The Representation Of The Outback In Australian Film

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Australia - a continent that covers more than 7.5 million km² of the Earth's surface. The state of Western Australia itself is large enough to cover half of Europe, making it safe to say that there are no "islands" alike. Approximately 70% of Australia is considered "outback". The Outback is the enormous, isolated and dry area of Australia. The phrase "the outback" is commonly used to describe locations that are relatively more secluded than the main urban areas. Therefore making the outback one of Australia's main trademarks. The term "national cinema" is closely related to the idea of a national or common identity. When we look back at the start of Australian cinema and compare it to the more recent Australian films being produced, there…show more content…
These depictions work both visually and metaphorically, and will take part in almost any film made in Australia. When the viewer is exposed to visuals comparable to that in "Wake In Fright" when we see the protagonist John Grant by himself at Tiboonda train station, in the desert. A masculine feel is portrayed in this scene. One of remoteness and of endurance. This shows us that it takes a strong male character to be able to tolerate, battle and tame the landscape. Another scene that represents a similar feel is in Gallipoli by Peter Weir, when Frank and Archie are strolling across the salt plains, and nothing else is seen in the distance. From this scene we see a message of power and dominance, which we hardly ever see a female in, making the narrative a male one. The Australian landscape itself can also be seen as masculine, due to the severity of the land (in films we watch and in reality). This shows that it is almost exclusively an area dominated by men, as strength and conditioning is needed to overcome it. The struggles we see in the protagonists of these films don't always end on a successful note. Katherine Biber (an Australian Professor) states that the procedure of making the male character a hero can also be accomplished by his…show more content…
Foremost, masculinity has been showed to us in Australian cinema through the way the isolated landscape is depicted. The hardship that the male protagonist and his "body" go through is exposed well enough for the viewer to value the way they're represented in Australian cinema. These scenes work in coherence with the Australian landscape, alongside the large amounts of focus placed on the body, to show the viewer that a strong and masculine character is needed to live in the outback of Australia. This is evident in the film "Australia" by Baz Luhrmann when the Drover pours water over his nude body to get rid of the dirt from working a long and hard day. In contrast to the feminine image given in Australian films, men are a much more central element of our national cinema, and the way they are seen physically varies significantly. Usually we see men working hard under the sun, in the dirt and dust, dressed with work boots. This is very different to the "typical female" we see in these films, who dresses properly, has tidy hair and pale white skin from spending time indoors. Luhrmann evaluates this in "Australia", as the Drover and Lady Sarah, are somewhat opposites when it comes to physical attributes. The Drover is portrayed as the typical, rough, work

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