27 February 2024

Double feature: Botany Bay (35mm) + Wills and Burke (35mm)

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Composite image of promotional posters for Botany Bay and Wills and Burke

Double feature: Botany Bay (John Farrow, 1952) + Wills and Burke (Bob Weis, 1985)

1952 | PG| 90 mins | 35mm |US | D: John Farrow

1985| PG | 97 mins | 35mm | AUS | D: Bob Weis

John Farrow’s technicolour feature Botany Bay explores a pivotal moment in the history of the Australian continent, dramatizing the transportation of convicts and the arrival of the First Fleet. Over 60 years on from its 1952 release, Botany Bay offers contemporary audiences a chance to reflect on one of Australia’s founding narratives as seen through the lens of Golden Age Hollywood.

Meanwhile, Bob Weis gives two of Australia’s most famous and unfortunate explorers a satirical treatment in Wills and Burke. Curiously released in the same year as Graeme Clifford’s historical drama Burke & Wills, Weis’ film makes use of parody and performance to unpack epic historical storytelling.

Both films presented on 35mm film prints from the NFSA collection.

A National Stories Day Pass is available, which includes access to the free Telling National Stories panel conversation as well as discounted film tickets for Botany Bay, Wills and Burke, and The Proposition. Learn more

The Details
What: Botany Bay + Wills and Burke double feature
When: Saturday 2 March 2024, at 2.30pm
Where: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (Arc Cinema)
Cost: $16–20. Get tickets here.

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