The ambiguities of ancestry: antiquity, ruins and the converging literary traditions of Australian gothic cinema

Craven, Allison (2020) The ambiguities of ancestry: antiquity, ruins and the converging literary traditions of Australian gothic cinema. Studies in Australasian Cinema, 14 (3). pp. 162-177.

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Abstract

‘Gothic’ is identified as a prominent mode of Australian cinema since the 1970s. In commentary on Australian Gothic films, ancestral influences in the aesthetics are often traced to literary conventions in colonial and pre-colonial British or European literatures. This article draws attention to the convergence of these literary and cinematic traditions and compares the prevalence of landscape as a Gothic figure in Australian films with the architectural elements of historical Gothic literature. The discussion proceeds through the British Gothic novel and its history as analogue of Gothic architecture of the time, and several recent accounts of ‘Australian Gothic’ cinema that invoke this history of the Gothic novel, and the dissonant description of ‘Australian Gothic’ in Susan Dermody and Elizabeth Jacka’s account of Australian Revival films. Two recent productions, Celeste (Hackworth 2019) and the television remake of Picnic at Hanging Rock (Rymer, Kondracki and Brotchie 2018) are compared as recent parodies of Gothic aesthetics that foreground architectural features of mise-en-scene over landscape. It is argued that while it is important to identify antecedents of contemporary cinema, that the colonial connotations of ancestry are ambiguous and potentially overpower attention to the generative visions in Australian Gothic filmmaking.

Item ID: 63823
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1750-3183
Keywords: Gothic, architecture, ancestry, inheritance, bush melancholy
Copyright Information: © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. In accordance with the publisher's policies, the Author Accepted Manuscript of this publication is available Open Access from ResearchOnline@JCU from 9 June 2022.
Funders: Colin and Margaret Roderick
Projects and Grants: Roderick Scholar
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2021 06:19
FoR Codes: 36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3605 Screen and digital media > 360501 Cinema studies @ 70%
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4705 Literary studies > 470502 Australian literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature) @ 30%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 20%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 80%
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