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.
, instead greeting each appalling plot turn with a resigned shrug. 7
Characteristics of the Gothic (in the portrayal of
pervasive parental authority, the sudden irruption of doom-laden events, and the
dis-empowered hero) are treated humorously in writer-director Ruane’s debut feature.
The black comedy and splatstick elements incorporated alongside the contemporary,
multicultural context make Death in Brunswick a key example of the modernisation and
modification of the Gothicaesthetic in later popularised forms
sorts of questions and concerns – rather than in the depiction of
particular sorts of monsters and villains.
While my focus is the gothicaesthetic rather than
television series as marketed commodities, it is worth stressing the
ways in which these gothic series demonstrate the inexactness of the
industry’s ideas of its audience’s tastes and interests.
The most long
"The Pest House," "Hell House," and "The Murder House"
Julia M. Wright
, resurrecting the materials of the past
– castles, folk belief, feudalism – to critique
contemporary claims to rationality, progress, and civility, the
benchmarks of modernity in Enlightenment thought. Robert Miles thus
suggests that “the Gothicaesthetic sets up, as one of its poles,
contemporary decadence, a ‘modernity’” defined by
“fashion” and “effeminate culture,” 1 while Dale Townshend and