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KatawaGrey's avatar

What are some Australian films I should see?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21365 points ) November 19th, 2011

I have seen a few Australian films and I really like them. Admittedly, the only ones I’ve seen have starred Mel Gibson the Mad Max films and Tim but the style is unlike anything I’ve seen in American films and I quite like it. I would like to continue my Australian film education. Can you fine Jellies suggest some Australian films to me?

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31 Answers

XD's avatar

Is New Zealand close enough? I loved this film.

JilltheTooth's avatar

My Brilliant Career…which I just happen to have… ;-)

bluemukaki's avatar

Australian films tend to be far more relaxed and more willing to poke fun at themselves than American and British films (sometimes). Generally they will deal with people on the fringe of society or some kind of big battle against governments, but throughout them there’s a real sense of the underdog – the hero is always down and out in some way. We don’t see a lot of hunky men doing somersaults and blowing up tankers. This is partly a reflection of our culture, but it’s also very much to do with how the Australian film financiers move their money. With limited budgets we tend to make more dialogue-driven films set in average-looking locations without the big explosions and stunts. Most films that are truly ‘Australian’ have this sensibility… a sort of economical stillness and self deprecation. At the same time, there’s a tendency to make heavier more artistic or philosophical films because, hey, if you only make 10 films a year at least make them serious ones! There’s not really a “popcorn” movie industry in Australia. In fact, there’s not really a year-round film industry in Australia at all anymore, so torrenting these movies is a dick move – we need jobs dammit!

With that in mind, here are the best ones in Reverse chronological order:

Animal Kingdon is a chilling film about a famous crime family in Melbourne, has Guy Pearce in it (who is amazing). Beautiful cinematography and an interesting story.

Mary and Max is an animated film directed by Oscar winner Adam Elliot (for his short film Harvey Krumpet which is also amazing) about a correspondance, apparently based on a true story, between a New Yorker with Aspergers and a young Australian girl.

Rabbit Proof Fence is good, but very heavy. It’s about the Australian Aborigines and a journey away from forced settlement back to their original tribes.

Looking for Alibrandi is a great film and explores the second-generation migrant experience which is a common experience for a great number of Australians (around 50% of Australians are migrants or the children of migrants).

The Dish is about how the Parkes Observatory relayed the Apollo 11 transmissions back to the USA. It’s pretty funny.

The Wog Boy is pretty trashy, but also an entertaining insight into Australian culture (or at least a caricature of it)

The Castle possibly one of the greatest Australian anythings to have been made. This film is the bible of Australian film and almost perfect. It’s fucking hilarious, perfectly reflects the Australian mindset and the typical lower to middle-class Aussie. It’s kind of scary how accurate it is at times. If you haven’t seen this film, you haven’t lived.

Moving on… The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert stars Hugo Weaving (Matrix, Lord of the Rings, V for Vendetta etc.) as a drag queen on a roadtrip through the Australian outback.

Malcom is a fun film, admittedly another one about someone with a mental disability (I’m sensing a theme here) that is very entertaining. It’s also set in Melbourne, and obviously so, which is less common than films set in and around Sydney.

Gallipoli is a war film, with a young Mel Gibson, about the conflict in Turkey which is apparently a key part of our national identity (much to many people’s distaste) and which purports a number of the myths about the events. Nevertheless, its an excellent film.

Honourable mention The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan, a short film which won the Oscar in 2011. Narrated by comedian Tim Minchin. This film has a real Western Australian flavour to it… it’s hard to explain.

RareDenver's avatar

Everyone knows Australians can’t act, have you seen their Soaps?

dappled_leaves's avatar

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

shrubbery's avatar

@bluemukaki you stole my list! :P

I’d also like to add The Black Balloon, about a boy trying to grow up normally despite his autistic brother.

The Proposition, written by Nick Cave starring Guy Pearce (who, as @bluemukaki said, is amazing), about outlaws in the outback in the olden days and a deal one of them strikes with the police captain to bring in his brothers. It’s intense and rather gruesome but I think it’s absolutely amazing.

Also this one’s more from New Zealand but you should watch it anwyay, The Piano by Jane Campion.

And while I haven’t seen it myself, I’ve heard good things about Samson and Delilah.

rooeytoo's avatar

My favorites are:
Sampson and Delilah – a sad and brutally truthful account of aboriginal kids, made by an aboriginal guy.
Australia – beautiful scenery and a romantic spoof on life in the NT. Hugh Jackman without his shirt too.
Red – based on a true story about a red Kelpie dog, a little bit maudlin but if you are a dog lover, it is a must see.
Rogue – a croc movie filmed in Kakadu and Katherine Gorge. A bit predictable but unbelievably beautiful scenery and just so NT, makes me homesick.
Black Water – another NT croc movie, but scary enough to make it worthwhile.
Jindabyne – dramatic and annoyingly believable.
Last Train to Freo – another drama and very good.

I’m sure I’ll think of more later, but that is all that comes to mind at the moment.
They really are all very good

rooeytoo's avatar

Since we are adding in NZ films, my absolute very favorite of all time is Whale Rider. Boy is also very good.

fundevogel's avatar

1. The Proposition the cast is fairly British but it is very much an Austrailian film
2. He Died With a Falafel in His Hand

New Zealand’s got sheep.

filmfann's avatar

If we are adding NZ films, The Piano should be mentioned.

What about A Cry In The Night?

rooeytoo's avatar

OMG how could I have forgotten the Sheep movie, it was like the old Alfred Hitchcock The Birds but with sheep instead! Definitely worth a watch on a stay in winter night!

Adagio's avatar

And to add to the list of Australian films:

Strictly Ballroom employs a particular kind of quirky humour, I guess one either enjoys it or not, I’m definitely in the former category.

Shine

Lantana

Muriel’s Wedding introducing Australian actors Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine, amongst other films) and Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under)

Harold's avatar

As an Aussie, I am glad you like them. My favourites are:
The Castle; Red Dog; The Dish; the 3 Crocodile Dundee films; and Strange Bedfellows.

gailcalled's avatar

“A Town Like Alice” was a 5 hour TV mini-series but is essentially a long and wonderful movie.

http://www.amazon.com/Town-Like-Alice-VHS/dp/6302796857

zenvelo's avatar

Breaker Morant was a great movie, about Australians in the Boer war in South Africa.

Keep_on_running's avatar

If you’re into chilling horror films, Wolf Creek would be a very good choice.

mazingerz88's avatar

Crocodile Dundee, jeez. Lol.

mazingerz88's avatar

The Proposition

fundevogel's avatar

If you like ridiculous gory fun Brain Dead (aka Dead Alive) and Bad Taste are not to be missed.

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Earthgirl's avatar

No one mentioned Romper Stomper. One of Russell Crowe’s first movies. I will see anything with Russell in it, yet I admit, I haven’t seen Romper Stomper yet.
I liked Walkabout , Rabbit Proof Fence and Muriel’s Wedding also.

Bellatrix's avatar

Snowtown… although you will never have any desire to visit Adelaide after seeing it.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Bellatrix – I just tried to watch that and had to give up. I just couldn’t stand it. That is a gruesome movie. But I still love Adelaide!

Bellatrix's avatar

It certainly is @rooeytoo. People walked out when I watched it. I think everyone was suffering in shock at the end. It was a good movie though. Disturbing but a good movie.

RareDenver's avatar

I’m looking forward to snowtown. I have family in Adelaide. Must go visit sometime.

Kat555's avatar

Australia with N.Kidman and H.Jackman

rooeytoo's avatar

Mental, I watched it a few weeks ago and it is excellent!

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