“Film-making in Australia has a long and distinguished history, dating back to October 1896 when a French chemist, agent of Lumière et Compagnie, and trained operator of the Lumière cinematographe, Marius Sestier, filmed passengers alighting from a ferry at Manly, Sydney.”

Directory of World Cinema : Australia & New Zealand

This is where it all started. The arise of the Australian Film on the global stage has brought upon new themes and genres which allow for stories to be told all over the country and all over the world. Folk stories have been brought to life with the help of visual film allowing for, not only Australia, but the world to visualise Australian culture.

A true Aussie classic is a film called ‘Red Dog’. A film about a loyal dog who aims to bring joy to his owner and the people around him/her. This emotional film, which will most definitely bring a tear to the eye, has placed itself into Australian folklore. His legendary travels have said that he travelled up to Asian countries such as Japan.

The movie truly epitomises the “man’s best friend” stereotype which is known all over the world. The movie showcases the courage and loyalty of the red kelpie and even just dogs in general. This ‘courage’ and ‘loyalty’ has become two themes engraved in the rich Australian history dating back to World Wars where ‘courage’ and ‘loyalty’ were honoured through rewards or medals.

The movie explores the notion of hybridisation through the obvious inspiration drawn from the French classic ‘Amelie’. The movie is about a “do-gooder” who aims to bring happiness to lonesome people. ‘Red Dog’ is the animal representation of ‘Amelia’ and thus emphasises the hybridity of global film.

Production of Dog movies have increased over the years. The most famous dog movies include films such as Beethoven or 101 Dalmatians. However, one of my personal favourites include Marley and Me. The film arguably is the one of the best dog films including famous actors such as Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston.

The film shows similarities with Red Dog such as the beginning where they both take on a new dog as well as the dejected and sorrowful ending which will sure to bring tears to the eyes of any person. Overall both films showed significant success on a global scale, emphasising the impact dog movies have on a worldwide audience.

The term ‘man’s best friend’ was obviously coined long before the film ‘Red Dog’ yet has definitely helped emphasise the phrase. When entering the global film market, ‘Red Dog’ achieved awards such a wins at film festivals in Busan and Berlin.

James Muggeridge

REFERENCES

Directory of World Cinema : Australia & New Zealand, edited by Ben Goldsmith, and Geoff Lealand, Intellect, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/lib/uow/detail.action?docID=584346.

https://www.sbs.com.au/movies/review/red-dog-review

https://www.nfsa.gov.au/latest/film-australia-chronology

https://thewest.com.au/entertainment/movie-reviews/movie-review-red-dog-ng-ya-157629

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