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Benjamin Millar

Reflections upon Melbourne’s reputation as a world cultural capital often sideline film-making, but the relationship is long and fruitful. The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), filmed on the former Charterisville Estate in Heidelberg, is history’s first feature film. The first Australian entry in this series of global guides highlights the centrality of location to emotional spaces and film narrative. Melbourne-set films are defined by a ‘dispersed and piecemeal psycho-geography of the city’. The guide loosely groups forty-six films into six eras, providing snapshots of pivotal locations and scene-setting stills, from the dusty dystopian carnage of Mad Max (1979) to the subterranean blues of the brutal Romper Stomper (1992) opening sequence.

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That George William Lewis Marshall-Hall (1862–1915) is far from a household name cannot simply reflect collective amnesia about Australian music of the era. While Nellie Melba and Percy Grainger remain widely celebrated, subversion of moral and religious orthodoxies left Marshall-Hall’s legacy significantly undervalued. These sixteen carefully sequenced essays, emerging from a 2010 symposium on Marshall-Hall’s life and legacy at the Grainger Museum, reflect two decades of thought and research into a man who, as the Foreword observes, ‘exercised an unprecedented influence over music-making in Melbourne’.

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