April 27

Australian Films

Hi Year 11 English students! In preparation for the writing of your feature article, you are asked to view and analyse one Australian film of your own choice (in addition to either one or two films studied in class).  The following films which may suit your task are available for loan from the Aquinas College Library:

48 Shades – DVD0315
Buena Vista Home Entertainment, South Yarra, VIC, 2006. RATED “M”
A few months ago Dan had to make a choice. Go to Geneva with his parents for a year, board at school or move into a house with his uni student bass playing Aunt, Jacq, and her friend, Naomi. He picked Jacq’s place. Now he’s doing his last year at school and trying not to spin out. Trying to be cool. Trying to pick up a few skills for surviving in the adult world. Problem is, he falls for Naomi, and things become much, much more confusing.

Australia (starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman) – DVD0535
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Moore Park, NSW, 2009.

Backroads (starring Bill Hunter & Gary Foley) – DVD0298
Madman Entertainment, 1977/2004 RATED “M”
An aimless white drifter and an aborigine on the run, steal a car and take off on a wild flight across Australia, stealing what they need en route.

Beneath Clouds (starring Dannielle Hall & Damian Pitt) – DVD0082 Australian Film Finance, 2001. RATED “M”
A young half-cast girl, Lena, is escaping to Sydney from her remote town where the boys get into trouble from the police for petty crimes and the girls get pregnant. She wants to meet her Irish father who abandoned her. Along the way she meets a young man, Vaughn, who has escaped from minimum security prison, after his sister tells him that his mother is dying.

Breaker Morant (starring Jack Thompson & Edward Woodward) – DVD0282
South Australian film Corporation, Adelaide, 1980. RATED “M”
South Africa, 1901. The British war against the Boers has deteriorated into bitter guerilla warfare. Starring Jack Thompson, Edward Woodward, John Waters, & Bryan Brown.

The Castle (starring Michael Caton and Anne Tenney) – DVD0114
Village Roadshow, Sydney, 1997. “M” Rated
To Darryl Kerrigan it was never a house, it was a home and a very happy one. The film tells how Darryl and his small time suburban lawyer mate, Dennis Denuto assisted by a new friend, retired QC Lawrence Hamill ended up in the High Court of Australia.

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith – DVD0440
1978 (Recording  via Enhance TV, Sydney, 2007.) RATED “M”
Adaptation of Thomas Keneally’s poignant novel about a mixed-race Aborigine who becomes a victim of racial bigotry in Australia at the turn of the 19th century. Starring Tommy Lewis, Freddy Reynolds & Ruth Cracknell.

The Dish (starring Sam Neill) – DVD0458
Publisher: Roadshow Entertainment, Sydney, N.D. Rated “M”
July 20, 1969 – the day man first set foot upon the moon. This film tells the funny and moving tale of Australia’s part in the Apollo 11 moon mission.

The Dressmaker (starring Kate Winslet & Liam Hemsworth) – DVD0915 Universal/Sony/Film Australia, 2015. Rated ‘M’. Based on the best-selling novel by Rosalie Ham, The Dressmaker is a bittersweet comedy-drama set in early 1950s Australia. Tilly Dunnage (Kate Winslet), a beautiful and talented misfit, after many years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, returns home to the middle-of-nowhere town of Dungatar to right the wrongs of the past. Not only does she reconcile with her ailing, eccentric mother Molly (Judy Davis) and unexpectedly falls in love with the pure-hearted Teddy (Liam Hemsworth), armed with her sewing machine and incredible sense of style, she transforms the women of the town and in doing so gets sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.

The Fringe Dwellers (starring Justine Saunders, Kristina Nehm, Bob Maza, Ernie Dingo; Directed by Bruce Beresford) – DVD0767 Samson Productions, 1986. RATED ‘PG’. Trilby Comeaway is an aboriginal teenager caught between two worlds but not really belonging to either. Trilby persuades her mother to move from the shantytown where they lived into a white neighbourhood, but to Trilby’s dismay the whole family moves with them. With white locals expressing their distaste for having aboriginal neighbours and Trilby  becoming pregnant to her boyfriend, things aren’t going how she planned.

