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Issue Details: First known date: 2010... 2010 Australian Eco-Horror and Gaia's Revenge : Animals, Eco-Nationalism and the 'New Nature'
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'We hear so much about extinction in debates around climate change. But what about those animals that go feral and then return – bigger, hungrier and angrier – to wreak revenge on humans who may have done them injustice? Using an eco-postcolonial framework, this article examines how a number of exploitation horror films have dealt with environmental topics and issues of trespass. In particular, I examine the agency of animals – crocs, pigs, thylacines and marsupial werewolves – in some key Australian eco-horror films from the last 30 years: Long Weekend (Eggleston, 1978), Razorback (Mulcahy, 1984), Dark Age (Nicholson, 1987), Howling III: the Marsupials (Mora, 1987), Rogue (Greg McLean, 2007), Black Water (Nerlich & Traucki, 2007) and Dying Breed (Dwyer 2008). On the one hand, these films extend postcolonial anxieties over settler Australian notions of belonging, while on the other, they signify a cultural shift. The animals portrayed have an uncanny knack of adapting and hybridizing in order to survive, and thus they (the films and the animals) force us to acknowledge more culturally plural forms of being. In particular, these films unwittingly emphasize what Tim Low has termed the ‘new Nature’: an emerging ethic that foregrounds the complex and dynamic interrelationships of animals with humans.'

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Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Capturing Spectral Beasts : Marsupial Performances of the Cinematic Undead Ben Dibley , 2020 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , December no. 67 2020;

'The ‘double movement of animal (dis)appearance’ has been a long standing and defining trope of the critical literature on the exhibition of animals in zoos and cinema (McMahon and Lawrence 9). This movement rests on the paradox that modern technologies of vision and exhibition have spectacularly increased the visibility of animals in a period in which they have dramatically vanished from the wild and from everyday life. John Berger is no doubt the most well-known and influential critic to elaborate this paradox. For Berger, the proliferation of animal representations coincided with the advent of a modernity that not only increasingly encroached on wildlife but also dis-embedded agrarian populations, dislodging the everyday animal-human relations of rural life. In this context Berger contends: ‘Public zoos came into existence at the beginning of the period which was to see the disappearance of animals’ (Berger 30). Zoo animals, he continues, ‘constitute the living monument to their own disappearance’.' (Introduction)

Capturing Spectral Beasts : Marsupial Performances of the Cinematic Undead Ben Dibley , 2020 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , December no. 67 2020;

'The ‘double movement of animal (dis)appearance’ has been a long standing and defining trope of the critical literature on the exhibition of animals in zoos and cinema (McMahon and Lawrence 9). This movement rests on the paradox that modern technologies of vision and exhibition have spectacularly increased the visibility of animals in a period in which they have dramatically vanished from the wild and from everyday life. John Berger is no doubt the most well-known and influential critic to elaborate this paradox. For Berger, the proliferation of animal representations coincided with the advent of a modernity that not only increasingly encroached on wildlife but also dis-embedded agrarian populations, dislodging the everyday animal-human relations of rural life. In this context Berger contends: ‘Public zoos came into existence at the beginning of the period which was to see the disappearance of animals’ (Berger 30). Zoo animals, he continues, ‘constitute the living monument to their own disappearance’.' (Introduction)

Last amended 15 Jun 2017 10:23:53
43-54 Australian Eco-Horror and Gaia's Revenge : Animals, Eco-Nationalism and the 'New Nature'small AustLit logo Studies in Australasian Cinema
Subjects:
  • Long Weekend Everett de Roche , 1978 single work film/TV
  • Razorback Everett de Roche , 1984 single work film/TV
  • Dark Age Sonia Borg , 1987 single work film/TV
  • The Howling III Philippe Mora , 1987 single work film/TV
  • Rogue Greg McLean , 2007 single work film/TV
  • Black Water Andrew Traucki , David Nerlich , 2007 single work film/TV
  • Dying Breed Michael Boughen , Jody Dwyer , Rod Morris , 2008 single work film/TV
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