Tom O'Regan's book is the first of its kind on Australian post-war cinema. It takes as its starting point Bazin's question 'What is cinema?'and asks what the construct of a 'national' cinema means. It looks at the broader concept from a different angle, taking film beyond the confines of 'art' into the broader cultural world. O'Regan's analysis situates Australian cinema in its historical and cultural perspective producing a valuable insight into the issues that have been raised by film policy, the cinema market place and public discourse on film production strategies.
Since 1970 Australian film has enjoyed a revival. This book contains detailed critiques of the key films of this period and uses them to illustrate the recent theories on the international and Australian cinema industries. Its conclusions on the nature of the nation's cinema and the discourses within it are relevant within a far wider context; film as a global phenomenon.
'Australian National Cinema can be seen as a comprehensive study of the Australian film industry and culture. It can also be seen, and will, most probably, be used as an information resource for further research.' - Peter Malone, Media Development
'This is by anyone's standards, a major contribution to film history: challenging, comprehensive …' - Sight and Sound
'Tom O'Regan's book on Australian national cinema is challenging and densely articulated a major contribution to the study of the relation between the state, and national, contexts in which films are produced and consumed.' - Mike Walsh, Scope: online journal of film studies