During this research, Tim Burstall has acquired a new sense of accomplishment for Australian cinema. I questioned as to why I was reading in so many articles and papers that he almost single handedly revived Australian cinema during his height in the 1970's.
How could one man do such a thing?
However, it wasn't just Burstall. During this research I found firstly, that he had a large group of people behind him. The group from La Mama followed him through the 1970's and his later years. The support from Betty Burstall, whom without the La Mama theater Australia might not have given personalities like Graeme Blundell and David Williamson a chance in the Australian film industry. This group of people allowed Burstall to create the films that he deemed commercially successful, and while they might not have been the films that he wanted to make, they definitely allowed Australians to recognize themselves on film.
The films he created also contributed to the title of the 'ocker-comedy', a type of Australian film that has continued to be made to this day. These films most definitely changed the way that Australia and Australian's thought about cinema; for one, Australians could create humorous films and that Australian's could be extremely accepting of Australian films. The way Burstall did this was use stories like those from Williamson that had a relatable awkward character (Stork, Alvin Purple) and used an extravagant problem to bring out Australian culture, culture clashes, locations, and the general wants, needs, and ideals of the Australian people in his films.
Burstall pushed the boundaries of filmmaking in Australia, making films that pushed censorship to creating a R+18 rating for films. This allowed for Australia to move on from the 1950's and 1960's - and to create films that grew with the times. Whilst Australian people in the 1970's were moving on and accepting subjects such as sex and culture clashes, Burstall's films were addressing these issues and the film industry was following him, by allowing sex and culture clashes to be shown in the cinema.
How did he change the film industry? He connected with the people of Australia, made films they wanted to see, and the industry changed accordingly to what Australia had wanted to see, how the world was changing in the 1970's and the industry needed to grow and change.