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If you love movies, you’ll love ‘Starstruck’!

By Sophia Brady - 15 November 2017 0

Nicole Kidman as Rae Ingram holding a spear gun by Jim Sheldon, Dead Calm, 1989, Courtesy Kennedy Miller Mitchell, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Nicole Kidman as Rae Ingram holding a spear gun, Dead Calm, 1989. Image: Kennedy Miller Mitchell, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

‘Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits’ is an exhibition for film buffs – those who love the romance of cinema and those who enjoy the opportunity to delve behind the scenes. While all eyes are usually on the finished product that emerges from the film set, photographers create a range of both formal and candid shots, capturing both the actors at work and the characters they are playing.

In an unprecedented partnership, the National Portrait Gallery and National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) present a new star-studded exhibition – ‘Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits’, exploring the portraiture emerging from 100 years of Australian movies. Drawn predominantly from the NFSA’s superb collection, the show will feature imagery of beloved Australian actors and iconic films, as well as highlight the lesser known early years of our film industry.

Hugo Weaving as Martin by Jennifer Mitchell, Proof, 1991, Courtesy House and Moorhouse Films Pty Ltd, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Hugo Weaving as Martin, Proof, 1991. Image: House and Moorhouse Films Pty Ltd, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

Portrait Gallery Assistant Curator, Penelope Grist, was elated with the opportunity to delve into the NFSA’s collection to discover the untold stories of Australian stills photographers, saying “Starstruck features 275 items, predominantly drawn from the NFSA’s superb collection. There are portraits of beloved Australian actors such as Hugo Weaving, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Toni Collette and Cate Blanchett and photography from iconic films like Australia, Moulin Rouge!, RED DOG and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”

“We have discovered the myriad, magical lives of these photographic moments, with material including continuity Polaroids, posters, publicity and behind-the-scenes stills from over a century of filmmaking,” said Penelope.

“Along the way we have made many exciting discoveries, such as a portrait of Daphne Campbell, the leading lady of the iconic 1946 film The Overlanders, which was actually her wedding portrait. In a real-life cinematic romance, she was married on location in the Northern Territory after falling in love with a pilot who was working on the film.’

Daphne Campbell’s wedding portrait with wildflowers, The Overlanders, 1946, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Daphne Campbell’s wedding portrait with wildflowers, The Overlanders, 1946. Image: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

NFSA curator Jennifer Coombes was thrilled at the collaboration between the two institutions in developing an exhibition looking at Australia’s movie history from the early 1900s through to today. “Starstruck is full of ‘firsts’ for the NFSA, such as this fruitful partnership with the Portrait Gallery. We’re also excited because many of the photos, which have been preserved in our vast collection of publicity shots and behind-the-scenes images, will be available to the public for the very first time,’ said Jennifer.

“Audiences will be able to see rare film posters, stunning 1930s scrapbooks of aspiring actors, and original costumes from iconic titles such as Picnic at Hanging Rock, My Brilliant Career, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and The Dressmaker. If you love movies, you’ll love Starstruck!”

Liam Hemsworth as Teddy McSwiney by Ben King, The Dressmaker, 2015, Courtesy Film Art Media

Liam Hemsworth as Teddy McSwiney, The Dressmaker, 2015. Image: Film Art Media.

Starstruck will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery from 10 November 2017 until 4 March 2018. Preview the exhibition, buy tickets and explore events on starstruck.gov.au

To complement the exhibition the NFSA has curated the summer-long Starstruck program which will feature classic Aussie films as well as some very special guests. Access the full program here.

What is your favourite Aussie movie? Which Aussie character did you love the most? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

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