Matilda Brown: The Films That Changed My Life

March 10, 2017
The actress and filmmaker picks the movies that have had the greatest impact on her life.

The daughter of local filmmaking legends, Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward, Matilda Brown is also a burgeoning powerhouse in her own right, boasting appearances on TV (Offspring, Underbelly, Rake) and film (Martha’s New Coat and the upcoming The Death And Life Of Otto Bloom, which will screen at The Melbourne International Film Festival), as well as a growing list of her own projects as director, writer, and producer, including the web series, Lessons From The Grave and Let’s Talk About. Just named an ambassador for the AFI/ACTAA #SocialShorts short filmmaking competition, Matilda talks movies with FilmInk. “These aren’t my favourite films,” the talented multi-hyphenate says. “They’re films that changed my life in subtle ways.”

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THE SHIRALEE (1987) “This was one of the first things that I saw my dad in. Family and film is inextricably linked for me because I grew up watching my parents in them. For me, this was not just a beautiful film, but the realisation that what I watched on the screen wasn’t real.”

MY GIRL (1991) “I think I was eight-years-old when I watched this over and over. It was a seminal film for most girls of my generation.”

CLUELESS (1995) “It wasn’t until I was older that I realised how this film changed my life. And it comes down to storytelling, acting, and having a unique female voice. Cher, played by Alicia Silverstone, became so iconic. She is so comedic and so unashamedly herself. It made me understand how important humour is in my own storytelling, and creating fun, watchable characters.”

EARTHLINGS (2005) “It’s probably a touchy subject for some, but you’re asking for films that changed my life. And this documentary definitely changed my life. It woke me up to the harsh realities of the farming industry and cruelty to animals. After seeing it, I became vegan.”

ANNIE HALL (1977) “Because it was a film where things were discussed. I was engaged by the conversations, and not by the glamour or the action. I guess it was an introduction to Woody Allen.”

Matilda Brown is the new ambassador for the AFI/ACTAA #SocialShorts short filmmaking competition. For all information, head to #SocialShorts. Matilda Brown also stars in The Death And Life Of Otto Bloom, which screens at The Melbourne International Film Festival, which runs from July 28-August 14. To buy tickets to The Death And Life Of Otto Bloom, click here.  

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