this list turned into Australian filmsby black_and_red | created - 31 Jul 2013 | updated - 03 Aug 2013 | Public
I was actually trying to make a vague list of like, a bunch of stuff that I've seen and never remember that I've seen, for no particular reason. Then I was trying to list Australian films, and now it's become a thing.
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1. Beneath Clouds (2002)
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance
The story of Lena, the light-skinned daughter of an Aboriginal mother and Irish father and Vaughn, a Murri boy doing time in a minimum security prison in North West NSW. Dramatic events ... See full summary »
Australian. I rate this story and feel like it's a far more subtle and complex treatment of contemporary indigeneous youth than some others. But there aren't many such films.
The standard film concerning indigenous Australians which people tend to have seen is Phillip Noyce's Rabbitproof Fence, based on past, rather than present injustice. Ivan Sen's work is something else entirely different; realist, character-driven independent drama. It's perhaps a poorly-judged comparison on my part, but worth pointing out, since this film seems to have passed under the radar, and that's a shame, because it's beautifully wrought.
Ivan Sen created compelling trajectories for both his characters, with an unusual young female lead in particular. The interplay between these characters leaves you longing for more and wondering what happens to them long after the film has ended. This was apparently based on an earlier short film created by Sen, with different actors.
I seem to recall that it had a moving, minimal soundtrack.
2. The Proposition (2005)
R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Western
A lawman apprehends a notorious outlaw and gives him nine days to kill his older brother, or else they'll execute his younger brother.
Votes: 45,216 | Gross: $1.90M
Australian. Written and scored by Nick Cave (but did he direct it or would it have been John Hillcoat?). It's like an Australian Western, and it's good storytelling and beautifully acted. The only part I can remember disliking was a somewhat cloying moment with Emily Watson in her nightgown, but I love her.
3. Animal Kingdom (2010)
R | 113 min | Crime, Drama
A seventeen year-old navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him.
Votes: 48,840 | Gross: $1.04M
Australian. I think this is good minimalist crime drama with class performances. Ben Mendolssohn is frighteningly real. Joel Edgerton, Jacki Weaver and Guy Pearce are also believable, but the main kid is great. Nice storytelling - it's got that mundane, suburban context which makes it all the more disturbing. I'll put it another way - I believed this story.
4. Head On (1998)
Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Romance
A 19 year old Greek Australian youth struggles with his sexual identity and has one clumsy heterosexual and several homosexual encounters.
Votes: 3,524 | Gross: $0.38M
Australian. Screenplay by Christos Tsolkias, directed by Ana Kokkinakis. Alex Demitriades just kills this performance (I mean, in the good sense) - in fact, I think of it as his best.
5. Bliss (1985)
R | 112 min | Comedy, Drama
After a near-death experience, a man wonders if he actually did die and is now in Hell.
Votes: 1,129 | Gross: $0.66M
Australian. I think this is based on a book by Peter Carey. I like Bliss.
6. Lake Mungo (2008)
R | 87 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A supernatural drama about grief.
Australian. This got silly at a certain point, but I admit there were points where it scared the crap out of me, which a lot of films of this nature never will. I think this is actually quite well executed at certain points. It loses its momentum, but what it had there for a while was pretty frightening in my opinion.
7. Praise (1998)
98 min | Drama
An unfocused twentysomething (Peter Fenton) moves in with a former co-worker (Sacha Holder), who is suffering from low self-esteem because of her weight, looks, and a case of eczema. Their ... See full summary »
Votes: 523 | Gross: $0.03M
Australian. Based on a good book, can't remember the name of the author off the top of my head, nor the names of the actors, but it's all good. A bit bleak, but truthful.
8. Dogs in Space (1986)
R | 103 min | Drama
The film is set in a house occupied by a collection of social misfits. The main storyline is that of a strange musician's relationship with a girl, their drug use and his band. These events... See full summary »
Australian. Rewatched Dogs in Space recently, it's a bit silly like all films that try to encapsulate subculture, but it has nostalgic value. Note that several of the Australian films listed so far seem to deal with drugdealing and/or ODs, particularly related to smack! But heroin is so passe...
9. The Tracker (2002)
90 min | Drama, History, Western
It's 1922; somewhere in Australia. When a Native Australian man is accused of murdering a white woman, three white men (The Fanatic, The Follower and The Veteran) are given the mission of ... See full summary »
Australian. Thought this was great.
10. Lantana (2001)
R | 121 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance
The relationships of four couples unravel after the discovery of a young woman's body in Lantana bush in suburban Sydney.
