Australia has the terrible condition of having an essentially pointless and prefabricated idea of “Aussiness” that really has no relation to our real culture or the way in which we really see ourselves. We, however subscribe to these stereotypes when trying to find some expression of our Australian identity. The feature film, The Castle, deals with issues about Australian identity in the 1990’s. The film uses techniques like camera shots, language and the use of narration to develop conflict between a decent, old fashioned suburban family, the Kerrigans and an unscrupulous corporation called Airlink. Feature films like The Castle are cultural products because they use attitudes, values and stereotypes about what it means to be Australian.
The suburban house, as the film’s setting and sphere of action, is extraordinary partly because it is ‘next-door’ to an airport. The odd layout of this backyard is underlined because their suburb meets the kind of architectural cast-offs often found at the margins of big cities. This mix of the humble backyard with the international vectors of travel, tourism and international trade plays out in the film’s narrative which connects the domestic and the distant. The Castle displays many locations and landscapes easily identified as being unique of Australia- The ‘Aussy’ barbeque and patio setup, greyhound racetrack and poolroom, just to name a few. The neighbours of the Kerrigan’s are a symbol representing the multicultural diversi...
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As a nation, the Australian people have respected the “underdogs” in many events throughout history, an example is KERRYN McCann, the 38-year mother of two from Bulli, winning the 2006 Commonwealth Games marathon, two years before dying from cancer. Now in 2017, The Australian people have the chance to celebrate the work they have contributed to the film industry and to show the world what it means to be Australian, and with the Australian Film Festival coming up they can do that. Personally I am not of Australian nationality, but I have come to notice the importance for the Australian people to acknowledge their work in the film industry, as it gives them a chance to
Crocodile Dundee (1986) directed by Peter Faiman and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) directed by Stephan Elliott are two Australian films that have unique plots. The expositions of both films have various similarities and differences in the context of quirky ‘Aussie’ characters, stereotypical Australian language, themes and the vast outback setting. The exposition of each film reaffirms typical Australian stereotypes.
The movie depicts what it was like to be Australian in the decades of the 50’s and 60’s and the decisions of the Australian government over this period, through the journey of four Aboriginal women and one Irish man. The movie explores the treatment of indigenous people living in this era in comparison to white Australians. The unique ways in which the characters made their living provided for scrutiny, judgement and vulnerability. In the movie you see just how differently the Aboriginal community was treated compared to the white Australians during these era’s.
The 2014 Walkley Award winning documentary, "Cronulla Riots: the day that shocked the nation" reveals to us a whole new side of Aussie culture. No more she’ll be right, no more fair go and sadly no more fair dinkum. The doco proved to all of us (or is it just me?) that the Australian identity isn’t really what we believe it to be. After viewing this documentary
Jedda, Australia’s first colour film, created in 1955 by Charles Chauvel deals with an Aboriginal child adopted by a white grazing family. As she grows up, Jedda is tempted more and more to return to her people. Seduced by the wild Marbuck, she partakes in the film's tragedy, played out against a spectacular landscape. This essay seeks to discuss the representations of the Australian landscape as portrayed in the film Jedda, highlighting the use of filmic techniques in these representations.
Without the use of stereotypical behaviours or even language is known universally, the naming of certain places in, but not really known to, Australia in ‘Drifters’ and ‘Reverie of a Swimmer’ convoluted with the overall message of the poems. The story of ‘Drifters’ looks at a family that moves around so much, that they feel as though they don’t belong. By utilising metaphors of planting in a ‘“vegetable-patch”, Dawe is referring to the family making roots, or settling down somewhere, which the audience assumes doesn’t occur, as the “green tomatoes are picked by off the vine”. The idea of feeling secure and settling down can be applied to any country and isn’t a stereotypical Australian behaviour - unless it is, in fact, referring to the continental
The Castle, directed by Rob Sitch, is an Australian comedy, which delves into the lives of a stereotypical Australian family, the Kerrigans. The film touchs on issues close to home in a humourous way. The audience is introduced to the classic Aussie family, narrated in the viewpoint of the youngest of the Kerrigans, Dale.
Humanity, since the dawn of time, fears anything they have little knowledge about. Instead, humans create superstitious beliefs based on fear and curiosity. In Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Constance Blackwood, Mary Katherine, Merricat, Blackwood, and Julian Blackwood are a wealthy family that live just outside the town. Six years ago, the rest of the Blackwood family is murdered at the dinner table with arsenic. The townspeople blame Constance because she cooks the food for the family and is an expert with herbs, but she is acquitted of the murder. Despite being acquitted, the townspeople abuse both Constance and Merricat simply because they believe that Constance was the only one who could have killed the family.
