This book is thorough, well organized, and useful. It establishes background on the Australian understanding of the American dream, Austalian photography, image, and subject matter, and American influence on Australian cinema. Brief chapters summarize film theory, applicable mass communication theory, and financial practices of the Australian motion picture industry. Choice . . . presents an examination of major movies made in Australia in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The author argues that part of the reason for the success of Australian cinema in recent years may lie with America's identification with a simpler culture, an almost `wild west' atmosphere. To explore his thesis the author first offers a short history of the Australian cinema, and then a theory of film as mass communication. Communication Booknotes Lewis introduces Australian films from the 1920's and 30's and then focuses on thirty films produced between 1975 and 1987. He suggests that part of the reason for Australia's film success may lie in America's identification with a simpler culture and the portrayal of wild west type territory which is often found in Australian films. He also points out that various aspects of American culture have seeped into Australian culture and now appear in their films, making them more appealing to an American audience. He concludes this insightful study with a projection analysis for the future of Australian cinema. With its up-to-date content and analytical approach, this book will be valuable to anyone concerned with mass communication and society, cinema studies, media, or U.S.-Australian relations.
This edited collection assesses the complex historical and contemporary relationships between US and Australian cinema by tapping directly into discussions of national cinema, transnationalism and global Hollywood. While most equivalent studies aim to define national cinema as independent from or in competition with Hollywood, this collection explores a more porous set of relationships through the varied production, distribution and exhibition associations between Australia and the US. To explore this idea, the book investigates the influence that Australia has had on US cinema through the exportation of its stars, directors and other production personnel to Hollywood, while also charting the sustained influence of US cinema on Australia over the last hundred years. It takes two key points in time—the 1920s and 1930s and the last twenty years—to explore how particular patterns of localism, nationalism, colonialism, transnationalism and globalisation have shaped its course over the last century. The contributors re-examine the concept and definition of Australian cinema in regard to a range of local, international and global practices and trends that blur neat categorisations of national cinema. Although this concentration on US production, or influence, is particularly acute in relation to developments such as the opening of international film studios in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and the Gold Coast over the last thirty years, the book also examines a range of Hollywood financed and/or conceived films shot in Australia since the 1920s.
This second edition of Historical Dictionary of Australian and New Zealand Cinema contains a chronology, an introduction, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 700 cross-referenced entries on leading films as well as many directors, writers, actors and producers.
This book is an introduction and guide to the film of Australia and New Zealand. With entries on many exceptional producers, directors, writers and actors, as well as the films indicated above and many others, this reference also presents the early pioneers, the film companies and government bodies, and much more in its hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries.
"What we see, and what we seem, are but a dream, a dream within a dream." Michael Bliss views Miranda's voice-over at the beginning of Picnic at Hanging Rock as so pivotal in explaining the films of Peter Weir that he borrows her words to create the title of his own study of the Australian filmmaker's work. Bliss views Weir as an artist whose values are rooted in the realm of the dream, of the unconscious. Surrealistic in technique, Weir avoids the pedestrian assurances of a material realm in favor of an irresolution that, while potentially frustrating, is nonetheless for him a more truthful representation of what he considers reality. For Weir, as for Plato, Bliss demonstrates, "empirical reality is nothing more than a shadow of what is real." Bliss also considers Weir's heritage. Australian cinema, Bliss explains, is characterized by melodramatic narratives born of a desire to see good and evil portrayed in striking opposition. Weir, for example, dramatizes the contradictory forces of light versus darkness, reason versus mystery, and rationality versus magic in such films as Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Last Wave. This melodramatic emphasis is evident as well in the polarized characterizations in such films as Witness, Dead Poets Society, and The Truman Show. Bliss also discusses Weir's use of another staple of Australian cinema-- "mateship," the celebration of the bond between male companions. But by making self-knowledge dependent on action involving one's friends, Weir gives mateship a new meaning. Moreover, like other Australian filmmakers, Weir emphasizes the starkness of the Australian landscape, which functions either as a hazard or a deadly challenge, at least until American mythology caused him to see nature in a more positive light. Also prominent in Weir's films is an Australian spirit of rebellion coupled with the Aussie ambivalence toward all aspects of British culture. To help explain Weir's films, Bliss looks to Freud and Jung, whom Weir has studied, and also to two other prominent purveyors of myth and archetype, Northrop Frye and Joseph Campbell. Virtually all Weir characters struggle toward a new mode of awareness, a psychological awareness based on archetypal truths. Many of his films involve archetypal journeys heading through conflict to spiritual unity. Weir's quest is to find out what we really know and how we know what we know.
