Social class and Australasian cinema

For a society that sometimes presents itself as free of the class divisions found in Britain, social class has been an enduring feature of Australian political institutions, audiovisual representation, and national self-understandings. Tom O'Regan 1969: 269.


Inclusive list of Australasian films related in some way to social class

Battlers, The (George Ogilvie, 1994) telemovie, wr. Peter Yeldham, Kylie Tennant (novel); Gary Sweet, Peter Stoneham, Richard Piper, Amanda Cross, Anne Phelan, John Dick, Liz Windsor

Bootmen (Dein Perry, 2000) aka Tap Dogs; wr. Steve Worland, prod. Hilary Linstead; Adam Garcia, Sophie Lee, Sam Worthington, Susie Porter, Anthony Hayes

Death in Brunswick (John Ruane, 1991) wr. Boyd Oxlade, John Ruane, prod. Timothy White, dp Ellery Ryan, design Chris Kennedy, makeup Noriko Watanabe; Sam Neill, Zoe Carides, John Clarke, Yvonne Lawley, Nick Lathouris (Mustafa), Nicholas Papademetriou, Boris Brkic, Deborah Kennedy, Doris Younane, Denis Moore

Don's Party (Bruce Beresford, 1976) prod. Phillip Adams for Double Head Productions, wr. David Williamson from his play, dp Don McAlpine, ed. William Anderson; Ray Barrett, Claire Binney, Pat Bishop, Jeanie Drynan, John Hargreaves, Harold Hopkins, Graham Kennedy, Graeme Blundell, Veronica Lang, Candy Raymond, Kit Taylor, John Gorton; election night 1969; Canberra, colour, 87 min.

Fortunate Life, A (Marcus Cole, Henri Safran, 1986) mini-series

Gallipoli (Peter Weir, 1981) prod. Patricia Lovell & Robert Stigwood for Associated A & R Films, wr. David Williamson, dp Russell Boyd, designer: Wendy Weir, ed. Bill Anderson; Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Hunter, Robert Grubb, Bill Kerr, David Argue, Harold Hopkins, Tim McKenzie; review by Brian McFarlane in Murray 1995: 74; see also his review in Cinema Papers, 33, July-August 1981: 322-329; Gallipoli scenes filmed at Port Lincoln, SA; many AFI awards; Eastman colour, 35mm, 105 min.

Lantana (Ray Lawrence, 2001) wr. Andrew Bovell (play and screenplay), prod. Jan Chapman, dp Mandy Walker; Anthony LaPaglia, Geoffrey Rush, Barbara Hershey, Kerry Armstrong, Rachael Blake, Vince Colosimo, Russell Dykstra, Daniella Farinacci, Peter Phelps, Leah Purcell, Glenn Robbins, 115 min.; AFI 2001: best picture, direction, actor, actress ...

Last of the Knucklemen, The (Tim Burstall, 1979) wr. Tim Burstall, play John Power, prod. Tim Burstall, Hexagon Productions, dp Dan Burstall; Gerard Kennedy, Michael Preston, Peter Hehir, Dennis Miller, Michael Caton, Steve Rackman, Michael Duffield, Stephen Bisley (Steve Bisley), Stewart Faichney, Sean Myers, Gerry Duggan, Ross Skiffington, Les James, Tim Robertson, Saviour Summit, Margaret Buza, James Parker, Saltbush, Denise Drysdale, Helen Watts; set in a Central Australian mining camp; shot at Andamooka

Let's Get Skase (Matthew George, 2001) co-wr. Matthew George, co-wr. Lachy Hulme; Lachy Hulme, Craig McLachlan, Alex Dimitriades, Bill Kerr; WA; 97 min.

Looking for Alibrandi (Kate Woods, 2000) Pia Miranda, Anthony LaPaglia, Greta Scacchi, Kick Gurry, Matt Newton; Pia Miranda is looking for father Anthony LaPaglia; Josie (Miranda) chooses between possible partners from private and government schools; 103 min.

Mallboy (Vince Giarrusso, 2000) Kane McNay, Nell Feeney; 81 min. broadcast 0015 18 Dec 2004 SBS; Young Actor's Award (McNay) AFIs 2000

Moulin Rouge (Baz Luhrmann, 2001) ed. Jill Bilcock; Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman, David Wenham, John Leguizamo; 122 min.; AFI 2001: editing ...

Mullet (David Caesar, 2001) wr. David Caesar; Ben Mendelsohn, Susie Porter, Andrew S. Gilbert, Belinda McClory, Tony Barry, Kris McQuade, Peta Brady, Wayne Blair, Paul Kelman, Steve Le Marquand, Aaron Blabey, Jim Webb, Nash Edgerton, Bryan Brown (publican's voice); 89 min.

Nugget, The (Bill Bennett, 2002) Eric Bana, Stephen Curry, Dave O'Neil, Belinda Emmett, Peter Moon, Vince Colosimo, Max Cullen, Jane Hall; comedy, set in Mudgee NSW; released 17 October 2002, released on DVD 5 March 2003; 97 min.

