WE take you on a journey through the history of Australian cinema, and give you a sneak peek of the iconic, must see films produced from the land down under.
Ever wonder how Australian filmmaking came about? Well it mainly started back in the 1970s and 80s when Australian filmmakers started to convey Australia’s history and way of life on the big screen.
Since then, Australia has produced many memorable films many international fans would know including the 1979 film Mad Max with Mel Gibson starring in the forceful biker gang future and the 1986 adventure comedy Crocodile Dundee starring Paul Hogan.
These notable films continued with the controversial drama musical The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert and the comedy romance Muriel’s Wedding starring Toni Collette in 1994.
An iconic tale about a Melbourne family then hit the big screen in the 1997 film The Castle and in the year 2000 the biography crime comedy Chopper enhanced Melbourne actor Eric Bana’s career.
Still breaking new ground today, Australian cinema continues to explore themes such as war, violence, drama, bushman tales and loyal canines.
In recent years, Baz Luhrmann’s historic film Australia (2008) starring favourites Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman hit the big screen alongside the 2010 biography The King’s Speech and crime thriller Animal Kingdom.
In 2011 action adventure Sanctum was released, followed by the comedy drama Red Dog and the 2012 hit comedy Any Questions for Ben?
With many Australian actors moving on to Hollywood it comes as no surprise that many don’t know most originate from Australia.
Geoffrey Rush, who many might remember as captain Barbossa in the first Pirates of the Caribbean’s was born in sunny Queensland. Similarly The Aviator starlet Cate Blanchett was born to an Australian mother as well as the recently passed Heath Ledger who also made his way into Hollywood stardom from Australian shores.
Now several rising stars are moving into the future of Australian cinema by following in the footsteps of these acting greats. Some names to keep a look out for include:
Joel Edgerton. The 38-year-old has already starred in an amazing 53 films including Lionsgate’s Warrior (2011), and this year the Blacktown (NSW) actor will star in two new films The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio and The Odd life of Timothy Green.
James Frecheville. Frecheville had his first big break at 17, defeating some 500 men for the role of Joshua ‘J’ Cody in Australia’s Animal Kingdom (2010). Now 21, Frecheville’s future looks promising with The First Time (Sundance Film Festival 2012), The Grandmothers (2013) and a possible role in Shoplifters of the World (2012 USA).
Daniel Henshall. An emerging actor, 29-year-old Henshall won this year’s AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor for crime drama Snowtown (winner of 4 awards). Henshall’s fame has continued in 2012 with Any Questions for Ben? And upcoming film, Not Suitable for Children.
Yvonne Strahovski. Following last year’s TV Guide Award for Favourite Actress, 2012 marks 30-year-old Strahovski’s fifth year on NBC’s TV series Chuck. Working alongside Firass Dirani and Robert De Niro in new blockbuster Killer Elite, the Sydney actress will star in comedy My Mother’s Curse (USA 2012) and America’s 2013 thriller I, Frankenstein.
Jacki Weaver. Winner of 12 awards for her role as Janine ‘Smurf’ Cody in 2010’s Animal Kingdom, 65-year-old Jacki Weaver has 46 titles to her name. Following her role in this year’s The Five-Year Engagement (2012 AUS), Weaver will star in The Silver Linings Playbook (2012 USA) and Stoker.
Firass Dirani is best known for his role as Kings Cross nightclub owner John Ibrahim in Underbelly: The Golden Mile (2010). The 28-year-old will also continue his bad boy image in 2012’s new smuggling series The Straits.
Rachael Taylor. After her debut on Australia’s Headland, 28-year-old Tasmanian beauty Rachael Taylor has starred in Hollywood blockbusters such as Transformers (2007) and well-known series Grey’s Anatomy. Following on from 2011’s Red Dog and The Darkest Hour (2012), Taylor starred in this year’s Any Questions for Ben?
Alongside these stars are many others including Luke Mitchell, Liam Hemsworth, Sarah Snook, Louise Harris, Lara Robinson and Sophie Lowe.
Have you watched any of these Aussie films? And who are your favourite stars from Australia? Share with us in the comments section below.