The Silent Era in Australian Cinema

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The article focuses on the first period in the history of Australian cinema. It is well-known that the present is always rooted in the past. This is true of any national cinema, and the Australian one is no exception. This subject is relevant in the light of the fact that, in the first place, the reasons for the contemporary boom in Australian cinema are impossible to understand and analyze unless they are derived from the awareness of the first steps of Australian cinema. It was in the very first years of the existence of Australian cinema that there emerged a special worldview, inherent in the cinematographic messages of this nation, that would later become iconic of Australian cinema: addressing the reality of Australia, love for its wild and beautiful nature and for the people who civilize this severe land. In their works the filmmakers of the Green Continent have almost always unflaggingly introduced two protagonists, an animate one, a manly, daring human being, and an inanimate one, the nature, magnificent, powerful, unexplored... At the same time, there was formed an image of a Hero: a fair, proud man, for whom honor and dignity are closely linked to striving for freedom. A conflict between the Individual and a soulless system is manifested in the early bushranger films and in the contemporary ones alike, now that the films by the Australian filmmakers come out again and again featuring the Individual’s attempts at breaking his bondage. The novelty of this research lies in the fact that while the contemporary period of Australian cinema is well-covered in the global film criticism, the past of this national cinema is almost unknown. Considering the interest in the phenomenon of the contemporary cinema of the Green Continent, the author concludes that the global success of the Australian films today is largely linked to the accomplishments of the cinema pioneers, who against tough competition from American and English films, have laid a foundation for the future victories of this special national cinema.

Zvegintseva Irina Anatolyevna

PhD in Art, professor (Department of Cinema Studies); leading researcher

VGIK; Institute of Film Art (VGIK)

Author for correspondence.


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Copyright (c) 2014 Zvegintseva I.A.

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