Gallipoli (starring Mel Gibson) – DVD0094 Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Moore Park, NSW, 2005. RATED ‘PG’.  A compelling story of friendship and adventure between two Australian soldiers in 1915. They cross continents and great oceans, climb the pyramids and walk through the ancient sands of Egypt to join their regiment at the fateful battle of Gallipoli.

The Harp in the South: Parts 1 & 2 (starring Anne Phelan & Martyn Sanderson) – DVD0645
Columbia Pictures Industries, USA, 1986.
They laughed, loved, cried…and survived. They were the Darcys of Surry Hills. Starring Anne Phelan, Martyn Sanderson and Gwen Plumb

Jewboy (starring Ewen Leslie & Naomi Wilson) – DVD0270
Madman Entertainment, Collingwood, VIC., 2007. RATED “M”
After the death of his father, Yuri returns from Israel where he was studying to become a Rabbi, to the strict Chasidic community of Sydney. Losing his faith in Judaism, he rejects his former girlfriend and starts driving taxis. He falls for a colleague, Sarita and in his grieving state takes much more from their budding friendship than she does. Jewboy is a film about Yuri’s search for intimacy – for his place in the world, his family and his faith.

Kenny (starring Shane Jacobson) – DVD0311
Madman Entertainment, Sydney, 2006. RATED “M”
Follow Kenny the affable port-a-loo plumber as he tackles every septic challenge that comes his way, be it car rallies, Mardi Gras, The Melbourne Cup, or that Mecca of waste management, the Nashville Pumper and Cleaner EXPO, or “POO HQ” as Kenny likes to call it.

KokodaDVD0764 Madman Entertainment, Sydney, 2007. RATED “M”  Based on a true story. Inspired by the Australian fighting spirit. Papua New Guinea 1942. The battle for the track has begun. A fearsome force of Japanese fighters land on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea. Their intentions: to seize Port Moresby and invade Australia. The only Australians available to face the onslaught are a small force of ill-equipped and untrained Militia. Isolated in the jungle behind enemy lines, suffering the effects of dysentery and malaria and to the point of collapse, they must make their way back through the most perilous terrain on earth…the Kokoda track.

Lantana (starring Anthony Lapaglia & Kerry Armstrong) – DVD0417
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Moore Park, NSW, 2002.
RATED “M”.
A woman disappears….. four marriages are drawn into a complex web of love, deceit, sex and death – not all of them will survive.

The Lighthorsemen (starring Jon Blake & Peter Phelps) – DVD0273
International Film Management, 1987. RATED “PG”
A true epic of triumph, courage and adventure, this movie focuses on a four-man section of the Australian Light Horse Regiment and climaxes with the last great cavalry charge in history.

Look both ways (starring William McInnes & Justine Clarke) – DVD0400
Madman Entertainment, Sydney, 2006. RATED “M”
Meryl imagines disaster coming from every direction – train crashes, man-eating sharks, baby-eating killer whales…and then there’s Nick.

Looking for Alibrandi – DVD0095
Publisher: Australian Film Finance, Sydney, 1999. RATED “M”
Josie Alibrandi is 17, has the dreaded HSC in front of her and the boy of her dreams seems completely out of reach. Then there’s that other problem. She’s Italian, and doesn’t know where she belongs. With her Nonna in one ear talking about the old country and the stuck-up girls at her school telling her she’s an outsider, it’s no wonder.

The Man From Snowy River (starring Tom Burlinson and Sigrid Thornton) – DVD0050
Roadshow Entertainment, 1981.

The Water Diviner (starring Russell Crowe and Olga Kurylenko) – DVD0907 Diviner Holdings, 2014. Four years after the battle of Gallipoli in WWI, an Australian farmer travels to Istanbul to find out the fate of his sons, reported missing in action. Inspired by true events, The water Diviner is an extraordinary story of love, hope and heroism.

Muriel’s Wedding – DVD0293
Australian Film Finance, 1994.
If you’ve ever dreamt of a world where ABBA charts forever, dags rule, bitchy friends get what they deserve and your parents never nag you, then you should meet Muriel Heslop. Starring Toni Collette, Bill Hunter and Rachel Griffiths.

My Brilliant Career (starring Sam Neill and Judy Davis) – DVD0670 NSW Film Corporation, Sydney.
Sybylla develops a relationship with a landowner, but is faced with making a decision between less-than-perfect love and independence

The Nugget (starring Eric Bana) – DVD0080
Publisher: Roadshow Entertainment, N.D. RATED “M”
Three local council road workers decide to try their hand at prospecting. When they discover the world’s largest gold nugget, their small town world is turned upside down.

