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An introduction
Editor: Jonathan Rayner

This book offers introductory readings of some of the well-known and less well-known feature productions coming out of Australia since the revival in the national film industry at the end of the 1960s. The interpretations of the texts and the careers of their makers are considered in relation to the emergence of an indigenous film culture and the construction of national identity. The majority of the films examined in the book have had theatrical or video releases in the UK. The independent development of several indigenous film genres has been an important feature of recent production, and helped to punctuate and bracket the streams of feature production that have evolved since 1970. These Australian genres have been identified and evaluated (the Australian Gothic, the period film, the male ensemble film) and are worthy of consideration both in their own right and in their intersection with other conventionalised forms. These include science fiction, fantasy and horror in comparison with the Gothic, the heritage film and literary adaptation in connection with the period film, and the war film and rite of passage in relation to the male ensemble. More recently, an aesthetic and thematic trend has emerged in the examples of Strictly Ballroom, The Adventures of Priscilla, and Muriel's Wedding, which foregrounds elements of the camp, the kitsch and the retrospective idolisation of 1970s Glamour. Such chronological, stylistic and thematic groupings are important in the interpretation of national filmmaking.

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Lee’s Kruitzner and Byron’s Werner
Robert Miles

shift in the deep structure of the self, or in the culture that may, or may not, have produced it. But I do contend that a project such as this one – intent on catching the discursive inflections of Gothic writing in its inter textual moments – provides a basis, an understanding, on which it is possible to proceed. I argued that the discursive provenance of the Gothic – the Gothic aesthetic and hygienic

in Gothic writing 1750–1820
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The dance of global darkness
Steven Bruhm

becoming a borderless art for a borderless century’ ( 2010 : 1). This chapter seeks to unpack a number of suggestions and assumptions that I have woven into my above description of butoh as a recognisably gothic aesthetic. By juxtaposing the living dead of an ‘Eastern’ dance practice with the animated corpse of the ‘Western’ gothic, I want to join two critical traditions that, to my knowledge, have not yet

in Globalgothic
Robert Miles

and its shadow are not of a universal, remote character, but invoke power. The desire aroused by the Gothic garden (sexual desire but also desire for self-realization) is one crossed by discourse. In assessing Gothic narratives of nurture it is important once again to keep gender in mind. In discussing the Gothic aesthetic I argued that the discursive values of the Gothic (patriarchy, the companionate

in Gothic writing 1750–1820
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Gender in the Gothic
Robert Miles

In the last chapter we looked at the Gothic as discourse, as a site of power/knowledge. Insofar as the Gothic aesthetic incorporates an idealized national identity together with a myth of origin it tends towards the openly ideological. But power is also written into the Gothic in less explicit ways. I used Foucault to problematize the late eighteenth century as a period of ‘archival

in Gothic writing 1750–1820
Serena Trowbridge

This chapter examines the development of a Gothic aesthetic of mortality in Graveyard poetry that in turn provided a significant influence for later Gothic novels. In its reflective, psychologically complex subject matter, poetry provides rich material for Gothic, and the genre drew upon the work of the graveyard poets, including Gray, Young, Blair and Parnell. Not only are the aesthetics of graveyard poetry significant in the development of Gothic, but also the structures of Christianity which emphasise life after death. The locus of death provides a focal point where the poetic and the constructed self meet, uniting the rational and the sublime in contemplating the terrible and unknowable, replacing the pre-Reformation prayers for the dead with a Protestant contemplation of Heaven.

in The Gothic and death
Robert Miles

’ controversy, Shakespeare contra Voltaire, the new aesthetic emerging from the canonization of the national poet versus French neo-classicism. In one respect Walpole’s celebrated comments in the second preface, on his attempts to forge ‘modern’ romance, are merely an intervention in the arguments producing the Gothic aesthetic. But in another they enlarge the boundaries of contemporary controversy. A link

in Gothic writing 1750–1820
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What is 'Gothic'?
Robert Miles

. The first, in explicating genealogy, uses the theories of Michel Foucault and Lawrence Stone to problematize the late eighteenth century, as a means of gaining a focus on the kind, and character, of the discourses relevant to the Gothics provenance. The next box, on the Gothic aesthetic, closes on the construction of the Gothic as a taste, an ideology, a series of related discourses at the back of Gothic writing. The next

in Gothic writing 1750–1820
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Andrew Smith

states of feeling (such as grief and melancholy) and the rhetorical construction of emotion in an emerging Gothic aesthetic. The Romantic Gothic explores the role of the writer in this Gothic discourse about death that, in its establishment of a Gothic iconography, also reaches out to an implied reader who can interpret the type of codes and symbols that characterise this discourse. The dead also occupy

in Gothic death 1740–1914
Christabel, The Eve of St Agnes and Lamia
Robert Miles

Contemporary critics themselves were clear about Christabel Gothic provenance. George Felton Mathew, in the European Magazine, sketches in the Gothic aesthetic as a positive backdrop against which he feels the poem ought to be read, particularly focusing on Christabel’s idealized, Gothic charm: ‘she is charitable, religious, beautiful and tender’ (Reiman 1977 : 505). He also poses the crucial question of

in Gothic writing 1750–1820