Films that changed Aussie cinema

  • Films that changed Aussie cinema
  • World Movies admin
  • November 24, 2014

It’s not long until WM CULT: AUSSIE EXPLOITATION will be exploding on to your screen, with five gritty Australian films. Hosted by Andrew Mercado, things will kick off on Monday 17 November 7.45pm EDT with Not Quite Hollywood. This intriguing documentary features Quentin Tarantino and delves into the untold story of a time when Australian cinema showed the world full-frontal explosions of sex, violence, horror and foot-to-the-floor action.

To celebrate, we’ve compiled a collection of Aussie films that helped to define Australian cinema. Get ready for a walk down nostalgia lane. Streuth!

The Story of the Kelly Gang, 1906
Running for over an hour, this film was the longest narrative movie in the world at the time. This classic tale centred around iconic bush ranger Ned Kelly is remembered as the world’s first full-length feature film.

Alvin Purple
Alvin Purple, 1973
A major hit with Australian audiences, Alvin Purple actually received largely negative reviews from film critics. Featuring a young (and nude) Jacki Weaver, the film is a non-stop sex romp that shocked the world and broke down barriers.

Picnic at Hanging Rock, 1975
Directed by Peter Weir and based on the novel of the same name, Picnic at Hanging Rock follows the disappearance of a group of schoolgirls and the impact it has on the local community. This is truly powerful story-telling set in the Australian bush.

The Getting of Wisdom, 1977
A tale of one girl’s struggle for acceptance, conformity and romance with a hint of lesbian overtones, this screen adaptation of Henry Handel Richardson’s novel stars Susannah Fowle and Barry Humphries.

Mad Max, 1979
A top-grossing Australian film, and credited for opening up the global market to Australian film, Mad Max would later spawn 3 sequels, including the 2015 installment. Mel Gibson stars in a dystopian Australian future where energy is scarce and outlaws roam free.

Gallipoli, 1981
Another one on the list from Director Peter Weir, Gallipoli follows a group of young men and their experience in the Australian Army during the First World War. A story of innocence lost and the harsh reality of war, the film stars a young Mel Gibson.

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, 1994
Priscilla was instrumental in bringing Australian cinema to the world’s attention, as well as for its positive exposure of LGBT individuals. Starring Hugo Weaving and Guy Ritchie at their finest.

Muriel’s Wedding, 1994
All Muriel wants to do is move from her home town and to have a big wedding. Although labelled as a comedy, this film features some truly touching moments about dreams unfulfilled and the realities of life, aided by a classic performance from Toni Collette.

Shine, 1996
A biographical drama based on the life of pianist David Helfgott and his struggles with mental illness. Geoffrey Rush was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor for his remarkable performance.

Looking for Alibrandi, 2000
Winner of the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Film in 2000, Looking for Alibrandi follows the touching coming of age story of Josie, who is in her final year of high school in Sydney.

Rabbit-Proof Fence, 2002
This film is based on the true story of the Stolen Generation, a shameful aspect of Australia’s past. Not shying away from the facts, Rabbit-Proof Fence is a confronting re-telling of author Doris Garimara’s life experiences, coupled with stunning filming and music.

Japanese Story, 2003
This romantic drama is steeped in heart-breaking tragedy and proves the endurance of human willpower. Once again another flawless performance from Toni Collette.

Little Fish, 2005
Filmed around Cabramatta and Fairfield, the film follows a former heroin addict desperately trying to escape her past and achieve her goals and dreams. Starring the talented Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Noni Hazelhurst.

Ten Canoes, 2006
The first movie entirely filmed in Australian Aboriginal languages, Ten Canoes is a story of mistaken identity and the consequences of rash action.

Don’t miss our collection of legendary Aussie films from 8.30pm EDT each night from Monday 17 November – Friday 21 November as part of WM CULT: AUSSIE EXPLOITATION.

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