Film News: November 2019

It’s no secret that films related to bushranging are rare as hen’s teeth these days, though once they were the lifeblood of the Australian movie industry. For this reason, any time a new film comes out that fits the “bush western” genre it’s very exciting. Here are all the current updates related to upcoming releases.

The Nightingale

After a limited cinema release earlier this year, The Nightingale is rolling out across streaming and home video. Jennifer Kent’s follow-up to her breakout film The Babadook is set in the convict era and follows the story of a young convict woman who goes bush in pursuit of revenge. While not a “bushranger” film in the most easily identifiable sense, it most certainly presents elements that pertain to the early bushrangers and promises viewers a harrowing experience of Van Diemens Land in its formative years. Starring Aisling Franciosi and Baykali Ganambarr, The Nightingale is currently available on Hulu, Amazon Prime in the US, and will be available on VOD (video on demand) via Transmission films from November 27 and DVD and Blu-ray in Australia from December 4.

True History of the Kelly Gang

Already looking like a controversial flick, Justin Kurzel’s interpretation of Peter Carey’s novel of the same name will be getting a limited theatrical release in Australia from January 9 until its streaming service debut on Stan on Australia Day (January 26). The film was given mostly positive reviews when it was show in Canada earlier in the year but there was a profound radio silence thereafter. It wasn’t until Stan threw together a trailer for its summer programming that we got a first glimpse at clips from the film. No word has been announced regarding DVD or Blu-ray release.

Stringybark

News on Ben Head’s Stringybark has been slow coming since it’s premiere in Lorne, but it has now been given an official rating, which brings it a step closer to release to a wider audience. It was revealed during a podcast interview that Ben Squared Films are looking at a limited theatrical release, which will most likely come to fruition at some time in 2020.

Other news

Two Tone Pictures continues to pursue various bushranger projects including a proposed documentary about “bush westerns” where various directors, writers, actors etc. would help to tell the story of the last 50 years of Australian movies like Ned Kelly, Mad Dog Morgan, The Legend of Ben Hall, and The Proposition.

When more updates become available, be sure to keep an eye on A Guide to Australian Bushranging on Facebook and Instagram where they will be posted as they come to hand.

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