In lieu of the 2019/20 Menzies Screening Series – which was due to commence in late March, but was cancelled due to the Covid-19 epidemic – a small cohort of academics, researchers, and friends of the Menzies Australia Institute have been holding a virtual film club, every Tuesday. What started as a casual way to keep in touch early in lockdown has developed into a weekly link to the world beyond our (often) home-bound bubbles. Just prior to the first ‘screening’, we dubbed it the Tyranny of (Social) Distance Film Club; a nod to (and none-too-subtle bastardisation of) that famous phrase, popularised by controversial Australian historian (and History Warrior), Geoffrey Blainey. The ‘Tyranny of Distance’ was a notion that sought to articulate the particular character imposed on Australia by its distance from Europe, and it seemed an apt name for an Australian film club that takes place online, whilst we are all physically distant from our friends, family, and colleagues.
Virtual film viewing has obviously seen a significant spike during lockdown, and film clubs have been something of a minor phenomenon, with Carol Morley‘s excellent #FridayFilmClub and Historians at the Movies (Australia), both Twitter-based, being my particular highlights. Articles about lockdown film clubs have appeared in Time Out London, Stylist and Vice, with various archives, museums, galleries, and other institutions also getting in on the virtual film action, and numerous film festivals switching to online editions. Indeed, if you happen to be stuck for something to watch right now, the Centre for Screen Cultures at the University of St Andrews have curated an excellent crowd-sourced list entitled ‘Streaming Video Resources for Times of Social Distancing’, and have also been publishing an excellent series of Themed Playlists.
For what it’s worth, our little club is in a somewhat lower key, but does draw in members from across London, and as far afield as Bristol and Greater Manchester. A typical To(S)D week consists of agreeing on a theme and nominating films to be viewed, with everyone voting for their favourite/s. On a Tuesday evening, we all tune in to the winning feature film at the same time, followed by a (not always on-topic) chat/drinks over Zoom.
As well as being a nice, regular social occasion, it’s also allowed those of us invested in thinking critically about Australia to catch up with recent films we’ve missed, or finally see that long-evaded classic, as well as giving us space to rehearse thoughts and ideas about how cinema functions – socially, culturally, politically – in and about the Australian context. Although we haven’t quite spanned the history of Australian cinema itself, we’ve taken in stories of varying eras and genres, styles and standpoints over the last four and a bit(!) months. In fact, the only conclusion we’ve come to is that there’s still so much to explore, and so many more films we want to watch, and discuss.
As we enter our twentieth week, this post exists as a way of keeping a record of everything we’ve watched, and the (entirely optional) readings we’ve been setting along the way. If you would like to join the fun, please get in touch, and I’ll add you to the mailing list (or the Facebook group, if you’re that way inclined) – new faces always welcome!
Also, feel free to leave your own lockdown film clubs/virtual playlists in the comments!
Please note: A number of the listed readings were articles published in the long-running ‘Cinema Papers’ (1974-2001), a landmark magazine devoted to the Australian film industry. Back issues of Cinema Papers can be accessed online via the archives of the University of Wollongong.
The Tyranny of Distance Film Club
To(S)D #1: 24/03/20
FILM: The Getting of Wisdom (d. Bruce Beresford, 1977)
THEME: Open Selection
READING: Ian Henderson (2004), ‘Henry Handel Richardson’, unpublished lecture for the Primrose Hill Community Association.
To(S)D #2: 31/03/20
FILM: BeDevil (d. Tracey Moffatt, 1993)
THEME: Open Selection
READING: Catherine Summerhayes (2007) ‘The Work to 1996 (Part 2): Scars and Memory’, The Moving Images of Tracey Moffatt, Milan: Edizioni Charta, 137-149.
To(S)D #3: 07/04/20
FILM: Bran Nue Dae (d. Rachel Perkins, 2009)
THEME: ‘Round Australia – Western Australia (retroactive)
READING: Annette Basile (2018) ‘Songs of Truth: The Making of Bran Nue Dae’, Filmink, July 11. https://www.filmink.com.au/songs-truth-making-bran-nue-dae/
To(S)D #4: 14/04/20
FILM: Don’s Party (d. Bruce Beresford, 1976)
THEME: Open Selection
READING: 1) Cinema Papers (1976) ‘Production Report: Don’s Party’, Cinema Papers [Melbourne], March/April, 339-347.
2) Cecilia Rice (1981) ‘David Williamson: Plays into Films’, Cinema Papers [Melbourne], May/June, 122-127.
NB: The Cinema Papers digital archive is freely accessible via the University of Wollongong
To(S)D #5: 21/04/20
FILM: The Sapphires (d. Wayne Blair, 2012)
THEME: Open Selection
READING: Therese Davis (2014) ‘Locating The Sapphires: transnational and cross-cultural dimensions of an Australian Indigenous musical film’, Continuum, 28:5, 594-604. DOI:10.1080/10304312.2014.941972
To(S)D #6: 28/04/20
FILM: Charlie’s Country (d. Rolf de Heer, 2013)
THEME: ‘Round Australia – Northern Territory
READING: Corinn Columpar (2019) ‘Charlie’s Country, Gulpilil’s Body’ in Felicity Collins, Jane Landman, and Susan Bye (eds.), A Companion to Australian Cinema, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 54-67. [Google Books]
To(S)D #7: 05/05/20
FILM: Sons of Matthew (d. Charles Chauvel, 1949)
THEME: ‘Round Australia – Queensland
READING: 1) Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper (1998) ‘Sons of Matthew’, Australian Film, 1900-1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, revised ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 208-210.
