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Old December 7th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906)

Quote:
A restored version of 'The Story of the Kelly Gang', arguably the first feature-length narrative ever made world-wide (in 1906), will be shown at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at the Federation Square in Melbourne on Friday, January 26, 2007, 3.30 pm and 4.30 pm.

The technical revamp has been made possible by the National Film and Sound Archive, which digitally restored various parts of the film - more than 17 minutes were laboriously tracked down from a range of sources during the past 40 years.

This cleaner, clearer and much more detailed 35mm film is presented as it would have first been seen - projected at 18 frames per second and with a live musical accompaniment, especially commissioned by the archive. Prior to the big screening itself, some Ned Kelly boffins and other local names will make up a diverse panel of guests to explore the legend of the iconic young bushranger and debate all things Kelly.

Source:The Movie Guide Summer 2006-2007, The Age
I guess I've got a date with the Kelly Gang then...

ETA: Forgot to mention that it's free too! And they're showing the Mick Jagger version of Ned Kelly as well on Sunday, January 28 at 4 pm.

~Gem~
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Old December 7th, 2006, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeminiGirl
I guess I've got a date with the Kelly Gang then...

ETA: Forgot to mention that it's free too! And they're showing the Mick Jagger version of Ned Kelly as well on Sunday, January 28 at 4 pm.

~Gem~
Bonus! Free movie date with the Kelly Gang! (Hope one of the outlaws offers to share his popcorn with you.) Please file your report immediately after the show.

ETA: You couldn't pay me to watch the Mick Jagger version again.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 09:00 PM
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wow - that will be good! I have seen a few seconds on that NK extra bits- it is fascinating! and cool that was one of the first movies!
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Old December 8th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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Gem that sounds fantastic...if I win the lotto this weekend I will come join you.

Not really sure about the Mick Jagger version though. Much prefer his real life stuff.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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Wow, that would be so cool. Lucky Melbournites, or those lucky enough to visit.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 01:39 AM
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From The Herald Sun:

Quote:
Kelly Gang film on UN heritage list

Article from: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Paris

June 20, 2007 06:49am
THE world's first feature-length film, the 1906 Australian movie The Story of the Kelly Gang is among 38 new items on a UNESCO cultural heritage list.

Joining the tale of the legendary bushranger on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register are Australian national records on the deportation of 165,000 convicts from Britain between 1788 to 1868.

Also placed on the list today are records from the trial of Nelson Mandela, a medieval French tapestry, a millennium-old Iranian epic and the Hollywood movie The Wizard of Oz.
~Gem~
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Old June 20th, 2007, 08:36 AM
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wow! well thats quite a mixture, but very significant huh? Thanks for that. I know the film is very ideologiaclly biased but all the same it is about impact and standing in history- both in terms of important events and cinema
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Old June 20th, 2007, 09:59 AM
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That is really interesting Gem. It is good that they are recognising the impact this event had on Australia and the world.
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Old June 21st, 2007, 01:53 AM
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A bit more from today's The Age:

Quote:
Kelly Gang rides into history
Daniella Miletic
June 21, 2007

PRECIOUS fragments of the world's first feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang, have been added to a United Nations heritage register.

Made in Australia in 1906, the Charles Tait film joins a list of fewer than 200 items on UNESCO's Memory of the World register, including the family archives of Swedish philanthropist Alfred Nobel and the official trial records of Nelson Mandela.

All that has been salvaged from the original film is about 17 minutes of footage, including images of the capture of the armoured Ned Kelly.

Australia's National Film and Sound Archive chief curator, Meg Labrum, yesterday welcomed the film's inclusion. "The world is acknowledging the role that this particular film played in the development of cinema as well as telling one of the most familiar stories for the Australian public."

While only fragments of the film have survived, Ms Labrum said the restored footage provided a clear sense of the story. "You see the escape, the hold-up and when Kelly is finally cornered."

She said the film was believed to be the world's first full-length feature. "We believe that the total film ran to 60 minutes in an age where average films were about 15 minutes. They were trying to tell the true story of the Kelly gang, so it went on."

