At the beginnings of this centuary a man, his son and a piano player travel around Australia showing the first silent movies (naturally in black and white). But what they really want is ... See full summary »
Oscar-nominated director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Tender Mercies) crafts a tender coming-of-age tale that introduces one of Australian literature's most beloved characters to ... See full summary »
Sheriff Sean Kilpatrick is a pacifist. Frank Brand is the leader of a band of killers. When their paths cross Kilpatrick is compelled to go against everything he has stood for to bring ... See full summary »
A successful talent agent enjoys the good life until his wife leaves him. He moves in with his friend and begins an affair with the man's wife. He also gets a new difficult client whose public image must be preserved at any cost.
Members of the Grave Diggers Motorcycle Club are being knocked off one by one, and someone needs to find out why! Sandy Harbutt's timeless Australian cult film about a bunch of renegades riding Kawasaki 900s.
Fred Schepisi's film, 'The Devil's Playground' is an intimate portrait of Tom, a thirteen-year-old struggling in spirit and body with the constraints of living in a Catholic seminary. It is... See full summary »
Sydney, Australia in the mid-1920's. Proud and classy Caddie Marsh is forced to get a job as a barmaid and raise two children on her own after her rich cad husband walks out on her. Despite... See full summary »
Partisans attacked the ship, with lots of people and the Jews held by the Germans. After the release and attack, there is yet another partisan attack on the convoy of Germans. Partisans few... See full summary »
Velimir 'Bata' Zivojinovic,
At the beginnings of this centuary a man, his son and a piano player travel around Australia showing the first silent movies (naturally in black and white). But what they really want is stay at one place and open up a cinema. Written by
A bittersweet story of Australia's early film history
Few are better qualified than Joan Long to tell this, a story of the trials and tribulation of early Australian cinema. A renown film historian, she based the film on the recollections of real-life picture show man Lyle Penn, but also draws on the rich knowledge of the era she gained by rediscovering and interviewing many of its leading players.
Travelling picture showmen were once common in Australia. Living out of caravans or even tents, they serviced the rural areas that did not yet have their own permanent cinemas, often providing variety acts as part of the show.
The film's tone is somewhat reminiscent of these early films. The story is delineated (and performed) in the same broad strokes as every Australian classic from 'Dad and Dave' to 'The Castle'. All the usual characters are present - the uneasy young man, the eager young tomboy who can't bear to act like a proper young lady, the shifty villian. Yet the simple, enjoyable story is studded with authentic period details such as how films were presented to country audiences, and ultimately the effect that the coming of sound had on the phenomenon of the travelling showman.
Garry McDonald's performance as an opportunistic, shambolic pianist, is probably the most enjoyable, yet fans of `Muriel's Wedding' would do well to look out for an early appearance from Jeannie Drynan, who played Muriel's mother - and, as can be seen here, could once have given Audrey Hepburn a run for her money.
Though very much a product of its time, the film is still a thoroughly enjoyable introduction to Australia's rich film history - a fascinating story which, without scholars such as Long, might have disappeared forever.
28 of 28 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?