2) Nelson Burns (1947) ‘Shooting It Out With Chauvel’, The Mail [Adelaide], April 12, 4. [Trove Newspapers]
To(S)D #8: 12/05/20
FILM: Strictly Ballroom (d. Baz Luhrmann, 1992)
THEME: ‘Round Australia – Sydney
READING: Ruth Hessey (1992) ‘Stepping Out: Behind the Scenes of Strictly Ballroom’, Rolling Stone (Australia), and Peter Brunette (1993) ‘More than Romance Colors: Strictly Ballroom’, New York Times, reproduced in Tom Ryan (ed.) (2014) Baz Luhrmann : Interviews, Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 3-13. [Google Books]
To(S)D #9: 19/05/20
FILM: Beneath Clouds (d. Ivan Sen, 2002)
THEME: ‘Round Australia – Rural NSW
READING: Adam Gall and Fiona Probyn-Rapsey (2006), ‘Ivan Sen and the art of the road’, Screen 47:4, 425-439. DOI:10.1093/screen/hjl033
To(S)D #10: 26/05/20
FILM: Love and Other Catastrophes (d. Emma-Kate Croghan, 1996)
THEME: ‘Round Australia – Melbourne
READING: Fincina Hopgood (1996) ‘Love and Other Catastrophes’, Cinema Papers, August, 34-35. [Cinema Papers digital archive]
To(S)D #11: 02/06/20
FILM: Red Hill (d. Patrick Hughes, 2010)
THEME: ‘Round Australia – Rural Victoria
READING: Nicholas Moll (2017) ‘“Be Careful, Cowboy”: The Translation and Mutation of the Western Genre in Red Hill’, Critical Arts, 31:5, 115-127. DOI:10.1080/02560046.2017.1386700
To(S)D #11.5: 05/06/20
FILM: Mabo (d. Rachel Perkins, 2012)
THEME: We Are One – Global Film Festival
READING: No reading
To(S)D #12: 09/06/20
FILM: Young Einstein (d. Yahoo Serious, 1988)
THEME: ‘Round Australia – Tasmania
READING: Luke Buckmaster (2019) ‘Forget the pyramids, the greatest mystery of our time is what happened to Yahoo Serious’, The Guardian, June 3. https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/jun/03/forget-the-pyramids-the-greatest-mystery-of-our-time-is-what-happened-to-yahoo-serious
To(S)D #13: 16/06/20
FILM: Back of Beyond (d. John Heyer, 1954)
THEME: ‘Round Australia – South Australia
READING: Sylvia Lawson (2013) ‘Watching The Back of Beyond’, Inside Story, July 17. https://insidestory.org.au/watching-the-back-of-beyond/
To(S)D #14: 23/06/20
FILM: Australian Rules (d. Paul Goldman, 2002)
THEME: ‘Always the Bridesmaid’ (runners’ up from previous votes)
READING: Anna Dzenis (2002) ‘Australian Rules’, Metro: Media & Education Magazine 134, 36-40.
To(S)D #15: 30/06/20
FILM: Lion (d. Garth Davis, 2016)
THEME: ‘Imported Stars’
READING: Amy Kaufman (2016) ‘Dev Patel and the real familial investigator at the heart of ‘Lion’’, Los Angeles Times, November 25. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-lion-dev-patel-20161108-story.html
To(S)D #16: 07/07/20
FILM: The Australian Dream (d. Daniel Gordon, 2019)
READING: Donald McRae (2020), ‘Adam Goodes: ‘Instead of masking racism, we need to deal with it day-to-day”, The Guardian, March 2. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/mar/02/adam-goodes-interview-racism-walk-away-afl
To(S)D #17: 14/07/20
FILM: The Dish (d. Rob Sitch, 2000)
THEME: ‘Aussie Blockbusters’ (highest grossing Australian films)
READING: Felicity Collins and Therese Davis (2004) ‘Home and Abroad in Moulin Rouge, The Dish and Lantana’, Australian Cinema After Mabo, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 22-40. [Google Books]
To(S)D #18: 21/07/20
FILM: The Overlanders (d. Harry Watt, 1946)
THEME: My birthday! (and therefore my choice!)
READING: Stephen Morgan, excerpts from ‘Starting from Scratch: The Overlanders (1946)’, Ealing Down Under: The Australian Films of Ealing Studios, 1945-1960, unpublished (but I’m working on it!).
