6578819537704114741.jpg
Screen cap from promotional trailer
form y The Proposition single work   film/TV   thriller   western   crime  
Issue Details: First known date: 2005 2005
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Set in the 1880s, [The Proposition] opens in the middle of a frenzied gunfight between the police and a gang of outlaws. Charlie Burns ... and his brother Mikey are captured by Captain Stanley... Together with their psychopathic brother Arthur, ... they are wanted for a brutal crime. Stanley makes Charlie a seemingly impossible proposition in an attempt to bring an end to the cycle of bloody violence.'


Source: Nick Cave's website (http://www.nickcaveandthebadseeds.com/)

Sighted: 20/09/2005

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

The Proposition : Imagining Race, Family and Violence on the Nineteenth-Century Australian Frontier Catriona Elder , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Ilha Do Desterro : A Journal of English Language , vol. 69 no. 2 2016;
'This article analyses John Hillcoat’s 2005 film The Proposition in relation to a spate of Australian films about violence and the (post)colonial encounter released in the early twenty-first century. Extending on Felicity Collins and Therese Davis argument that these films can be read in terms of the ways they capture or refract aspects of contemporary race relations in Australia in a post-Mabo, this article analyses how The Proposition reconstructs the trauma of the Australian frontier; how from the perspective of the twenty-first century it worries over the meaning of violence on the Australian frontier. It also explores what has become speakable (and remains unspeakable) in the public sphere about the history of the frontier encounter, especially in terms of family and race. The article argues that The Proposition and other early twenty-first century race relations films can be understood as post-reconciliation films, emerging in a period when Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians were rethinking ideas of belonging through a prism of post-enmity and forgiveness. Drawing on the theme of violence and intimate relations in the film, this article argues that the challenges to the everyday formulation of Australian history proffered in The Proposition reveal painful and powerful differences amongst Australian citizens’ understanding of who belongs and how they came to belong to the nation. I suggest that by focusing on violence in terms of intimacy, relationships, family and kin, it is possible to see this film presented an opportunity to begin to refigure ideas of belonging. ' (Publication abstract)
The Proposition Rewatched – Outback Western Mixes Violence and Profundity Luke Buckmaster , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 30 January 2015;

— Review of The Proposition Nick Cave 2005 single work film/TV
Re-Viewing History : Bicentennial Fictions Jo Jones , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Telling Stories : Australian Life and Literature 1935–2012 2013; (p. 447-483)
Cave's Prohibition Story Resonates in Modern Times Stephanie Bunbury , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 21 May 2012; (p. 8)
Winton Impresses as Setting for Matilda Movie Fiona Purdon , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 19 July 2012; (p. 16)
The Aboriginal Voice in Baz Luhrmann's Left-Leaning Australia (2008) D. Bruno Starrs , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Continuum : Journal of Media & Cultural Studies , vol. 26 no. 4 2012; (p. 625-636)
'Arguing that Baz Luhrmann's Australia (2008) is a big-budget, non-independent film espousing a left-leaning political ideology in its non-racist representations of Aborigines on film, this paper suggests the addition of a 'fourth formation' to the 1984 Moore and Muecke model is warranted. According to their theorizing, racist 'first formation' films promote policies of assimilation whereas 'second formation' films avoid overt political statements in favour of more acceptable multicultural liberalism. Moore and Muecke's seemingly ultimate 'third formation films', however, blatantly foreground the director's leftist political dogma in a necessarily low budget, independent production. Australia, on the other hand, is an advance on the third formation because its left-leaning feminized Aboriginal voice is safely backed by a colossal production budget and indicates a transformation in public perceptions of Aboriginal issues. Furthermore, this paper argues that the use of low-cost post-production techniques such as voice-over narration by racially appropriate individuals and the use of diegetic song in Australia work to ensure the positive reception of the left-leaning message regarding the Stolen Generations. With these devices Luhrmann effectively counters the claims of right-wing denialists such as Andrew Bolt and Keith Windschuttle.' (Author's abstract, 625)
Reconciliation and the History Wars in Australian Cinema Felicity Collins , 2011-2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Exhuming Passions : The Pressure of the Past in Ireland and Australia 2012; (p. 207-222)
'When The Proposition ( a UK/Australia co-production, directed by John Hillcoat and scripted by Nick Cave) was released in 2005, film reviewers had no qualms about claiming this spectacular saga of colonial violence on the Queensland frontier as a 'history' film. A reviewer on BBC Radio 4 described The Proposition as 'a bushranger Western...set in violent 1880s Australian outback exposing the bitter racial tensions between English and Irish settlers. A Sunday Times review declared that 'Australia's brutal post-colonial history is stripped of all the lies in a bloody clash of cultures between the British police, the Irish bushrangers and the Aborigines.' Foregrounding the film's revisionist spectacle of colonial violence, an Australian reviewer predicted that, despite 'scenes of throat-cutting torture, rape and exploding heads...The Proposition could be the most accurate look at our national history yet'. (Author's introduction, 207)
Movie of the Week Doug Anderson , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 4 January 2010; (p. 18)

