Zack Karpinellison on Starstruck: Old Sydney vs New Canberra

Zach Karpinellison, “Starstruck: Old Sydney via New Canberra”

Thursday 27 October, 4.30-6pm, A. D. Hope G28; online (contact

In this work-in-progress paper, I am arguing that the National Film and Sound Archive’s restoration of Gillian Armstrong’s 1982 musical Starstruck led to the creation of a new version of the film which functioned to erase and unmake the original. In this seminar, I will look at some of the differences between the restored and unrestored versions of Starstruck. These differences provoke questions about nostalgia, authorial intervention, and national memory. In particular, I will draw attention to the way that the restored version of the film anchors itself to the American cut, and I will consider how this affects cultural and social perception of Australianness in relation to this obscure Sydney-based musical.

Zach Karpinellison is a second-year PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Cross-Cultural Research program at ANU. His work takes place at the intersection between screen and museum studies, and the subject of his research is the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

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