To(S)D #19: 28/07/20
FILM: Utopia (d. John Pilger, 2013)
READING: Celeste Liddle (2014), ‘Utopia: An Aboriginal Perspective’, Tracker, January 8. https://web.archive.org/web/20140127081410/http://tracker.org.au/2014/01/utopia-an-aboriginal-perspective/
To(S)D #20: 04/08/20
FILM: Death in Brunswick (d. John Ruane, 1990)
READING: Pieter Aquilia (2001) ‘Wog drama and ‘white multiculturalists’: The role of non Anglo‐Australian film and television drama in shaping a national identity’, Journal of Australian Studies, 25:67, 103-108. DOI:10.1080/14443050109387644
To(S)D #21: 18/08/20
FILM: Rabbit-Proof Fence (d. Phillip Noyce, 2002)
READING: Tony Hughes D’aeth (2002), ‘Which Rabbit-Proof Fence? Empathy, Assimilation, Hollywood’, Australian Humanities Review, Issue 27, September. australianhumanitiesreview.org/2002/09/01/which-rabbit-proof-fence-empathy-assimilation-hollywood/
To(S)D #22: 25/08/20
FILM: The Rover (d. David Michôd, 2014)
THEME: Other Worlds: Fantastic, Dystopic, Odd
READING: Neil Campbell (2015), ‘“Walking into the World of the Western”: David Michôd’s “The Rover” as Australian Post-Western’, Studia Filmoznawcze 38. https://doi.org/10.19195/0860-116X.38.4
To(S)D #23: 01/09/20
FILM: Shame (d. Steve Jodrell, 1988)
THEME: Strong Women (20th Century)
READING: Kathi Maio (1991), ‘Male Myth, Female Reality: Shame’, Popcorn and Sexual Politics (The Crossing Press, 1991).
To(S)D #24: 08/09/20
FILM: Somersault (d. Cate Shortland, 2004)
THEME: Strong Women (21st Century)
READING: Grady Hancock (2013), ‘Visceral Shock in Cate Shortland’s Somersault’, Scan: Journal of Media Arts 10:1. scan.net.au/scn/journal/vol10number1/Grady-Hancock.html
To(S)D #25: 15/09/20
FILM: On The Beach (d. Stanley Kramer, 1959)
THEME: Couldabeens #1 (films from previous polls with high tallies)
READING: Helen Grace (2001), ‘The Persistence of Culture: Recovering On the Beach’, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 15:3, 289-301. http://doi.org/10.1080/10304310120086786
To(S)D #26: 22/09/20
FILM: Muriel’s Wedding (d. PJ Hogan, 1994)
THEME: Noice Australia (nice/positive/feelgood films)
READING: Emily Rustin (2001), ‘Romance and Sensation in the ‘Glitter’ Cycle’ in Ian Craven (ed.), Australian Cinema in the 1990s, London: Frank Cass. pp. 133-148.
To(S)D #27: 29/09/20
FILM: The Castle (d. Rob Sitch, 1997)
THEME: Couldabeens #2 (films from previous polls with high tallies)
READING: Sarah Wishart (2021), ‘It bears repeating: audience engagement and re-enactments of Australia in The Castle‘, in Peter Kilroy and Stephen Morgan (eds.), Screening Australia: Culture, Media, Context, Oxford: Peter Lang. [forthcoming]
To(S)D #28: 06/10/20
FILM: Malcolm (d. Nadia Tass, 1986)
THEME: Noice Australia 2.0 (nice/positive/feelgood films)
READING: Nadia Tass (1987) ‘Humour in Australian Cinema’, East-West Film Journal 2:1, pp. 77-89.
To(S)D #29: 13/10/20
FILM: Berlin Syndrome (d. Cate Shortland, 2017)
THEME: Aussies in Europe
READING: Sabine Scholz-Hinton (2017), ‘Cate Shortland: An Australian Filmmaker’s Visions of Germany’, Goethe Institut Culture, Goethe Institut. https://www.goethe.de/ins/au/en/kul/sup/kio/ki7/20983424.html
To(S)D #30: 20/10/20
FILM: Ladies in Black (d. Bruce Beresford, 2018)
THEME: Euros in Oz
READING: Mel Campbell (2019), ‘Dark Dresses, Problematic Pleasures: Mobility and Nostalgia in Bruce Beresford’s Ladies in Black’, Metro: Media & Education Magazine 199, pp. 14-19.
To(S)D #31: 27/10/20
FILM: The Nightingale (d. Jennifer Kent, 2018)
THEME: 21st Century Horror
READING: (2020), ‘A critical introduction to The Nightingale: gender, race and troubled histories on screen’, Studies in Australasian Cinema 14:1, pp. 3-14.
To(S)D #32: 03/11/20
FILM: The Cars That Ate Paris (d. Peter Weir, 1974)
THEME: 20th Century Horror
READING: Rebecca Johinke (2010) ‘Uncanny Carnage in Peter Weir’s ‘The Cars That Ate Paris’, Sydney Studies in English 36. https://openjournals.library.sydney.edu.au/index.php/SSE/article/view/4745
To(S)D #33: 10/11/20
FILM: Little Monsters (d. Abe Forsythe, 2019)
READING: Jordan Crucchiola (2019), ‘How on Earth Did Lupita Nyong’o End Up in the Same Zombie Movie As Josh Gad?’, Vulture, 16 October. https://www.vulture.com/2019/10/how-lupita-nyongo-ended-up-in-a-zombie-movie-with-josh-gad.html
To(S)D #34: 17/11/20
FILM: Crocodile Dundee (d. Peter Faiman, 1986)
READING: Meaghan Morris (1989), ‘Tooth and Claw: Tales of Survival and “Crocodile Dundee”‘, Social Text 21, pp. 105-27. http://doi.org/10.2307/827811.
