My Brilliant Career
Dir: Gillian Armstrong
Scr: Eleanor Witcombe
Orig Story: Miles Franklin's novel of the same title
Prod Co: Margaret Fink Films
Cast: Judy Davis, Sam Neill
1979 / Australia / Colour / 35mm / English /
Eng Subtitles / 100min
My Brilliant Career is nothing less than an emblem of Australian cinema. It's the tale of a willful, imaginative young woman in determined pursuit of a vague career, to which she assigns in description, with equal measures of wishful dreaminess and ironic self-deprecation, the evocative adjective in the film's title. The film is at once so Aussie and so universal that it has never stopped galvanizing interest since its initial release.
Director Gillian Armstrong's remarkable debut feature is a distillation of her own talent and the energy of the New Wave, the wondrous moment that impressed upon the world a lineup of outstanding Australian films in the 1970s and 1980s. The film, based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Miles Franklin, is a coming-of-age story with a feminist touch, arriving at a time when feminism was itself enjoying a coming of age. The temporal setting of the Victorian era and the spatial backdrop of the Australian outback represent also a confluence of time and space that mixes the loaded prestige of costume pictures with primal, down-under ruggedness.
Perhaps the most endearing aspect of My Brilliant Career is its central character, a complex woman by turns naive and independent, who has a healthy desire for a dreamy man, but not at the expense of her own dreams. Perhaps it is also the most enduring aspect of the film, which makes it a perfect selection for our Restored Treasures program.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
Post-screening talk with Sam Ho & Joyce Yang
The contents of the programme do not represent the views of the presenter.
The presenter reserves the right to change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.