Cinema was around in Australia almost since the beginning with various phases leading to a near extinction by the 1960’s. But under new government rules and funding, at the beginning of the 1970’s (and following the introduction of the R Rating in 1971), the ‘Australian New wave’ was born with its little cousin the Ozploitation cinema (Shockers, horrors, comedies and even action flicks) that had to make the best of their low budget limitation.
Some of these films are great, some have flaws, some age well, some don’t. But there is a peculiar oddity about them as they are often between exploitation and Art films with great settings (the Outback) and experimental atmospheres (notably the music). And most of them with minimal story line establishing a disturbing ambiance. Stories filled with characters facing pessimistic situations in places where they do not belong, creating fantastic looking and sounding pieces of escalating antagonism out of what would otherwise be ordinary.
It was a period of go-between for talented mavericks (sometimes near amateurs in the process of becoming pros) leading to the 1980’s and successful international careers. It shaped a new generation of filmmakers, among them the better known Peter weir (Truman Show), Bruce Beresford, George Miller (Mad Max), Richard Franklin (Psycho II), Fred Schepisi, John Duigan and others, learning their tools and trades by experimenting before eventually heading for Hollywood.
Follow the 15 links to a selection of these titles in our AUSTRALIA or FILM GENRES