To(S)D #35: 24/11/20
FILM: One Night the Moon (d. Rachel Perkins, 2001)
+ 3 Dances Gulpilil (David Roberts, 1978)
+ The Dover’s Boy (Margaret McHugh, 2014)
READING: Fiona Probyn (2002) ‘”This Land is Mine/This Land is Me”: Reconciling Harmonies in One Night the Moon’, Senses of Cinema. URL: www.sensesofcinema.com/2002/australian-cinema-and-culture/this_land/
+ Margaret McHugh (2014), The Drover’s Boy: Research Statement (supplied)
To(S)D #36: 01/12/20
FILM: Mary and Max (d. Adam Elliot, 2009)
READING: Marguerite O’Hara (2009) ‘Making Mary and Max: An Interview with Adam Elliot’, Metro: Media & Education Magazine 160, 18-24.
To(S)D #37: 08/12/20
FILM: Mad Max: Fury Road (d. George Miller, 2015)
READING: McKenzie Wark (2015) ‘Fury Road’, Public Seminar, 22 May. URL: https://publicseminar.org/2015/05/fury-road/
To(S)D #38: 15/12/20
FILM: Hunt for the Wilderpeople (d. Taika Waititi, 2016)
THEME: Not Quite Oz (Films from Aotearoa)
READING: Pounamu Jade William Emery Aikman (2017) ‘Trouble on the frontier: Hunt for the Wilderpeople, sovereignty, and state violence’, Sites 14:1, 56-79. URL: https://natlib-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/f/1fro764/INNZ7138379630002837
To(S)D #39: 22/12/20
FILM: Top End Wedding (d. Wayne Blair, 2019)
THEME: Festive Fun!
READING: Jane Howard (2019) ‘Love is in the air: Wayne Blair’s Top End Wedding and the rom-com’s new direction’, Metro Magazine 201, 12-17.
To(S)D #40: 05/01/21
FILM: Babyteeth (d. Shannon Murphy, 2019)
THEME: Best Australian Films of 2019/20
READING: No reading.
To(S)D #41: 12/01/21
FILM: They’re A Weird Mob (d. Michael Powell, 1966)
THEME: New Beginnings and Transformations
READING: Jeanette Hoorn (2003) ‘Michael Powell’s They’re a Weird Mob: Dissolving the ‘undigested fragments’ in the Australian body politic’, Continuum, 17:2, 159-176. DOI: 10.1080/10304310302747
To(S)D #42: 19/01/21
FILM: Bruce (2017)
THEME: Web Series
READING: Sue Swinburne and John Fabb (2017) ‘ How web series are shaking up Australia’s screen industry’, Conversation, June 30. URL: https://theconversation.com/how-web-series-are-shaking-up-australias-screen-industry-79844
To(S)D #43: 26/01/21
FILM: Sweet Country (d. Warwick Thornton, 2017)
THEME: Invasion Day
READING: Annemarie McLaren (2019) ‘A Many-Sided Frontier: History and ‘Shades of Grey’ in Sweet Country’, Australian Historical Studies, 50:2, 235-254. DOI: 10.1080/1031461X.2019.1593468
To(S)D #44: 02/02/21
FILM: Sunday Too Far Away (d. Ken Hannam, 1975)
THEME: Amanda’s Birthday Pick
READING: Adrian Danks (2008) ‘Cinema Collection: Sunday Too Far Away’, Metro Magazine, 158, pp. 94-102.
To(S)D #45: 09/02/21
FILM: The Man From Snowy River (d. George T. Miller, 1982)
THEME: Australian Westerns
READING: Dan Golding (2017) ‘The NFSA’s Kodak/Atlab Cinema Collection: The Man From Snowy River’, Metro Magazine, 194, pp. 114-123.
To(S)D #46: 16/02/21
FILM: Nickel Queen (d. John McCallum, 1971)
THEME: Films of 1971
READING: Constantine Verevis (1999) ‘After the Nickel Boom’, Metro Magazine, 118, pp. 18-22.
To(S)D #47: 23/02/21
FILM: Animal Kingdom (d. David Michôd, 2010)
THEME: Anna’s Birthday Pick
READING: Simon Gray (2010) ‘Welcome to the Jungle’, American Cinematographer 91:10, pp. 66-71.
To(S)D #48: 02/03/21
FILM: Another Country (d. Molly Reynolds, 2015)
THEME: David Gulpilil
READING: Fiona Trigg (2016) ‘Culture, Interrupted: Molly Reynolds’ Another Country’, Metro 187, pp. 90-95.
To(S)D #49: 09/03/21
FILM: Oscar & Lucinda (d. Gillian Armstrong, 1998)
THEME: International Women’s Day (After)
READING: Julia Erhart (2020) ‘An Australian genre cinema: My Brilliant Career, Oscar and Lucinda, Starstruck’, Gillian Armstrong: Popular, Sensual and Ethical Cinema, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 79-106.