Picnic at Hanging Rock – DVD0430
Umbrella Entertainment, 2004. RATED “PG”
St. Valentine’s Day, 1900. On a beautiful summer’s day a party of Australian schoolgirls from an exclusive finishing school giddily prepare for an excursion to Hanging Rock, a magnificent natural monument drenched in a mysterious atmosphere.

Rabbit-Proof Fence – DVD0295
Australian Film Finance, 2002 Rated “PG”.
The film is based on the true story and experiences of three young girls who were forcibly taken from their families in Jingalong, Western Australia in 1931. Based on the book “Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence”.

Red Dog -DVD0837  Screen Australia, 2011 Rated”PG”. Red Dog is the incredible true story of the wandering dust-covered kelpie who hitched his way to the mining town of Dampier and into the hearts of each and every one of its residents.

The Sapphires – DVD0874 Goalpost Pictures Australia, 2012 Rated ‘PG’

Based on the 2004 Stage play. (Starring Chris O’Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy.)  It’s 1968, and four young, talented Australian Aboriginal girls learn about love, friendship and war when their all girl group The Sapphires entertain the US troops in Vietnam.

The Shiralee (starring Bryan Brown) – DVD0464 Roadshow Entertainment,1986. RATED “PG”
Returning home from the outback, Macauley finds his wife in bed with another man. In the heat of the moment he vents his anger by taking custody of their young daughter Buster and heads for the backblocks of South Australia.

Strictly Ballroom – DVD0067
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Lane Cove, NSW, 2002.
RATED PG
A magical story of a championship ballroom dancer and his ugly duckling dancing partner who are breaking all the rules. Together they make their dreams come true. Starring Paul Mercurio.

Ten Canoes (starring Jamie Gulpilil) – DVD0333
Madman Entertainment, 2006. RATED “M”
One hundred and fifty spears, ten canoes, three wives…trouble. A parable of forbidden love from Australia’s mythical past, with storytelling by Australian icon David Gulpilil. Ten Canoes is a ground-breaking glimpse into aboriginal life centuries before European settlement.

The Tracker – DVD0074 Madman Entertainment, Sydney, 2003. RATED ” M”
The Australian outback, 1922…four men relentlessly track a fugitive, an Aboriginal man accused of murder.

Yolngu Boy  – DVD0766 Palace Films, 2000. RATED “M”.  Three boys, One skin, One dream. Milika, Botj and Lorrpu are three Yolngu (indigenous) kids from the Top End of Australia caught in a collision between the brave new world of rap, football, street cred and the oldest living culture on earth. The three teenagers defy laws and embark on an epic journey to chase their dreams and confront their future.

There is a great list of famous Australian films on Wikipedia. Click here for the link.

Other Australian films (suitable for this task) but not in the Aquinas Library:

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) Two drag-queens and a transsexual contract to perform a drag show at a resort in Alice Springs, a resort town in the remote Australian desert. They head west from Sydney aboard their lavender bus, Priscilla. When they arrive they discover that it is more than just a cabaret job waiting for them.

Beneath Hill 60 (2010) Set during World War I, the film tells the story of the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company’s efforts to mine beneath a German bunker and detonate an explosive charge to help the Allied troops. The screenplay is based on a true story, written by Captain Oliver Woodward.

The Club (1980) Inspired by Collingwood Football Club, this film follows the behind the scenes political intrigue and relationship issues of an AFL football club for a season. A satire written by Australian playwright David Williamson, The Club was first published in 1977.

Crocodile Dundee (1986) An American reporter journeys to the Australian outback to meet an eccentric crocodile hunter, Mick Dundee. Inspired by the true life exploits of Rodney Ansell, this film became a worldwide phenomenon.

Dead Heart (1996) Based on a true story, Dead Heart is set in an aboriginal town where simmering racial tension, forbidden love, sacrilege of a sacred site and a shocking murder threaten to break the town apart.

Death in Brunswick (1990) Carl Fitzgerald is down-on-his-luck until he meets Sophie, a beautiful Greek girl. He gets a job as a cook, but accidentally kills fellow worker Mustafa. He turns to his unscrupulous best friend for help and together they attempt to dispose of the body.