— Review of The Proposition Nick Cave 2005 single work film/TV
The Good Son Peter Conrad , 2009 single work essay
— Appears in: The Monthly , August no. 48 2009; (p. 28-37)
Conrad examines whether there is 'a mission in the vindictive madness Cave unleashes in his songs and novels'.
Gunpowder and Gardens : Reading Women in The Proposition Tanya Dalziell , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Studies in Australasian Cinema , vol. 3 no. 1 2009; (p. 121-131)
'The John Hillcoat-directed, Nick Cave-penned film, The Proposition (2005), is most instantly recognizable as one recent reinterpretation of 'the western' cinematic genre, which makes the focus of this article on its representation of the garden and female corporeality unlikely. Yet, The Proposition is not a stock transferral of 'the western' to contemporary imaginings of late nineteenth-century colonial Queensland, and an attentiveness to the peripheral interest of The Proposition in the garden and female bodies, rather than the climactic show-down in the main street (which never occurs in Hillcoat's film), raises tangential but telling issues about borders and migration in a settler context that are perhaps not the anticipated subject of a film that ostensibly turns around its eponymous proposal: the murder of one outlaw brother by another to save the life of a third male sibling.'
The White Woman's Burden : Whiteness and the Neo-Colonialist Historical Imagination in The Proposition (John Hillcoat, 2005) Marise Williams , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Studies in Australasian Cinema , vol. 3 no. 3 2009; (p. 265-278)
'John Hillcoat's film The Proposition (2005), written by Nick Cave and set in a late 1880s Australian outback, is a colonial ballad of rape, murder, revenge and fratricide. The central narrative arc is concerned with relations between men, the English Captain Stanley and the Irish Burns gang representing, respectively, the law and the lawless, civilizing imperialists and wild colonials. Drawing on Richard Dyer's White, this article explores the gender-coded white racial imagery of the film and argues that the figure of the white woman signifies what is really at stake: a cultural and racial logic of whiteness as definitive of the 'Australian'.' (Author's abstract)
Portraits of Settler History in The Proposition Carol Hart , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Senses of Cinema , January - March no. 38 2006;
'Hailed as an antipodean Western, this Nick Cave scripted and John Hillcoat directed feature raises considerable debate about the representation of Australia's colonial history.' (Publisher's abstract)
Nick and John's Excellent Adventure Stephen Dalton , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 25 September 2005; (p. 4)
The Evening Redness in the West William D. Routt , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 1 October 2005; (p. 8)
Discusses the way in which violence is presented in the film.
Western Values Derek Rielly , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: Limelight , October 2005; (p. 32-33)
Written in Blood Sacha Molitorisz , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 7 October 2005; (p. 5)
Films with Backbone Stephen Matchett , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 26-27 November 2005; (p. 40)
Awards Time Des Partridge , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 26-27 November 2005; (p. 9)
The Making of an Australian Western : John Hillcoat and The Proposition Peter Krausz , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: Metro Magazine , no. 146-147 2005; (p. 16-20)
Marked by Darkness and by Blood and by a Thousand Powder Burns : The Proposition Dave Hoskin , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: Metro Magazine , no. 146-147 2005; (p. 22-27)
No Hero to be Found Evan Williams , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 8-9 October 2005; (p. 23)

