Reading Advisory at the Ames Public Library
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Reading Advisory at the Ames Public Library
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Australian & New Zealand Films at Ames Public Library

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Lantana (DVD DRAMA LAN)  121 min.  2001. 

A woman disappears and four marriages are drawn into a tangled web of love, deceit, sex, and death.

Little Sparrows (DVD DRAMA LIT)  104 min.  2010. 

In the midst of an Australian summer, we meet three sisters. Nina is widowed with two young children. Anna is an aspiring actress unhappily married to a filmmaker. Christine is a med student who has yet to come to terms with her sexuality. When their mother Susan’s breast cancer returns, the family is faced with the reality of their last Christmas together. As each daughter confronts personal change and growth, Susan guides them by revealing a secret of her own.

The Man from Snowy River (DVD FAMILY MAN)  104 min.  1982. 

Jim Craig has spent his first 18 years in the Australian mountains on his father's farm.  The death of his father forces him to the lowlands to earn money to get the farm back on its feet.  Kirk Douglas plays two roles as twin brothers who haven't spoken for years.  A 20-year-old feud re-erupts, catching them in the middle as Jim is accused of letting a prize stallion loose.

Mary and Max (DVD COMEDY MAR)  92 min.  2010. 

Mary is a lonely eight-year-old in the suburbs of Melbourne. Struggling with questions that no one can answer, she writes to Max, an obese 44-year-old Jewish man with Asperger's Syndrome living in New York City. Their friendship spans 20 years and two continents.

Muriel’s Wedding (DVD COMEDY MUR)  105 min.  1994. 

Muriel finds life in Porpoise Spit, Australia, dull and spends time listening to Abba music and dreaming of her wedding.  Slight problem: Muriel has never had a date.  She steals money for a vacation, meets a wacky friend, changes her name, and the adventure begins.

The Navigator: a Mediaeval Odyssey (DVD SCI-FI NAV)  89 min.  1989. 

During the Black Death of 14th century England, people in a mountain village listen with fear to tales of the plague. Relying on the visions of the boy Griffin, some townsfolk travel to a cave where they hope to find the answer to escaping the plague. They break into a tunnel and climb into what the modern audience knows is twentieth century New Zealand. The film is black and white up to this point, and then continues in color. The villagers marvel at the technologies, never questioning what year it might be. But Griffin is haunted by a dark vision as the villagers come closer to fulfilling their quest.

Noise (DVD DRAMA NOI)  109 min.  2007. 

Two heinous crimes have left a suburb reeling. The police are desperate for witnesses in a town that mistrusts the authorities. Graham McGahan, a young police constable with a hearing problem, is stationed near the crime scene. Living on the periphery of the investigation, he crosses paths with the people affected by the tragedies and unravels a nightmare of guilt and suspicion.

On the Beach (DVD DRAMA ON)  134 min.  1959. 

In 1964, atomic war wipes out humanity in the northern hemisphere. One American submarine finds temporary safety in Australia, where life covers growing despair. In denial about the loss of his wife and children, American Captain Towers meets careworn but gorgeous Moira Davidson, who begins to fall for him. The sub returns after reconnaissance. With radioactive fallout expected, the Australians review their lives, establish new relationships, and prepare for the end.

Oranges and Sunshine (DVD DRAMA ORA)  106 min.  2012. 

This is the unforgettable true story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker who uncovered one of the most controversial scandals of recent times: the deportation of innocent children from the UK to Australia, where they were thought to be lost in the system forever. Against overwhelming odds, and with little regard for her own safety, Humphreys reunited thousands of families and brought worldwide attention to a corrupt system and an extraordinary miscarriage of justice.

Ozzie (DVD FAMILY OZZ)  90 min.  2001. 

When an evil businesswoman conspires to clone a talking koala named Ozzie, she sends two bumbling henchmen to the Australian outback. On the plane, Ozzie hides in the backpack of a child and they get into all kinds of mischief.

The Piano (DVD DRAMA PIA)  121 min.  1992. 

A young mute woman and her child travel to New Zealand in the 1800s for an arranged marriage to a farmer. After the marriage, she meets another man who competes for her love. Just one of the men realizes that her affections can only be won through her beloved piano.

Picnic at Hanging Rock (DVD DRAMA PIC)  107 min.  1975. 

Three schoolgirls and a school teacher disappear on an excursion to Hanging Rock, in Victoria, on Valentine's Day, 1900. Widely (and incorrectly) regarded as being based on a true story, the movie follows those that disappeared, and those that stayed behind, but it delights in the asking of questions, not the answering of them.

The Proposition (DVD ACTION PRO)  104 min.  2005. 

Charlie Burns is presented with an impossible proposition by local law enforcement. The only way for him to save his younger brother from the gallows is to dismiss his moral judgment and kill his psychotic older brother within nine days.

Quigley Down Under (DVD DRAMA QUI)  120 min.  2001. 

Sharpshooter Quigley travels to western Australia, only to be saddled with a half-loco lady and locked in battle with a local rancher.

Rabbit-Proof Fence (DVD DRAMA RAB)  93 min.  2002. 

In 1931, with the Aborigine Act in Australia, the Chief Protector of Aborigines in the State of Western Australia A.O. Neville had the power to relocate half-caste children from their families to educational centers to teach them the culture of the white man. When the fourteen year-old aboriginal girl Molly Craig is taken from her mother in Jigalong with her eight year-old sister Daisy Kadibill and their ten-year-old cousin Gracie Fields to the distant Moore River Native Center, they run away. Thus begins their epic journey back home, traveling 1,500 miles on foot with no food or water, following the fence that was built across the nation to stem the rabbit population. As they try to return to the tribe in the desert, they are chased by the skilled tracker Moodoo and the police under the command of Neville.

The Rage in Placid Lake (DVD COMEDY RAG)  89 min.  2003. 

Australian playwright Tony McNamara makes his directorial debut with this comedy adapted from his play “The Cafe Latte Kid.” Troubled teen Placid Lake is the child of eccentric parents and bullied by his peers. He finds friendship with Gemma Taylor, whose father pressures her to excel in school. After Placid shocks the school with his dark student film, he is hospitalized following an accident. Upon his recovery, he reinvents himself as a conservative insurance agent and engages with an emotionally detached co-worker. It was screened at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.

Rain Shadow (DVD TV RAI)  326 min.  2007. 

Two veterinarians in the Australian outback battle to save their drought-ridden farming community from a devastating sheep blight.  It was originally broadcast on television as individual episodes.

Return to Snowy River (DVD FAMILY RET)  99 min.  1988. 

Set in Australia's Victoria Alps, this is the story of a stormy romance and a violent landowner feud.

The Road from Coorain (DVD DRAMA ROA)  97 min.  2002. 

Growing up in the outback of New South Wales in the 1930s, Jill chafes under her mother’s domination, a prickly relationship that becomes even more so after the death of Jill's father.  Although she grows wealthy, Eve becomes a bitter alcoholic, all but forcing Jill out into the world to stand on her own two feet. Drawn into the Australian intellectual renaissance of the 1940s, Jill’s feminist values are challenged when she falls in love with a rough-hewn American mining engineer.

The Road Warrior (DVD SCI-FI ROA)  95 min.  1981. 

A former police officer is now a lone wanderer, traveling through a post-apocalyptic Australia looking for the now-priceless fuel of petrol.  He lives to survive and is none too pleased to find himself the only hope of a small group of honest people running a remote oil refinery.  He must protect them from a bike gang while transporting their entire fuel supply to safety.


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