To(S)D #50: 16/03/21
FILM: Australia (d. Baz Luhrmann, 2008)
THEME: 50th Screening Surprise(ish) Film!
READING: Germaine Greer (2008) ‘Once Upon a Time in a Land Far, Far Away’, The Guardian, 16 December. URL: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2008/dec/16/baz-luhrmann-australia / Marcia Langton (2008) ‘Why Greer is wrong on Australia’, Sydney Morning Herald, 23 December. URL: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/why-greer-is-wrong-on-australia-20081222-73kk.html
To(S)D #51: 23/03/21
FILM: Terror Nullius (d. Soda_Jerk, 2018) + Mini Quiz
THEME: Tyranny of (Social) Distance 1st Birthday!
READING: Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (2018) ‘Soda_Jerk: Terror Nullius’, Artlink, 12 April. URL: https://www.artlink.com.au/articles/4667/soda5Fjerk-terror-nullius/
To(S)D #52: 30/03/21
FILM: BMX Bandits (d. Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1983)
THEME: Before They Were Famous…
READING: ‘Look Out It’s BMX Bandits’, Australian BMX News, Dec 1983/Jan 1984, 11-13.
To(S)D #53: 06/04/21
FILM: 52 Tuesdays (d. Sophie Hyde, 2013)
THEME: Laila’s Birthday Pick
READING: Kath Dooley (2014) ‘A promise of change: 52 Tuesdays (2013) – a case study of collaborative, low-budget feature-filmmaking practice’, Studies in Australasian Cinema, 8:2-3, 150-162. DOI: 10.1080/17503175.2014.976446
To(S)D #54: 13/04/21
FILM: Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (d. George Miller/George Ogilvie, 1985)
THEME: Jonny’s Birthday Pick
READING: Paul Williams (2011) ‘Soft Places and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome’, Race, Ethnicity and Nuclear War: Representations of Nuclear Weapons and Post-Apocalyptic Worlds, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, pp. 85-104. URL: http://library.oapen.org/handle/20.500.12657/30227
To(S)D #55: 20/04/21
FILM: Lantana (d. Ray Lawrence, 2001)
THEME: Films featured in Terror Nullius (To(S)D #51)
READING: Hunter Cordaiy (2001) ‘Lantana: A Story of Men & Women – Ray Lawrence Interviewed’, Metro: Media & Education Magazine, 129/130, 54-61.
To(S)D #56: 27/04/21
FILM: Razorback (d. Russell Mulcahy, 1984)
THEME: Animal Films
READING: Jim Schembri (1984) ‘Russell Mulcahy’ [interview], Cinema Papers, 46, 138-141.
To(S)D #57: 04/05/21
FILM: Goldstone (d. Ivan Sen, 2016)
THEME: Sakshi’s Birthday Pick
READING: Alex Trimble Young (2021) ‘Settler Colonial Studies and/as the Transnational Western Resistance and Representation in Academic Discourse and Cultural Production’, History of the Present: A Journal of Critical History, 11(1), 80-105.
To(S)D #58: 11/05/21
FILM: Wake in Fright (d. Ted Kotcheff, 1971)
THEME: Always the Bridesmaid
READING: Alison Horbury (2020) ‘The real gaze in Australian cinema’, Studies in Australasian Cinema, 14(3), 194-214.
To(S)D #59: 18/05/21
FILM: Judy and Punch (d. Mirrah Foulkes, 2019)
THEME: Issy’s Birthday Pick
READING: Anthony Carew (2019) ‘Pantomime of Violence: Gender and Outrage in Mirrah Foulkes’ Judy & Punch’, Metro Magazine, 202, 6-13
To(S)D #60: 25/05/21
FILM: Storm Boy (d. Henri Safran, 1976)
THEME: AFI/AACTA Best Film (1969-1994)
READING: Ron Saw (1976) ‘Rich fellow, his country’, The Bulletin, 31 July. 35.
To(S)D #61: 01/06/21
FILM: Japanese Story (d. Sue Brooks, 2003)
THEME: AFI/AACTA Best Film (1995-2020)
READING: Felicity Collins (2010) ‘Beyond Multiculturalism: Ethical Journeys in Japanese Story’, Otemon Journal of Australian Studies, 36, 111-129.
To(S)D #62: 08/06/21
FILM: Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (d. Tony Tilse, 2020)
THEME: Anne’s Birthday Pick
READING: Sue Turnbull (2020), ‘ Miss Fisher and her fans: how a heroine on Australia’s small screen became a global phenomenon’, The Conversation, 11 March. URL: https://theconversation.com/miss-fisher-and-her-fans-how-a-heroine-on-australias-small-screen-became-a-global-phenomenon-131673
To(S)D #63: 15/06/21
FILM: The Hunter (d. Daniel Nettheim, 2011)
THEME: AFI/AACTA Best Film (Notable Nominees)
READING: Carol Freeman (2013), ‘The last image: Julia Leigh’s The hunter as film’, J. Johnston & F. Probyn-Rapsey (eds), Animal Death, Sydney: Sydney University Press, 191-206.
