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Useful Notes / Australian New Wave

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The Australian New Wave describes a resurgence of Australian cinema in the 70s which caught global attention. Picnic at Hanging Rock, Mad Max, Walkabout, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith and Gallipoli are some of the most famous films from this movement. Many of the films have made it into lists such as The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made, 500 Greatest Movies of All Time, and 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

In the 1970s, reacting to a struggling Australian film industry, Australia's government, spurred on by the Australian Film Institute, established the Experimental Film Fund, a national film school. The injection of public money allowed many hidden talents to emerge. The resulting movement led to a burst of creativity that redefined Australian film in the 1970s and continued into the 80s. Common themes included racial and class differences in Australian society, and the beauty of Australia's natural landscapes.

Because this increased funding came hard on the heels of a relaxation of formerly rather prudish laws regarding what could and couldn't be depicted in film, the 1970s also became a golden age of sex comedies in Australian cinema. Together, all these trends are often referred to as 'Ozploitation', an Australian take on the Exploitation Film genre, first emerged. The 2008 documentary Not Quite Hollywood is a history of this era.

No relation to Men at Work, the New Wave Music band from Australia.

Films associated with this movement include: