Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Titles tagged with ‘desert’

32 titles - sorted alphabetically or by year

A

An AIM Patrol documentary – 1927

This film documented outback life in the 1920s and may have been made to accompany a written report.

B

The Back of Beyond documentary – 1954

Battling heat, dust and flood, Tom Kruse delivers mail, stores and supplies along the 517 kilometre Birdsville Track in central Australia.

Black and Dusty documentary – 2005

This is a film for those addicted to speed and dust. Filmmaker Warwick Thornton is one of the Indigenous participants in the 2005 Finke Desert Race from Alice Springs.

Bungalung: A Dreaming of Cannibals documentary – 2007

A dramatised documentary about an ancient ghost story told by two Anmatjere elders to a group of children.

Burke & Wills feature film – 1985

The epic and tragic story of the first expedition to cross Australia from south to north, in 1860–61.

C

Cactus feature film – 2007

Cactus, while full of thrills and suspense, gradually reveals a more humanistic agenda as it employs genre conventions to explore notions of masculinity, class and power.

Central Australia: The Eighth Wonder television program – 1989

Bushie explorer Ted Egan tours places of wonder in Central Australia.

Children of the Silk Road feature film – 2007

A love story set against the backdrop of the Japanese occupation of China prior to the Second World War.

D

Desert Walker: Gulf to Gulf documentary – 1985

The Flying Doctor base helped Denis Bartell when he became the first white man to walk across Australia from north to south.

Double Trouble – Episode 7 television program – 2007

Double Trouble has entertaining and likeable characters and boasts an experienced cast. It also wonderfully captures an Indigenous sensibility and humour.

The Dream and the Dreaming documentary – 2003

When Lutheran missionaries arrived in Central Australia, the strength of the existing culture made it challenging to make converts.

E

Epsilon feature film – 1995

Rolf de Heer combines extraordinary time lapse photography with a drama that argues that the human race is killing the planet.

G

The Golden West documentary – 1940

This film was made by William George Alma, a member of the Victorian Amateur Cine Society who was predominantly a magician and collector of material about magic.

J

Japanese Story feature film – 2003

An unexpected plot development in the middle of Japanese Story left audiences stunned and disbelieving — and occasionally hostile.

Journey Out of Darkness feature film – 1967

In 1901 Constable Peterson arrives in Central Australia to arrest an Arrernte man who has committed a ritual killing.

K

Kiss or Kill feature film – 1997

This Australian film stood out from others of the time because of its fresh mixture of genre thrills, narrative intrigue and black humour.

L

The Last of the Knucklemen feature film – 1979

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.

The Last of the Nomads documentary – 1997

A feature-length documentary about an expedition to find the last suriving nomadic couple, who broke tribal marriage laws and fled into the Gibson desert.

Letters to Ali documentary – 2004

One family’s willingness to embrace 15-year-old Ali stands in contrast to the media’s portrayal of asylum seekers as ‘terrorists’ or ‘people smugglers’.

Lucky Miles feature film – 2007

Few Australian films have dealt with illegal immigration and refugees. Lucky Miles does so through comedy, but without losing its sense of compassion.

M

Masterpiece Special – Robyn Davidson television program – 1996

Masterpiece specials rely on the strength of the interviews, which can hold an audience especially if the interviewer is someone of the calibre of Andrea Stretton.

Message Stick – Kurtal: Snake Spirit television program – 2002

A beautiful story about Kurtal, an ancestor and Dreaming song, and the Elder Spider, whose responsibility it is to perform the dance as well as pass it on.

N

Nature of Australia – A Separate Creation television program – 1989

This first episode of the most expensive wildlife program ever made in Australia boasts magnificent photography and a great script.

Nature of Australia – The Sunburnt Country television program – 1989

At the time this series was made, the program makers felt they were showing Australian flora and fauna to many Australians for the first time.

P

Peach’s Explorers – East to West television program – 1984

Bill Peach loves Australian history and tells us explorers’ stories by using their words, cleverly recreated from diaries and notebooks, and journeying through the same arid interior.

Peach’s Explorers – South to North television program – 1984

There’s a strong sense that each of these men is very much of his time, imbued with a duty to expand knowledge and a ruthless craving for fame and fortune.

Plains Empty short film – 2005

Plains Empty functions as a metaphor for the whole Australian landscape, where the living characters are beset by the spirits of the past, and at no time is the past truly absent.

R

The Rats of Tobruk feature film – 1944

The Rats of Tobruk may not be Charles Chauvel’s best movie, but it deserves serious consideration as his best movie about war.

T

Tim Storrier, ‘Lighting Fires’ documentary – 1993

Painter Tim Storrier journeys to the outback accompanied by his father and his son, and talks about his love of the desert and bush upbringing.

W

Walkabout feature film – 1970

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.

Warren H Williams, the stories, the songs documentary – 2004

Inspired by his musical family, Arrernte musician Warren H Williams became a singer-songwriter himself.

Winging It short film – 1998

A short animation about a young man who recalls a piece of family lore which helps him out of a potentially tricky situation.