Vale Lesley Stern

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'An incomparable deflator of male egos and fantasies', Lesley Stern's vivid intellect made a big mark on the Australian film scene of the 80s and 90s. Remembering his own bumpy encounter, Adrian Martin expresses enduring admiration.

Dateline: Melbourne, December 1982. An academic conference held at La Trobe University by the Australian Screen Studies Association. Up the front, seated at a table and grimly reading out a paper that took a full 90 minutes to plough through, is me – dressed in my best dandy attire of bow tie and two-tone periwinkle shoes. I am 22 years old, and I am there to stir up some trouble, questioning some of the tenets of hardline 'screen theory' as it held sway in Australian universities of the time.

Adrian Martin

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