The Wheeler Centre
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David Gulpilil in conversation with Margaret Pomeranz
From his very first film role in Nicolas Roeg’s landmark 1971 film Walkabout, the on-screen charisma of David Gulpilil was undeniable. Just 16 years old at the time, Gulpilil had the kind of presence – as both an actor and dancer – that held viewers entranced.
Walkabout made the Yolngu man a star and in the decades since his debut, he’s become a regular (and often scene-stealing) performer in some of Australia’s best-loved films, including Storm Boy, Crocodile Dundee, Ten Canoes, Rabbit Proof Fence, The Proposition and Australia. Following last year’s performance in Charlie’s Country, directed by Rolf de Heer, he netted a Best Actor (Un Certain Regard) at Cannes – proving Gulpilil is an artist at the height of his powers.
His latest project is the documentary Another Country, directed by Molly Reynolds, the third part of the critically acclaimed Country suite (following Charlie's Country, and Reynolds' Still Our Country – Reflections on a Culture). Narrated and guided by Gulpilil himself, Another Country is an attempt to make sense of how modern Indigenous voices can exist between cultures.
If there’s any other David in the Australian film industry who should appear alongside Margaret Pomeranz – it’s this David. The illustrious pair talk about Gulpilil’s past, present and future in this celebration of his ongoing contribution to Australian film.
Discovered as a sixteen-year-old dancer living in the Maningrida Mission in 1969, David Gulpilil’s breakthrough performance in Nicholas Roeg’s Walkabout remains one of the most iconic and compelling performances of all time. Gulpilil’s films are a roll call of some of the most renowned works in Australian cinema history, including the two highest grossing Australian films of all time, Crocodile Dundee (1986) and Australia (2008).
Margaret Pomeranz AM co-hosted The Movie Show on SBS and At The Movies on ABC with David Stratton for nearly three decades. She has served as a member of the Advertising Standards Board, is a past President of the Film Critics Circle of Australia and has been both President and Vice-President of Watch on Censorship. Margaret is currently presenting movies and a review program Screen on Foxtel.