— Review of The Proposition Nick Cave 2005 single work film/TV
Movie of the Week Doug Anderson , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 4 January 2010; (p. 18)

— Review of The Proposition Nick Cave 2005 single work film/TV
The Proposition Rewatched – Outback Western Mixes Violence and Profundity Luke Buckmaster , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 30 January 2015;

— Review of The Proposition Nick Cave 2005 single work film/TV
Nick and John's Excellent Adventure Stephen Dalton , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 25 September 2005; (p. 4)
The Evening Redness in the West William D. Routt , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 1 October 2005; (p. 8)
Discusses the way in which violence is presented in the film.
Western Values Derek Rielly , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: Limelight , October 2005; (p. 32-33)
Written in Blood Sacha Molitorisz , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 7 October 2005; (p. 5)
Films with Backbone Stephen Matchett , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 26-27 November 2005; (p. 40)
Awards Time Des Partridge , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 26-27 November 2005; (p. 9)
The Good Son Peter Conrad , 2009 single work essay
— Appears in: The Monthly , August no. 48 2009; (p. 28-37)
Conrad examines whether there is 'a mission in the vindictive madness Cave unleashes in his songs and novels'.
Gunpowder and Gardens : Reading Women in The Proposition Tanya Dalziell , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Studies in Australasian Cinema , vol. 3 no. 1 2009; (p. 121-131)
'The John Hillcoat-directed, Nick Cave-penned film, The Proposition (2005), is most instantly recognizable as one recent reinterpretation of 'the western' cinematic genre, which makes the focus of this article on its representation of the garden and female corporeality unlikely. Yet, The Proposition is not a stock transferral of 'the western' to contemporary imaginings of late nineteenth-century colonial Queensland, and an attentiveness to the peripheral interest of The Proposition in the garden and female bodies, rather than the climactic show-down in the main street (which never occurs in Hillcoat's film), raises tangential but telling issues about borders and migration in a settler context that are perhaps not the anticipated subject of a film that ostensibly turns around its eponymous proposal: the murder of one outlaw brother by another to save the life of a third male sibling.'
The White Woman's Burden : Whiteness and the Neo-Colonialist Historical Imagination in The Proposition (John Hillcoat, 2005) Marise Williams , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Studies in Australasian Cinema , vol. 3 no. 3 2009; (p. 265-278)
'John Hillcoat's film The Proposition (2005), written by Nick Cave and set in a late 1880s Australian outback, is a colonial ballad of rape, murder, revenge and fratricide. The central narrative arc is concerned with relations between men, the English Captain Stanley and the Irish Burns gang representing, respectively, the law and the lawless, civilizing imperialists and wild colonials. Drawing on Richard Dyer's White, this article explores the gender-coded white racial imagery of the film and argues that the figure of the white woman signifies what is really at stake: a cultural and racial logic of whiteness as definitive of the 'Australian'.' (Author's abstract)
Portraits of Settler History in The Proposition Carol Hart , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Senses of Cinema , January - March no. 38 2006;
'Hailed as an antipodean Western, this Nick Cave scripted and John Hillcoat directed feature raises considerable debate about the representation of Australia's colonial history.' (Publisher's abstract)
Cave's Prohibition Story Resonates in Modern Times Stephanie Bunbury , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 21 May 2012; (p. 8)
Reconciliation and the History Wars in Australian Cinema Felicity Collins , 2011-2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Exhuming Passions : The Pressure of the Past in Ireland and Australia 2012; (p. 207-222)
'When The Proposition ( a UK/Australia co-production, directed by John Hillcoat and scripted by Nick Cave) was released in 2005, film reviewers had no qualms about claiming this spectacular saga of colonial violence on the Queensland frontier as a 'history' film. A reviewer on BBC Radio 4 described The Proposition as 'a bushranger Western...set in violent 1880s Australian outback exposing the bitter racial tensions between English and Irish settlers. A Sunday Times review declared that 'Australia's brutal post-colonial history is stripped of all the lies in a bloody clash of cultures between the British police, the Irish bushrangers and the Aborigines.' Foregrounding the film's revisionist spectacle of colonial violence, an Australian reviewer predicted that, despite 'scenes of throat-cutting torture, rape and exploding heads...The Proposition could be the most accurate look at our national history yet'. (Author's introduction, 207)