Tom O'Regan's book is the first of its kind on Australian post-war cinema. It takes as its starting point Bazin's question 'What is cinema?'and asks what the construct of a 'national' cinema means. It looks at the broader concept from a different angle, taking film beyond the confines of 'art' into the broader cultural world. O'Regan's analysis situates Australian cinema in its historical and cultural perspective producing a valuable insight into the issues that have been raised by film policy, the cinema market place and public discourse on film production strategies. Since 1970 Australian film has enjoyed a revival. This book contains detailed critiques of the key films of this period and uses them to illustrate the recent theories on the international and Australian cinema industries. Its conclusions on the nature of the nation's cinema and the discourses within it are relevant within a far wider context; film as a global phenomenon.
Australian Genre Film interrogates key genres at the core of Australia’s so-called new golden age of genre cinema, establishing the foundation on which more sustained research on film genre in Australian cinema can develop. The book examines what characterises Australian cinema and its output in this new golden age, as contributors ask to what extent Australian genre film draws on widely understood (and largely Hollywood-based) conventions, as compared to culturally specific conventions of genre storytelling. As such, this book offers a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of Australian genre film, undertaken through original analyses of 13 significant Australian genres: action, biopics, comedy, crime, horror, musical, road movie, romance, science fiction, teen, thriller, war, and the Western. This book will be a cornerstone work for the burgeoning field of Australian film genre studies and a must-read for academics; researchers; undergraduate students; postgraduate students; and general readers interested in film studies, media studies, cultural studies, Australian studies, and sociology.
The Historical Dictionary of Crime Films covers the history of this genre through a chronology, an introductory essay, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 300 cross-referenced entries on key films, directors, performers, and studios. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about crime cinema.
From The Story of the Kelly Gang in 1906 to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Australia and New Zealand have made a unique impact on international cinema. This book celebrates the commercially successful narrative feature films produced by these cultures as well as key documentaries, shorts, and independent films. It also invokes issues involving national identity, race, history, and the ability of two small film cultures to survive the economic and cultural threat of Hollywood. Chapters on well known films and directors, such as The Year of Living Dangerously (Peter Weir, 1982), The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993), Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson, 2001), and Rabbit Proof Fence (Philip Noyce, 2002), are included with less popular but equally important films and filmmakers, such as Jedda (Charles Chauvel, 1955), They're a Weird Mob (Michael Powell, 1966), Vigil (Vincent Ward, 1984), and The Goddess of 1967 (Clara Law, 2000).
Covering everything from Edison to Avatar, Gomery and Pafort-Overduin have written the clearest, best organized, and most user-friendly film history textbook on the market. It masterfully distills the major trends and movements of film history, so that the subject can be taught in one semester. And each chapter includes a compelling case study that highlights an important moment in movie history and, at the same time, subtly introduces a methodological approach. This book is a pleasure to read and to teach. Peter Decherney, University of Pennsylvania, USA In addition to providing a comprehensive overview of the development of film around the world, the book gives us examples of how to do film history, including organizing the details and discussing their implications.Hugh McCarney, Western Connecticut State University, USA Douglas Gomery and Clara Pafort-Overduin have created an outstanding textbook with an impressive breadth of content, covering over 100 years in the evolution of cinema. Movie History: A Survey is an engaging book that will reward readers with a contemporary perspective of the history of motion pictures and provide a solid foundation for the study of film. Matthew Hanson, Eastern Michigan University, USA How can we understand the history of film? Historical facts don’t answer the basic questions of film history. History, as this fascinating book shows, is more than the simple accumulation of film titles, facts and figures. This is a survey of over 100 years of cinema history, from its beginnings in 1895, to its current state in the twenty-first century. An accessible, introductory text, Movie History: A Survey looks at not only the major films, filmmakers, and cinema institutions throughout the years, but also extends to the production, distribution, exhibition, technology and reception of films. The textbook is divided chronologically into four sections, using the timeline of technological changes: Section One looks at the era of silent movies from 1895 to 1927; Section Two starts with the coming of sound and covers 1928 until 1950; Section Three runs from 1951 to 1975 and deals with the coming and development of television; and Section Four focuses on the coming of home video and the transition to digital, from 1975 to 2010. Key pedagogical features include: timelines in each section help students to situate the films within a broader historical context case study boxes with close-up analysis of specific film histories and a particular emphasis on film reception lavishly illustrated with over 450 color images to put faces to names, and to connect pictures to film titles margin notes add background information and clarity glossary for clear understanding of the key terms described references and further reading at the end of each chapter to enhance further study. A supporting website is available at www.routledge.com/textbooks/moviehistory, with lots of extra materials, useful for the classroom or independent study, including: additional case studies – new, in-depth and unique to the website international case studies – for the Netherlands in Dutch and English timeline - A movie history timeline charting key dates in the history of cinema from 1890 to the present day revision flash cards – ideal for getting to grips with key terms in film studies related resources – on the website you will find every link from the book for ease of use, plus access to additional online material students are also invited to submit their own movie history case studies - see website for details Written by two highly respected film scholars and experienced teachers, Movie History is the ideal textbook for students studying film history.