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.
, Anadalusia, the Canary
Islands, etc.) have very different ways of life, different regional,
class and ethnic compositions and are anxious to create a clear and
separate identity from the political centre and capital of Madrid. And
clearly, the existence of indigenousfilmcultures in Catalonia, the
Basque country, Galicia and other regions, makes it more difficult to
subsume these areas and cultures within
‘indigenous’ film industries elsewhere. Among the more dismal facts uncovered by Miller et al. is that, from 1945 to 2000, the combined European film industries declined in size by eight-ninths ( 2005 : 10). Elsewhere, as we have seen, even a selfconfident indigenousfilmculture like Hong Kong’s proved vulnerable to an increasingly globalised Hollywood.
Nevertheless, it is important not to absolutise the power of the United States in today’s world cinematic system. Both earlier in this chapter and in Chapter 7 , evidence of the involvement of other nations in