The word “movie” itself screams Hollywood and makes us think about the masterpieces that have been created in the state of California, but very often we forget that almost every country has its film industry and pretty good ones at that. Australia is one of the most prominent countries in terms of film, in fact, some of the most popular Hollywood actors are Aussies themselves, so why wouldn’t they have such a developed industry?
In this article, we will try to familiarize you with some of the best Aussie movies that are out there right now, all of them are truly worth a watch!
Mad Max (1979)
Mad Max is set in a dystopian future where humanity has extracted all it could from our Earth’s resources and created nothing but a desert full of sand. Essentially it’s a movie of how life could become if we don’t take care of our planet and turn it into a wasteland. Although the movie is quite old, and the special effects are not nearly as good as the latest Mad Max movie starring Tom Hardy. The directors and actors of the 1979 Mad Max managed to bring the characters to life and truly let the audience feel the desperation and hopelessness of the world’s situation. Gangs, bandits, disease, lack of resources and constant warfare is what defies Mad Max as a movie and lets us, the audience, view the ugly part of humanity which could come to pass should we not do anything about it.
Gallipoli is an extremely important part of Australian history. In fact, it could be the one true defining moment of Australian politics, patriotism, and independence from the United Kingdom. Winston Churchill’s botched plan for opening a new front on the shores of Turkey backfired. This caused tens of thousands of Australian soldiers losing their lives on this front while failing to achieve their goals. The movie tries to narrow the event down to the perspective of just two young soldiers, Dunne and Archy Hamilton, played masterfully by Mel Gibson and Mark Lee. It doesn’t take too long for the movie to inspire Australian patriotism and understand the importance of “Never another Gallipoli!”.
Dirty Deeds (2002)
Dirty Deeds is a movie about the struggles of an Aussie mobster by the name of Barry Ryan. Barry controls most of Sydney’s gambling scene and is able to take quite a nice profit from all of the slot machines that are scattered around the city. In a sense, Barry is a big shot in Australia thanks to his profits and operations, but all of that comes crashing down on him as soon as Americans start funneling into the country. The movie is set in the 60s, at the height of the Vietnam war, and Australia was a temporary base for several soldiers. They’d use Barry’s slots to play for money and somehow passed on the information to the American Mafia. Barry later has two hitmen sent after him, in order to make him “cough up” some of the profits. He later has to deal with this, while protecting his mistress not only from the mafia but his own Nephew as well.
Every Aussi child, teenager, grownup or senior knows who Ned Kelly is. The infamous Australian outlaw that had a shootout with the local authorities wearing a suit of armor is masterfully displayed by Heath Ledger in the 2003 iteration of the film. The movie takes a bit of a different angle than its predecessor, allowing us to look at Ned Kelly’s life from both perspectives. This movie truly shows Kelly as a person forced into being an outlaw, rather than a crazy villain focused on nothing but a life of crime.
A movie supposedly based on a true story takes us into the Australian outback with several backpacking tourists to meat our antagonist, Mick Taylor. Mick is a very particular, tourist-hating, homicidal Aussie that tends to manipulate backpackers with his supposed kindness, only to kill them in the Australian outback. The movie is quite gruesome and has some of the most iconic shots from the horror genre. It’s best to watch at night though, to get the full effect. But stay away if you don’t really like gore shots.
The late 80s Melbourne may not have been the best place to live in, thanks to all of the crime and drugs circling in the city. Chopper is a movie about a man named Mark Brandon Read, who finds himself in a maximum-security prison, trying all that he can to somehow get out of there. In the end though, his ticket outcomes in the form of cutting off both ears, and earning the nickname, Chopper.
Here we have yet another marvel of a movie starred by Heath Ledger where he playes a charming poet by the name of Dan. This poet seduces a similarly charming young girl named Candy, who he introduces to his drug-filled unhealthy lifestyle. The director of the movie wanted to show the horrible reality of addiction and how it makes people feel like they’re in heaven when in reality they’re blinding themselves from the hell that they are creating. It is a very creative way to project drug addiction and showcase it in a truly impactful way.
If you want a movie that will truly make you feel disgusted about what people can become, Romper Stomper would be perfect for that desire. The movie tackles the Australian underground of the 80s and early 90s, where racism, homicides, drug abuse and prostitution were rampant. It truly showcases what humans can become when there is no sense of accountability. Be careful though, it tackles big taboo topics of today’s political scene.
Everybody likes a good drama movie. Japanese Story is about an Aussie tour guide’s sudden relationship with a Japanese businessman that she met during one of her tours. Unfortunately, though, the relationship comes to an unexpected halt, when the businessman tragically dies in a swimming accident.
The Water Diviner
A film by world-famous actor Russel Crowe takes us back in time after the famous battle of Gallipoli. Crowe plays the role of a grieving father who goes to Turkey to scower the battlefield and somehow find his missing sons, either dead or alive.