Outsiders in Australian Cinema film series
Celebrating the the newly reopened Australian galleries
To the mainstream, the outsider’s perspective commands attention. Outsiders often look, think and behave differently, their attitudes threatening the existing order. This film series explores the outsider in Australian cinema and the conflict that can arise between conformity and individuality: from characters trapped between two cultures to those at the bottom of the social scale, criminals, loose canons, black sheep and those with unusual dreams and passions.
Part of Open Weekend 2012, celebrating Australian art
Image: Night cries, Dir: Tracey Moffatt
Wednesdays 2pm & 7.15pm, Sundays 2pm
13 May – 24 June 2012
Special extra screenings:
Sat 12 May 2012, 2pm
Wed 23 & Sun 27 May 2012, 12pm
Tickets are issued at the Domain Theatre one hour before commencement. Films start at the advertised time. Doors open 30 minutes before this. Latecomers not admitted.
Location: Domain Theatre
Crocodile dreaming + Night cries + Wind
Dir: Darlene Johnson 2006 (Aust)
27 mins 35mm Colour Unclassified
David Gulpilil, Tom E Lewis
Crocodile Dreaming is a modern-day supernatural myth about two estranged brothers, played by Indigenous actors David Gulpilil and Tom E Lewis. Separated at birth, they have different fathers. One is readily accepted as a fully-fledged member of the tribe and is looked on to fulfil the duties of jungaiy, an important ceremonial role which obliges him to be caretaker for his mother’s dreaming. The other, whose father was white, is younger and has had to struggle to fit into the tribe who see him only as a yella fella.
Dir: Tracey Moffatt 1990 (Aust)
17 mins 35mm Colour Unclassified
Marcia Langton, Agnes Hardwick
Charles Chauvel’s film Jedda (1955) is a point of departure for Tracey Moffatt’s experimental narrative which focuses on the theme of a mother-daughter relationship in the context of white-Aboriginal relations. The characters of the white mother and the black daughter in the Chauvel film are taken 40 years on. The story of love-hate and loneliness unfolds in a deliberately artificial studio setting which recalls the paintings of the central Australian Hermannsburg school, particularly Albert Namatjira. In an evocatively dense soundtrack, Jimmy Little, miming The Royal Telephone – in the filmmaker’s words – ‘acts as a punctuation within the film’s narrative and soothes over the tensions which are present between the other characters’.
Dir: Ivan Sen 1999 (Aust)
35mins 35mm Colour Rated MA15+
Ralph Cotterill, Bradley Byquar
Set in 1850s Australia. In the cold, bleak terrain of the high country, a young black tracker and his commanding sergeant hunt down a suspected Aboriginal murderer. Ivan Sen’s metaphysical thriller depicts a man trapped between two cultures, his loyalties divided.
Image: Night cries
Saturday 12 May 2012 2pm – 3:20pm
Dir: Rolf de Heer 1991 (Aust)
109 mins 35mm Colour Rated PG
Colin Friels, Miles Davis
Rolf de Heer’s Dingo begins in the late 1960s in a Western Australian outback town. A young boy, John Anderson, becomes captivated by jazz musician, Billy Cross (played by legendary trumpeter Miles Davis), after he unexpectedly performs to stunned locals on a dusty airstrip when his plane makes a brief, unscheduled stop-over. Years later, now a family man, making a meagre living tracking dingos and playing trumpet in a local band, John dreams of re-connecting with Billy. Dingo traces the pilgrimage of John, an average guy with a passion for jazz, from his outback home to the jazz clubs of Paris and captures one of Davis’ last performances on film. The brand new print of Dingo is a product of the Deluxe/Kodak preservation project which has run over the past 10 years. The National Film and Sound Archive, along with its partners Deluxe Sydney and Kodak Australasia, has a dedicated strategy in place to preserve, and make available to contemporary audiences, new 35mm prints of significant Australian colour feature films.