Joining the film on the world register, which aims to preserve documentary heritage of global significance, are Australian records on the transportation of 165,000 convicts from Britain between 1788 and 1868.

Also placed on the register yesterday were records from the trial of Nelson Mandela and unpublished papers by poet and separatist fighter Christopher Okigbo, who died in Nigeria's civil war in 1967.

The family archives of Alfred Nobel from 1840 to 1900 and the personal archives of Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman were also added to the register, founded by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation a decade ago.

The head of UNESCO's Australian Memory of the World Committee, Dr Jan Lyall, said the register reflected the significance that documents had played in history.

"It gives a recognition that Australia is an important part of the world that has contributed in many ways," she said. "In the case of the Ned Kelly film, it was the first full-length film and a milestone in cinematic history."

Other Australian items previously added to the register include the Endeavour journal of Captain James Cook and the Mabo case manuscript.

~Gem~
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Old June 25th, 2007, 09:50 PM
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That's really great news that they were able to restore what they had. So much of old films like this have fallen into dust piles its amazing that they are able to preserve some of it. Thanks for the update Gem.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 07:10 AM
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National Film & Sound Archive presents: The Story of The Kelly Gang (kit), Ina Bertrand and William D. Routt

I have finally managed to see the actual film (or what they managed to restore) as a friend of mine spotted it in her local library and borrowed it for me. It's far from historically accurate and of course it reflects the time it was made which was only 26 years after the death of the Gang but it's very interesting to watch nonetheless. What stood out for me most were the costumes: the beautiful shiny boots all of the Gang were wearing (but hardly a larrikin heel in sight), their Erroll Flynn type billowing white shirts and nice tight pants... It's very theatrical, almost like a play set outdoors and caught on film.

The dvd has commentary from a film historian and the person who did the actual restoring work and it's very interesting to listen to. For example I didn't know that New South Wales enacted legislation six years after the film came out that prohibited the making of bushranger films, and that remained in force until the 1940's.

The dvd comes with a book that has stills from the film and reviews of early screenings from December 1906 to December 1907, here's a few examples:

Quote:
There was a crowded house at the local School of Arts on Monday night to see the biograph pictures of the Kelly Gang shown by Messrs J. and N. Tait. Previous to the interval a number of humorous pictures were shown, several of which were new, and all were good. The Kelly Gang series is supposed to depict some of the desperate exploits of the Kelly Gang and it is claimed that the pictures were taken in the very places where the deeds were done. The pictures are well shown and there is a total absence of flicker, but we think there is altogether too much noise and shooting - they would be just as effective without all the sound. Muswellbrook Chronicle, 6 March 1907
Quote:
The Kelly Gang at the Palace ought to be suppressed by Act of Parliament. The show has become so popular and such excited crowds throng the theatre every night to see the fascinating pictures taken from real life that "bushranging" is in danger of once again becoming popular. The Kelly clan acquired everything so easily with the help of a gun that it must be the easiest way out of earning your daily bread. As shown in the pictures things are made too easy. For instance in the sticking up of Younghusband's station there are five robbers and about 20 men on the station, not counting the women, and yet they stand in a row with their hands up instead of "rushing" the gang and chancing the guns. Table Talk, 21 February 1907
Quote:
The crowds that gathered at the Palace Theatre on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday evenings last have shown that the doings of the Kelly Gang have still power to thrill the public. Messrs J and N. Tait have incurred very heavy expense in securing biograph pictures representing the principal incidents in the career of the notorious bushrangers. However realistic with exhibitions, they are, in one sense, to be deplored. The bushrangers are invested with a halo of romance, and the result upon youthful impressionable minds of a certain type is likely to be more harmful than beneficial. The entertainment, though, is, doubtless, no worse in this respect than some of the melodramas which are occasionally performed in Sydney. Mail (Sydney), Wednesday 13 February 1907
There are also advertisements and related news commentary plus analysis and interpretation of the different scenes. A very interesting addition to a serious Kelly buff's collection. Can be bought here or here for example if anyone is interested...

