Far from the fatal shore
Finding meaning and identity in the rural Australian landscape
in Cinematic countrysides
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This chapter offers a consideration of the significance of the Australian landscape within notable features, from the revival to the present. Landscape has played a conspicuous and complex role in the concretisation of the national cinema for audiences at home and abroad. It has been a crucial factor in the distillation of national identity throughout the country's history, as the natural, acquired or adopted home for a disparate conglomeration of imagined communities. Four preliminary and expository images can be offered as illustrations of the complex and contradictory responses to the landscape embraced by Australian films: Long Weekend, The Man from Snowy River, My Brilliant Career and Rabbit-Proof Fence. In the often hybridised generic territory referred to as the Australian Gothic, the landscape is a key element in the exploration of cultural anxieties arising from colonial experience.

Editor: Robert Fish


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