The Story of the Kelly Gang – 1906 (Australia) and The Sentimental Bloke – 1919 (Australia)

These restored Australian classics are presented by the kind permission of the National Film and Sound Archive.
The Festival appreciates the generosity and courtesy extended by the Archive.

The Festival acknowledges the support for this session of Abbey's Bookshop: Sydney's independent booksellers since 1968.
From the classics to the contemporary, fiction and nonfiction, online and on York Street.

Tickets: $25/$15 concession
Film: digital presentation of restored film
Duration: 100 minutes

Live music: accompanist Professor Robert Constable

Presenter:  Bruce Elder, Senior Entertainment Writer with the Sydney Morning Herald

The Story of the Kelly Gang – 1906 (Australia)

This special presentation is only sixteen minutes in length, but represents a landmark in both Australian and world cinema because it is the first feature-length movie ever made, six years before feature films officially began to be made in 1912. Originally an hour in length, it was a great achievement to bring Australia’s most popular and legendary historic character to the big moving picture screen in the infancy of cinema.

The Story of the Kelly Gang is full of outdoor action and claims to be an accurate account of the real events, and it was enormously successful a long time after its release in early 1907, no doubt due to its unique and authentic Australian theme, setting and atmosphere.

Another important aspect of The Story of the Kelly Gang is how it represents the transition period from stage plays in thea

tres to a cohesive narrative story in moving pictures. Obvious to the modern-day viewer will be the lack of close-ups and camera movements, as well as the theatrical style of acting. These things do not detract from the excitement of the action and the novelty of seeing a very early film about an ever-popular character of Australian history.

Click here for The Story of the Kelly Gang study notes at the National Film and Sound Archive.

The Sentimental Bloke – 1919 (Australia)

Featuring Arthur Tauchert and Lottie Lyell, and directed by Raymond Longford

The Silent Film Festival is proud to present the unique Australian classic, The Sentimental Bloke, based on the popular poetic verse novel by C.J. Dennis, published in 1915. 

Its characters of Bill ‘The Kid’, Doreen and Ginger Mick have since taken on a life of their own in print and subsequent movies.

The Sentimental Bloke is the most famous and highly acclaimed film by Australia’s leading director of the early 1900s, Raymond Longford, whose partnership with actress and writer Lottie Lyell produced some of Australia’s finest silent films.

Not only is it rich in Australian flavour with the slang and accent of middle-class Australia of the 1910s, The Sentimental Bloke stands out for its remarkable naturalism and realistic style. Even the characters look like the people you would see on the streets of Woolloomooloo in inner-city Sydney!

Perfectly cast and starring Australia’s most prominent silent screen actress, Lottie Lyell as Doreen, it is a sweet and charming story of how true love and a good woman can transform a rough and rowdy larrikin with a penchant for drinking and betting into a normal and happy family man.

Click here for The Sentimental Bloke

study notes at the National Film and Sound Archive.