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Contributor profile: Dan Edwards

Dan Edwards Dan Edwards

I grew up in the Blue Mountains, but ran away to Sydney as soon as possible. With a view to becoming a rock star I ran away to London, but quickly realised it was full of rain and misery, so I came back. After 15 years and a stint in the public service I ran away to China for four years. Now living in Melbourne and regularly eyeing travel agent specials.

China opened my eyes, broadened my mind, blackened my lungs, taught me the true meaning of friendship and at times made me sadder than I’ve ever been. I’ve always been fascinated by difference and intrigued by anyone, anything or anywhere that’s unlike me. The People’s Republic satisfies amply on all counts, which probably explains why I’m still in an obsessive love-hate relationship with the place.


I’ve tried everything from dishwashing to couriering to bureaucratic middle management, but the one thing that I’ve always done is writing. My poetry is awful and my short stories mediocre, but I seem to have a knack for journalism—particularly film journalism and criticism. It’s also easier to get paid if you call yourself a journalist rather than an artist, a tip I got from Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Writing about film is a way to combine my love of words and images. Criticism for me is about shining a light on a work, illuminating its complexities and helping others see something they might not have considered. I’ve done my job if the reader comes away knowing something new, or looking at the world from a different angle. For a true wordsmith, you are what you write, so always be true to yourself and your subject.

Although I’ve written for many publications, including The Age, Meanjin, The New Matilda and The Diplomat, RealTime has published more of my work than any other magazine, and I’ve consistently enjoyed writing for RealTime more than any other title. Unlike much mainstream press, RealTime is always open to new works, new ideas and new voices. In a life spent wandering, writing for RealTime is like coming home. The other publications are just pleasant sojourns.

Recent articles for RealTime

RT105 Ghostly Tales from Our Northern Neighbours—the Fourth Portrait & Eternity, Melbourne Film Festival

RT105 A Nation Slips Under the Waves—Tom Zubrycki’s The Hungry Tide

RT104 Beyond the TV Frame—Antenna International Documentary Festival

RT103 You Can’t Build on an Emptiness—IFChina Original Studio

Other writing

See my website ( for a full list of my publications, or my blog on Chinese film, Screening China:

RealTime issue #105 Oct-Nov 2011 pg. web

© Dan Edwards; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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