Escape to the terraform tropics: geography and gender in marine adventure films from Queensland

Craven, Allison (2018) Escape to the terraform tropics: geography and gender in marine adventure films from Queensland. Screening the Past, 43.

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The ‘marine adventure film’ is an emerging genre among the blockbuster films emanating from the industry hub centred in Queensland’s Gold Coast. The characteristics of these films derive not only from Hollywood adventure epics but from the particular use of locations and setting provoked by contemporary trends in digital mise en scène, and the influence of location offset incentives of the Australian screen industries. The Shallows (Jaume Collet-Serra, 2016), and the quest of its heroine, Nancy (Blake Lively), exemplifies the generation of unique settings through layering of digital environments on location and studio footage. I term this process ‘terraforming’, a term I derive from science fiction where it describes the modification of an environment, to suggest the complex virtual ecologies of these productions and to probe the cultural economies of the spectacle. A career challenge for Blake Lively, Nancy’s quest in The Shallows also highlights the role of gender in the imagining of the terraform place, figured by a ‘female’ island in mise en scène, while the film’s publicity extolled the Australian beaches where the (limited) location footage was shot. Nancy’s solo-survival epic is therefore a case study in the terraform render of gender, myths and locations in marine adventure films.

Item ID: 53328
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1328-9756
Keywords: marine adventure, Queensland cinema, locations, virtual ecologies, terraforming, geography, gender
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Copyright Information: Copyright © Screening the Past publications
Date Deposited: 13 May 2019 03:10
FoR Codes: 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4702 Cultural studies > 470214 Screen and media culture @ 50%
36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3605 Screen and digital media > 360501 Cinema studies @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 50%
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