We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of New South Wales stands.

Film series: Badlands 11 January – 2 April 2023

The harder they come (film still), courtesy Justine Henzell  

Still from The harder they come, courtesy Justine Henzell  

Badlands tours cinema’s outlaw zones

Badlands tours cinema’s outlaw zones. We meet Marilyn Monroe in the Nevada Desert, Bruce Lee on a Hong Kong island fortress and Forest Whitaker restaging the codes of 16th-century Japan on the rooftops of New Jersey. These films celebrate unruly characters, boundary riders and rule breakers. From the bandit capital of Sardinia to Brazil’s arid backcountry, laws and conventions are renegotiated, power redistributed and competing forces struggle to reimpose order or blast apart in spectacular showdowns.

A spaghetti western remakes a Japanese classic; a Senegalese drama quotes Bonnie and Clyde. Overleaping genres and geographical borders, these films cite and rework each other. There are homages and telling subversions. Drawing together revisionist westerns, samurai films and wuxia (martial arts) cinema, via Blaxploitation and New Hollywood, Badlands assembles a wayward canon.

The series screened at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 11 January to 2 April 2023 in association with the exhibition Outlaw.


  • 11 January – The searchers (director John Ford, US, 1953, 35mm)

  • 15 January – Seven samurai (director Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1954, 35mm)

  • 18 January – Yojimbo (director Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1961, 35mm)

  • 22 January – A fistful of dollars (director Sergio Leone, US, 1964, 35mm)

  • 25 January – The misfits (director John Huston, US 1961, 35mm)

  • 1 February – Bandits of Orgosolo (director Vittorio De Seta, Italy, 1961, 35mm-to-digital)

  • 5 February – Black god, white devil (director Glauber Rocha, Brazil, 1964, 16mm)

  • 8 February – Bonnie and Clyde (director Arthur Penn, US, 1967, 35mm)

  • 12 February – Touki bouki (director Djibril Diop Mambéty, Senegal, 1973, 35mm-to-digital)

  • 15 February – Dragon Inn (director King Hu, Taiwan, 1967, 35mm-to-digital)

  • 19 February – They call her … Cleopatra Wong (director Bobby A Suarez, Singapore and Philippines, 1978, 35mm-to-digital)

  • 22 February – Wanda (director Barbara Loden, US, 1970, 16mm-to-digital)

  • 1 March – Badlands (director Terrence Malick , US, 1973, 35mm)

  • 8 March – The harder they come (director Perry Henzell, Jamaica, 1972, 35mm)

  • 12 March – Thomasine and Bushrod (director Gordon Parks Jr, US, 1974, 35mm-to-digital)

  • 15 March – The 36th chamber of Shaolin (director Lau Kar-leung, Hong Kong, 1978, 35mm)

  • 22 March – Enter the dragon (director Robert Clouse, Hong Kong and US, 1973, 35mm-to-digital)

  • 29 March – Ghost Dog: the way of the samurai (director Jim Jarmusch, US, 1999, 35mm)

  • 2 April – Echo 8 (director Maria Tran, Australia, 2022, digital)

The searchers

Still from The searchers

Seven samurai

Still from Seven samurai


Still from Yojimbo

A fistful of dollars

Still from A fistful of dollars

The misfits

Still from The misfits

Bandits of Orgosolo

Still from Bandits of Orgosolo

Black God, White Devil

Still from Black god, white devil

Bonnie and Clyde (film still)

Still from Bonnie and Clyde

Touki bouki (film still)

Still from Touki bouki

Dragon Inn (film still)

Still from Dragon Inn

They call her… Cleopatra Wong (film still)

Still from They call her ... Cleopatra Wong

Wanda (film still)

Still from Wanda

Badlands (film still)

Still from Badlands

The harder they come (film still), courtesy Justine Henzell  

Still from The harder they come, courtesy Justine Henzell

Thomasine and Bushrod (film still)

Still from Thomasine and Bushrod

The 36th chamber of Shaolin (film still)

Still from The 36th chamber of Shaolin

Enter the dragon (film still)

Still from Enter the dragon

Ghost Dog: the way of the samurai (film still)

Still from Ghost Dog: the way of the samurai

Echo 8 (film still)

Still from Echo 8