It’s a wrap for Ozploitation in Paris – looking back at this extraordinary month of cinema
From July 5 to 25, 2021, the Cinémathèque française, in collaboration with the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, presented a unique retrospective of the Ozploitation genre.
What is known as Ozploitation is the fruit of a political decision. With a virtually dormant film industry in Australia in the early 1970s, the government decided to create the Australian Film Commission and established various tax incentives to stimulate production. A new wave of Australian low-budget genre films was born, characterised by their violence and crudity. The golden age of the genre continued into the mid-1980s, inspiring the likes of famous American director Quentin Tarantino, who recognised the important influence of these Australian productions on his work and to whom we owe the term “Ozploitation”. Indeed, he was one of the first to refer to “Aussie exploitation”. Director Mark Hartley would later use and shorten the term for his documentary Not Quite Hollywood: the Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008).
Seventeen films were presented during the retrospective, most of which had never been released in France as this little-known film genre rarely reached an international audience. The films illustrated the most diverse aspects of this vernacular cinema, from horror (Inn of The Damned by Terry Bourke, Next of Kin by Toni Williams, Cut by Kimble Rendall, Wolf Creek by Greg McLean), thriller (Carl Schulze’s Goodbye Paradise, Ian Barry’s Chain Reaction), the slapstick comedy of manners (Tim Burstall’s Alvin Purple) and the extravagant exploration of rock (Chris Lövfèn’s Oz), to name a few.
The public also rediscovered the Mad Max quadrilogy during two Mad Max nights with projections of the four films which are the most celebrated example of Ozploitation.
This audacious retrospective of Australian cinema from the 1970s captivated the French public, leaving the audience with a thirst for more.
Further information: https://www.cinematheque.fr/cycle/ozploitation-608.html