The rich history of Australian film-making begins in 1906, with the world's first full-length feature film: The Story of the Kelly Gang.
For the next forty years, Australia produced film after film, from swashbuckling bushranging stories to convict melodramas, from films showcasing Snowy Baker's fine physique and willingness to jump off high places to strange metaphysical detective dramas.
The industry was alive and humming.
Like so many other countries, Australia has lost much of its early film history: these 'lost films' sometimes resurface in fragments, in mislabeled tins, but many are lost, and lost forever.
Those that are not lost, however, are a fascinating glimpse at a time when the Australian film industry was a rich space, suspended between stage and screen, and fascinated by the seemingly limitless opportunities of the new form.
Courtesy of the Internet Archive, we've created records for early Australian films, made between 1906 and 1944, all of which you can view online.
Each page is divided into three parts:
The individual parts can be accessed via the right-hand menu, or you can simply stroll at will up and down each page.
Content within this exhibition itself is freely available, but the AustLit content linked to here is behind our subscription wall. For information on how to access AustLit, click here.
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