A look back at Gillian Armstrong’s brilliant career

CinefestOZ 2016 Jury Chair Gillian Armstrong.

CinefestOZ 2016 Jury Chair Gillian Armstrong.

The daughter of a real estate agent father and a primary school teacher mother, Gillian Armstrong has had an admirable and highly celebrated career as a filmmaker both at home and overseas.

Having started off making short films with the likes of Ruth Cracknell and TV actress Elizabeth Crosby, Armstrong launched her feature film career with My Brilliant Career (credited as Gill Armstrong) while paving the way to stardom for her leading actors, Sam Neill and Judy Davis at the same time.

With Armstrong’s recent appointment as Jury Chair at this year’s CinéfestOZ, we thought we’d take a look back at her incredible filmography through a selection of Australian feature film and documentary trailers.

My Brilliant Career (1979)
Written by Eleanor Witcombe
Starring Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Wendy Hughes, Robert Grubb and Max Cullen
Sybylla Melvyn (Davis) is an independent young woman who soon after arriving to live with her Grandmother Bossier and aunt Helen announces that she will never marry and plans on having a career instead. (Source: IMDB)

Starstruck (1982)

Written by Stephen MacLean
Starring Jo Kennedy, Ross O’Donovan, Margo Lee and Max Cullen
Jacki (Jo Kennedy) dreams of becoming the next big singer with the help of her friends and despite the wishes of her working class family.

High Tide (1987)

Written by Laura Jones
Starring Judy Davis, Jan Adele, Claudia Karvan, Frankie J. Holden and Colin Friels
Story about a backup singer for an Elvis impersonator who re-enters her past when she leaves a tour in a small town and finds her daughter in a mobile home park.  (Source: IMDB)

The Last Days of Chez Nous (1992)

Written by Helen Garner
Starring Lisa Harrow, Bruno Ganz, Kerry Fox, Miranda Otto and Bill Hunter
Vicki returns to her elder sister Beth’s house in Australia after an affair in Italy. Beth, with a teenage daughter, has become involved in something of a marriage of convenience with Frenchman J.P., and her rather prickly houseproud ways are causing frictions counterpointed by Vicki’s more laid-back and indolent air. When Beth goes off on vacation to the outback alone with her cantankerous father to see if they can finally get to know each other, relationships in the household start to shift. (Source: IMDB)

Women He’s Undressed (2015)

Written by Katherine Thomson
Starring Darren Gilshenan, Deborah Kennedy, Louis Alexander, Nathian Middleton and Laura Cox
A documentary about the life of the Australian costume designer and three time Oscar winner Orry-Kelly.

You thought we weren’t going to show them, didn’t you? We just thought we’d leave them for last so we can show them in order…

Smokes and Lollies was the first in an acclaimed series examining the lives of three teenage girls in South Australia during the 1970s. The series has spawned three more installments and looks at issues such as boys and sex, abortion, marriage, pregnancy, career paths, and education.

Smokes and Lollies (1976) & Fourteen’s Good, Eighteen’s Better (1981)

Featuring Kerry Carlson, Diana Doman and Josie Petersen

Bingo, Bridesmaids & Braces (1988)

Featuring Kerry Carlson, Diana Doman and Josie Petersen

Not Fourteen Again (1996)

Featuring Kerry Carlson, Diana Doman and Josie Petersen

Love, Lust & Lies (2010)

Featuring Kerry Carlson, Diana Doman and Josie Petersen


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