Votes: 17,187 | Gross: $4.46M
Australian. There's something I don't care for when it comes to Lantana, but I find it hard to say what it is. It's a brooding study of relationships, a murder mystery. It's well done though. I can't deny it's a good film and it makes great use of place. Also, the actor who plays Jane is one of my favourites.
R | 104 min | Comedy, Music
Two drag performers and a transgender woman travel across the desert to perform their unique style of cabaret.
Votes: 39,926 | Gross: $11.22M
Australian, and although it tends to fall into a category of given films that everyone has seen and liked over here, and arguably there have been a lot of Australian "character" films of a comedic nature moreso than serious drama, Priscilla is an entertaining and uplifting movie.
12. Muriel's Wedding (1994)
R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A young social outcast in Australia steals money from her parents to finance a vacation where she hopes to find happiness, and perhaps love.
Votes: 29,986 | Gross: $15.19M
Australian. It's easy to be indifferent to Muriel's Wedding these days as it falls into the same category of Priscilla and Kath and Kim - where they have deliberately played up the kitsch and/or banal, the film gets a cult following, but then spawns a lot of annoying kitsch banality. ("Oh Muriel!", "look at moiiie" etc). But, Rachel Griffiths in particular is great in this, and Toni Collette is also great. Lovely redemptive comedy.
13. Introducing the Dwights (2007)
R | 105 min | Comedy, Drama
The shy son of an aging comedienne tries to find a balance between his demanding home life, his new girlfriend, and his mother's second chance at fame.
Votes: 1,779 | Gross: $0.38M
Australian. This film seems to have been overlooked, and that's a shame. It's a good story.
14. Peaches (2004)
109 min | Drama
This is the story of teenage girl Steph, who is brought up by her fiery aunt Jude after her pregnant mother Jass and Vietnamese father are killed in a car crash. The arrival of her late ... See full summary »
Australian. The main character in this really annoyed me, and I thought it was overall a bit creepy, but I love a bit of Hugo Weaving, so.
15. Proof (2005)
PG-13 | 100 min | Drama, Mystery
The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician, recently deceased, tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father's ex-students, who wants to search through his papers, and her estranged sister, who shows up to help settle his affairs.
Votes: 38,748 | Gross: $7.52M
Hang on. That doesn't look like the right image for Proof or the year. Damn it. Where is Hugo Weaving?
16. Head-On (2004)
R | 121 min | Drama, Romance
With the intention to break free from the strict familial restrictions, a suicidal young woman sets up a marriage of convenience with a forty-year-old addict, an act that will lead to an outburst of envious love.
Got this mixed up with the other Head On, but I've watched this too - Fatih Akin was the writer/director of this one, it's Turkish/German. There were things I liked about this film, and things I didn't like. I particularly didn't like the end, but that's okay. Someone I was close with REALLY liked this, I just didn't so much.
17. Idiot Box (1996)
83 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Looking for the fast track out of suburban hell, two natural born losers scheme an impossible heist. Mick is slack, cynical, and most of all, unemployed. He masterminds the plan while Kev, ... See full summary »
Australian. Very idiosyncratic, lots of vernacular and very funny. Won't forget a particular scene (the koala suit).
18. Somersault (2004)
Not Rated | 106 min | Drama, Romance
A young girl flees her hometown and arrives in the Australian Alps, where new experiences help her learn the differences between sex and love.
Votes: 6,654 | Gross: $0.09M
Australian. Soundtrack by Decoder Ring. Look, I got wrapped up in the vulnerability of Abbie Cornish's flawed character while I was in the process of watching this; she's beautiful, but she's also intensely alone and kind of constantly shooting herself in the foot. However, later, I can recall feeling a bit irritated by the experience. But I think this film has lots of merits; not least that it's from the point of view of an alienated young woman, that the backdrop is fairly mundane and yet it's full of small details, complemented by the soundtrack.
19. Ten Canoes (2006)
Unrated | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
A story within a story. In Australia's Northern Territory, a man tells us one of the stories of his people and his land. It's a story of an older man, Minygululu, who has three wives and ... See full summary »
Votes: 3,957 | Gross: $0.28M
Australian. Rolf de Heer. I like the start of Ten Canoes a lot, but I seem to recall it starting to fade on me at a certain point. Still, it's the only film of its kind I can think of (completely in an indigeneous language, for one thing) and definitely worth checking out.
20. Samson and Delilah (2009)
101 min | Drama, Romance
Samson and Delilah's world is small- an isolated community in the Central Australian desert. When tragedy strikes they turn their backs on home and embark on a journey of survival. Lost, ... See full summary »
I know someone who worked on this. However, I'm not sure I enjoyed it. I know it is supposed to be a journey into bleakness and then redemption, but I mainly felt the bleakness and not so much the redemption, and I thought it was problematic in certain ways.
