Hands down my favorite class I took in college was a film studies course on the cinema of Australia and New Zealand. Thanks to my amazing teacher, Mrs. Paula Massood, I was exposed to a collection of incredible pictures that I probably would never have seen, or perhaps even heard of, without her guiding hand (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert not withstanding...) Still, for every movie we screened, there were at least two or three more that we read about but were unable to watch, either due to time constraints, availability in the US/on the correct DVD region (stupidest, stupidest system EVER), or both. I'm still dying to track down Vincent Ward's Vigil!
Such obstacles aside, I've been trying to play a little catch up with my Australian cinema, starting with the seminal coming-of-age-in-the-outback effort The Year My Voice Broke, and ending up most recently on Gillian Armstrong's My Brilliant Career. In class, much of our discussion of the film centered upon the fact that the story was more than a bit of a fantasy, since painfully few women of the time living in the bush had any such possibility of escape as the main character eventually finds--but nevermind, it's an awfully nice idea! Judy Davis is, to quote Hannah, an Australian Anne of Green Gables--all straw boaters and haughty glares and that shocking mane of hair. And can we just talk about Sam Neil, in period dress, in all his 25-year-old glory??
Last week while looking around for images to go with my Brie et Char interview I came across this set of original lobby cards for the film being sold on bidStart. Would that I had the cool $89.95 it takes to make these babies my own!