AustLit logo


form y separately published work icon Moulin Rouge Baz Luhrmann , Craig Pearce , ( dir. Baz Luhrmann ) Sydney : Bazmark Films , 2001 Z1368089 2001 single work film/TV (taught in 1 units)

A tragi-comedy of mistaken identities and romance, Moulin Rouge is based on events that occurred at the Moulin Rouge dance hall towards the end of the 19th century. The story is told by Christian, an idealistic and impoverished English poet/playwright who is newly arrived in Monmartre and becomes inducted into a circle of young bohemians led by Toulouse-Lautrec. When Christian manages to convince the foppish Duke of Monroth to invest in his play, his life appears to be heading upwards. Things become difficult, however, when he falls in love with Satine ('The Sparkling Diamond'), a courtesan dancer at the Moulin Rouge. Although she returns his affections, they are forced to keep their love a secret from the duke because he too coverts Satine and is used to getting what he wants.

form y separately published work icon Summer Heights High Chris Lilley , Sydney : ABC Books , 2007 Z1424063 2007 single work film/TV humour (taught in 1 units)

'Summer Heights High explores what happens over one school term in an average Australian high school.'

Source: ABC website,
Sighted: 03/09/2007

form y separately published work icon The Hollowmen Santo Cilauro , Tom Gleisner , Jane Kennedy , Rob Sitch , Australia : Working Dog Productions , 2008 Z1506832 2008 series - publisher film/TV satire (taught in 1 units) 'The Hollowmen focuses on the workings of an internal think tank, set up by the Prime Minister, whose responsibility is long-term policy vision. The unit's task is to stop worrying about tomorrow's headlines, and to start worrying about next week's.'
form y separately published work icon The Good Woman of Bangkok Dennis Patrick O'Rourke , ( dir. Dennis Patrick O'Rourke ) Canberra : O'Rourke and Associates , 1991 Z972631 1991 single work film/TV (taught in 1 units)

While Dennis O'Rourke's objective with this documentary was to explore prostitution in Thailand through the experiences of one woman, it also provides an unexpected insight into his relationship with his subject, Aoi. This issue raised much debate when the film was released, because his involvement was viewed as having played a part in the eventual outcome. The film begins with Dennis O'Rourke hiring Aoi and following her through the red-light area of Bangkok. These scenes are intercut with much more personal insights into Aoi's life.

form y separately published work icon Wake in Fright Outback Evan Jones , ( dir. Ted Kotcheff ) 1971 Australia United States of America (USA) : Group W Films NLT Productions , 1971 Z912048 1971 single work film/TV horror (taught in 7 units)

John Grant, a young Englishman, teaches in Tiboonda, a tiny railway junction on the far western plains of New South Wales. He sets off to spend his summer vacation in Sydney but doesn't make it beyond Bundanyabba, a nearby mining town known as 'the Yabba'. Stranded in town after losing all his money in a two-up game, he finds himself engulfed by the Yabba's claustrophobic, nightmarish, beer-fuelled stupor, an atmosphere compounded of repressed sexuality, squalid violence, and the sinister mateship of the locals. After being sexually assaulted by the town's alcoholic doctor, he attempts to hitchhike out of the town but is brought back by a truckie. In anger, he tries to shoot the doctor but ends up only shooting himself. After discharging himself from the hospital, Grant takes the train back to Tiboonda, resigned to another year of teaching.

form y separately published work icon Mad Max James McCausland , George Miller , ( dir. George Miller ) Australia : Kennedy Miller Entertainment , 1979 Z1040124 1979 single work film/TV science fiction (taught in 5 units)

In a post-apocalyptic Australia, law and order has begun to break down due to energy shortages, despite the efforts of Main Force Patrol (MFP) officers like Max Rockatansky. After Rockatansky encounters Toecutter's motorcycle gang, who are running runshod over isolated communities, he grows disillusioned with his role in the MFP. At first convinced by his superior officer not to resign, he is driven into a state of cold-blooded revenge when Toecutter's gang murder his wife and young son.

form y separately published work icon The Dish Santo Cilauro , Tom Gleisner , Jane Kennedy , Rob Sitch , ( dir. Rob Sitch ) Australia : Dish Film , 2000 Z1450608 2000 single work film/TV (taught in 3 units)
form y separately published work icon Newsfront Phillip Noyce , Bob Ellis , David Elfick , Philippe Mora , Anne Brooksbank , ( dir. Phillip Noyce ) Palm Beach : Palm Beach Pictures , 1978 Z1323552 1978 single work film/TV (taught in 6 units)

Beginning in Australia in the late 1940s, when movie theatres were the only source of audiovisual news coverage, the narrative follows the exploits of Len Maguire and his young sidekick Chris as they cover the big news stories for the Cinetone newsreel company. Len is a doggedly dependable and ever-cautious senior cameraman, trapped in a world of changing values. Len always knows the right thing to do, but becomes troubled as his marriage falters, his job becomes threatened by the arrival of television, and Cinetone is taken over and its work marginalised. Len's loyalties to the Catholic Church, the Labor Party, and his family are juxtaposed against both his brother/rival cameraman Frank--who sells out his values, abandons his responsibilities, and heads off to success in the USA--and his cocky young assistant, Chris.