Winton Impresses as Setting for Matilda Movie Fiona Purdon , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 19 July 2012; (p. 16)
The Aboriginal Voice in Baz Luhrmann's Left-Leaning Australia (2008) D. Bruno Starrs , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Continuum : Journal of Media & Cultural Studies , vol. 26 no. 4 2012; (p. 625-636)
'Arguing that Baz Luhrmann's Australia (2008) is a big-budget, non-independent film espousing a left-leaning political ideology in its non-racist representations of Aborigines on film, this paper suggests the addition of a 'fourth formation' to the 1984 Moore and Muecke model is warranted. According to their theorizing, racist 'first formation' films promote policies of assimilation whereas 'second formation' films avoid overt political statements in favour of more acceptable multicultural liberalism. Moore and Muecke's seemingly ultimate 'third formation films', however, blatantly foreground the director's leftist political dogma in a necessarily low budget, independent production. Australia, on the other hand, is an advance on the third formation because its left-leaning feminized Aboriginal voice is safely backed by a colossal production budget and indicates a transformation in public perceptions of Aboriginal issues. Furthermore, this paper argues that the use of low-cost post-production techniques such as voice-over narration by racially appropriate individuals and the use of diegetic song in Australia work to ensure the positive reception of the left-leaning message regarding the Stolen Generations. With these devices Luhrmann effectively counters the claims of right-wing denialists such as Andrew Bolt and Keith Windschuttle.' (Author's abstract, 625)
Re-Viewing History : Bicentennial Fictions Jo Jones , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Telling Stories : Australian Life and Literature 1935–2012 2013; (p. 447-483)
The Making of an Australian Western : John Hillcoat and The Proposition Peter Krausz , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: Metro Magazine , no. 146-147 2005; (p. 16-20)
Marked by Darkness and by Blood and by a Thousand Powder Burns : The Proposition Dave Hoskin , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: Metro Magazine , no. 146-147 2005; (p. 22-27)
The Proposition : Imagining Race, Family and Violence on the Nineteenth-Century Australian Frontier Catriona Elder , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Ilha Do Desterro : A Journal of English Language , vol. 69 no. 2 2016;
'This article analyses John Hillcoat’s 2005 film The Proposition in relation to a spate of Australian films about violence and the (post)colonial encounter released in the early twenty-first century. Extending on Felicity Collins and Therese Davis argument that these films can be read in terms of the ways they capture or refract aspects of contemporary race relations in Australia in a post-Mabo, this article analyses how The Proposition reconstructs the trauma of the Australian frontier; how from the perspective of the twenty-first century it worries over the meaning of violence on the Australian frontier. It also explores what has become speakable (and remains unspeakable) in the public sphere about the history of the frontier encounter, especially in terms of family and race. The article argues that The Proposition and other early twenty-first century race relations films can be understood as post-reconciliation films, emerging in a period when Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians were rethinking ideas of belonging through a prism of post-enmity and forgiveness. Drawing on the theme of violence and intimate relations in the film, this article argues that the challenges to the everyday formulation of Australian history proffered in The Proposition reveal painful and powerful differences amongst Australian citizens’ understanding of who belongs and how they came to belong to the nation. I suggest that by focusing on violence in terms of intimacy, relationships, family and kin, it is possible to see this film presented an opportunity to begin to refigure ideas of belonging. ' (Publication abstract)
Last amended 11 Mar 2015 14:35:33
Settings:
  • Queensland,
  • Australian Outback, Central Australia,
  • 1890s
  • 1880s
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