Sunday 13 May 2012 2pm – 3:50pm
Cherith + Cane toads: an unnatural history
Dir: Shirley Barrett 1987 (Aust)
16mm 19mins Colour Unclassified
Diane Adams, George Shevtsov
Shirley Barrett’s award-winning black comedy about growing up in a Christian fundamentalist family became a cult favourite on the short film festival circuit when released in 1987. Cherith is the daughter of a revivalist preacher. Her humiliation is that she cannot speak in tongues and appears to be the only member of her father’s congregation unable to do so.
Cane toads: An unnatural history
Dir: Mark Lewis 1987 (Aust)
47 mins 16mm Colour Rated PG
A blend of personal anecdote and absurd fact explains one of the most bizarre biological blunders in Australia’s ecological history. In 1935, in a strategic operation designed to save the nation’s sugar crop from destruction by the greyback beetle, the Queensland Government imported a knot of Bufo Marinus, otherwise known as cane toads, from Hawaii. The cane toad adapted beautifully to its surroundings and proceeded to breed so rapidly that it quickly became a pest of plague proportions. It spread everywhere and ate everything except the greyback beetle. The documentary presents the cane toad as an invading outsider and those Queenslanders who love the reptile, in the minority.
Image: Cane toads: An unnatural history
Wednesday 16 May 2012 2pm – 3:06pm
Wednesday 16 May 2012 7:15pm – 8:21pm
Sunday 20 May 2012 2pm – 3:06pm
Bingo, bridesmaids and braces
Dir: Gillian Armstrong 1988 (Aust)
95 mins 16mm Colour Rated PG
The third installment in an ongoing series of documentaries by director Gillian Armstrong, follows the lives of three women, Diana, Josie and Kerry, through puberty to adulthood. As teenagers, these working class Adelaide girls described themselves as misfits. Now they are 26 year-old women, dramatically changed and affected by the responsibilities of marriage, parenthood and employment. Using detailed flashbacks to the two previous installments, the documentary catalogues the day-to-day existence, betrayed hopes and fears of the three women as they share the critical times in their lives, and their satisfaction and surprise at having reached 26.
Wednesday 23 May 2012 12pm – 1:35pm
Sunday 27 May 2012 12pm – 1:35pm
Satdee night + Love letters from Teralba Road
Dir: Gillian Armstrong 1973 (Aust)
17 mins 16mm Colour Rated PG
A young man (played by Stuart Campbell), living in a communal house, carefully prepares himself for a great Saturday night. Made while director Gillian Armstrong was studying at the Australian Film and Television School, this short film presents a wry slice of life from early 1970s Sydney. The director creates a realistic, documentary-like portrait of a gay man, describing the humour and common humanity of his experience with easy simplicity.
Love letters from Teralba Road
Dir: Stephen Wallace 1977 (Aust)
50 mins 16mm Colour Rated M
Director Stephen Wallace based this film on a collection of letters he found in a Sydney flat. The love letters are those of a husband, who is working in Newcastle, to his estranged wife, living in Sydney. Barbara (played by Kris McQuade) has trouble reconciling the tender, written emotions of Len (played by Bryan Brown) with their actual violent relationship. ‘The strength of this modest movie… largely derives from what… Wallace has chosen to leave unstated, and the way in which what seems at first an intolerable bind… is finally revealed to be something much more complex and less pessimistic.’ – John Pym, Time Out
Image: Satdee night
Wednesday 23 May 2012 2pm – 3:07pm
Wednesday 23 May 2012 7:15pm – 8:22pm
Sunday 27 May 2012 2pm – 3:07pm
Dir: Jane Campion 1989 (Aust)
97 mins 35mm Colour Rated M
Genevieve Lemon, Karen Colston
While Jane Campion’s films have varied from romance, bio-pic to erotic thriller, most centre on prickly heroines who tend to challenge or disregard societal niceties. Her first feature, the witty, tough and tender Sweetie, focuses on the hazardous relationship between two sisters: the boisterous, child-like, and disheveled outsider, Dawn (nicknamed ‘Sweetie’ by her father) and her superstitious, dour, buttoned-down sister, who is living in the suburbs and attempting to get her life together. When Dawn and her bombed-out boyfriend arrive unannounced at Kay’s suburban home, all hell breaks loose. Campion’s fascination with human behaviour provides the film with its unique psychological landscape. Adding to the menacing atmosphere, the cinematography by Sally Bongers renders the natural and suburban landscapes lush and saturated with unnatural colour. The idiosyncratic characters depicted in Sweetie heralded a renaissance of Australian cinema, which would grab the attention of the film world in the 1990s.
