NFSA Restores: The Man from Kangaroo 1919 All Ages
1.00PM Wed 25 Apr 2018
GOMA | Cinema A | Free
The Man from Kangaroo will screen from a new 2K digital restoration undertaken by the National Film and Sound Archive Australia. It will be presented with live musical accompaniment from acclaimed Italian classical pianist Mauro Colombis.
John Harland (Baker), a bush parson, is dismissed from his job for teaching children how to box. Harland moves to another town, where he combats ruffians and rescues his girlfriend from a forced marriage.
A great Australian all-round athlete - the only Australian to date to compete in three disciplines at the same Olympic Games - Rex 'Snowy' Baker was a natural choice for Australia's silent-era filmmakers looking to compete with the stunt-heavy action films coming out of America.
His first starring role in The Enemy Within 1918 had been a success and Baker spent early 1919 in Hollywood, learning the industry and bringing back with him a team of creatives to staff his new Carroll-Baker Australian Productions. The Man from Kangaroo was their first film, written by Bess Meredith to showcase Baker's trademark athletic abilities - horse-riding, boxing, diving - very much in the style of Hollywood Westerns of Tom Mix and Harry Carey.
Locations were shot in Gunnedah and Kangaroo Valley, with interiors shot in Sydney's Theatre Royal. The film was popular with audiences, though some critics complained the filmmakers too-obviously had the American market in mind.
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND TINTED, 71 MINUTES, AUSTRALIA, SILENT (ENGLISH INTERTITLES) / DIRECTOR: WILFRED LUCAS / SCRIPT: BESS MEREDITH / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ROBERT V DOERRER / PRODUCTION CO: CARROLL-BAKER AUSTRALIAN PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE AUSTRALIA / SCREENING FORMAT: 2K DCP