Lv 6
Jacob asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 7 years ago

How has Peter Weir had an impact on Australian culture and perception on history.?

The Film Gallipoli reinforced the romanticised ANZAC legend and put it back into mind of the public, particularly after mindset left over from the Vietnam War.

Film such as Picnic at Hanging Rock and Gallipoli also did put the Australian film industry in international light and helped the industry back home.

Can you think of anything else?

2 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Once Weir had had box office suucess with 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' (based on anovel,NOT a true event),'Gallipoli' and 'The Year of Living Dangerously' he took the American dollar and was off to Hollywood to make his movies - yiu won't be seeing him making movies in,or about Australaia again.

    I always thought 'The Cars That Ate Paris' was his best movie.

  • Big B
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    There is a lot more to Weir's films.

    Peter Weir was making films at a time in Australian history when Australians were looking for an Australian identity. The Vietnam War had just ended and Prime Minister Gough Whitlam had just been thrown out of office. There were strong feelings in Australia that we were depended politically and culturally on both Britain and the United States.

    The Australian governments under Gorton in the late 60s, began funding for an Australian film industry. So during the early 1970's and 1980's we see Australian film makers being given federal funding and support to produce unique Australian films.

    If you look at the 1970s and 1980's there are many Australian films coming out - breaker morant, barry crocker in the adventures of barry McKenzie, the Odd angry shot etc. The feeling at the time or the zeitgeist - is the celebration of everything Australian.

    Australians really don't have much to celebrate - except what is in our past. So Peter Weir looks to Australia's past and copies Breaker Morant - in celebrating Australia's military past as well as the typical Australian.

    So in 1975, Peter Weir - who has already a few films under his belt, visits the battlefield at Gallipoli. And its at Gallipoli that he has an experience. But at the time there is also a lot of discussion about Australia's past and the Anzac legend.

    When you watch the film Gallipoli, you have to keep in mind that we have just lost the war in Vietnam and there are strong anti-British feelings. So the film is a critique of war - and it taps into the strong anti-British feelings at the time by making Gallipoli appear to be Australians being slaughtered at Gallipoli by unfeeling british generals.

    But the film is a unique celebration of what it is to be Australian. If you look at the characters in the film, they are typically the Australian character. Now some of the characters reflect Australian character - but some of the characters copy the war diaries of CEW Bean - who was at Gallipoli.

    So when you watch the film, you have the remember that many Australian are not talking about Vietnam war - its a military loss that Australians don't want to talk about - so Gallipoli is one way that Weir is talking about Vietnam without saying anything about Vietnam.

    The film is a fine balancing act between criticizing Australia's military past while celebrating everything that is Australian.

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