Stretching the boundaries of cinema sound

With more than 140 feature films in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia, James Currie (BA(Hons) ’76) is one of the most significant and highly respected figures in the Australian feature film industry.

In his film career, now spanning more than four decades, James first achieved international recognition in 1986 when the Film Festival of Flanders (Belgium) recognised Paul Cox’s feature film My First Wife with the award for ‘Best International Sound Track’. He has since been nominated for 23 sound awards, both internationally and within Australia, and has been successful 12 times.

James’ work on significant films such as The Tracker10 Canoes, Charlie’s Country and Another Country has contributed significantly to a greater understanding and appreciation of remote Indigenous communities in Australia, while also highlighting the extraordinary talent of Indigenous artists.

James not only records diegetic sounds on location, but is also responsible for the sound design and final audio mix. His ambition is to constantly challenge audiences and stretch the boundaries of cinema sound and has been instrumental in strengthening the relationship between sound and images in pursuit of the perfect cinema sound track.

In 2015, the Australian Screen Sound Guild awarded James the Syd Butterworth Lifetime Achievement Award.

James continues to work closely with the renowned Australia auteur Directors Rolf de Heer and Paul Cox as well as notable directors Greg McLean (Wolf Creek fame) and Scott Hicks.

Commenting on his time at Flinders University, James says ‘The two dedicated Flinders University lecturers that were responsible for my career in cinema sound were George Anderson in tandem with Wal Cherry – everything I have achieved is their fault entirely. Without their gritty challenges, guidance and inspiration I would probably have end up selling clapped out used cars to unsuspecting uni students.’

James Currie was awarded a 2017 Flinders University Distinguished Alumni Award for his significant contribution over many years to the Australian and international film industries, specifically in the area of sound production.

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