Newsreels: Tim Bowden

Newsreels: Tim Bowden

In this clip, Tim Bowden explains that newsreels were how people received their visual 'current affairs fix' before television.

Cinesound Review called itself 'The Voice of Australia', and was touted by Ken Hall (its managing editor) as the 'all-Australian newsreel'.

Like its predecessor The Australasian Gazette, Cinesound Review projected images of Australia and Australians that promoted national myths and heroes.

Newsreels featured iconic personalities – Aussie sportsmen and women, daring aviators and adventurers, glamorous socialites, courageous Aussie diggers and sun-bronzed Aussie lifesavers.

Production teams were skilled at recreating the drama of occasions, and frequently represented grand social and civic events.

The newsreels scored a coup at the opening of the monumental Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932, when a camera operator captured footage of the infamous Captain de Groot as he slashed the ribbon ahead of the Premier, Jack Lang.

The legendary Australian fillmmaker, producer and director Ken G Hall was Cinesound's managing editor for 25 years. Hall boasted, 'We never used a foreign story except during the war and all those stories involved Australian servicemen and were made by Australian cameramen'.

Tim Bowden is a broadcaster, radio and television documentary maker, oral historian and author.