Monday, April 27, 2009

Australian Film Awards for Best Picture

Technically, the Australian Film Institute (AFI), as one of the directors kindly eMailed me; why they copied the American Film Institute's abbreviation is beyond me. Let's see: 50,000 films vs maybe 5,000 films, which has the richer history?

All Best Picture Winners (Only films produced in Australia)
2008 - The Black Balloon
2007 - Romulus, My Father
2006 - Ten Canoes
2005 - Look Both Ways
2004 - Somersault
2003 - Japanese Story
2002 - Rabbit-Proof Fence
2001 - Lantana
2000 - Looking for Alibrandi
1999 - Two Hands
1998 - The Interview
1997 - Kiss or Kill
1996 - Shine
1995 - Angel Baby
1994 - Muriel's Wedding
1993 - The Piano
1992 - Strictly Ballroom
1991 - Proof
1990 - Flirting
1989 - Evil Angels (aka. A Cry in the Dark)
1988 - The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey
1987 - The Year My Voice Broke
1986 - Malcolm
1985 - Bliss
1984 - Annie's Coming Out
1983 - Careful, He Might Hear You
1982 - Lonely Hearts
1981 - Gallipoli
1980 - Breaker Morant
1979 - My Brilliant Career
1978 - Newsfront
1977 - Storm Boy
1976 - The Devil's Playground
1974/5 - Sunday Too Far Away
1973 - Libido: The Child
1973 - 27A
1972 - Stork
1971 - Homesdale
1970 - Three To Go: Michael
1969 - Jack And Jill: A Postscript
1968 - The Change at Groote / The Talgai Skull
1967 - Cardin in Australia
1966 - Concerto for Orchestra
1965 - The Legend of Damien Parer / Stronger Since The War
1964 - The Dancing Class / I The Aboriginal
1963 - The Land That Waited
1962 - Bypass to Life / Night Freighter
1961 - Not awarded this year
1960 - Three in a Million
1959 - Edge of The Deep / The Power Makers
1958 - Conquest of The Rivers / Hard to Windward

Of these that I've seen, I would recommend:
1. My Brilliant Career - terrific story of an 19th century woman (Judy Davis) who wanted a career, not just be a housewife (to Sam Neill, both unknown at the time), directed by Gillian Armstrong
2. Flirting - the best interracial love story I've seen; Nicole Kidman is a supporting character
3. Breaker Morant - Bruce Beresford film about a true military event during the Boer War
4. The Piano - Jane Campions' rugged story of a mute woman emigrating to New Zealand won an Oscar® for fellow Georgian Holly Hunter (we both lived in Athens, so did Kim Basinger! meanwhile Julia and Eric Roberts were over in Atlanta)
5. Bliss, Shine, Strictly Ballroom, Muriel's Wedding - all worth seeing as well..
Geoffrey Rush (Pirates) won an Oscar® for Shine

Hey - where the heck is Babe and The Road Warrior (Mad Max 2)? these are my two favorite Australian films..George Miller directed Mad Max 2, now #391 (and moving up annually) on the critics consensus top 1000! Babe, which he produced, should be in the top 100..

Where are the Peter Weir films? Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Last Wave, The Year of Living Dangerously. I thought at least his early films were Aussie produced, and he's generally considered the best Australian director for Witness, Fearless, The Truman Show, The Mosquito Coast, Master and Commander, and those above.