Interactions between native peoples and immigrants have caused elements of their cultures and societies to entwine where one overpowers the other unevenly, changing both their individual and collective identities. The ambiguity in the peoples’ intentions and understandings creates tension that forces both people to reflect on their identities and act to shape and strengthen them. Both engage in a battle of defining their own and others’ identities and struggle to make them reality. Director Philllipe Noyce’s film The Rabbit-Proof Fence manifests the effects of interactions between indigenous Australians and English colonists, both attempting to control their societal and national identities through the care of their youth. Based on Doris Pilkington Garimara’s Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, the film uncovers forgotten memories through a simple but mysterious glimpse into Aborigine (person with mixed aboriginal and white descent) children’s experience of forced separation from their families. In the story, three Aborigine girls escape on foot together from a sickening settlement, hoping to return home, 1500 miles away, safely. The film simplistically, but realistically, depicts the Aborigines as victims of a hypocritical government changing their future claiming to help them, but ultimately to change its own standing. The Rabbit Proof Fence communicates the importance of native rights, freedom, justice, voice, family, and home.
• How does a hard working, arrogant, and self centred city cinema owner, Matthew Wilcox, overcome his prejudices about rural Australian life? When confronted with an elongated stay in a rural town in Mid-West NSW, will he allow himself to live the life of a rural man, or stay secluded to himself?
Have you ever seen an Australian movie where the Australian was the bad guy and afterwards you just though to yourself. The Australian film industry has a long history dating back to 1955, in creating Australians represented as people who discriminate. These two films particularly are perfectly set up for the underdog type of story. In Wayne Blair’s 2012 Film of the year, The Sapphires, presented 4 young talented aboriginal females that have a goal of performing in Vietnam War Troops while constantly being looked down upon by the white community. While in Phillip Noyce’s 2002 film Rabbit Proof Fence, three aboriginal young girls are taken away by an organization that takes I in young aboriginal children also known as the re-education camp and teaches them to grow up as “proper white”. Rabbit Proof Fence and The Sapphires uses many film devices such as character construction, mise en scene and sound techniques to make the main protagonist as the underdog.
Anne Zahalka cleverly presents her intentions and interests in the world clearly throughout her artworks, more specifically her series ‘Welcome to Sydney’. Through the creation of this series Zahalka was interested in the changing multicultural nature of Australian society, closely drawing the audiences attention to the cultural frame. She effectively does this by portraying the subjects with dignity and respect by deliberately positioning them in an area in which they connect with. In doing so, Zahalka acknowledges her own experience, as the daughter of immigrant parents has influenced her conceptual practice. She uses cultural symbols to show the individuals are different, yet making them as one being put into Australian locations. In the image ‘Guangan Wu, Market Gardens, Kyeemagh’ a chinese immigrant stands in a panoramic landscape of market garden...
The film prevails as a reflection of the Australian culture of the 90s in all its crass, gaudy and over-the-top suburban ways. Despite this unique and iconic look at urban Australia and Australian characters, the story highlights universal themes with Hogan saying of the film’s international success, “that was a big lesson to me: if you have the right story there is no such thing as 'too parochial’.” (Lowenstein, 2000) Though the popularity of films portraying a new urban “Australian-ness” in this era influenced films like The Castle (Chocolate & Sitch, 1997) for years to come, this new cultural identity was not embraced by all. There has been significant backlash towards Australian film within Australia, with many finding the ideas of Australia portrayed on screen limited and stereotypical, rather than portraying the full breadth and multi-cultured nature of Australia.
This movie was filmed among Australian land and in each shot the outback was clean, healthy and wasn’t proposed in any way dirty. The extreme wide and broad shots shown in this film capture the aspects of Australia which aren’t always seen. The visual of the panning camera and the bird’s eye view shots show Australian for its true natural beauty, which should not be taken for granted. If people at this year’s film festival notice how beautiful our country is and truly can be, this could help to promote discussion on how to keep Australia alive and
Tim Wintons short story, “Neighbours” questions Australia's social discourse by exploring the transition of individuals into a new phase of life. Winton challenges society’s ignorance and cultural stereotypes by displaying a provocative new experience which has the ability to manipulate and change individuals perspectives. Society’s ignorance can be seen through the conflicting hyperbole, “good neighbours were seldom seen and never heard”, exploring the couples incomprehension of different cultures and lifestyles. The negative connotations surrounding the adverb “seldom seen” and “never heard” distort society's underlying values of love, respect and trust, consequently positioning the reader to consider the impact of new experiences in developing one's personal perspective. Moreover, Winton explores society's challenging and spurring transition into a new phase of life via the use of the emotive noun “murdering” in “their neighbours were not murdering each other, merely talking”. The noun, “murdering” juxtaposed with the positive imagery of “talking” posits the audience to society's dignity in the stereotypical context of Australia. Winton challenges the audience to question their moral truths and how a new experience can enlighten individuals to consider different cultures and perspectives. Composers manipulate the reader's perspectives through showing the transition into a new phase of life and how this has the ability to develop and individuals knowledge and