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57m Documentary 1994

The seminal Sydney story of one of ‘Australia’s first graffiti artists’, Arthur Stace, finds new life with an NFSA restoration.

Australia was still recovering from World War I and on the precipice of World War II when the word ‘eternity’ started appearing scrawled across sidewalks in Sydney in the 1930s. It happened overnight – quite literally – then continued for several decades afterwards in what is the central story of Lawrence Johnston’s acclaimed film Eternity. Over the course of an hour, the documentary delves into the tragic and fascinating life of the man dubbed ‘Mr Eternity’: Arthur Stace.

“The story of ‘Mr Eternity’ is of another time and is evidence of the amazing array of enduring spirits who have made the city of Sydney what it is today.” – Lawrence Johnston

Considered one of Australia’s first graffiti artists, the events leading up to his writing of ‘eternity’ are recreated in the same inner-city Sydney locations that first inspired Stace’s work. The tale is punctuated with interviews from a who’s who of the Sydney arts community and locals who knew Stace in life, as well as those to whom he remained a mystery but were fascinated by seeing ‘eternity’ an estimated half a million times before his death in 1967. The work of Academy Award-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe (Collateral (2004), Edge Of Tomorrow (2014), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)) helps bring the story to life, both in the past and present.

– Maria Lewis, Assistant Film Curator

Proudly presented in association with the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s digital restoration program, NFSA Restores: reviving our cinema icons.


New Restoration Premieres at Sydney Film Festival Chris Arneil, National Film & Sound Archive

50 years on - Mr Eternity has written his last word The Age, Jul 2017







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