About Senses of Cinema

About us

Senses of Cinema is an online journal devoted to the serious and eclectic discussion of cinema. We believe cinema is an art that can take many forms, from the industrially-produced blockbuster to the hand-crafted experimental work; we also aim to encourage awareness of the histories of such diverse forms. As an Australian-based journal, we have a special commitment to the regular, wide-ranging analysis and critique of Australian cinema, past and present. Senses of Cinema is primarily concerned with ideas about particular films or bodies of work, but also with the regimes (ideological, economic and so forth) under which films are produced and viewed, and with the more abstract theoretical and philosophical issues raised by film study.

As well, we believe that a cinephilic understanding of the moving image provides the necessary basis for a radical critique of other media and of the global “image culture”. We are open to a range of critical approaches (auteurist, formalist, psychoanalytic, humanist…) and encourage contributors to experiment with different forms of writing (personal memoir, academic essay, journalistic report, poetic evocation…).

We commission and accept articles from academics and journalists, internationally-known authorities and previously unpublished cinephiles alike; our only criteria are that they should shed new light on their subjects, and be informed by a broad knowledge and love of cinema.

Likewise, our readership is a genuinely diverse group, bringing together people from a wide range of backgrounds, professions and interests but bound by a single common element: an informed, passionate and serious attitude toward cinema as an art.

We recognise that an art as ephemeral and ethereal as cinema continues to fascinate, provoke, inspire, turn on, and evolve. Above all, we seek to facilitate approaches to cinema that present new possibilities for exploring, experiencing and imagining the world we live in.

Publishing information

Senses of Cinema (ISSN 1443-4059) is published quarterly by Senses of Cinema Inc. Copyright 1999–2012 Senses of Cinema Inc and the contributors.

As under the Copyright Act 1968 (Australia), no part of this journal may be reproduced by any process without the written permission of the editors except for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review. These works may be read online, downloaded and copied for the above purposes but must not be copied for any other individuals or organisations. The work itself must not be published in either print or electronic form, be edited or otherwise altered or used as a teaching resource without the express permission of the author. All views expressed in this journal are those of the authors and not the editors (unless indicated).

Senses of Cinema is indexed in the MLA (Modern Language Association of America) International Bibliography and is listed in the MLA Directory of Periodicals.

All Australian content in Senses of Cinema is indexed in APAIS (Australian Public Affairs Information Service) of the National Library of Australia.


Senses of Cinema is one of the first online film journals of its kind and has set the standard for professional, high quality film-related content on the Internet.

It was founded in late 1999 to address the absence in Australian film culture of an informed, serious and passionate cinema magazine. Soon after its launch, Senses of Cinema garnered the interest, enthusiasm and respect of readers worldwide. Not only did it fill a distinct gap in local film culture, it also apparently spoke to an international readership in search of and aligned with the journal’s ideals and philosophy.

Over a decade later, Senses of Cinema is still serving its original mission and attracting readers from around the globe.

Senses of Cinema was modelled on magazines such as Cahiers du cinéma (France), Positif (France), Film Comment (USA), Cineaste (USA), Skrien (Netherlands), and Close-Up (Italy). It has always sought to straddle the two extremes of journalism and the academy and to settle on ground somewhere in between, where critical and intellectual ideas of cinema mix with subjective thoughts and feelings, and where the politics of cinema and the mass media at large can be rigorously discussed in an accessible and eclectic manner.

Senses of Cinema has always sought to preserve its independence and its commitment to covering the whole of cinema. Its primary means of survival thus far has been public funding.

Senses of Cinema has grown exponentially since its humble beginnings. Its inaugural issue contained eight articles and the journal itself was organised into contents, links, top tens and editorial. Since that time, Senses of Cinema has published thousands of articles (all freely available) and expanded to include new sections, such as the Great Directors critical database. It has undergone several major website redesigns, consolidating its various components and overall organisation to reflect its core business of film criticism and to maximise user-friendliness and ease of navigation.

Senses of Cinema was originally released monthly. From August 2000, this changed to bi-monthly, and from 2004 issues have been released on a quarterly basis.


Apart from personally being an ardent follower of Senses of Cinema, there’s no doubt that this online publication has garnered considerable respect internationally within the film community as an intellectually rigorous – though nonetheless inclusive (in editorial tone) – site for substantial engagement with film culture.

– James Hewison (Executive Director, Melbourne International Film Festival)

Senses of Cinema is an invaluable source of research and information regarding all aspects of cinema as artistic and social expression. It publishes at a level both accessible and of a high academic standard, making it a much referenced and utilised source within undergraduate and post graduate university degree courses on film. Contents are usually what can be regarded as cutting edge both in their theoretical content and topics explored.

– Dr Patricia MacCormack (Lecturer, Department of Communication and Film, School of Arts and Letters, Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge, UK)

If you think that online writing is sloppy, vague, filled with approximate facts, questionable theories and spelling mistakes, please read Senses of Cinema. It’s a curated magazine in the best sense of the term. The editors work in collaboration with experienced writers, while fostering new talents. (…) The issues are both eclectic – to render the rich diversity of world cinema – and thematically organized. (…) Senses of Cinema keeps a savvy balance between intelligent, well-informed criticism designed for a larger audience of non-specialists, and scholarly rigor. It is always a great pleasure, as well as a source of reflection and information, to read the latest issue of the magazine. (…) By exploring the multiple meanings that cinematic practices offer to a viewer, a reader or a writer, Senses of Cinema has successfully posited itself at the crest of the most important, most fruitful, and most exciting debates about the future of “the cinemas”.

– Bérénice Reynaud (Lecturer, California Institute of the Arts, Correspondent, San Sebastian International Film Festival & Viennale, Author New Chinas/New Cinemas and Hou Hsiao-hsien’s A City of Sadness)

Senses of Cinema has filled a huge vacuum in Australian screen culture by providing a space for intelligent, well-informed, opinionated film criticism… (…) I like its breadth of focus, the diversity of opinion, and the fact that on the net one can run essays of some depth.

– Julie Rigg (film critic for Radio National, Australia)

It is my opinion that for Australian film writers, practitioners and theorists, Senses of Cinema is the most important and crucial of current film journals.

– Christos Tsiolkas (novelist and film critic)

Senses of Cinema‘s equal recognition of so-called ‘avant-garde’ (or artists’ film and video) alongside mainstream and independent feature films is an important and admirable principle. With its thorough review sections, original articles and the “great director” profiles, this online magazine provides a wide-ranging and intelligent view of historical and contemporary moving image works. (…) Senses of Cinema is internationally recognised as one of the few important, active, English language journals of film critique, and it is significant that it has developed as an online resource. (…) In a period when many forecasters offer the gloomy, unrealistic view that the end of film is nigh, to be replaced by new media, Senses of Cinema demonstrates that film culture is well and truly alive and thriving, and that emerging technologies can be used to enhance and enrich our understanding of this art form.

– Mark Webber (independent curator of artists’ film and video).