Monday 22 November 2021

Ray Edmondson issues an Invitation to a webinar about and screening of FUNNY THINGS HAPPENED DOWN UNDER (Joe McCormick, Australia/New Zealand, 1965)

Dear all,


This coming Sunday the Friends of the National Film & Sound Archive will be offering a free webinar led by film critic Peter Krausz, reflecting on the pre-renaissance years of 1965 to 1971 - now becoming forgotten, as the films of that era are rarely seen.  It is open to everyone - especially those who have their own memories of those adventurous years. The webinar will be recorded and added to the Friends website, where it will continue to be available.


Zoom webinar  - This Sunday 28 November at 2pm 

To join the webinar  BOOK FREE HERE

But before that watch Funny Things Happen Down Under (1965) -  free on Vimeo for one week:

(Download Not Allowed, Only People With The Link Can Access.)  Note: This is a .MKV file. You may need the free app VLC to watch it.

Funny Things Happen Down Under is a light hearted musical comedy, featuring Olivia Newton-John and set in the Australian countryside. It is still a breath of fresh air! It was actually made by a New Zealand-based company, Pacific Films, and prophetically it exudes an optimism for better days to come. The teenage singing star makes her first venture into the movies, and shares the limelight with the "Terrible Ten" and Maori singer Howard Morrison. Music is from the irrepressible Horrie Dargie Quintet, and a flock of multi-coloured sheep complete the dramatis personae. It is enough to get you intrigued!

Historically, the film came at a turning point for the Australian film industry.  It was made after the creation of the children's series The Terrific Adventures of the Terrible Ten, and the "gang" from the series provide the basic cast for the film, so there was already audience familiarity with the characters.  It pre-dated the release of They're a Weird Mob the following year, which fed on the same family audience, and presaged the re-establishment of regular feature film production in Australia. From this point on, a range of local feature films - such as You Can't See Around Corners, 2000 Weeks, The Naked BunyipJack and Jill: a Postscript, Skippy and the Intruders  - start to appear with regularity. They are disparate, but deal with an emerging understanding of Australian culture and society. They lead us into the feature film "renaissance" of the 1970s and thereafter.

You're invited to view the film beforehand, and then join in the webinar, coordinated by film critic Peter Krausz, which will discuss the making of  Funny Things Happen Down Under, the audience it attracted and whether it led to more films for children as a prime audience. It will also look generally at the pre-renaissance years of 1965 to 1971 and the films which defined a re-emerging industry, finding its stride again after two decades of sporadic production.    


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