Wk 7: Movie choice

For the assessment 2 task of Typography 2, I’ve chosen a 1906 movie, “The story of the Kelly Gang”. This remarkable film is considered the first full length feature film in the world, running at around 60 minutes. Sadly only 20 minutes of footage survives, although even these minutes are compelling viewing.

The story tells of key events in the latter years of the Kelly family and gang:

Ned Kelly’s sister being harassed by police, with Ned coming to the rescue, shooting on of the officers in the wrist. The ambush at Stringy Creek, in which the gang shoot three police officers, through to the final showdown at the Glenrowan hotel, during which all gang members except Ned Kelly are killed, and Ned himself is captured by police after a gun battle. During this battle, Ned approaches in his famous metal suit, but with his legs unprotected, he succumbs to police fire. He pleads for mercy.

The film tends towards sympathy with the gang, rather than showing them as evil. There is a sense of sorrow that these were the last of the bushrangers. This aligns in a way with more recent views that the lives of the Kelly gang, and indeed the Kelly family, were made complex by difficult relations between Irish immigrants and the police.

I would like to focus on the idea of telling the story of the man inside the armour. Visually, there are a few ways to accomplish this. Time to explore.

Here is a poster of the original release.

And here it a still image from the film, showing Ned Kelly towards the end of his gun battle with the police, and below, the gang examining a “Wanted” poster.



Byrnes, P. and Taggart-Speers, E. (2017). Curator’s notes The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906) on ASO – Australia’s audio and visual heritage online. [online] Aso.gov.au. Available at: https://aso.gov.au/titles/features/story-kelly-gang/notes/ [Accessed 4 May 2017].

Crime Documentary. (2017). The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906) – Crime Documentary. [online] Available at: http://crimedocumentary.com/story-kelly-gang-1906/ [Accessed 4 May 2017].

Details of still from The Story of the Kelly Gang,. (n.d.). [image] Available at: http://www.amw.org.au/sites/default/files/memory_of_the_world/sites/default/files/publication/images/x181_img01.jpg.pagespeed.ic.rPVU4vLgKg.jpg [Accessed 4 May 2017].

Poster of The Story the Kelly Gang. (n.d.). [image] Available at: http://crimedocumentary.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/story-kelly-gang-210×300.jpg [Accessed 4 May 2017].

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