Australia Cinema

By | December 26, 2021

The production of films in Australia, which boasts contemporaneous beginnings with the invention of cinema itself, has enjoyed great impetus in recent years, thanks to both state support (active since the end of the 1960s and, since 1975, with the Australian film commission), both to the development of collaborations with the Hollywood industry (to which the Australia has provided two divas such as Cate Blanchett, v., and Nicole Kidman) and to the interaction with the huge television production. A feature of this cinema is the setting in large natural spaces, which correspond to the strength of a wild and majestic landscape.

The recurring themes, confirmed by the films of the 2000s, are the relationship with the mysterious indigenous Aboriginal culture, the investigation of the historical heritage of the continent, the variations on the genres of comedy, mystery, action thriller, and even the western or the musical. In several films, the element of Aboriginal culture is combined with the narrative codes of these genres. This is the case of Red hill (2010), the debut of Patrick Hughes, where the aboriginal has the role that the native uprooted from his history has in the modern western, and of the previous The proposition (2005; The proposal) by John Hillcoat, co-production English where white colonialism collides with the enigma of the ancestral landscape, while Bran Nue Dae (2009), by Rachel Perkins, is a musical about aboriginal teenagers.

The intertwining of the suggestion of nature, a sense of mystery inscribed in the landscape and the historical legacy of a continent colonized in the modern era, but full of primitivism, emerge strongly in the Australian film context. The leader of these themes was, between the seventies and nineties, Peter Weir, who continued his activity outside the Australian context, going as far as the Mongolian and Hymalaian landscapes with the historical-adventure film The way back (2010). The trinomial landscape-story-adventure continued in the 2000s with the emergence of new authors such as Baz Luhrmann and Rolf de Heer. The first (whose convulsive, choreographic and glowing style, demonstrated with the studio musical Moulin rouge, 2001, then landed on the Hollywood mainstream of The great Gatsby, 2013, The Great Gatsby, he shot with Australia (2008) the journey of a lady in the company of a rough herdsman against the backdrop of the Second World War, from the cadences of a western epic. The second, director and producer, has mixed experimentalism, investigation of mysterious indigenous roots and a curious retro taste for the fantastic that goes to recover the tricks of Georges Méliès, in films such as The tracker (2002), where an Aboriginal guide leads three policemen on horseback on a violent journey of knowledge along the wild territory of the Australian continent in the early twentieth century, or Ten canoes (2006; 10 canoes) shot entirely in Aboriginal language, where it is still the Yolngu with their tribal magic that are recalled by an old photograph from 1936, or in Dr. Plonk (2007), shot with the techniques of silent cinema, in which the fantastic and futuristic comedy fades into apocalyptic tones. Even in These final hours (2013), Zak Hilditch’s debut, the end of the world is evoked, in an introspective game between characters immersed in an atmosphere of collective madness. The fantastic, the dreamlike, the disturbing often underlie Australian cinema, as in Ray Lawrence’s rarefied thriller Lantana (2001), about a mysterious murder in the Sydney suburbs, reminiscent of David Lynch’s films, or in the obsessive hunting to the man by a monstrous truck in Dean Francis’ Road train (2010), which instead cites the first Steven Spielberg, or in the ‘false documentary’ (mokumentary) Lake Mungo (2008) by Joel Anderson, in which the drowning of a girl is told through fake interviews, while Animal kingdom (2010) by David Michôd follows a typical gangster movie. The investigation into the history of the to. and the themes of ‘stolen generations’ (Australian Aboriginal children stolen by federal governments from their families) are addressed in Jeremy Sims’ Beneath Hill 60 (2010) and in Rabbit-Proof fence (2002; The Stolen Generation) by veteran director Phillip Noyce. Ned Kelly (2003) by Gregor Jordan is dedicated to the true story of the most famous Australian outlaw of the nineteenth century. A historical episode such as the story of the radio telescope that sent the images of the 1969 moon landing worldwide takes on comedy tones in Rob Sitch’s The dish (2000). After all, the trend of comedy, ironic or sentimental, met with success at the beginning of the millennium with youthful films such as Fat pizza (2003) by Paul Fenech, Looking for Alibrandi (2000; Third generation) by Kate Woods. For Australia 2008, please check

In essence, contemporary Australian cinema manages to combine originality of themes linked to the suggestions of the territory and history with a sense of entertainment that sees it as a natural partner of the US industry, as happened with George Miller, another veteran of this cinema, who in the 1979 he invented the post-apocalyptic and sci-fi saga of Mad Max (Interceptor) resuming it in 2015 with Mad Max – Fury road, after the success of the 3D animation diptych Happy feet (2006 and 2011); and as evidenced by the activity of the Australian tycoon Rupert Murdoch who opened Fox Studios Australia in Sydney in 1998, alongside the Warner Roadshow Studios to set up megacoproductions with the United States set in Australian locations.

Australia Cinema