~Gem~
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Last edited by GeminiGirl; March 10th, 2008 at 07:08 AM.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 08:19 AM
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Thank you! I might well have to have one!!! Not that am obsessed or anything. This is the bit of film that is in the extras of the NK film right?
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Old March 4th, 2008, 09:16 AM
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Obsessed? No, not at all... Yes, they show some bits from it. (Was just watching it again and had to laugh at how diplomatic Ian Jones was about the casting of Mick Jagger in the 1970 film. "He was young and had an Irish accent".)

~Gem~
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Old March 4th, 2008, 10:43 AM
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Gem I'm seriously starting to wonder how big your 'collection' is!
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Old March 4th, 2008, 11:45 AM
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At last count four dvd's (including the 2003 film, the Last Outlaw series plus a couple of documentaries) and about 25 or so books and some other paraphernalia, Tc. And there are at least three more books that I'm currently looking at getting...

~Gem~
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Old March 4th, 2008, 12:01 PM
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Wow that is impressive hon!
Do you have the book 'Australian Bushrangers' by Bill Wannan? I have just purchased this off TM & have no idea what it is like but I think that awful photo of Joe is on the cover..
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Old March 4th, 2008, 12:51 PM
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I have 'Bushrangers: A Pictorial History' by Harry Nunn - is that the one you mean? It has a lot of photographs (including that one of Joe but not on the cover, plus photos of Dan and Steve's charred remains) and sketches and documents so a book well worth getting for that reason alone I think. There are so many Kelly books out there that it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff... But if there's one book you buy, make sure it's Ian Jones' 'Ned Kelly - A Short Life', it's an absolute must and all-round excellent.

To return to the subject of the 1906 film, one thing I forgot to mention was the fact that there is speculation that the armour worn by Ned in the film was the real thing which is completely possible I suppose... And if it was lent to them by Lady Clarke as suggested, it would most likely have been Joe's in that case.

And in the accompanying book there are also reminiscences by actors involved, here some excerpts from a chap called Norman Campbell in 1923:

Quote:
I was to be Steve Hart, but in the end I was also (1) a policeman at Jerilderie, Euroa, and Glenrowan, (2) Aaron Sherritt, an informer, (3) a hawker, and several others, whose occupations, if any, I have forgotten. In those days a cinema-actor, like a Prime Minister, was expected to hold more than one portfolio simultaneously.

Our lawless gang journeyed by train to a little country town where wild, rugged scenery was easily accessible, and we proceeded at once to business.

I recall with a flush of pride the sensation we made as, mounted on excellent horses, we first clattered through the one street of the little place. We of the gang were top-booted, red-shirted, and slouch-hatted within an inch of our lives, and we were armed to the chin with lethal ironmongery.

Our greatest embarrassment was due to the unfortunate fact that Ned Kelly was an indifferent horseman.

He said he loved horses, and certainly when we fired our revolvers and his neddy promptly stood on his back legs, Ned clasped the animal very lovingly around his neck; but when we shot our first policeman Ned's steed emptied his redoubtable rider into a clump of bracken, spoiling several yards of film, besides damaging Ned's beautiful new whiskers.

Once we fearlessly attacked the local bank and then burned a heap of property books and papers in the bank manager's garden.

On that occasion Joe Byrne got a smack in the face from the banker's pretty housemaid because of his gallant attentions. (She wasn't afraid of bushrangers!)

The oddest thing of all was to see ourselves acting.

The tryout of the picture took place at a movie establishment at Footscray. We - the gang - deadheaded in the reserved seats. It was a very thrilling, bloodthirsty picture, and Footscray loved it; but after it was over I swore a great oath that never again would I knowingly act in front of a camera.

~Gem~
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Old March 4th, 2008, 09:51 PM
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The bit about Ned being thrown off his horse & damaging his 'beautiful new whiskers', & Joe being slapped by the housemaid because of his 'gallant attentions', cracked me up
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Old March 4th, 2008, 09:57 PM
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What a brilliant snippet Gem! I love that sort of stuff. Gallant attentions heeheheh
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Old March 30th, 2008, 03:15 PM
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I'm gonna have a look in town sometime this week so see if i can see this!
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