Wednesday, 5 December 2012


Last night someone - not an Australian patriotic zealot, but an Austrian, I should point out - told me that
Australia invented the feature film. Can this be true? According to my informant, in 1905 there was a film made about Ned Kelly - only 17 minutes remain of the original footage - and it is the first thing of its kind ever made.

Imagine how different the world would be without this magnificent Australian piece of creativity. On the other hand, I suppose it was purely a matter of time before someone else came up with the idea. Or was it? Was Australian ingenuity and imagination the essential ingredient, without which the wonder that is modern cinema would never have been born?


  1. Without being a "Australian patriotic zealot" either but with what I know is just the right amount of patriotism, I don't find this surprising when I think of masterly pieces that came in its wake. It was just 14 years later that the wonderful The Sentimental Bloke [56 mins.] was running, showing how huge technical problems – film reproduction for distribution for a start – were solved.

    Think of the great individual contributions by a number of Australian directors, creative effects people and performers ever since. In film, they have been truly the problem-solvers leading the way.

    No doubt every country could put together its own galaxy of stars in film creation [New Zealand, e.g., would stand up well per head of population, but then it always does in most things, he said grudgingly] but in early film there seemed to be the technical knowhow here to manage a task that was unbelievably labour intensive and must have paid terribly.

    It could have been done only with love of the art and the excitement of the possibilities of a whole new medium.

    Just watch it, if you never have.

    The Sentimental Bloke

    1. Thank you, I will - I think I may have seen scraps of it a long time ago, but never really paid attention.