December Boys (2007) Four boys from an orphanage in outback Australia are sent to the beach for a summer holiday. The boys vie for the attention of a couple, who wish to adopt one of them. This is a story of belonging and growing up.

Gettin’ Square (2003) Based on the novel by Gold Coast lawyer Chris Nyst, Gettin’ Square is the story of ex-criminals trying to stay out of trouble. Set on the Gold Coast, the guys find out that settling old scores (and a few new ones) is harder than they thought.

Jindabyne (2006) Four men on a fishing trip discover the body of a murdered girl in the river. Instead of leaving their trip and reporting the crime, they continue fishing, reporting the murder days late. The consequences of this decision almost break families and the town apart.

The Mango Tree (1977) Set in Bundaberg in the 1940s, this film is about a young boy growing up in a country town. Jamie loves his quiet life growing up in his grandmother’s care, but when a local preacher goes nutty, the town erupts and Jamie leaves home to go to the city.

Mr Reliable (1996) The true story of Wally Mellish, all ex-convict Wally wants to do is live a quiet life. AQ misunderstanding gets out of control and soon the neighbours think Wally is holding everyone hostage.

Oyster Farmer (2004) – a romantic comedy/drama about a young man who runs away to the Hawkesbury River and gets a job with eighth generation oyster farmers.

Paradise Road (1997) A group of women leave Singapore in World War II and ends up in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. based on a true story, the women survive the brutality , cruelty and hardship by forming a vocal orchestra to maintain morale.

Puberty Blues (1981) Based on the 1979 novel by Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette, this is the story of two girls and their life in the surf culture of Sydney’s beaches.

Radiance (1998) Three sisters return home to bury their mother. After the funeral, they find themselves together in the house for the first time in years. They talk, drink and fight; past hurts are aired and family secrets revealed.

Romulus, My Father (2007) Based on the memoir of Raimond Gaita, this film tells of Romulus and his wife Christine and their struggle in the face of great adversity to bring up their son. This is the story of the unbreakable bond between a father and his son.

Samson and Delilah (2009) The story of two 14 year old indigenous Australians living in an isolated part of the Central Desert. When tragedy strikes, they steal a car and escape on a journey of survival. [There is not much dialogue in this movie, so it may be difficult to use.]

The Sum of Us (1994) Harry, a middle-aged father whose wife has died, is ready to get back into dating. Harry shares a home with his gay son, who is also looking for a serious relationship. Harry and Jeff, who are very close, decide to help each another look for potential partners. Jeff finds a boyfriend who is still in the closet, and the woman Harry begins dating has a bias against gays, which puts Harry in a tough spot.

Travelling North (1987) Frank, a non-conformist widower,  marries Frances and the elderly newlyweds travel north from the big city to a small town, intending to settle into an idyllic retirement. They befriend some of the locals and spend their days fishing and watching the sunsets until Frank suffers a mild heart attack and the spectre of mortality enters their lives.

Two Hands (1999) Starring Heath Ledger as 19 year old Jimmy, a young man indebted to a local gangster for $10,000. Running out of time, he schemes to rob a bank to save himself and a beautiful girl he desires from a gruesome demise.

Wake in Fright (1971) John Grant, a bonded teacher, arrives in a rough outback mining town planning to stay overnight before starting his holiday in Sydney. But John gets waylaid when a gambling spree leaves him completely broke. He falls in with the hard-drinking locals, who constantly ply him with alcohol and force him to participate in a gruesome kangaroo hunt. Disgusted, John tries to hitchhike out of town and, when that fails, begins to contemplate suicide.

The Water Diviner (2014) An Australian farmer travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli in 1919 to trace his three missing sons.

We of the Never Never (1982) Set in 1902 and based on the autobiographical novel by Jeannie Gunn, Jeannie travels from Melbourne to a 1 million acre cattle property in the Northern Territory. it’s a place where no civilized woman had gone before. Her heart and courage make this one of the most unforgettable stories ever told.

Wog Boy (2000) Steve liked Celia from the moment they met. But following a clash with her boss, Raelene Beagle-Thorpe, Minister for employment, he finds himself on national television branded as Australia’s biggest dole bludger. Now Steve has to prove to Celia, to himself, and to the whole country, that there’s more to him than meets the eye.

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