Ten Canoes 2006
The jumping-off point for Ten Canoes was a 1930s photo of Indigenous people taken by anthropologist Donald Thomson.
This romantic comedy helped launch Cate Blanchett’s cinema career. It intercuts two stories to create a very satisfying contemplation on romantic love and commitment.
That Eye, the Sky 1994
Twelve-year-old Morton ‘Ort’ Flack lives in the outback. When Ort’s father is paralysed in an accident, a stranger named Henry arrives, offering to help.
They’re a Weird Mob 1966
An Italian sports journalist arrives in Australia to find his cousin’s new magazine for migrant Italians has folded. He soon gets a job as a builder’s labourer, learns to talk and drink like an Australian, and falls in love with an Australian girl.
Third Person Plural 1978
A look at the emotional entanglements of four Sydney friends who take a weekend boating trip.
Australia’s only postmodern vampire movie, Thirst is a highlight of the ‘Ozploitation’ films made in the late 1970s and early 80s.
The ending of this film led to allegations of plagiarism, because it was almost identical to the 1934 film, Broadway Bill.
Those Who Love 1926
Barry Manton marries Lola Quayle, a dancer from a humble background. Lola faces an uphill battle for acceptance from Barry’s wealthy parents.
Three Dollars 2005
Australians have decided to live in an economy and not a society’, were the words on a banner that partly inspired this film.
A Ticket in Tatts 1934
George Wallace helps a champion horse to avoid crooks and win a big race.
The Time Guardian 1987
The Time Guardian is one of the great missed opportunities of Australian cinema and symbolic of its wavering fortunes in the 1980s.
Tom White 2004
Colin Friels’s performance in the title role is one of the best of his career, and it is a key factor behind the film’s artistic success.
A hard-hitting film about the impact of poverty, drugs and alcohol on the life of a young boy living in an Aboriginal community.
The Tracker 2002
A series of paintings by South Australian artist Peter Coad are used throughout The Tracker in place of visual depictions of violence.
Travelling North 1987
Casting Leo McKern was a coup because he almost never accepted roles in his place of birth once he’d become successful in England.
The Trespassers 1976
Many films reflected the sexual revolution of the 1970s but few male directors explored what women wanted from it. This one does.
Turkey Shoot 1982
Without doubt one of the most notorious Australian films ever made, Turkey Shoot has attracted both wildly positive and negative reactions over the years.
Two Hands 1999
Desperate for a swim, Jimmy (Heath Ledger) buries an envelope containing $10,000 in the sand at Bondi beach…
Uncivilised is basically an Australian Tarzan, but with an English singer, Dennis Hoey, playing the king of the jungle.
Unfinished Sky 2007
The same Dutch actor plays the lead role in this Australian remake of a Dutch film, and the original.
Vacant Possession 1994
Margot Nash’s ambitious feature debut has a strong political basis, but it’s ultimately a very personal story.
A surrogate mother’s home birth turns out more complicated than expected.
The Waiting City 2009
The marriage of an Australian couple hits a crisis point as they wait to finalise the adoption of a child in Kolkata, India.
Wake in Fright 1971
A young schoolteacher loses all his money in an outback two-up game, while en route to Sydney. In the next two days he loses a lot more – self-respect, inhibitions, almost his life.
A 16-year-old English girl and her 8-year-old brother are stranded in the desert, after their father shoots himself. They are rescued by a young tribal Aborigine.
Walking on Water 2002
Friends and family euthanise a young man dying of AIDS and then deal with their grief and guilt.
Walk Into Paradise 1956
For the third time with director Lee Robinson, Chips Rafferty played his version of an Australian hero – rugged, self-reliant, resourceful, an unpolished rough diamond.
Race relations is the theme that is constantly lurking in this story about one woman’s life on an outback station.
Pete and Jerry are like the ‘dole-bludgers’ and ‘welfare cheats’ found in current affairs programs; West makes them human.
What I Have Written 1995
A layered mystery that revolves in part around the classic question of the unreliable – or perhaps reliable? – narrator.
Winter of Our Dreams 1981
It was surprising that this uncompromising film about a junkie prostitute’s failure to find love, would work so well with audiences.
Wolf Creek 2005
There have been many outback killers in Australian cinema, but Mick Taylor is the most distinctive — and likeable.
A Woman’s Tale 1991
Rarely has a film shown so eloquently that beauty is not a function of age, but of spirit. Sheila Florance seems to be playing very close to her real personality, but that is part of what makes the film so moving.
The Woman Suffers 1918
This has been called ‘Australia’s first feminist feature’ but many of its female characters are ruined by men, a common theme in melodrama.
Most black bands before this were playing country and western – Us Mob, Coloured Stone and No Fixed Address were among the first to play rock or reggae.
This comedy-drama is both a nostalgic memoir of growing up in the countryside and a shocking denunciation of its values.
The Year of Living Dangerously was Peter Weir’s last film about Australia, or his first film about the rest of the world, depending on how you look at it.
Yolngu Boy 2000
An entirely untrained Indigenous cast are featured in Yolngu Boy, which aimed to communicate with a wide youth audience.
This film, shot at Kapooka camp, contains one of the only depictions in Australian cinema of soldiers training for Vietnam.