Wednesday 30 May 2012 2pm – 3:37pm
Wednesday 30 May 2012 7:15pm – 8:52pm
Sunday 3 June 2012 2pm – 3:37pm
Dir: Glenda Hambly 1985 (Aust)
94 mins 35mm Colour Rated M
Noni Hazlehurst, Alan Fletcher
Perth single-mother Fran does it tough. In the wake of a messy divorce, she is left alone to care for her three children. The good-natured but irresponsible mother is devoted to her family, but longs for more in her life. She develops a relationship with Jeff, a barman. As she endeavours to find a balance between that relationship and her matriarchal duties, Fran is plunged into a conflict. What saves the character of Fran is the great empathy of Noni Hazelhurst’s performance. Deemed too bleak for Australian audiences at its release, Fran is a key film in the cycle of 1980s Australian cinema exploring the lives of ordinary women. Begun as a WA-government-sponsored documentary, director Glenda Hambly transformed the project into a dramatized feature film, using the longer form to dig deep into the real tragedy of the central characters. The outsiders in Fran (including Alan Fletcher as Fran’s boyfriend) aren’t marginal by choice; lacking economic control over their destiny, they are exercising their limited options.
Note later Sunday starting time
Wednesday 6 June 2012 2pm – 3:35pm
Wednesday 6 June 2012 7:15pm – 8:50pm
Sunday 10 June 2012 3pm – 4:35pm
Dir: Ray Argall 1990 (Aust)
89 mins 35mm Colour Rated M
Australian cinematographer Ray Argall made his directorial debut with this low-key drama about a man coming to terms with his past. Dennis Coard plays Noel, a successful insurance broker from the city who decides, after a brutal divorce, to forsake his stressful life and return to his boyhood home in seaside Adelaide. His brother Steve (played by Frankie J Holden), a mechanic running the family garage, is struggling to stay afloat with his barely viable small business. Living in separate cities for ten years, the brothers have drifted apart. Released in 1990 Return home touched a nerve with its insightful depiction of working class survivors in contemporary Australia. Winning Best Director at the 1990 AFI awards, Argall’s achievement is to give form and substance to everyday lives through a quietly elegiac naturalism.
Note later Sunday starting time
Wednesday 13 June 2012 2pm – 3:30pm
Wednesday 13 June 2012 7:15pm – 8:45pm
Sunday 17 June 2012 3pm – 4:30pm
Dir: David Michôd 2010 (Aust)
113 mins 35mm Colour Rated MA15+
James Frecheville, Jacki Weaver, Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn
Julia Cody has spent her life shielding her seventeen year-old-son, Joshua ‘J’ Cody, from her Melbourne-based criminal relatives. When Julia dies from a heroin overdose, Joshua feels he has no choice but to contact Janine, his maternal grandmother. She invites him to move in and join the family. Jacki Weaver plays Janine Cody, grandmother and family matriarch. Guy Pearce plays an honest cop fighting to save the teenager from the violent family. Loosely based on the Melbourne crime scene in the 1980s, David Michôd’s celebrated debut feature is an enthralling study of the disintegration of a family of criminals and their tense battle with the police. The film won a record 10 awards (receiving 18 nominations) at the 2010 Australian Film Institute Awards. Weaver was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Wednesday 20 June 2012 2pm – 3:53pm
Wednesday 20 June 2012 7:15pm – 9:08pm
Sunday 24 June 2012 2pm – 3:53pm