This book represents a new way of thinking about Australian cinema by asking where the origins of the new film lie. It begins by tracing the indebtedness of Australian cinema to the classical narrative style of Hollywood filmmaking, with its firm grasp of melodrama. Several films are studied in detail within this framework, including Picnic at Hanging Rock, Blood Oath, The Empty Beach, and Shame. The book continues by comparing the problems faced by "high" British cinema of the 1940s and 1950s with those faced by Australian cinema of the 1970s and the 1980s in the attempts by both countries to establish national film industries. Many parallels are drawn between the responses of British and Australian cinema to the overall dominance of Hollywood, despite the thirty-year gap between these two periods of filmmaking.
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This book presents a new way of looking at Australian cinema by inquiring into the origins of the filmmaking revival of the 1970s and 1980s and acknowledging the influences of previous periods of British Cinema and Hollywood upon it.
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