The History Of Australian Cinema

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A short overview of the history of Australian feature films.

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The History Of Australian Cinema

  1. 1. Seeing your own country on the big screen is  important.  Hearing your own language and accent.  Seeing your own landmarks  Your own stories. A matter of national pride and identity. 
  2. 2. Bushranger  Bush culture  War and military culture  Larrikin culture  Young and Urban  Action and Horror  These types went in and out of fashion and  reflect different stages of Australian identity.
  3. 3. Many based on novels  Some based on real events  Some are period pieces. 
  4. 4. The Salvation army presented this lecture.  It was shown in the Melbourne Town Hall.  It consisted of 13 short films, spoken material  and songs. It is sometimes considered the first feature  film ever made.
  5. 5. Inauguration of the Australian  Commonwealth Filmed in Sydney on January 1, 1901  Sponsored by the New South Wales  Government Ran for 30 minutes – five times longer than  any previous production.
  6. 6. Possibly the first feature film made in the  world was called The Story of the Kelly Gang. It was made in 1906.  It was made by the Tait Brothers in Australia. 
  7. 7. Unfortunately authorities did not approve of  bushranger stories. They were banned in Victoria, South Australia  and New South Wales within five years.
  8. 8. Why do you think bushrangers were a  popular choice for silent films? Why do you think the authorities banned  these bushranger films?
  9. 9. Ken Hall (On Our Selection, 1932)  Charles Chauvel  Raymond Longford (The Sentimental Bloke,  1919)
  10. 10. 1911: Australia pioneers the double bill  The Glacarium Cinema in Melbourne played  the Australian film The Lost Chord. It was supported by the Italian film The Fall of  Troy (1910).
  11. 11. In 1911 there were 52 Australian narrative  fiction titles released.  Many were bushranger flicks. This was the highest level of production until  1975. In 1911 Australia produced more feature films  than any other country.
  12. 12. Film was becoming big business.  American and British companies were taking  over distribution.  Often they would not show local films.  In 1922 – 23 ninety-four percent of films shown in Australia were from America. There was a Royal Commission into the  industry’s decline in 1928.  This did little to slow the decline.
  13. 13. The first talkie was an American film called  “The Jazz Singer”. It set a new record.   Showed for 46 weeks in 1928 – 1929 at Sydney's Lyceum Theatre.
  14. 14. Audiences went up when talking pictures  arrived. 187 million tickets were sold that year.  29 cinema admission for every person in  Australia.
  15. 15. How many films did you see in the cinema in  the last twelve months? How many of these were Australian films? 
  16. 16. Showgirl’s Luck began production in June  1930.  There were many technical problems and it was released in 1931. Two films with sound segments were also  completed by this time.  Fellers  The Cheaters
  17. 17. In The Wake of the Bounty (1933)  Directed by Charles Chauvel.  Paid £30 for three weeks work.  Became of the world’s biggest movie stars  within two years.
  18. 18. Available film used for newsreels and  propaganda films. Films sent to troops in New Guinea and  remote parts of Australia.
  19. 19. A government rule in 1951 about raising  capital for companies all but destroyed the industry. Between 1952 and 1966 there were an  average of two films made in Australia including co-productions.
  20. 20. Many actors left Australia in these years.  Some did very well.   Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell (Murder She Said, 1961)  Rod Taylor (The Time Machine, 1960)  Diane Cilento (Tom Jones, 1963)  Ray Barrett (The Reptile, 1966)  Leo McKern (The Day the Earth Caught Fire, 1961)  Peter Finch (The Trials of Oscar Wilde, 1961).
  21. 21. The Skyline drive-in opens in Burwood.  The first of 330 drive-ins.  Numbers fall dramatically when home video  was introduced in the 1980s. There are fewer than 20 drive-ins in Australia  today.
  22. 22. The first Australian film shot in colour.  Directed by Charles Chauvel.  To first to have serious Aboriginal characters. 
  23. 23. Channel 9 in Sydney began regular  transmissions. The first show was called “This is television”.  By 1959 28% of cinema’s in Sydney had  closed and 33% of Melbourne’s indoor cinemas. Between 1960 and 1966 only seven feature  films were made in Australia.
  24. 24. Prime Minister Gorton created the Australian  Film Development Corporation Creates the Experimental Film Fund with  $100,000 Creates the Australian Film and Television  School (AFTS), which opened in 1973.
  25. 25. Australia produced nearly 400 feature films  between 1970 and 1985. More than had ever been made before.  New talent emerged. 
  26. 26. Directors   Gillian Armstrong (My Brilliant Career)  Peter Weir (Picnic at Hanging Rock)  Phil Noyce (Backroads)  Bruce Beresford  Fred Schepisi (The Devil’s Playground) Actors   Judy Davis  Sam Neill  Mel Gibson
  27. 27. Stars Graeme Blundell 
  28. 28. Based on a famous book and real incident.  Directed by Peter Weir  Did very well overseas. 
  29. 29. Admission went from 68.4 million in 1974 to  28.9 million in 1976. Australian box-office admissions did not  exceed 60 million again until 1994 (68.1 million).
  30. 30. Starring Jack Thompson 
  31. 31. Animated and live action.  Kids film. 
  32. 32. Set in the Boer War  Stars Bryan Brown 
  33. 33. Directed by George Miller.  Starred Mel Gibson 
  34. 34. Directed by Gillian  Armstrong Starred Judy Davis and  Sam Neill
  35. 35. Changes to Australian taxation law saw an  explosion of films in the 1980s. Some revisited war and bush culture  Increasingly these films were confident and  urban. Includes more crime films. 
  36. 36. Based on the famous David Williamson play.  Starred Jack Thompson 
  37. 37. Period kids’ film. 
  38. 38. Directed by Peter Weir 
  39. 39. Did better than Star Wars in Australia. 
  40. 40. Starring Nicole Kidman  Urban kids films 
  41. 41. Does very well in Australia and America. 
  42. 42. Directed by Nardia Tass  Starring Colin Friels 
  43. 43. Directed by John Duigan  Starring Noah Taylor and  Ben Mendelsoh.
  44. 44. Urban crime flick  Stars Russell Crowe 
  45. 45. Urban period piece  Anthony Hopkins  Ben Mendelson 
  46. 46. Directed by Baz Luhrmann 
  47. 47. Bill Hunter and Toni Collette 
  48. 48. Russell Crowe  Jack Thompson 
  49. 49. Geoffrey Rush wins an  Academy Award for his performance.
  50. 50. Urban crime film.  Heath Ledger 
  51. 51. Urban crime.  Based on a book. 
  52. 52. Anthony LaPaglia  Geoffrey Rush  Kerry Armstrong 
  53. 53. A Baz Luhrmann film.  Ewan McGregor  Nicole Kidman 
  54. 54. Central Aboriginal  characters Based on a true story  Period drama 
  55. 55. Bushranger period film.  Heath Ledger 
  56. 56. Stars Cate Blanchette and Sam Neill  Urban and bleak 
  57. 57. Urban realism. 
  58. 58. Horror 
  59. 59. First Aboriginal language feature produced. 
  60. 60. Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish  Urban 

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