Australian films and television. I drew a blank. That’s why I went to the other side of the world, to see what that funny bunch of people, those Australians were watching, listening and reading to.

My knowledge of Australia stemmed from kangaroos to Heath Ledger…oh yeah and that one Mary Kate and Ashley movie.

This changed one day in a university film class; my professor turned on Baz Luhrmann’s [Director of Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby] Strictly Ballroom. This is a film I’m not sure if I ever would have seen if I hadn’t been a film student. Baz is debatably Australia’s most successful directer, in the Hollyworld at least, and his Strictly Ballroom got me thinking. There was a fresh postmodernism and elements of a very particular humour that I thoroughly enjoyed in Strictly Ballroom and had never seen before in any American films.

I decided to go to Australia and see what Australians were watching, reading, listening to and doing. Who are these people?

It was this one film that got me to book my one way from Los Angeles to Melbourne.

It took awhile to discover what was popular in Australia. I moved in a house with three blokes, who, to be honest, were pretty keen on How I Met Your Mother, the Simpsons, and The Regular Show. I bothered them for months, what’s a good Aussie TV show, what are good Australian films?

I have a question for you: What are your favorite Australian films off the top of your head?

I know you’re probably having a hard time. It’s funny to think that down under they know so much about us, more than we know about our own country and stereotypes, and most Americans are thinking Australians are riding in the front pouch of a kangaroo to school (wish they did..but they don’t).

After one year of living in Melbourne and Sydney, and after one year of casually asking every Australian I was friendly with – “What’s a good Aussie film or TV show?”, I have come up with my list.

The Castle
What seems to be an Aussie Classic
Check out the first ten minutes

The_castle_poster

Chopper
Gritty, violent, well done. This guys a sweet actor.

Choppermovie

Picnic at Hanging Rock
Haven’t seen, looks spooky

Picnicathangingrock1

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
If you like drag queens…yes!

priscillaposter

Two Hands
If you love Heath and want to see him in short shorts

TwoHands

Wolf Creek
Backpacker scarer

Wolfcreek

Bad Boy Bubby
To-watch list, black-comedy, highly recommended, we’ll see

Bad_boy_bubby

Strictly Ballroom
Classic Luhrmann, yes

strictly

Red Dog
Really sweet, family friendly

Red_Dog_(movie_poster)

Tracks
wow, beautiful story

tracks

Fun fact:
Remember Babe? Directed by an Australian

What about TV shows? What’s on Australian television?

AFL

AFL COLLINGWOOD GEELONG

I lived in Melbourne for 8 months and in Melbourne they do everything their own way. Even sports. They have AFL, Aussie Rules, and they’re crazy about it, rest of Australia sticks with rugby for the most part. Either way, Aussie rules or rugby, if you like your men in short shorts, have a go

Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year
Check out South East Asia for some travel inspiration

9-1909244-scn270613gapyear_t460

TwentySomething

laughs on laughs on laughs

6a00e0097e4e68883301539158f0b9970b-800wi

Please Like Me
Runner up in my books to twentysomething, somehow similar probably because it’s also hilarious

719939

Summer Heights High
Yes, yes, yes

Summer_Heights_High_DVD

Ja’mie: Private School Girl

Jamie_Private_School_Girl_R-114188-9_iTunes

H2o Just Add Water
Personal favorite

H2O_Just_Add_Water_(2011_soundtrack)_cover

Fun fact:
Remember Bananas in Pajamas? Aussie.