To(S)D #64: 22/06/21
FILM: Measure for Measure (d. Paul Ireland, 2019)
THEME: Aussie Shakespeare Adaptations
READING: MIFF (2019) ‘Measure for Measure – Q&A with director Paul Ireland’, Melbourne International Film Festival, 5 July. URL: https://miff.com.au/blog/view/4398/measure-for-measure-qa-with-director-paul-ireland
To(S)D #65: 29/06/21
FILM: The Reef (d. Andrew Traucki, 2010)
THEME: Beside the Seaside
READING: Michael Fuchs (2015) ‘‘They are a fact of life out here’: The Ecocritical Subtexts of Three Early-Twenty-First-Century Aussie Animal Horror Movies’ in Gregersdotter, Hållén & Höglund (eds.), Animal Horror Cinema: Genre, History and Criticism, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 37-57.
To(S)D #66: 06/07/21
FILM: Where the Green Ants Dream (d. Werner Herzog, 1984)
READING: Andrew Hurley (2007) ‘Whose Dreaming? Intercultural appropriation, representations of Aboriginality, and the process of film-making in Werner Herzog’s Where the Green Ants Dream’, Studies in Australasian Cinema 1(2), 175-190.
To(S)D #67: 13/07/21
FILM: Frog Dreaming (d. Brian Trenchard-Smith & Russell Hagg, 1986)
THEME: Nul Points
READING: Brian Jones (1986) ‘A horse for all courses’ [interview with Brian Trenchard-Smith], Cinema Papers 56, 28-28.
To(S)D #68: 20/07/21
FILM: Lore (d. Cate Shortland, 2012)
THEME: Aussie Directors Overseas (But Not Hollywood!)
READING: Jo Dillon (2012) ‘Locating Lore: An interview with Cate Shortland and Liz Watts’, Metro: Media and Education Magazine 174, 20-23.
To(S)D #69: 27/07/21
FILM: Walkabout (d. Nicolas Roeg, 1971)
THEME: Stephen’s Birthday Pick
READING: Suneeti Rekhari (2008) ‘The “Other” in Film: Exclusions of Aboriginal Identity from Australian Cinema’, Visual Anthropology 21(2), 125-135.
To(S)D #70: 03/08/21
FILM: Ned Kelly (d. Tony Richardson, 1970)
THEME: That 70s Show #1 (1970-74)
READING: Stephen Gaunson (2010) ”International Outlaws’: Tony Richardson, Mick Jagger, and Ned Kelly’, Studies in Australasian Cinema 4(3), 255-265.
To(S)D #71: 10/08/21
FILM: Long Weekend (d. Colin Eggleston, 1978)
THEME: That 70s Show #2 (1975-79)
READING: Lindsay Hallam (2020) ‘Down Under Rises Up: Nature’s Revenge in Ozploitation Cinema’, Cine-Excess 4, pp. 11-23. (Also available online: https://www.cine-excess.co.uk/down-under-rises-up-naturersquos-revenge-in-ozploitation-cinema.html)
To(S)D #72: 31/08/21
FILM: Lake Mungo (d. Joel Anderson, 2008)
THEME: Mark’s Birthday Pick
READING: None (no spoilers)!
To(S)D #73: 07/09/21
FILM: The Furnace (d. Roderick MacKay, 2020)
THEME: Actember (David Wenham)
READING: Lanre Bakari (2020) ‘The Furnace director: stories of Australia’s cameleers ‘felt like a huge historic omission”, The Guardian, 8 September. URL: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/sep/08/the-furnace-director-stories-of-australias-cameleers-felt-like-a-huge-historic-omission
To(S)D #74: 14/09/21
FILM: Una (d. Benedict Andrews, 2016)
THEME: Actember (Ben Mendelsohn)
READING: Matilda Dixon-Smith (2017) ‘Ben Mendelsohn Does Not Care What You Think About Him’, Junkee, 22 June. URL: https://junkee.com/ben-mendelsohn-interview/108574
To(S)D #75: 21/09/21
FILM: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (d. Stephan Elliott, 1994)
THEME: The First Ever To(S)D In-Person Screening!
READING: N/A but pre-drinking optional
To(S)D #76: 28/09/21
FILM: Swinging Safari (d. Stephan Elliott, 2018)
THEME: National Living Treasures (Kylie Minogue)
READING: Dave Crewe (2018) ‘Welcome to ugly country: nostalgia and nationalism in Stephan Elliott’s Swinging Safari’. Metro: Media & Education Magazine, 196, 6-11.
To(S)D #77: 05/10/21
FILM: Caddie (d. Donald Crombie, 1976)
THEME: Gary’s Birthday Pick
READING: (2007) ‘‘Ocker Sheilahs’ and ‘Bloody Barmaids’: Caddie, biography and gender history in 1970s Australian historical film’, Australian Historical Studies, 38:130, 279-295.
To(S)D #78: 12/10/21
FILM: Jedda (d. Charles Chauvel, 1955)
THEME: National Living Treasures Prep!
READING: Catherine Kevin (2013), ‘History and memory in Ngunnawal country, and the making of Jedda’, Studies in Australasian Cinema, 7:2-3, 165-178.
