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Shirley Thompson versus the Aliens (1972)

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clip At home with the Thompsons

This clip chosen to be PG

Clip description

Without telling Shirley (Jane Harders) or husband Reg (John Llewellyn), Rita Thompson (Marion Johns) announces the engagement of Shirley and Harold in the newspaper classifieds. A furious Shirley storms out. Reg feels the same way and follows her.

Curator’s notes

Numbing suburban conformity gets a swift kick in the pants in Shirley Thompson versus the Aliens. Craving respectability at all costs, meddlesome mother Rita thinks she’s helping by announcing Shirley’s engagement to the respectable Harold, a man she does not love.

The scene shows a lively mix of influences. The setting recalls British kitchen sink realist dramas of the 1950s and ‘60s; Rita talking directly to camera echoes a technique employed by many French New Wave directors. A thick layer of melodrama and black humour is added, culminating in the symbolic act of Reg tossing the Mixmaster, an iconic domestic appliance, through the kitchen window.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

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