The first feature film for Phillip Noyce, Newsfront also depicts the increasing changes to the Australian cultural and political landscape, tracing social shifts from the first waves of European post-war immigration through to the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.

form y separately published work icon Gallipoli David Williamson , ( dir. Peter Weir ) Sydney : Associated R & R Films , 1981 Z948654 1981 single work film/TV (taught in 11 units)

The narrative begins in Western Australia in 1915 and follows the paths of Archie Hamilton and Frank Dunne, before and after their enlistment in the Australian Imperial Forces. Hamilton is the patriotic son of a grazier and Frank Dunne is a drifter with no great desire to fight for the British Empire. They meet as runners in an outback footrace and become best mates. After training in Egypt, they land at Gallipoli, just as the great Allied assaults of August 1915 are to begin.

Source: Australian Screen.

Happy Feet!$!!$! !$!!$!
Fat Pizza!$!!$! !$!!$!
form y separately published work icon Cedar Boys Serhat Caradee , ( dir. Serhat Caradee ) Australia : Templar Entertainment , 2008 Z1542107 2008 single work film/TV crime (taught in 1 units)

'A young Lebanese panel beater, struggling to realise his dreams, is offered a chance to set himself up for life. All he has to do is follow a plan to outsmart the cops and a gang of serious criminals. He wants the prize, but is he ready to pay the price?'

Source: Cedar Boys website,
Sighted: 11/11/2008

form y separately published work icon East West 101 SBS Television (publisher), Kristen Dunphy , Kris Wyld , Michael Miller , Kris Mrksa , Michelle Offen , Sherine Salama , David Ogilvy , Vanessa Bates , Katherine Thomson , Steve Knapman , Steve Knapman , Kris Wyld , ( dir. Peter Andrikidis ) Australia : SBS Television Knapman Wyld Television , 2009-2011 Z1643485 2009-2011 series - publisher film/TV (taught in 1 units)

Series One of East West 101 focuses on two men whose destinies are irrevocably intertwined. Malik is driven by a hunger for justice. He was twelve when a masked gunman held up the family shop. Malik refused to hand over the money and his father was subsequently shot and injured. He later joined the police force and has been looking for the shadowy figure who pulled the trigger. When he finally finds him, Malik's belief in the justice system is challenged by a powerful desire for revenge. As he hunts down the truth, it is revealed that one of his colleagues, Crowley, had a part to play in the original investigation. Crowley is a man whose vision has been blighted by pain and prejudice. His son, Paul, was found dead of an overdose on drugs sold to him by a Lebanese dealer. When the drug dealer who sold Paul the heroin is found murdered, Internal Affairs come asking questions.

In Season Two, East West 101 expands to seven episodes as the Major Crime Squad investigate crime and murder in all quarters of multicultural Sydney. But overarching all is the quest for Detective Zane Malik to find the truth behind a car bomb attack which kills two men. The Major Crime Squad form a joint task force with the NSO (National Security Organisation) to deal with the crime. There is paranoia in the city and fallout on the Muslim community. Malik knows that in order to stop the circle of hate, he must solve the crime. Was the bomb really an act of extremists, as the media suggest, or a sophisticated killing by a career criminal? Malik doggedly pursues the truth until he, too, becomes a target. Inspector Patricia Wright questions his motives but her vision is clouded by personal issues that she wants to keep hidden from the squad. Crime has touched her own family.

Season Three : The Hero's Journey. 'In [this] third season of East West 101, the Major Crime Squad investigates a 36 million dollar robbery in Australia and its connections to the murder of 17 people in Afghanistan. Is the robbery to fund an act of terror by military trained radicals, or the work of sophisticated criminals? For Detective Zane Malik the case has savage personal and professional ramifications. Malik is obstructed in his quest to find those responsible by the interference of newcomer Detective Neil Travis. Travis has fought in Iraq and his attitude and approach to the investigation cause conflict with Malik. In the hunt for an elusive foe, ultimately both men are forced to confront what makes a man a hero, or a coward...'

