages as the Filmmaker, has not one but two films screening.

FlickerClips, a program of music videos screening at 4.30 on Saturday 18 January, includes his video of the Cairos’ ‘Obsession‘. Given that the competition includes Nash Edgerton’s clip for Dylan’s ‘Duquesne Whistle’ we’re pretty chuffed.

The festival includes seven programs of Australian shorts. Ngurrumbang which Alex directed from a script written by him and me, is screening in Best of Australian 7 at 4.30 on Saturday 18 January.

You can buy tickets at the links.

Ngurrumbang BIFF

The Brisbane International Film Festival unveiled its program today, and if you search for ‘Australian Shorts’ on the BIFF site you get a listing of all the movies shown in the two Australian Shorts sessions.  Ngurrumbang is in the second session, screening at 2 pm on Sunday 24 November.


Ngurrumbang at Seminci

We just heard last night that next weekend Ngurrumbang is being shown at Seminci – the Semana Internacional de Cine de Valladolid – in the fabulously named Teatro Zorrilla at half past four on Saturday 19 October and again at 7 o’clock the next day. It’s screening with Bart Van den Bempt’s 82 Days in April. This may be our little movie’s only European screening, so if you plan to be in northern Spain in nine or ten days time, add this to your calendar.

In case you haven’t heard of the Valladolid Festival, here’s a sentence or two from its web site:

Reivindicamos más que nunca el cine intimista, el cine hecho con pocos medios pero con dignidad, ambición y verdad. Ahora que peligra la presencia de ese tipo de cine en las salas, porque se cierran o porque los empresarios prefieren no correr riesgos con la taquilla, reivindicamos un cine que sirva para algo más que para entretener.

Or in English:

Today more than ever we advocate intimate films made on scanty budgets, yet full of dignity, ambition and truth. Now that the theatrical distribution of this kind of cinema is under threat (either because movie theatres are closing down or because the film business is reluctant take risks at the box-office), we firmly support motion pictures that do more than entertain.

Ngurrumbang at the AFF

I’m thrilled to learn that Ngurrumbang is screening at the Adelaide Film Festival. It’s part of Australian Heat, a session of four short films at 9.15 pm on 15 october. The other films are River Water (written and directed by Sara West), Summer Suit (directed by Bec Peniston-Bird, written by Francesca Sciacca) and The Hunter (directed by Margaret Harvey, written by Cameron Costello).

The Festival blurb says:

Tough, wild, brutal or haunting these shorts pack punch and are as scorching as the land that spawned them.

SFF: Dendys etc

If you had told me 15 years ago when my Elder Brilliant Offspring was 20 years old that he and I would write a short film together that he would go on to direct, and that the film would be a finalist in the Dendy Awards … Well, you wouldn’t have.

Having Ngurrumbang screened at two sold out sessions at the Sydney Film Festival has been thrilling, but it’s been a joy beyond words to have worked on this project with him. I’ve learned a huge amount from the collaboration, and from his leadership of the crew, myself included.

I’m typing this on the phone during the opening speeches of the last night of the Festival. Maybe we’ll win something. Now I’m going to pay attention. I’ll tell you if we win or lose on the comments in a couple of hours.

All set for the Sydney Film Festival

IMG_0748Much excitement in my boy-from-North-Queensland heart today when I picked up my Filmmaker Pass from the Delegates Lounge of the Sydney Film Festival.

It says on the back that it ‘is to be worn at all times during the 2013 festival’. It doesn’t get me into any movies, but I’ll try to keep you informed about what it does get me into.

Blowing a trumpet

Today the Sydney Film Festival revealed the finalists in the 2013 Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films.

NgurrumbangNgurrumbang, directed by Alex Ryan from a script written by Alex and me, is on the list.

It’s eligible for the Live Fiction Award and the Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director, each bringing a cash prize of $5000, sponsored by Dendy Cinemas.

The competition looks stiff, which means the screenings will be worth attending. The winning film in the competition will be announced at the festival’s Closing Night on 16 June 2013. I plan to be there.