Petersen (Tim Burstall, 1974) prod. Tim Burstall for Hexagon Productions, wr. David Williamson, dp Robin Copping, music Peter Best, design Bill Hutchinson, ed. David Bilcock; Jack Thompson, Wendy Hughes, Jacki Weaver, Helen Morse, Arthur Dignam, John Ewart, Charles Tingwell, Christine Amor, Cliff Ellen, Belinda Giblin, Sandy Macgregor, George Mallaby, Dina Mann, Anne Pendlebury, Tim Robertson, Lindsay Smith; Sydney, colour, 35mm, 107 min.

Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975) prod. Jim & Hal McElroy, prod. Patricia Lovell, wr. Cliff Green from novel by Joan Lindsay, dp Russell Boyd; Kirsty Child, John Fegan, Vivean Gray, Dominic Guard, John Jarratt, Anne Lambert, Tony Llewellyn-Jones, Ingrid Mason, Garry McDonald, Helen Morse, Rachel Roberts, Martin Vaughan, Jacki Weaver; thriller

Return Home (Ray Argall, 1990) wr. Ray Argall, dp Mandy Walker; Dennis Coard, Frankie J. Holden, Ben Mendelsohn, Micki Camilleri, Rachel Rains; see also Eight Ball; two brothers reunited; AFI Best Director

Romper Stomper (Geoffrey Wright, 1992) Russell Crowe, Daniel Pollock, Jacqueline McKenzie, Alex Scott; 89 min.

Silent Partner (Alkinos Tsilimidos, 2001) David Field (Bill) and Syd Brisbane (John), two drunks, get the chance of a lifetime, to race their own greyhound, [while] unbeknown to them they are being set up for a big sting; Lynden Barber, "Let slip the dogs", The Weekend Australian, 31 March-1 April 2001, Outtakes, Arts: R23; 116 min.

Sons of Matthew (Charles Chauvel, 1949) Greater Union Theatres/Universal Pictures; shot in Qld; Michael Pate, Ken Wayne, Tommy Burns, John Unicomb, John Ewart, Wendy Gibb; 107 min.; aka The Rugged O'Riordans (overseas version) family melodrama

Strikebound (Richard Lowenstein, 1984) wr. Richard Lowenstein, book by Wendy Lowenstein [his mother], prod. Miranda Bain and Timothy White for TRM Productions, ed. Jill Billcock; Carol Burns, Reg Evans, Nik Forster, Chris Haywood, Hugh Keays-Byrne, David Kendall (mine manager), Rob Steele; 100 min.; miners strike in 1936: they locked themselves in the main shaft

Sunday Too Far Away (Ken Hannam, 1975) prod. Gil Brealey, Matt Carroll, South Australian Film Corporation, wr. John Dingwall, dp Geoff Burton, music Patrick Flynn; Jack Thompson, Max Cullen, Robert Bruning, Jerry Thomas, Peter Cummins, John Ewart, Sean Scully, Reg Lye, Graham Smith, Ken Shorter, Lisa Peers, Ken Shorter; 90 min.

Teesh and Trude (Melanie Rodriga, 2002) Susie Porter, Linda Cropper, Peter Phelps; world premiere Brisbane Film Festival 13 July 2002, then Melbourne Film Festival later the same month; national season began Perth Thursday 6 March 2003

They're a Weird Mob (Michael Powell, 1966) wr. Richard Imrie [Emeric Pressburger], novel by Nino Culotta [John O'Grady]; Walter Chiari (Nino Culotta), Clare Dunne, Chips Rafferty, Alida Chelli, Ed Devereaux

Wake in Fright (Ted Kotcheff, 1971) aka Outback (US); wr. Evan Jones, novel Kenneth Cook, dp Brian West, ed. Anthony Buckley; Gary Bond (John Grant), Donald Pleasence (Doc Tydon), Chips Rafferty (Jock Crawford), Sylvia Kay, Jack Thompson, John Meillon, Peter Whittle, Al Thomas, John Armstrong, Slim de Grey, Maggie Dence, Norman Erskine, Buster Fiddess, Tex Foote, Owen Moase, John Dalleen, Colin Hughes, Mark Jackson, Nancy Knudsen, Dawn Lake, Harry Lawrence, Robert McDarra, Carlo Manchini, Liam Reynolds; suspenser; last film of Chips Rafferty and Buster Fiddess; Kotcheff went on to direct the first Rambo film First Blood; filmed Broken Hill

Waterfront (Chris Thomson, 1984) mini-series

Wog Boy, The (Aleksi Vellis, 2000) Nick Giannopoulos, Vince Colosimo; released 24 February; (related to TV show Wogs Out of Work); 88 min.


Inclusive Bibliography

Carroll, John 1982, 'National identity', in J. Carroll ed., Intruders in the Bush, Oxford University Press, Melbourne: 209-25.

Gibson, Ross 1992, South of the West, Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis.

O'Regan Tom 1996, Australian National Cinema, Routledge, London.

Simpson, Catherine 2000, Imagined Geographies: Women's Negotiation of Space in Contemporary Australian Cinema, PhD dissertation, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia.


Garry Gillard | New: 21 April 2003 | Now: 6 March, 2017