Australian New Wave

Australian New Wave

8 Episodes

It came from a land down under . . . From the early seventies through the mideighties, a resurgence of government funding for national film production gave birth to a generation of brave, unconventional new voices who made Australia the home to a brief but bright-burning cinematic renaissance. Among the filmmakers who emerged from this artistic flowering were pivotal figures like Peter Weir, George Miller, Gillian Armstrong, Bruce Beresford, Fred Schepisi, and Phillip Noyce, many of whom went on to successful international careers. Encompassing subversive visions of Australian history (PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, MY BRILLIANT CAREER), a dystopian science-fiction cult classic (THE CARS THAT ATE PARIS), and beyond, these formally bold, thematically provocative films delved into the intricacies of Australian society and identity with newfound fearlessness. Among their most urgent concerns was for the country’s relationship to and mistreatment of its Indigenous people, as seen in works like WALKABOUT and THE LAST WAVE, both of which star legendary Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil, who stands as one of the movement’s most enduring faces.

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Australian New Wave
  • Voices of the Australian New Wave

    Episode 1

    This short documentary contains archival interviews with David Gulpilil, Peter Weir, Gillian Armstrong, Bruce Beresford and more.

  • Walkabout

    Episode 2

    Directed by Nicolas Roeg • 1971 • Australia
    Starring Jenny Agutter, Lucien John, David Gulpilil

    A young sister and brother are abandoned in the harsh Australian outback and must learn to cope in the natural world, without their usual comforts, in this hypnotic masterpiece from Nicolas Roeg. Alon...

  • The Cars That Ate Paris

    Episode 3

    Directed by Peter Weir • 1974 • Australia

    The small town of Paris, Australia, deliberately causes car accidents, then salvages and sells all valuables from the wrecks.

  • Picnic at Hanging Rock

    Episode 4

    Directed by Peter Weir • 1975 • Australia
    Starring Rachel Roberts, Vivean Gray, Helen Morse

    This sensual and striking chronicle of a disappearance and its aftermath put director Peter Weir on the map and helped usher in a new era of Australian cinema. Based on an acclaimed 1967 novel by Joan Lin...

  • The Last Wave

    Episode 5

    Directed by Peter Weir • 1977 • Australia
    Starring Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett, Gulpilil

    Richard Chamberlain stars as Australian lawyer David Burton, who takes on the defense of a group of aborigines accused of killing one of their own. He suspects the victim has been killed for violatin...

  • The Plumber

    Episode 6

    Directed by Peter Weir • 1979 • Australia

    A mysterious tradesman (Ivar Kants) shows up unbidden at the home of an academic couple (Judy Morris, Robert Colby) and proceeds over the next few days to disassemble their bathroom and related fixtures. The wife seems particularly disturbed by the man's...

  • My Brilliant Career

    Episode 7

    Directed by Gillian Armstrong • 1979 • Australia
    Starring Judy Davis, Sam Neill

    For her award-winning breakthrough film, director Gillian Armstrong drew on teenage author Miles Franklin’s novel, a celebrated turn-of-the-twentieth-century Australian coming-of-age story, to brashly upend the co...

  • Breaker Morant

    Episode 8

    Directed by Bruce Beresford • 1980 • Australia
    Starring Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson, John Waters

    At the turn of the twentieth century, three Australian army lieutenants are court-martialed for alleged war crimes committed while fighting in South Africa. With no time to prepare, an Australian ...