Stampeding wildlife, giant apes swinging through the trees, ancient mummies brought back from the dead: these are some of the wonders that cinema can deliver. The list goes on, and not only includes the kind of sights you don't usually see in everyday life, but places that mightn't be on your travel itinerary. And if the latter is true now, imagine how accurate it was when the medium of movies was in its infancy.
Nearly a century ago, a trip to the cinema took audiences on adventures they could only dream of otherwise — and filmmakers capitalised upon the possibilities their chosen art form provided. It's evident when King Kong unleashes his mighty roar, as first seen in the 1933 classic, and in the likes of romance Morocco, the Singapore-set film noir The Letter and the colonial cautionary tale White Shadows in the South Seas, as the Gallery of Modern Art's Exotic Hollywood program explores.
Catch all of the above, plus The Mummy long before Tom Cruise was involved, Tabu: Story of the South Seas featuring a cast of non-professional French Polynesian actors and more, all screening at the Australian Cinematheque from February 4 to 24. The main lineup is free, including a chat about the escapist narratives on offer by associate curator Amanda Slack-Smith, as well as a screening of desert fantasy The Sheik with a live Wurlitzer organ accompaniment. Or, head along to see Tarzan and His Mate with a glass of champagne in hand, in a session that's free for members and $10 otherwise.