To(S)D #79: 19/10/21
FILM: Rosalie’s Journey (d. Warwick Thornton, 2004) + Tudawali (d. Steve Jodrell, 1987)
THEME: National Living Treasures (Ernie Dingo)
READING: Karen Fox (2009) ‘Rosalie Kunoth-Monks and the making of Jedda’, Aboriginal History 33, 77-95.
To(S)D #80: 26/10/21
FILM: Jindabyne (Ray Lawrence, 2006)
THEME: Simon’s Birthday Pick
READING: Hunter Cordaiy (2006) ‘Man, woman and death: Ray Lawrence on Jindabyne‘, Metro: Media & Education Magazine, 149, 38-42.
To(S)D #81: 02/11/21
FILM: Rams (Jeremy Sims, 2020)
READING: Steve Newall (2020) ‘Sam Neill and Michael Caton talk to Flicks about their new film Rams‘, Flicks.co.nz, 10 November. URL: https://www.flicks.co.nz/features/sam-neill-and-michael-caton-talk-to-flicks-about-their-new-film-rams/
To(S)D #82: 09/11/21
FILM: High Ground (Stephen Johnson, 2020)
READING: Chelsea Watego (2021) ‘When Collingwood Football Club take the High Ground, Literally’, IndigenousX, 3 February. URL: https://indigenousx.com.au/when-collingwood-football-club-take-the-high-ground-literally/
To(S)D #83: 16/11/21
FILM: Relic (Natalie Erika James, 2020)
READING: James Bell (2020) ‘“There’s heartbreak in someone losing themselves”: Relic director Natalie Erika James on her love of gothic and Asian horror’, Sight & Sound, 28 October. URL: https://www.bfi.org.uk/sight-and-sound/interviews/natalie-erika-james-relic-influences-gothic-asian-horror
To(S)D #84: 23/11/21
FILM: True History of the Kelly Gang (Justin Kurzel, 2019)
READING: Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (2020) ‘The Pen is Mightier than the Gun: Justin Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang and Punk Historiography’, Metro: Media & Education Magazine 203, pp. 6-13.
To(S)D #85: 30/11/21
FILM: Burning (Eva Orner, 2021)
READING: Andrew Jeffrey (2021) ‘Eva Orner on bringing the ‘Burning’ issue of climate change to Prime Video’, Realscreen, 25 November. URL: https://realscreen.com/2021/11/25/eva-orner-on-bringing-the-burning-issue-of-climate-change-to-amazon-prime/
To(S)D #86: 07/12/21
FILM: The Last Wave (Peter Weir, 1977)
THEME: RIP David Gulpilil
READING: Jerod Ra’Del Hollyfield (2014) ‘Approximate Others: Peter Weir’s The Last Wave (1977)’ in Rebecca Weaver-Hightower and Peter Hulme (eds.), Postcolonial Film : History, Empire, Resistance, Taylor & Francis, 63-86.
To(S)D #87: 14/12/21
FILM: Happy Feet (George Miller, 2006)
THEME: Festive Fun #1
READING: Mike Russell (2006), ‘Penguin Pop: The filmmaker behind the ‘Mad Max’ and ‘Babe’ franchises turns his attention to musical fowl’, In Focus 6(11). URL: https://web.archive.org/web/20120306000100/http://www.natoonline.org/infocus/06November/happyfeet.htm
To(S)D #88: 21/12/21
FILM: Bushfire Moon (George T. Miller, 1987)
THEME: Festive Fun #2
READING: Sarah Guest (1988), ‘Reviews: Bushfire Moon’, Cinema Papers 67, January, 38-39.
To(S)D #89: 04/01/22
FILM: Koara Kachô / Executive Koala (Minoru Kawazaki, 2005)
THEME: Monstrous Animals #1
READING: Stephen Morgan (2010), ‘Executive Koala’, Screen Addict, 24 May. URL: https://screenaddict.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/executive-koala/
To(S)D #90: 11/01/22
FILM: Dark Age (Arch Nicholson, 1987)
THEME: Monstrous Animals #2
READING: Isaac Rooks (2019), ‘No Place for Waltzing Matilda: Uncanny Australian Swamps and Crocodiles in Rogue, Black Water, and Dark Age’ in Suvadip Sinha and Amit R. Baishya (eds.), Postcolonial Animalities, Routledge, 127-146.
To(S)D #91: 18/01/22
FILM: Toomelah (Ivan Sen, 2011)
THEME: Sovereignty Never Ceded #1
READING: Joanne Faulkner (2019) ‘”Failing to Thrive?”: Imagining precarity, sensing agency, through Ivan Sen’s Toomelah‘, Childhood Vulnerability Journal, 2, 63-79.
To(S)D #92: 25/01/22
FILM: In My Blood It Runs (Maya Newell, 2019)
THEME: Sovereignty Never Ceded #2
READING: William Tilmouth (2020), ‘Our next generation will be formidable. Their identity will not be denied’, IndigenousX, 22 February. URL: https://indigenousx.com.au/our-next-generation-will-be-formidable-their-identity-will-not-be-denied/
To(S)D #93: 01/02/22
FILM: The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion, 2021)
THEME: Not Quite Aussiewood (Amanda’s Birthday Pick)
READING: Rebecca Keegan (2021), ‘Jane Campion on ‘The Power of the Dog’s Toxic Masculinity and Why She Won’t Make a Marvel Movie’, Hollywood Reporter, 10 September. URL: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-features/jane-campion-the-power-of-the-dog-interview-1235010819/
To(S)D #94: 08/02/22
FILM: The Matrix (The Wachowskis, 1998)
THEME: Not Quite Aussiewood (Aussie Made, Set Elsewhere)
READING: P. Chad Barnett (2000), ‘Reviving Cyberpunk: (Re)Constructing the Subject and Mapping Cyberspace in the Wachowski Film The Matrix’, Extrapolation, 41(4), 359-373.
