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lt After the 10BA period of funding films through a tax write-off system, 2 the new policy era of the Film Finance Corporation was marked by the u popular success of three films, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the lt Desert Stephan Elliott, 1994 , Strictly Ballroom Baz Luhrmann, 1992 and lt Muriel's Wedding Paul J. Hogan, 1994 . These films instantly redefined Aus- tralian cinema as quirky suburban comedy. Breaking with the satiric anti- lt suburbanism of Australian literary and...

Shock of Secular Modernity in Oscar and Lucinda

Thinking about history in terms of modernity, rather than postmodernism and the end of history, entails questions of memory and the peculiarly modern sensory experience of montage and shock. This aesthetic experience of shock is associated with the technologies which shape industrial and urban experience, from the factory assembly line to the phantasmagoria of the city with its tenement living, congested traffic, advertising billboards, theme parks and crowded cinemas. The modernity paradigm,...

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Smith, Australian Cultural History, Cambridge University Press, 1988. A Bicentennial anthology whose idea of culture as 'writing, painting, ballet, music or scholarship' p. 3 ties in with ideas of Australia as insular, second-rate and far removed from the centres of European, British and American excellence. 2 Robert Manne, 'The Howard years a political interpretation'. In Robert Manne ed. , The Howard Years, Melbourne Black Inc. Agenda, 2004, p. 27. 3 Newspoll,...

Aftershock in Heavens Burning The Last Days of Chez Nous and Holy Smoke

Aftershock in contemporary films is the space of everyday life and its fantasised revision of the desert landscape to fit new historical circumstances. This repeated recognition of constellations between past and present states of trauma in landscape films is best understood in terms of what Patrice Petro describes as the 'aftershock' of late modernity rather than the shock of early modernity that Benjamin and other critical theorists grappled with in the 1920s and 1930s.18 In aftershock,...

He Ran to Escape History Thats His Story Head On

Like Looking for Alibrandi, Head On is a coming-of age film that allows us to consider the mobility and immediacy of contemporary teen experience. But unlike Alibrandis sweet, effervescent approach to these aspects of teen experience, Head On is a high-velocity assault on the senses. Techniques such as hand-held camera, tight, claustrophobic framing and rapid editing emphasise the visceral nature of the experiences the film depicts sex, drug-taking, music, dancing and violence. This kinetic...

Subjects of Shame

lt Each of these three coming-of-age stories expresses a desire to escape history. What we have also seen is that at the base of this desire is a self-understanding as a subject of shame 'the bastard', 'the wog', 'the queer', 'the half-caste', 'the black'. These subjects are historical in the sense that they are the unrecognised subjects and or the actively excluded subjects of Australian Federation and its cornerstone the White Australia policy. The Australian character cannot be foreign,...

Lost Stolen and Found in Rabbit Proof Fence

The feature film Rabbit-Proof Fence Phillip Noyce, 2002 was prompted by and responds to Bringing them Home 1997 , the controversial national inquiry into the thousands of Aboriginal children forcibly taken from their families by Australian state authorities from 1900 to 1970, an inquiry that changed the face of Australia's self-understanding.1 While not the first film to deal with this subject, Rabbit-Proof Fence is a 'breakthrough film'. It earned more than AUS 1.2 million in its first week of...

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This footage now in the wake of news of Molly Kelly's death, we reflect on e Noyce's stated aim of wanting to use film to recover 'stolen histories'. What we know is that the thousands of untold, 'buried' stories of Aboriginal child D removal cannot be fully recovered for the public record. We cannot use film to magically reconstruct lost or, to use Caruth's term, unclaimed experi- D ence in the same way that film designers and set builders reconstructed the rabbit-proof fence. This film has,...

