Marinato’s Shop on the Wharf

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Saturday 16 April 1932, page 8


There Is really no reason why film producers In Australia should follow the eternal round of stories which Hollywood has made peculiarly its own Modern Russian directors have shown how much romance lies latent in the activities of everyday life, like farming and the building of railways, waiting only for the possessor of a seeing eye to take hold of it and clothe it in dramatic form Their productions are brilliant and absorbing. The main Idea of the Russians, it is true, Is propaganda and insofar as it is Communistic propaganda it falls to find acceptance in the outside world But incidentally it is national propaganda, and from this point of view other countries could well follow Russia’s lead. How valuable it would be to Australia for instance if she could send abroad fine films based on her various industrial activities. The Commonwealth Government admittedly has put forth a multitude of short features, but they have been purely and simply topical. Not until such matters are woven up into real drama will the screen adequately play its part.

These reflections were induced by a private screening of Mr Thomas Marinato’s new Australian film ‘My First Big Ship’ yesterday morning at the Prince Edward Theatre. Unpolished as it Is in some of its details the production has more real drama in it than most of the turgid love-and-cabaret stories and the mock-heroics in the batch that have emanated from local producers in the past. Not that it professes to be a drama at all.

It Is merely a glimpse at the activities of the pilot service in Sydney Harbour into which a certain amount of personal interest has been introduced. But it stands at the beginning of a pathway that might well be trodden. What a romance the past activities of pilot service in Watson’s Bay would afford ‘ Not only the pilot service The growth of commerce along the waterfront, the conduct of a large department store, the construction of the Harbour Bridge, could provide wonderful material to a man who knew how to use it, not to mention the infinite possibilities inherent in the life of the man on the land his struggles against drought, the extension of Irrigation, the sometimes astounding deprivations and hardships which the early settlers endured. Yet the cry goes up that good stories are difficult to find.

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