Free

Menzies Screening #2: The Migrant Experience (A Girl in Australia, 1971)

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

Room S-2.23

King's College London

Strand

London

WC2R 2LS

United Kingdom

View Map

Friends Who Are Going
Event description

Description

The Menzies Centre for Australian Studies presents the second installment of our Menzies Screening series, which takes a broad, critical approach to Australia’s place within international film landscapes. From films of historical interest to those of topical importance, the Menzies Screening series offers a curated selection that complements and expands upon some of the themes of the wider Menzies Centre programme.

Although Australia remains the central focus, the 2017/18 Menzies Screenings reflect the current seminar series theme, Scaling Australia, and seeks to push beyond the geographical boundaries of the Australian continent to consider how others view us, how we view others, and how we view ourselves in other spaces. Introduced with a particular critical and contextual focus by our resident film expert Dr Stephen Morgan, each screening will be followed by refreshments, and a relaxed, salon-style discussion.

This second session reflects on Australia's post-war migration boom, specifically those new waves of migrants arriving from southern and eastern Europe. The figure of the ‘New Australian’ had an increasing presence on Australian screens in the 1960s, when feature film production was at a particularly low ebb. Exemplified by the work of Melbourne-based emigre filmmaker Giorgio Mangiamele, and in Anglo-Australian box office hit They’re A Weird Mob (Michael Powell, 1966), much of this representation focused on the figure of the Italian male.

In offering a specifically European perspective on the experiences of one such individual, however, Luigi Zampa’s A Girl in Australia (1971) offers a fascinating variation on a familiar narrative. The film’s original Italian title Bello onesto emigrato Australia sposerebbe compaesana illibata - loosely translated as Nice, honest migrant in Australia would marry eligible compatriot - points toward the films’ narrative preoccupation, whilst situating it in a tradition of Italian postwar comedy focused on the lives of expatriates. Filmed on location in Australia, but largely in Italian, it stars Alberto Sordi as a recent migrant whose unintentionally duplicitous efforts to attract an Italian bride brings the equally duplicitous, but undoubtedly glamorous Claudia Cardinale to Australia, with predictably comic results. Offering a vision of this new land from afar, A Girl in Australia puts a new twist on a significant facet of postwar Australian society, and frames its familiar ‘fish out of water’ narrative with an acutely Italian gaze.

Join us for an extremely rare opportunity to see this buried treasure of Italian-Australian culture, shown in Italian with English subtitles.

Italian daybill for A Girl in Australia (1971)


Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

Room S-2.23

King's College London

Strand

London

WC2R 2LS

United Kingdom

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved