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form y separately published work icon Walkabout single work   film/TV  
Adaptation of Walkabout Donald Gordon Payne , James Vance Marshall , 1959 single work novel
Issue Details: First known date: 1971... 1971 Walkabout
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Adapted from James Vance Marshall's novel The Children, Walkabout begins with a father-of-two driving his fourteen-year-old daughter and six-year-old son into the desert. Overwhelmed by the pressure on his life, he plans to kill them and then commit suicide, but his plan goes wrong. The siblings wander the desert aimlessly until they meet a young Aboriginal boy who is on a solitary walkabout as part of his tribal initiation into manhood. The three become travelling companions. Gradually, sexual tension develops between the girl and the Aboriginal boy. When they approach white civilisation, the Aboriginal boy dances a night-long courtship dance, but the girl is ignorant of its meaning. When she and her brother awake in the morning, they find the boy dead, hanging from a tree. The brother and sister make their way to the nearby mining town, where they receive a cool welcome from the townsfolk.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling : Making Cargo Danny Peary , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: FilmInk , 9 May 2018;
The Aboriginal Trauma Narrative and Roeg's Walkabout Philip Hanson , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Studies in Australasian Cinema , vol. 11 no. 2 2017; (p. 85-101)

Marshall's Walkabout and Nicolas Roeg's adaptation of that novel appeared at different points in Aboriginal trauma narrative constructions. Works often appear before a trauma narrative is complete. In this article, I employ an analysis of the imperial gaze as a way of evaluating the two works. I investigate Nicolas Roeg's 1971 adaptation of the novel in the context of the evolving Australian Aboriginal trauma narrative and also in the context of the Aboriginal narrative being one narrative among many in the larger global civil rights narrative. The source novel is itself the product of a stage in the Aboriginal trauma narrative. As the trauma narrative evolves, it opens up new definitions of the experience represented in the novel. Roeg examines and engages these developments in his adaptation. Roeg revises the racial and domestic logic of the novel, exposing its civil rights ethics as a product of arrested development. His film is best understood if one understands that it exists as part of the building of a larger trauma narrative.

Collaborations and Renegotiations : Re-examining the ‘Sacred’ in the Film-Making of David Gulpilil and Rolf de Heer Alison Jasper , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Literature and Theology , June vol. 31 no. 2 2017; (p. 187–199)

'This article discusses the term ‘sacred’ in relation to the work of nineteenth-century sociologist Émile Durkheim, for whom the word denoted the objects, practices and assumptions that sustained communal solidarity and fostered dynamic energies, whether or not they were conventionally described as ‘religious’. I then turn to the work of more recent scholars of ‘critical religion’ suggesting that the terms ‘religion’ and ‘the sacred’ derive from a predominantly western, patriarchal and colonial context, forming part of a complex network of interconnected categories that represent a distinctive and dominant discourse of power constructing a privileged identity through hostile Othering or exclusions. Arguably, in the Australian mainstream, a discourse of ‘religion’ imported largely by Christian settlers from the west over the last two hundred years has been employed to exclude Aboriginal ways of understanding the world, for example by promoting the category of ‘land’ as an exploitable, God-given human possession. Nevertheless, drawing on the work of Julia Kristeva, I understand that an encounter with the Other—whether the Aboriginal or the balanda—can be viewed differently: as a zone of properly disturbing but also creative possibility. It remains very important, however, to acknowledge the power imbalances that are still embedded within such encounters, and the consequent risks to indigenous Australians, of further dislocation and dispossession. This idea is explored through a consideration of the collaborative film-making of David Gulpilil and Rolf de Heer and, in particular, of two films: Ten Canoes (2006) and Charlie’s Country (2013).'  (Publication abstract)

How We Made Walkabout Alex Godfrey (interviewer), 2016 single work interview
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 9 August 2016;
Classics Worth Re-Catching : Walkabout (1971) Jon Hewitt , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: FilmInk , 8 July 2016;
Iconic Moments in Cinema : Australia, Part 1 : Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg, 1971): New Wave and New Beginning Adam Bingham , 2008-2009 single work review
— Appears in: Senses of Cinema , no. 49 2008-2009;

— Review of Walkabout Edward Bond , 1971 single work film/TV
Skimming the Surface : Walkabout by Louis Nowra Dan Edwards , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: Senses of Cinema , July - September no. 32 2004;

— Review of Walkabout Louis Nowra , 2003 single work criticism ; Walkabout Edward Bond , 1971 single work film/TV
Untitled Justine Kelly , 2001 single work review
— Appears in: Senses of Cinema , April-May no. 13 2001;

— Review of Walkabout Edward Bond , 1971 single work film/TV
y separately published work icon Walkabout Louis Nowra , Sydney : Currency Press ScreenSound Australia , 2003 Z1039055 2003 single work criticism

'Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout opened worldwide in 1971. Based on the novel of the same name by James Vance Marshall, it is the story of two white children lost in the Australian Outback. They survive only through the help of an Aboriginal boy who is on walkabout during his initiation into manhood. The film earned itself a unique place in cinematic history and was re-released in 1998.

In this illuminating reflection on Walkabout, Louis Nowra, one of Australia's leading dramatists and screenwriters, discusses Australia's iconic sense of the outback; and the peculiar resonance that the story of the lost child has in the Australian psyche. He tells how the film came to be made and how its preoccupations fit into the oeuvre of both its director and cinematographer Nicolas Roeg, and its screenwriter Edward Bond.

Nowra identifies the film's distinctive take on a familiar story and its fable-like qualities, while also exploring the film's relationship to Australia and its implications for the English society of its day. He recognizes how relevant the film is to the contemporary struggle to try and find common ground between blacks and white.' -- Currency Press (2003)

Shared Dreamings Waiting to be Filmed Mark Byrne , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 31 May 2005; (p. 15)
35 Years on, Walkabout Still a Feather in His Cap Thirty Five Years on, Walkabout Still a Feather in His Cap Larry Schwartz , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 20 August 2005; (p. 3)
Tracking Gulpilil on Screen: Changing Representations of Indigenous Identity Jane Steinhaeuser , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Credits Rolling: Film & History Conference, Canberra Australia 2-5 December 2004 : Selected Papers 2004; (p. 43-48)
Desert Hauntings, Public Interiors and National Modernity : From 'The Overlanders' to 'Walkabout' and 'Japanese Story' Brigid Rooney , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 67 no. 1-2 2007; (p. 410-422)
Last amended 31 May 2017 17:34:10
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