21. Jindabyne (2006)
R | 123 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Stewart Kane, an Irishman living in the Australian town of Jindabyne, is on a fishing trip in isolated hill country with three other men when they discover the body of a murdered girl in ... See full summary »
Votes: 5,964 | Gross: $0.40M
Australian. My memory is of lots of atmospheric suspense without it really going anywhere, and then I seem to recall being somewhat annoyed by the interplay of personal relationships, even though the actors are good.
23. Mullet (2001)
89 min | Comedy, Drama
A dark-sheep type of man returns to his hometown after a prolonged absence. While he's been gone ludicrous rumours have spread about his whereabouts. Is he a big footy player or is he a ... See full summary »
I can't remember much about this. But I do like Ben Mendolssohn a lot (if I have spelled his name right).
24. Little Fish (2005)
R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Set in the Little Saigon district outside of Sydney, a woman (Blanchett) trying to escape her past becomes embroiled in a drug deal.
Votes: 7,675 | Gross: $0.01M
Australian film; good performances. I'm not sure I liked Little Fish that much but I'm not sure I can articulate why. I usually enjoy Cate Blanchett a lot more than this. It was well scripted and Noni Hazelhurst's performance was decent (a bit challenging for me as I associate her with Playschool and home improvement shows, but I admit it). But - perhaps it was a bit bleak without quite enough depth, beauty or redemption for me personally?
25. Look Both Ways (2005)
PG-13 | 100 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance
During one unusually hot and tragic weekend, four people struggle after hearing some life-changing news, this in turn brings them together.
Votes: 2,835 | Gross: $0.10M
Australian. Not a favourite of mine, but I like the way it deals with the vulnerability of the human body, anxiety and falling in love.
26. The Book of Revelation (2006)
Unrated | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
An erotic mystery about power and sex, the entanglement of victim and perpetrator, and a man's struggle to regain his lost self.
Australian. One of the worst movies I've ever seen. Confirmed by my co-watchee. It's actually by the same woman who directed Head On - Ana Kokkinakis, I think it is, if I"m not mistaken.
27. My Year Without Sex (2009)
Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama
A tender story from Australia highlights the realistic ups and downs of an Australian family in the year following a parent's emergency medical procedure.
Votes: 838 | Gross: $0.00M
Australian. I think it had an interesting premise in a certain way, and I generally like Sascha ??, but I could barely stand this, I have to admit, on various levels. Did not work for me at all.
28. Flynn (1993)
R | 95 min | Biography, Drama
A biographical movie on the film star's early life before Hollywood fame.
Australian. I just remembered this. It's not very good, but it's interesting to see the young Guy Pearce, who I think had probably been on the likes of Neighbours. He's developed so much as an actor, and is now one of my favourites.
29. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
PG | 115 min | Drama, Mystery
During a rural summer picnic, a few students and a teacher from an Australian girls' school vanish without a trace. Their absence frustrates and haunts the people left behind.
Votes: 27,530 | Gross: $0.08M
Australian. Renowned as a creepy (if dated looking) film; I don't think I've seen all of it.
30. Puberty Blues (1981)
R | 87 min | Comedy, Drama
The mating rituals of two teenage surf chicks from the southern suburbs of Sydney.
Votes: 928 | Gross: $0.24M
Australian. Based on a good book by Kathy Lette. Young women might still find a lot to relate to.
31. Irresistible (2006)
R | 103 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
A wife and mother is consumed by the thought that her husband's co-worker is trying to win him away from her and their family.
Australian, and a horribly bad straight-to-dvd type film even though it has Emily Blunt and Susan Sarandon. I don't really like Sam Neill and I don't mind if that's controversial.
32. Candy (2006)
R | 108 min | Drama, Romance
A poet falls in love with an art student who gravitates to his bohemian lifestyle -- and his love of heroin. Hooked as much on one another as they are on the drug, their relationship alternates between states of oblivion, self-destruction, and despair.
Votes: 38,447 | Gross: $0.04M
Eh, I didn't like Candy so much, both of the characters were less than empathetic, and that wasn't because it involved drug use.
33. Ned Kelly (2003)
R | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Biography
An innocent man becomes one of the most wanted criminals the world has ever known.
Votes: 22,983 | Gross: $0.07M
Australian. Heath Ledger and Naomi Watts together were hot.
34. Two Hands (1999)
R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller
A 19 year old (Heath Ledger) finds himself in debt to a local gangster (Bryan Brown) when some gang loot disappears and sets him on the run from thugs. Meanwhile two street kids start a ... See full summary »
I don't think I've seen all of Two Hands. Classic Heath though.