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Senses of Cinema

1h 29m


Martha Ansara (Self)Gillian Armstrong (Self)Richard Brennan (Self)Bryan Brown (Self)


John Hughes, Tom Zubrycki



This history of the co-op film movements of Sydney and Melbourne comes from two of the major figures in Australian documentary who were intimately involved in the filmmaking groundswell that first emerged in the 1960s. The Ubu group in Sydney, born from the influence of avant-garde filmmaking mingled with a rich range of social movements including unionism, feminism, Indigenous self-expression, and queer theory. A few names should give you a sense of the main participants here: Philip Noyce, Gillian Armstrong, Albie Thoms, Stephen Wallace, Martha Ansara, Essie Coffey, and many, many others. This is the story of the rise of alternative forms of filmmaking, and their fall at the hands of government agencies. It is a story of a road not taken, but of a moment full of possibility when fresh voices and new ways of seeing struggled to establish themselves in Australian cinema.