Skip to Main Content

Film Studies: National Cinemas

This guide highlights selected resources for various national cinemas.

Introduction to Australian cinema

Australia’s earliest commercial exhibition of projected films, using British films and equipment, took place on 22 August 1896; and in the same year local filmmakers began shooting topical events and scenes, including Passengers Alighting from the Paddle Steamer ‘Brighton’ at Manly. Another very early film, The Early Christian Martyrs (1899), was sponsored by the Salvation Army, which founded Australia’s first film studio and organized travelling film shows across the country. The 1906 Story of the Kelly Gang was a pioneering four-reeler whose success prompted the production of longer films well before this became commonplace elsewhere (see early cinema). Domestic film production remained healthy during World War I, and film historians regard the postwar feature The Sentimental Bloke (1919) as a groundbreaking contribution to Australian national cinema, introducing distinctive Antipodean themes and character types which were to resurface in many later films. However, by the time The Sentimental Bloke appeared, US feature films were dominating Australian screens; and in 1927 a Commission of Inquiry investigated the influence of Hollywood, recommending protectionist measures, with quota legislation following in the 1930s.  ...

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). Australia, film in. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 28 May. 2021

In the Library's Collection

There are several subject headings you can use to find resources in the online catalog. The call number ranges are also included. These can be found on Baker Stack Level 4.

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book titles

Finding journal articles

Articles and other writings about Australian film can be found in many publications. Our collection includes a couple of journals which look exclusively at Australian film. See the titles we have in our Library's collection. You can use Film & Television Literature Index to find articles or use the search box at the top of the page.

Selected movie titles

Find more Australian films in the online catalog.