To(S)D #95: 15/02/22
FILM: Quigley Down Under (Simon Wincer, 1990)
THEME: Not Quite Aussiewood (After-Dundee)
READING: Scott Murray (1989), ‘Simon Wincer: Trusting His Instincts’, Cinema Papers 76 (November), 6-12; 78-79.
To(S)D #96: 22/02/22
FILM: Wolf Creek 2 (Greg Maclean, 2013)
THEME: Issy’s Parting Shot
READING: Greg Dolgopolov (2014), ‘Heart of Darkness: Wolf Creek 2’, Metro: Media & Education Magazine, 180, 24-29.
To(S)D #97: 01/03/22
FILM: The Dressmaker (Jocelyn Moorhouse, 2015)
THEME: Anna’s Birthday Pick
READING: Diana Sandars (2019) ‘Disruptive Daughters: The Heroine’s Journey in Four Films’, in Collins, Landman, Bye (eds.), A Companion to Australian Cinema (Wiley-Blackwell), pp. 313-335.
To(S)D #98: 08/03/22
FILM: The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson (Leah Purcell, 2021)
THEME: LAFS Presents… and To(S)D’s 2nd In-Person Screening
To(S)D #99: 15/03/22
FILM: Starstuck (Gillian Armstrong, 1982)
THEME: Gabby’s Birthday Pick
READING: Camille Scaysbrook (n.d.), ‘The Music of Starstruck’, Starstruck 1982. URL: https://starstruck1982.weebly.com/music.html
To(S)D #100: 22/03/22
FILM: Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975)
THEME: To(S)D’s 100th / 2nd Birthday!
READING: Amy Spiers (2018), ‘Damaging the Damaging Machine’, un Projects. URL: https://unprojects.org.au/article/damaging-the-damaging-machine/
To(S)D #101: 29/03/22
FILM: Kokoda Front Line! (Damian Parer/Ken G. Hall, 1942) + The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993)
THEME: Oscars Special
READING: Deb Verhoeven (2016) ‘A Brief History of Women Accepting Oscars’, Public Books. URL: https://www.publicbooks.org/a-brief-history-of-women-accepting-oscars/
To(S)D #102: 05/04/22
FILM: Proof (Jocelyn Moorhouse, 1991)
THEME: Laila’s Birthday Pick
READING: Jan Epstein (1991), ‘Jocelyn Moorhouse: The Gift of Proof’, Cinema Papers, n85 (November), 4-12.
To(S)D #103: 12/04/22
FILM: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (George Miller, 1981)
THEME: Jonathan’s Birthday Pick
READING: Jon Stratton (1983), ‘What Made Mad Max Popular? The Mythology of a Conservative Fantasy’, Art & Text 9, 37-56.
To(S)D #104: 26/04/22
FILM: Gallipoli (Peter Weir, 1981)
THEME: ANZAC Day Special
READING: Lauren Carroll-Harris (2021), ‘Where are the Australian anti-war films?’, Kill Your Darlings, July 5. URL: https://www.killyourdarlings.com.au/article/where-are-the-australian-anti-war-films/
To(S)D #105: 03/05/22
FILM: Mystery Road (Ivan Sen, 2011)
THEME: Sakshi’s Birthday Pick
READING: Barry Judd (2020), ‘Hero or Dupe?: Jay Swan and the Ambivalences of Aboriginal Masculinity in the Films of Ivan Sen’, in Janne Lahti and Rebecca Weaver-Hightower (eds.), Cinematic Settlers: The Settler Colonial World on Film (Routledge), pp. 115-126.
To(S)D #106: 10/05/22
FILM: The Castle (Rob Sitch, 1997)
THEME: Haven’t We Watched This Already? / Dr Sakshi’s Post-Viva Pick
READING: Thomas Ho (2014), ‘Mabo, The Castle and many worlds: travelling between the multiple universes of law and literature’, Griffith Law Review, 23:4, 634-656.
To(S)D #107: 17/05/22
FILM: Macbeth (Justin Kurzel, 2015)
THEME: Issy’s Birthday Pick
READING: Edel Semple (2020) ‘”Seeds of Time”: Women, children, and the nation in Kurzel’s Macbeth (2015)’, Shakespeare Bulletin, 38(4), 615-633.
To(S)D #108: 24/05/22
FILM: Newsfront (Phillip Noyce, 1978)
THEME: Aussie Post-Election Special
READING: Lenny Rubinstein (1979), ‘Standing on Principle Down Under’, In These Times, 3(35), July 18-24, 23.
To(S)D #109: 31/05/22
THEME: Anne-Louise’s Birthday Pick