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'This article examines the powerful performance of actor Aaron Pedersen in Ivan Sen's 2013 film, Mystery Road, exploring his performance and his role as a key to the cinematic and cultural significance of the film. Through an analysis of pivotal scenes of the film and drawing on a wide range of interviews with director and actor, the article argues that Mystery Road brings a complexity and cultural resonance to the role of an inter-cultural mediator that breaks new ground in Australian cinema. Exploring questions of genre, embodied performance and an aesthetics of sparseness, the article argues that Sen reframes the familiar cultural trope of the Indigenous person ‘caught between two cultures’, rendering that figure as an active bicultural negotiator. The concept of the cinematic body is deployed to explore energetic dimensions of Pedersen's performance. The article argues that the cinematic construction of that energetic connection with spectators relies on a directorial conception of cinema that is flexible, innovative, cinematically ambitious and culturally challenging. The article works from inside the energetic dynamics of performance and its cinematic construction to examine the challenges the film makes to Australian cinema.' (Publication summary)

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  • Appears in:
    y Studies in Australasian Cinema Re-evaluating the Royal Commission into the Australian Moving Picture Industry, 1927–28 vol. 9 no. 3 2015 9156791 2015 periodical issue 2015 pg. 312-326
Last amended 17 Dec 2015 11:00:43
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