(Source: East West 101, SBS website)

form y separately published work icon Mabo : Life of an Island Man Jonathon Holmes , ( dir. Trevor Graham ) Lindfield : Film Australia , 1997 Z946556 1997 single work film/TV biography (taught in 1 units)

A documentary that explores the life of Eddie Mabo, whose struggle for land rights, and his remarkable life in general, had a profound effect on Indigenous rights in Australia. It tells the story of an island man so passionate about family and home that he fought an entire nation and its legal system. Though he died before his great victory was won, it has forever ensured his place on Murray Island and in Australian history. Mabo effectively challenged the notion of terra nullus, which asserted that Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders did not have a system of legal ownership predating white settlement. He devoted his life to a fight to gain legal recognition of his right to own ancestral land and his family home in the Murray Islands. Mabo died of cancer just five months before the High Court's historic decision.

form y separately published work icon Muriel's Wedding P. J. Hogan , ( dir. P. J. Hogan ) 1994 Australia : House and Moorhouse Films , 1994 Z486726 1994 single work film/TV humour satire (taught in 5 units)

Muriel is a shy young woman living in the seaside resort of Porpoise Spit, a suburban wonderland of shopping malls, marine parks, and holiday homes. The excessive expectations of her 'friends' and family cause her to take refuge in a dreamworld of ABBA songs. She also dreams of a Prince Charming who will rescue her from her dull and boring life. Then one day, she steals some money and goes on a tropical vacation where she meets a wacky friend, changes her name to Mariel, and turns her entire world upside down.

Kath and Kim!$!!$! !$!!$!
form y separately published work icon Frontline Breaking News (US title) Santo Cilauro , Tom Gleisner , Jane Kennedy , Rob Sitch , ( dir. Santo Cilauro et. al. )agent 1994 Australia : Frontline Television Productions ABC Television , 1994-1997 Z1362085 1994 series - publisher film/TV satire (taught in 1 units)

The Frontline television series presents a satirical take on the current-affairs format, through the setting of a fictional television station and its flagship show, Frontline. The fictional program is situated as competing directly with Nine's A Current Affair and Seven's Real Life (known as Today Tonight from 1995 onwards). The series further satirises the internal machinations of the producers, the self-obsessed host, and the ambitious, cynical reporters, all of whom resort to any sort of underhanded trick to get ratings and maintain their status. The reporters and host also ingratiate themselves with the all-powerful network bosses, while the real work is, in fact, done by their long-suffering production staff.

Throughout the series, other television shows aired by the 'station' are also referenced: notably the 6pm news program, the three-hour news-review show Sunday Forum, the sketch show The Komedy Bunch, the game show Jackpot, the teen soap opera Sunshine Cove (which later changes its name to Rainbow Island), the football show Ball-to-Ball, and other programs such as Late-Night OZ, Cartoon Crazies, and Vacation. Several real-life television celebrities also made guest appearances, including gardener Don Burke, fisherman/AFL commentator Rex Hunt, AFL commentator Sam Newman, music guru Ian 'Molly' Meldrum, and Media Watch host Stuart Littlemore.

form y separately published work icon Japanese Story Alison Tilson , Fitzroy : Gecko Films , 2002 (Manuscript version)x401999 Z1498780 2002 single work film/TV (taught in 10 units)

'Sandy, a geologist, finds herself stuck on a field trip to the Pilbara desert with a Japanese man she finds inscrutable, annoying and decidedly arrogant. Hiromitsu's view of her is not much better. Things go from bad to worse when they become stranded in one of the most remote regions on earth. JAPANESE STORY is a journey of change and discovery for its two lead characters.'

Source: Screen Australia.

form y separately published work icon Not Quite Hollywood Mark Hartley , ( dir. Mark Hartley ) Australia : Digital Pictures , 2008 Z1523169 2008 single work film/TV (taught in 8 units) Mark Hartley's documentary film coins the term 'Ozploitation' to describe a class of Australian films from the 1970s and 1980s that dealt graphcially with sex and violence, often using stunts and special effects, in a uniquely Australian way.
form y separately published work icon Beneath Clouds Ivan Sen , ( dir. Ivan Sen ) Sydney : Autumn Films , 2001 Z1440560 2001 single work film/TV (taught in 12 units) Blue eyed, fair skinned Lena is the daughter of an Aboriginal mother, living in a small country town. She longs for the romantic ideal of her absent father and his Irish heritage. When her home life feels set to implode, she hits the road with little money, a backpack and a photo of her dad. When Lena misses her bus to Sydney, she meets up with Vaughn, an Aboriginal teenager who has run away from a minimum-security prison in the desperate hope of reaching his ill mother. Vaughn is hardened by his anger at the world. Initially the two reluctant travelling companions are suspicious and wary of each other, but their journey, mostly by foot and the odd lift, builds an understanding between them. -- Libraries Australia
form y separately published work icon One Night the Moon John Romeril , Rachel Perkins , ( dir. Rachel Perkins ) Australia : Music Arts Dance Films Australian Broadcasting Corporation , 2001 Z935161 2001 single work film/TV (taught in 1 units)

