Innocence depicts an adulterous romance with a difference – the lovers are retirees, rekindling the flames of their intense youthful relationship.
In Search of Anna 1978
This film has a restless energy and is part of a pre-professional maverick tradition that grew out of the experimental cinema of the 1970s.
Made by Charles Chauvel and with Errol Flynn in the cast, In the Wake of the Bounty is an odd mixture of re-creation and travelogue.
In the Winter Dark 1998
There have been genre films that explored this kind of rural paranoia, but not so many that take the loneliness of the bush seriously as a cause of real mental trauma.
Into the Straight 1949
Australian horse breeder WJ Curzon hires British trainer Hugh Duncan and his playboy son Paul. Father and son are both attracted to JW’s daughter, June.
It Isn’t Done 1937
1937 was Cinesound’s golden year – the studio’s films now boasted wittier scripts, more attention to performance, and a series of strong leading players.
Jack lives in a condemned house and rides with a bikie gang. Gillian, a kindergarten teacher from a middle-class family, is attracted to Jack.
The Jammed 2007
The Jammed (2007) is a rare kind of Australian film – a passionately committed thriller about a great wrong. It was shot on a low budget and struggled to find a cinema release until it was championed by critics.
Japanese Story 2003
An unexpected plot development in the middle of Japanese Story left audiences stunned and disbelieving — and occasionally hostile.
Jedda (1955) is probably Charles Chauvel’s best film, as well as his last. It is historic both for being the first colour feature film made in Australia, but more importantly, because it is arguably the first Australian film to take the emotional lives of Aboriginal people seriously.
Jindabyne is based on a 20-year-old short story by American Raymond Carver, but it’s been so well adapted to the Australian milieu that it feels home-grown.
Journey among Women 1977
Making this film in the 1970s became politically charged: should and could a male director make a meaningful film about women?
In 1901 Constable Peterson arrives in Central Australia to arrest an Arrernte man who has committed a ritual killing.
Audiences loved Kenny because his calm response to adversity made him a heroic figure, though he’d never see himself like that.
The Kid Stakes 1927
The Kid Stakes is one of the greatest comedies of the silent era, although it was largely dismissed at the time as simply a children’s film.
This political thriller is loosely based on the disappearance of Sydney heiress and anti-development campaigner Juanita Nielsen.
A pearler in the Torres Strait uncovers an illegal people smuggling operation.
Kiss or Kill 1997
This Australian film stood out from others of the time because of its fresh mixture of genre thrills, narrative intrigue and black humour.
Lantana is distinctly different to most contemporary Australian films: sparser, darker and more emotionally mysterious.
La Spagnola 2001
The men here are little better than beasts, and into sex without responsibility; the women are crafty, creative and capable of malice.
The Last Days of Chez Nous was one of the most interesting films of the early 1990s.
Near the remote town of Andamooka a group of opal miners work for Tarzan, a tough foreman known as ‘the last of the knucklemen’ for his fighting abilities.
Last Ride 2009
On the run in rural South Australia, a former convict and his 10-year-old son get to know each other for the first and last time.
The Last Wave 1977
As the weather gets worse, tax lawyer David Burton has a premonition of disaster, in which he is to play a key role.
Let George Do It 1938
Although reliant on the comic sketches Wallace made famous in his vaudeville act, the film is pushed along by the thrilling outdoor action sequences Ken Hall knew how to direct.
The Lighthorsemen 1987
In Palestine in 1917, two regiments of the Australian Light Horse attack Beersheba, in one of the last great mounted charges in history.
Little Fish 2005
In the climax of Little Fish Cate Blanchett convinces a man with a gun that he has a choice about what to do. There’s never really been a scene like it in another Australian film, because guns, once drawn, tend to get used. It’s a powerful message for young viewers used to violent resolutions to complex problems.
Lonely Hearts 1981
Comedian and satirist John Clarke wrote this film with Paul Cox: no wonder it is full of bright impish humour.
Long Weekend 1978
On a long weekend camping trip to a lonely beach, Peter and Marcia confront the despair of their marriage, as nature takes revenge on them.
Look Both Ways 2005
Rather than having just one viewpoint, Sarah Watt’s hit debut explores the emotions of six major characters, all connected by a tragedy.
There is a lot of genuine affection between the grandmother, mother, and daughter in this film but conversations are bruising too.
A light-hearted comedy that follows five Melbourne university students encountering love, study and house-share problems in the mid-‘90s.
Lovers and Luggers 1937
This entertaining film is packed with action, romance and comedy — the cocktail Ken G Hall’s usually offers — but also sophistication.
Love Serenade 1996
The director’s light touch and the performances allows Love Serenade to get away with an outrageous joke involving a big fish.
Lucky Miles 2007
Few Australian films have dealt with illegal immigration and refugees. Lucky Miles does so through comedy, but without losing its sense of compassion.
Mad Bastards 2011
TJ returns to the Kimberley region of Western Australia to try and reconnect with his teenage son.
Mad Dog Morgan 1976
Dennis Hopper’s performance in Mad Dog Morgan was both praised and ridiculed at the time of release.
Mad Max 1979
Mad Max was a piece of impolite, independent cinema that had a profound effect on audiences and filmmakers across the world.
Mad Max 2 1981
Mad Max 2 is a more self-consciously mythic film than its predecessor, in a much more primal landscape, with a lot more action.
Malcolm is one of the most charming modern Australian comedies, and probably the closest we’ve come to matching the joyful silliness of Britain’s 1950s Ealing comedies.
The film has great energy and a series of superb action sequences, including quite possibly the best car chase in Australian cinema before Mad Max.
John Harland, a bush parson, is dismissed from his job for teaching children how to box. Harland moves to another town, where he combats ruffians and rescues his girlfriend from a forced marriage.
The Man From Snowy River is an iconic Australian western. It’s a naive film of epic proportions, but the naiveté is calculated to appeal to a sense of American nostalgia, and Australian chauvinism.
Tasmania, 1830. Joanna, a little white girl, is adopted by Manganinnie, an Aborigine who has survived a slaughter.
Man of Flowers 1983
An elderly aesthete who regularly hires a young woman to strip for him finds his life becoming entwined with hers.
Mao’s Last Dancer 2009
A Chinese peasant boy grows up to become a bright star of the United States ballet world.
Mary and Max 2009
Across two continents and 20 years, the tragic comedy of life is described through the friendship of penpals, Mary and Max.
Men’s Group 2008
A group of men meet regularly to discuss their feelings and their lives, but it takes a tragedy to help them reach a new understanding.
Metal Skin 1994
Social misfit Joe is befriended by the cool and confident Dazey. Their shared passion for drag racing leads to conflict and tragedy.
Modern Love 2006
Like Wake in Fright, Modern Love plays upon the threatening nature of the Australian outback as an ordinary man undergoes an extraordinary personality change.