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Film Criticism as Cultural Fantasy

The Perpetual French Discovery of Australian Cinema

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Andrew McGregor

This book presents an unprecedented analysis of the dynamics of cultural representation and interpretation in film criticism. It examines how French critical reception of Australian cinema since the revival period of the 1970s has evolved as a narrative of perpetual discovery, and how a clear parallel can be drawn between French critics’ reading of Australian film and their interpretation of an exotic Australian national identity. In French critical writing on Australian cinema, Australian identity is frequently defined in terms of extremes of cultural specificity and cultural anonymity. On the one hand, French critics construct a Euro-centric orientalist fantasy of Australia as not only a European Antipodes, but the antithesis of Europe. At the same time, French critics have tended to subordinate Australian cultural identity within the framework of a resented Anglo-American filmic and cultural hegemony. The book further explores this marginalisation by examining the influence of the French auteur paradigm, particularly in reference to the work of Jane Campion, as well as by discussing the increasingly problematic notion of national identity, and indeed national cinemas, within the universal framework of international film culture.

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Filmography and Index 313

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313 Filmography and Index A Cry in the Dark (aka Evil Angels) / Un cri dans la nuit (Fred Schepisi, 1989) 208-211, 254 Amy (Nadia Tass, 1999) 181, 276-277 Australia (Baz Luhrmann, 2008) 299- 301 Babe / Babe, le cochon devenu berger (Chris Noonan, 1995) 244-247, 268 Babe, Pig in the City / Babe, le cochon dans la ville (George Miller, 1998) 268-270 Backlash (Bill Bennett, 1986) 170, 173- 177, 268 Bad Boy Bubby (Rolf de Heer, 1993) 241-244, 247, 248 Better Than Sex (Jonathan Teplitzky, 2000) 282-283 Bliss (Ray Lawrence, 1985) 157-159 ‘Breaker’ Morant / Héros ou salopards (Bruce Beresford, 1980) 26, 79, 83-91, 116, 120, 148, 172, 198 Burke & Wills (Graeme Clifford, 1985) 170, 178-179 Cactus (Paul Cox, 1986) 179-180 Chopper (Andrew Dominik, 2000) 278-280 Clay / Argile (Giorgio Mangiamele, 1965) 31, 38-40 Crocodile Dundee (Peter Faiman, 1986) 175, 184-191, 192, 206, 212, 220, 221, 227, 249, 280, 301 Crocodile Dundee II (John Cornell, 1988) 191-194 Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (aka Crocodile Dundee 3) (Simon Wincer, 2001) 280-281 Dance Me To My Song (Rolf de Heer, 1998) 262-266 Dead Calm / Calme blanc (Phillip Noyce, 1988) 211-212 Devil in the Flesh / Le diable au corps (Scott Murray, 1986) 179, 180- 181, 270 Gallipoli (Peter Weir, 1981) 26, 110- 120, 122, 138, 139, 179, 196 Ghosts of the Civil Dead (John Hillcoat, 1988) 215-219 Ground Zero / Terre interdite (Bruce Myles, 1987) 196-199 Harlequin (Simon Wincer, 1980) 94- 97, 98, 99 Head On (Ana Kokkinos, 1998)...

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