Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits

Eye of the Storn Geoffrey Rush as Basil Hunter (detail) - photo by Matt Nettheim Courtesy of TEOS Productions and National Film and Sound Archive of AustraliaIn 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 striking, beautiful portraiture emerging from 100 years of Australian movies.

While all eyes are on the moving image that emerges from the film set, still photographers create a range of both formal and candid shots, capturing both the actors at work and the characters they are playing. Drawn predominantly from the NFSA’s superb collection, the show will feature imagery of beloved Australian actors and iconic films, as well as highlighting the lesser-known early years of our film industry.

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, the hitherto invisible creators of some of our culture’s most influential images – technicians who meet the extraordinary challenge of capturing the story, characters and spirit of a whole movie in one frame.

“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, leading lady of 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.”

Starstruck explores the striking portraits emerging from 100 years of Australian movies. It features famous Australian actors and iconic films, as well as highlighting the lesser-known early years of our film industry. Many items are available for the public to see for the very first time.

Audiences will be treated to rare film posters, 1930s scrapbooks of aspiring actors, and original costumes from iconic movies including Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), My Brilliant Career (1979) and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994). The exhibition also includes photographs of Nicole Kidman, Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Geoffrey Rush, Abbie Cornish, Heath Ledger and Chips Rafferty.

Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits
National Portrait Gallery, King Edward Terrace, Parkes (Canberra)
Exhibition: 10 November 2017 – 12 March 2018
Admission fees apply

For more information, visit: www.portrait.gov.au for details.

Image: Eye of the Storm (2011), Geoffrey Rush as Basil Hunter (detail) – photo by Matt Nettheim. Courtesy of TEOS Productions and National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

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