Australian Cinema after Mabo is the ﬁrst comprehensive study of Australian national cinema in the 1990s. Drawing on concepts of shock, memory and national maturity, it asks what part Australian cinema plays in reviewing our colonial past. It looks at how the 1992 Mabo decision, which overruled the nation’s founding myth of terra nullius, has changed the meaning of landscape and identity in Australian ﬁlms, including The Tracker, RabbitProof Fence, Moulin Rouge, The Castle, Cunnamulla, Looking for Alibrandi and Japanese Story amongst many others. It is essential reading for anyone studying Australian cinema and for those interested in how the history wars of the 1990s have impacted on the way we imagine ourselves through cinema. Felicity Collins lectures in Cinema Studies at La Trobe University. She is the author of The Films of Gillian Armstrong. Therese Davis lectures in Film and Cultural Studies at the University of Newcastle. She is the author of The Face on the Screen: Death, Recognition and Spectatorship.
Australian Cinema after Mabo
F E L I C I T Y C O L L I N S A N D T H E R E S E DAV I S
Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo Cambridge University Press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge , UK Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York www.cambridge.org Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521834803 © Felicity Jane Collins and Therese Verdun Davis 2004 This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provision of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published in print format - - - - - - ---- eBook (NetLibrary) --- eBook (NetLibrary) ---- hardback --- hardback ---- paperback --- paperback
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Acknowledgments Part 1 Australian Cinema and the History Wars 1 2 3 4 Backtracking after Mabo Home and Abroad in Moulin Rouge, The Dish and Lantana Elites and Battlers in Australian Rules and Walking on Water Mediating Memory in Mabo – Life of an Island Man 3 22 41 59 page vii
Part 2 Landscape and Belonging after Mabo 5 Aftershock and the Desert Landscape in Heaven’s Burning, The Last Days of Chez Nous, Holy Smoke, Serenades, Yolngu Boy, The Missing 6 Coming from the Country in Heartland, Cunnamulla and Message from Moree 7 Coming from the City in The Castle, Vacant Possession, Strange Planet and Radiance Part 3 Trauma, Grief and Coming of Age 8 Lost, Stolen and Found in Rabbit-Proof Fence 9 Escaping History and Shame in Looking for Alibrandi, Head On and Beneath Clouds 10 Sustaining Grief in Japanese Story and Dreaming in Motion Bibliography Index 133 152 172 188 200
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The joyful co-authorship of this book has been a tale of two cities and a regional centre. Our friendship began in Sydney in the early 1980s when we were both students in the Communication degree at the NSW Institute of Technology. This book is grounded in those formative years when our thinking about ﬁlm, media, history and culture was shaped by the many luminaries of the infamous Tower Building on Broadway. If the seeds for this book were sown in post-structuralist Sydney, the project came to fruition through the Cinema Studies program at La Trobe University in Melbourne, and the Film Studies program at the University of Newcastle. In December 1996 we participated in a seminar, Film and Modernity, led by Miriam Bratu Hansen, at the University of Newcastle. This...