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U At a forum to launch the Melbourne season of Black and White,27 the direc-i tor, Craig Lahiff, and actor David Ngoombujarra discussed two different concepts of history informing their film about the landmark 1959 trial of an Aboriginal man, Rupert Max Stuart. Whereas Lahiff was concerned with lt transforming complicated historical events into a feature film, Ngoombujarra considered Stuart's story to be just one of many 'hidden stories' waiting to be told. This contrast between history and...

Redeeming the Battler in Cunnamulla

Depending on where you come from, Cunnamulla can be seen as a depressing portrait of ten Australians locked into lives as dry and dusty as the cracked earth of the inland plains which, against the environmental odds, continue to support the district's pastoralists and their sheep runs. Or it can be seen as a 'symphonic' montage of moments in the short-lived cinematic lives of ten characters who are 'basically just living'.20 The film opens to the sound of sheep dipping and closes to the sound...

Felicity Collins And Therese Davis

Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, Sao Paulo Cambridge University Press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge cb2 2ru, UK Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York www.cambridge.org Information on this title www.cambridge.org 9780521834803 Felicity Jane Collins and Therese Verdun Davis 2004 This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provision of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of...

The Lost Child Found

The lost child is a recurrent theme in the Australian cultural tradition. Narratives of lost children date as far back as the colonial period, where this figure characterised the hardship of life in the bush for new settlers. As Peter Pierce's comprehensive study of the subgenre shows, by the end of the 19th century the regular newspaper reports and stock illustrations of lost children that had well and truly captured the popular imagination had become the basis of literary works by many...

Bibliography

Acland, C., Youth, Murder, Spectacle The Cultural Politics of 'Youth in Crisis', Boulder CO Waterview Press, 1995. Akerman, P., 'Black man's burden', Daily Telegraph Mirror, 6 June 1995, p. 11. Akerman, P., 'Artistic licence spoils this saga', Sunday Telegraph, 3 March 2002, p. 89. Alessi, J., 'Head On A select bibliography', Metro, 127-128, 2001, pp. 46-9. Alomes, S., A Nation at Last The Changing Character of Australian Nationalism, 18801988, Sydney Angus amp Robertson, 1988. Altman, R.,...

Escaping History and Shame in Looking for Alibrandi Head On and Beneath Clouds

Australian film critics often claim that one new film or another marks the coming of age of the Australian film industry. In the 1980s, Gallipoli Peter Weir, 1981 achieved this by telling the story of the Allies' World War I invasion of Turkey from an Australian perspective. In the 1990s, the term was no longer applied to nationalist narratives but to 'outward-looking' genre films, such as the thriller Lantana Ray Lawrence, 2001 and the musical Moulin Rouge Baz Luhrmann, 2001 , as discussed in...

Afterwardness in Serenades Yolngu Boy and The Missing

If shock, in Benjamin's sense, is associated with singular and fleeting acts of recognition, with flashes of involuntary memory which 'slip by' provoking a chain of correspondences or associations, then aftershock which endures rather than flashes by might be thought of in terms of a mode of revised memory that Susannah Radstone calls 'afterwardness'.27 In her essay on history, memory and fantasy in Forrest Gump, Radstone makes a distinction between the historical recovery of repressed...

You Cant Let the Past Run Your Life Looking For Alibrandi

Looking For Alibrandi is directed by Kate Woods, one of a new generation of Australian film directors who move easily between the film and television industries. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Melena Marchetta, who also wrote the screenplay. The award-winning novel was first published by Penguin in 1992 and is an all-time favourite book for thousands of Australian teenagers. On the book's impact on teenagers of the 1990s, director Woods is quoted in media releases as saying...

Before Its Too Late Beneath Clouds

Beneath Clouds is also underscored by a strong desire to escape history. But unlike other coming-of-age films discussed in this chapter, it is not set in urban Australia. Rather, the film's story takes place on the back roads of rural New South Wales, somewhere between Moree and Sydney. The director, Ivan Sen, is currently the Australian film industry's wunderkind a multi-talented graduate of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School who writes, directs and composes film scores. The...