Adaptation Literature ans cinema essay

Topics: Indigenous Australians, Joan Lindsay, Landscape Pages: 6 (1693 words) Published: May 29, 2015

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1-Discuss the role of geography and place in any film adaptation and its source text from weeks 6-10.

Peter Weir, adapted to film the novel Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay in 1975. I will explore how this adaptation portrays the clash between colonizers and the aborigine. This postcolonial gothic clearly contrasts the attitude of the settlers and colonizers with the myths and traditions of the “new land”. This opposition is materialized with the two landscapes chosen to develop the story. The plot is set in Australia, specifically in Victoria. A group of girls from influential families study in Appleyard College. A boarding school that teaches according to the highest standards of English school education. The other important setting of the movie is the Hanging rock, a mysterious place where the girls go to have a picnic one day in order to get to know the area they live in now. Both, the movie and the book portray a defined dichotomy between the school and the rock. It could be said that both embody civilisation and the primitive respectively. James Bell claims how Australia and its landscape is an exploited resource for many authors: The idea that the otherworldly, ancient landscape of the Australian interior has been somehow impenetrable to its country's more recent settlers, the vast majority of whom live in the towns that cling to the safety of the coast, has been one that has long occupied the Australian imagination, explored in books and films by Australians and outsiders alike.(Bell,2010) Indigenous Australia is usually portrayed as savage, mystical and mysterious. Postcolonial cinema tends to define a vast gap between colonizers and colonized. The characteristics of the conquered land and its inhabitants are incomprehensible. Therefore it is always approached with a lack of knowledge. The landscape and the indigenous are associated with the natural, the primitive and the irrational. At Picnic at Hanging Rock the colonizers point of view is highlighted as there is no representation of any aborigine. It could be said that the rock embodies the indigenous Australia. Kaplan stated that “Western spectators' eyes have been “imperialized” [...] throughout the history of Hollywood cinema” (Kaplan 1997, p. 219). Considering Kaplan statement the spectator should understand how influenced is...
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