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Celluloid Heroes Down Under: Australian Film, 1970-2000

Celluloid Heroes Down Under: Australian Film, 1970-2000

by Theodore F. Sheckels


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With films such as Muriel's Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert finding recent success in American theaters, Australian cinema has never been as popular in North America as it is today. This new study argues that post-1970 Australian film is best described not as exhibiting phenomenal variety but as focused on a conception of heroism characterized by the love of freedom, the resentment of authority, and attachment to the land, along with anti-intellectualism, fatalism, and occasional sexism. Tracing these themes through one hundred films, Scheckels explores the ways in which they are reflected through depictions of men, women, aboriginals, and youth, with each demographic group posing its own unique generic and cultural questions.

Including films both elite and popular, excellent and flawed, Celluloid Heroes Down Under offers film-by-film discussions in seven chapters, making the volume both a highly readable study of a particular cinema and superb reference guide for its readers. Unlike previous studies of the nation's film output, Sheckels's work presents its subject not as a miscellaneous collection but as a focused endeavor, a cohesive and undervalued component of world cinema.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780275976774
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/30/2002
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

THEODORE F. SHECKELS is Professor of English and Communication at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. He is the author of many books, including The Lion on the Freeway: A Thematic Introduction to Contemporary South African Literature in English (1996) and When Congress Debates: A Bakhtinian Paradigm (Praeger, 2000).

Table of Contents


Australian Film, 1970-2000

The Hero of Old

The Revised Hero

A Woman's Role

The Aborigines' Role

Youth-The Basis for Heroism to Come

Playing with the Concept



Appendix: The People Behind Australian Film



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