Reconfiguring rusticity: feminizing Australian cinema's country towns
Author: Simpson, Catherine
Source: Studies in Australasian Cinema, Volume 2, Number 1, September 2008 , pp. 47-59(13)
Abstract:Country towns in Australian cinema are commonly seen in opposition to a fixed, imagined urban normalcy. The first part of this paper discusses the urban/rural dialectic in the construction of rusticity. The second section examines the role women play in the rustic sphere. The last decade has seen a feminizing of the country town in films made predominantly by female directors such as Radiance (Rachel Perkins, 1998), Somersault (Cate Shortland, 2004) and The Oyster Farmer (Anna Reeves, 2005). The final part of this paper focuses on two breakthrough films from the mid-1990s, also from female creative teams, which signal a significant shift in the portrayal of women's subjectivity and agency in country towns: Love Serenade (Shirley Barrett, 1996) and Road to Nhill (Sue Brooks, 1997). Although these films do not challenge the stereotype of country towns as irrelievably dull, their surreal lensing and black comic tone, I suggest, reconfigure rusticity.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Macquarie University.
Publication date: 2008-09-15
- Launched in 2007, the journal engages in critical discussion of cinema from the Australian, New Zealand and Pacific region. Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific regions are home to many indigenous nations and immigrant cultures from all around the world. Studies in Australasian Cinema will maintain an emphasis on this diversity with a special interest in postcolonial politics and contexts.
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