In an unprecedented collaboration, the National Portrait Gallery and the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSAA) celebrate the past and present of Australian film with the new exhibition Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits.
Louise Lovely and Gordon Collingridge in Jewelled Nights (1925), directed by Louise Lovely and Wilton Welch.
In this classic double silhouette of the two stars, the photographer’s dramatic use of lighting highlights Lovely’s androgynous profile, while the construction and costuming of the still frames her in sharp relief to her co-star.
Jewelled Nights saw Lovely transcend her Hollywood starlet persona for her emerging identity of director, producer and dramatic lead. It was her first and only Australian film following her return from Hollywood. Only fragments of the film survive.
Photograph: John H Robinson/NFSAA
Toni Collette as Muriel in Muriel’s Wedding (1994), directed by P J Hogan.
P J Hogan’s award-winning comedy celebrates Muriel as a misfit and daydreamer determined to escape her dysfunctional family. The film introduced Collette to a global audience.
Robert McFarlane’s still is taken at a revealing moment halfway through, when Muriel is caught trying on a wedding gown for an imaginary wedding. She confesses to her friend Rhonda how much getting married means to her: ‘If I can get married it means that I’m changed, I’m a new person, [not] Muriel Heslop. Stupid, fat and useless. I hate her!’
Photograph: Robert McFarlane/House and Moorhouse Films/NFSAA