Gallipoli is a 1981 Australian film directed by Peter Weir and starring Mel Gibson and Mark Lee. The film tells the story of two young men, Archy Hamilton (Gibson) and Frank Dunne (Lee), who enlist in the Australian Army during World War I. They are sent to fight in the Gallipoli Campaign against the Ottoman Empire, where they experience the horrors of war.
The film was a major critical and commercial success, winning eight Australian Film Institute Awards including Best Film, Best Direction, and Best Screenplay. It also received considerable international attention, with Weir earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. In 2001, Gallipoli was selected as one of the 25 best Australian films of all time by the Australian Film Institute.
Weir has said that he chose to make Gallipoli partly because of his own personal interest in World War I, and partly because of the relatively unknown nature of the Gallipoli Campaign in comparison to other aspects of World War I. He also wanted to make a film about “the Anzacs”, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at Gallipoli.
The film was shot on location in Egypt and Turkey. Some of the battle scenes were filmed in the Anzac Cove area, where the Gallipoli Campaign took place.
Gallipoli was released in Australia on April 24, 1981, and in the United States on June 12, 1981. It received mixed reviews from American critics, but was a huge success in Australia, grossing $13 million at the box office.
As the name implies, Gallipoli is a representation of the historical event in which thousands of Australian soldiers were sent to fight for their country. Peter Weir, the filmmaker behind Gallipoli, has not only presented accurate information about the war and attempted to tell the tale of this period, but he has also sought to express the legend of Gallipoli through Australian attitudes regarding the conflict by utilizing preexisting legends to portray this tragedy of war.
The movie starts with images of an Australian beach, the sun shining and the waves crashing as a voice-over tells us about the legend. The first scene in the movie is one where Frank (Tom Burlinson) and Archie (Mark Lee) are racing their horses on the beach, and Archie wins. This can be seen as representative of Australia’s young, carefree society which was soon to be changed by the war. The majority of the movie takes place in Turkey, after the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) have landed on Gallipoli peninsula.
Here we see the horrors of war; men being shot, blown apart and drowned. However, Weir also includes some lighter moments such as when the ANZACs are resting and joking around, or when Archy is writing letters to his love, Molly (Karen Allen).
Gallipoli is not simply a movie about war, but also about the relationships between the men. For example, there is a strong bond between Frank and Archie, which is shown when Archie saves Frank’s life. This brotherly love is also evident in the way that the men care for each other, for example when they are digging trenches and one of the men says “I don’t want to die in this shitty hole”. The camaraderie between the soldiers is also represented by the use of song.
The primary approach to the film’s study in this essay will be examining the Australian cultural values and myths presented in Gallipoli, as well as how they are conveyed through film techniques and components. Overall, it will be demonstrated how Gallipoli serves as a cultural text and how readers understand these ethnic meanings. The novel begins with Archy and Frank – two distinct characters living in two separate locations – being introduced circularly from beginning to end.
This is done to give the audience a sense of the boys growing up and their eventual meeting later in the film. At this point it is important to look at one of Peter Weir’s most renowned techniques, which is his usage of landscape. Film critic André Bazin stated that “landscape is the first character of a movie” and Weir takes this idea and runs with it in Gallipoli. The opening shot of the film is an aerial view over the beach and into the ocean, setting up not just the geographical location but also the tone for what is to come.
The use of landscape throughout Gallipoli is highly significant as it not only provides a backdrop for events but also helps to convey cultural values. In the opening beach shot for example, the focus on the waves crashing against the shore emphasises the power and unstoppable force of nature, which will be important later in the film.
The next scene introduces audiences to Archy (Mark Lee), a young boy growing up in rural Australia who is determined to be a writer. In this scene Weir uses a number of techniques to give audiences an insight into Archy’s character. The most notable of these is arguably the voice over narration by Archy, which is used throughout the film. This narration not only provides backstory but also insight into Archy’s thoughts and feelings, helping to develop his character.
Another technique that is used in this scene is sound, with the use of diegetic sound helping to set the scene. The most notable use of sound in this scene is the music, which is a mix of traditional Australian folk music and classical orchestral pieces. This music is used throughout the film and plays an important role in setting the tone and helping to convey cultural values.
By starting the film in this manner, viewers may compare the characters’ appearances and values and beliefs as well. The color of his clothing represents his purity and innocence; he is always seen wearing light colors (as is his complexion).
His simplicity and honesty are symbolised by his bright blonde hair, blue eyes, open demeanor, and amiable nature. By contrast, Archy is the blonde-haired, blue-eyed “Noble bushman” who is candid, innocent, naive, and naïve. Frank is dressed in darker tones (has a dark complexion) and has a sly appearance; he’s worldlywise but also a fighter.
The significant difference in their appearances also foreshadows the different paths their lives will take. This Film Analysis of Gallipoli will explore the development of the characters, and how this reflects the values and beliefs of society at that time. It will also look at the cinematography and how it is used to create meaning and evoke emotion in the audience. Finally, the analysis will consider how successful the film is in conveying its message.
The film Gallipoli tells the story of two young men, Archy and Frank, who enlist in the Australian Army to fight in World War I. They are both eager to do their duty for their country, but they have very different motivations for joining up. Archy is motivated by a sense of adventure and a desire to serve his country. Frank, on the other hand, is motivated by a need to escape his difficult life at home and to prove himself as a man.
When they arrive in Egypt, the two young men are quickly divided into different groups. Archy is drafted into the Light Horse Brigade, while Frank is assigned to the infantry. This difference in their roles will have a significant impact on their friendship and their experience of the war.