Dictionary of Sydney: The State of Origin (in Cinema)

Dr. Lisa Murray from Dictionary of Sydney joins Nic to discuss some of the earliest surviving films shot in Australia.

For quite some time people thought the oldest surviving film footage shot in Australia was from Melbourne. The comedic footage showed a fat man with a white hand painted onto his bum cruising about in rollerskates. Once again Sydney has triumphed over the silly Melbournians after a sharp eyed volunteer discovered the film was in fact set at Prince Alfred’s Park.

The film was part of a series of films shot in Australia by Marius Sestier, a representative of the Lumière company. The collection included a film of the jockeys riding their horses to the weighing room at the 1896 Melbourne Cup. The other footage shot in Sydney was titled Passengers Leaving SS Brighton at Manly in Sydney, unfortunately this film did not survive.

The last film within the collection was Patineur Grotesque, as known as The Humourous Rollerskater. The film premiered in France, and never screened in Australia until its discovery in 2010.

You may also like