Fashion Week comes to Melbourne's Mediatheque

1940s fashion in Australia

1940s fashion in Australia

Courtesy Cinesound Movietone Productions and Thought Equity Motion

Zsuzsi Szucs, from the NFSA’s Access, Research and Development branch, reports on the latest additions to the Australian Mediatheque in Melbourne.

It’s time to check in and see what’s new to view in Victoria’s premier viewing facility and access point for both the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the collection of the National Film and Sound Archive.

To celebrate Melbourne’s Spring Fashion Week (September 5–11) the NFSA brings you newsreels on the latest fashions and what women in Australia were wearing after the Second World War. The local fashion industry was re-invented after the war and these gorgeous and sometimes cheeky clips show how fashion trends from Paris, UK and the US influenced Australian catwalks and fashion designers. A must see for anyone interested in the history of fashion, specifically the 1940s.

Prime Minister Robert Menzies

Prime Minister Robert Menzies

By kind permission, Heather Henderson

Also from the 1940s, highlights from the Menzies Home Movies Collection are now available to view at the Australian Mediatheque. These 16mm colour films were shot by Australia’s longest serving Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies, and filmed on tours to England and Germany during and after the Second World War. The collection includes up to 35 films held by the NFSA and provides a rare glimpse into the life an Australian Prime Minister.

Other new titles added this month include episodes from TV cop dramas Wildside and Skirts. For the kids, we have more animation from all time favourite The Adventures of Blinky Bill and an episode from iconic TV show Simon Townsend’s Wonder World. Coming soon are two Kennedy Miller productions, the television mini-series Vietnam (1987), starring Nicole Kidman in one of her early roles, and The Dismissal (1983), based on the sacking of the Whitlam government in 1975.

There’s also full-length features at the Mediatheque, with recent additions such as The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994), Jedda (1955), noted as director Charles Chauvel’s best film and the first colour feature made in Australia, and the original 1959 film version of On the Beach. The film, set and shot in and around Melbourne, is based on Nevil Shute’s novel. It stars Hollywood legends Ava Gardner, Gregory Peck and Fred Astaire in a dramatic role, as well as Anthony Perkins of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho fame.

Earlier this month the NFSA launched the restored films of Giorgio Mangiamele during the Melbourne International Film Festival. Mangiemele’s post-war films express a unique cinematic perspective and are available as a DVD box set, The Giorgio Mangiamele Collection – Five Provocative Works from an Italian Filmmaker in Post-War Australia. We are delighted to also offer these films in the Australian Mediatheque in early September.

The Australian Mediatheque is located at ACMI in Federation Square, Melbourne. Using the view-on-demand (VOD) touch screens, visitors can drop in with no appointments necessary. We can also cater to professional researchers; please let us know if there is anything we can help you with. For more information, please visit our site.

We look forward to seeing you!

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