“Look Australia! Our bushrangers are far more interesting and complex than you realise!” – The story behind The Legend of Ben Hall

This week we asked film-maker Matthew Holmes, writer and director of The Legend of Ben Hall, to pen some thoughts about his passion for Ben Hall, bushrangers, film-making and how that translated into his award winning film. Continue reading “Look Australia! Our bushrangers are far more interesting and complex than you realise!” – The story behind The Legend of Ben Hall

Spotlight: Bushranger Yarn

The following article, published 21 November 1920, talks about an upcoming book release about Australia’s colonial days. Specifically it refers to the oral legends about Teddy the Jewboy and how they formed the basis of a novel called Castle Vane. Continue reading Spotlight: Bushranger Yarn

Spotlight: The Prison Bell

Owen Suffolk, the poet bushranger, spent many years in and out of prison, which enabled him to find a lot of inspiration. His depiction of prison life is mournful and tinged with melancholy. To Suffolk, the prison is the place where souls and minds are broken and every day is a reminder of the grim reality of that condition. To this end his poem ‘The Prison Bell’ captures the essence of the convict life and all its suffering. The Prison Bell By Owen Suffolk Hark to the bell of sorrow! – ’tis awak’ning up again Each broken spirit from its … Continue reading Spotlight: The Prison Bell

Spotlight: Reckless Kelly at 25

Australia has produced some unique and often bizarre comedy – The Castle, Alvin Purple, Kenny – but few Australian comedy directors have the same stature as Yahoo Serious. Serious’ debut Young Einstein was a landmark comedy for its decidedly Aussie take on the rags-to-riches story of a Tasmanian apple farmer named Albert Einstein who invents bubbles in beer and rock ‘n’ roll. Serious followed up with a satirical look at gun culture using the cultural touchstone of Ned Kelly as a jumping off point. Continue reading Spotlight: Reckless Kelly at 25

Spotlight: For Frank Gardiner

Owen Suffolk was a bushranger who spent more than a decade in prison for a range of crimes, particularly Pentridge Prison. Suffolk gained the moniker “The Poet” for his deftness with poetry much of which refers to the experience of convicts and bushrangers. Perhaps his most well-known is For Frank Gardiner. It is a bold declaration of defiance and desire for freedom at any cost, the sort of liberty the outlaw archetype represents free from the constraints of the law and the mores of society; a liberty denied Frank Gardiner when he was finally apprehended at Apis Creek and dragged back to New South Wales. Continue reading Spotlight: For Frank Gardiner

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (Review)

Few Australian films have attracted the same degree of praise as The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith which has received its first ever Blu-Ray release thanks to Umbrella Entertainment. 40 years after its original release the team at Umbrella bring us a beautiful re-release of this classic award-winning piece of Aussie cinema and it’s just as relevant now as it ever was. Continue reading The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (Review)