A young girl goes missing within the Australian landscape and her father refuses to let an Aboriginal man, Albert, be included in the search party and utilise his 'tracking' skills. It is a decision that proves fatal. Months later, the child's mother approaches Albert to begin the tracking process that eventually leads her to her lost child.

form y separately published work icon Night Cries : A Rural Tragedy Tracey Moffatt , Jimmy Little (composer), ( dir. Tracey Moffatt ) Alice Springs : Chili Films , 1989 Z142554 1989 single work film/TV (taught in 12 units)

A middle-aged Aboriginal woman nurses her old white mother. During her tending of the old woman, she expresses her frustrations and previously suppressed anger, her own need for warmth and love, and her personal loneliness. Her memories and dreams invade her nerve-fraying routine until the old woman dies and she begins to experience an immense sense of loss.

In the ABC Radio National program, It's Not A Race in May 2017, Marcia Langton notes that Night Cries is the retelling of Jedda as a horror story.

form y separately published work icon Lantana Andrew Bovell , ( dir. Ray Lawrence ) Sydney : Jan Chapman Productions , 2001 Z900877 2001 single work film/TV thriller (taught in 6 units)

'A woman disappears. Four marriages are drawn into a tangled web of love, deceit, sex and death. Not all of them survive. LANTANA is a psychological thriller about love. It's about the mistakes we make, the consequences we suffer, and the attempts we make to fix things up.'

Source: Screen Australia. (Sighted: 4/12/2013)

form y separately published work icon The Proposition Nick Cave , ( dir. John Hillcoat ) Australia United Kingdom (UK) : Autonomous Jackie O Productions Pictures in Paradise Surefire Film Productions LLP , 2005 Z1216692 2005 single work film/TV thriller western crime (taught in 8 units)

'Set in the 1880s, [The Proposition] opens in the middle of a frenzied gunfight between the police and a gang of outlaws. Charlie Burns ... and his brother Mikey are captured by Captain Stanley... Together with their psychopathic brother Arthur, ... they are wanted for a brutal crime. Stanley makes Charlie a seemingly impossible proposition in an attempt to bring an end to the cycle of bloody violence.'

Source: Nick Cave's website (

Sighted: 20/09/2005

form y separately published work icon Ten Canoes Rolf De Heer , ( dir. Rolf De Heer ) Australia : Fandango Australia Vertigo Productions , 2006 Z1262398 2006 single work film/TV (taught in 11 units)

A story within a story and overlaid with narration, Ten Canoes takes place in two periods in the past. The first story, filmed in black-and-white as a reference to the 1930s ethnographic photography of Donald Thompson, concerns a young man called Dayindi who takes part in his first hunt for goose eggs. During the course of several trips to hunt, gather and build a bark canoe, his older brother Minygululu tells him a story about their ancestors and the old laws. The story is also about a young man who had no wife but who coveted one of his brother's wives, and also of the stranger who disrupted the harmony of their lives. It is cautionary tale because Minygululu is aware that Dayinidi desires his young and pretty third wife.

The second story (shot in colour) is set much further back in time. Yeeralparil is a young man who desires the third wife of his older brother Ridjimiraril. When Ridjimiraril's second wife disappears, he suspects a man from another tribe has been seen near the camp. After he spears the stranger he discovers that he was wrong. Knowing that he must face the man's relatives he chooses Yeeralparil to accompany him during the ritual payback. When Ridjimiraril dies from his wounds the tribe's traditions decree that Yeeralparil must inherit his brother's wives. The burden of these responsibilities, however, is more than the young man expects.

Two Hands!$!Jordan!$! !$!!$!1999


This course traces the emergence and significance of Australian screen cultures. Studies the development of the Australian film industry, including analysis of the economic, social and political factors and the myths which have shaped the industry. Studies the role of television in shaping the experience of modern Australia and its place in the world. Looks at a number of of non-mainstream forms of audio-visual production in Australia.


Weekly Research Blog / Portfolio - 40%

Participation and Presentation - 20%

Course Essay or Research Report - 40%

Other Details

Offered in: As MEFT2201 or AUST2028 - 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006
Levels: Undergraduate