The Topical Budget newsreel shows Amy Johnson returning home to Britain following her epic solo flight to Australia
I will be close to the end of my Australian jaunt by now (he said, typing this on January 15th), and to finish things off, here’s a set of links to past posts on things Australian, which do demonstrate that we’ve been giving some attention to its silent film heritage over the past few years.
- Things Australian no. 2 (25 Jan 2011) – on the first Australian films and the research of Tony Martin-Jones.
- Things Australian no. 1 – The Marvellous Corricks (23 Jan 2011) – on the Corrick family on entertainers and their collection of early films.
- Discovering Australian (and beyond) (31 May 2009) – on the exceptional Australian SBDS portal (now known as Trove) which points the way to online research libraries in the future.
- For your selection (8 Aug 2008) – researching Australian newspapers online.
- God’s soliders (3 Nov 2011) – the pioneering use of film in Australia by the Salvation Army (updated for no. 4 in this Australian Journey series).
- Three types of authenticity (29 Oct 2009) – thought on the Douglas Mawson Antarctic expedition of 1912-13 and the differences between its original film record (shot by Frank Hurley) and television today.
- australianscreen (14 Sep 2007) – on the silent films to be found on this excellent educational website.
- Diaries of a working man (16 Aug 2007) – on the charming diaries, available online, of post office clerk Alexander Goodall who witnessed the arrival of the Kinetoscope and the Cinematograph in Australia in 1895-97.
For those who are interested in such things, Miss Johnson appears to have arrived home on an Imperial Airways Armstrong Whitworth Argosy Mark I. Unfortunately, someone is standing in front of the last part of the registration number, so we can’t tell which one of the three it was. My first thought is that the trimotored airliner must have been very noisy. This video gives an idea of what it must have sounded like, and shows the luxurious cabin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jku2AE91LHU
I once saw a documentary on two New Zealand brothers who were pioneers of early film and who’s name I can’t remember. They built there own sets which were quite elaborate and in the documentary the sets was rediscovered in jungle ala Machu Pichu. I do remember that Sam Neil was the narrator and one of the brothers ended up dying in the Spanish Civil War. Does this story ring a bell? because I loved it and would dearly like to see it again.
I believe you may be thinking of FORGOTTEN SILVER, the Peter Jackson spoof documentary about fictional New Zealand film pioneer Colin McKenzie:
Yes that would be it, thankyou. How embarrassing….bloody Kiwis