Australia, 1982 (MIFF 2017, Pioneering Women)

Director: Gillian Armstrong


Two teenagers in Sydney try to break into the music biz and save the family pub in this iconic and colourful musical comedy directed by Gillian Armstrong.

Following her first feature, the period classic My Brilliant Career, then up-and-coming director Gillian Armstrong was keen to try something different. Starstruck is the delightful result.

Jackie (a radiant Jo Kennedy) works as a barmaid in her Mum’s pub and dreams of becoming a pop star. Her younger cousin, Angus (Ross O’Donovan), is an aspiring songwriter and band manager. Together they set out to win a talent contest and save the Harbour View Hotel from repossession.

The cheerful optimism of the storyline is supported by a production that resembles a 1980s glam-rock music video, and features numerous wonderful cameos (including a very early appearance by MIFF Patron Geoffrey Rush). Choreography by David Atkins and set design by Brian Thomsen, both fresh from the set of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, along with outlandish costume design by Luciana Arrighi and Terry Ryan and songs by Phil Judd and Tim Finn of Split Enz are all brought to vibrant life by the recent digital restoration by the National Film and Sound Archives.

'Starstruck is silly through and through, but it's also full of happy, musical surprises.' – New York Times

Presented by the National Film and Sound Archive's digital restoration program: NFSA Restores – reviving our cinema icons.

Director Gillian Armstrong will attend the session to introduce the film and take part in a post-screening Q&A.

See also...


Judy Davis and Claudia Karvan star in Gillian Armstrong's award-winning beachside drama of a woman unknowingly rekindling ties with the daughter she left behind. ... Lilli (Judy Davis) is a back-up si... More »

Fourteen's Good, Eighteen's Better

The life and times of three 18 year-old Adelaide girls today is compared with their lives four years ago, using film shot when they were 14. Their 14 year-old expectations have been altered by the exp... More »


Bingo, Bridesmaids and Braces represents the evolution of Gillian Armstrong's work begun with Smokes and Lollies 75 and later, Fourteen's Good, Eighteen's Better '80 Each work follows the lives of thr... More »


“I'd always been told that I was born before my time. Oh, surely to God, the times can just catch up.” - Florence Broadhurst In this spirited and highly original documentary, acclaimed director Gillia... More »


... ... Gillian Armstrong (My Brilliant Career, Last Days of Chez Nous, Little Women) returns to the documentary world of Smokes & Lollies. Fourteen's Good, Eighteen's Better and Bingo. Braces & Bride... More »


Following her smash-hit directorial debut Malcolm, Nadia Tass’ next big achievement was this early Ben Mendelsohn vehicle, an award-winning, iconically Melbourne teen caper also starring Claudia Karva... More »

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