AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2009... 2009 Peter Carey's and Ray Lawrence's Bliss (1985): Fiction, Film and Power
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

This article looks into the uncertain cultural politics of Ray Lawrence's 1985 film adaptation of Peter Carey's Bliss (1981) perhaps one reason for critical reticence about it to examine the functioning of the film as a critique of the options aesthetic, commercial and political within the inherited aesthetic force field of the period. The film is considered in two ways: first, with regard to the question of why Bliss has come to be regarded as a key film in the story of the Australian movies, as a kind of liberation point a leap away from naturalism and the historical realism of the new wave of the 1970s (Byrnes 2008); and second, with regard to its main theme, the satiric treatment of advertising, American consumerism and commodity culture. What lies at the heart of this is the complex relationship between representation and power, and this will be considered in terms of the paradox that Bliss criticizes consumerism while being aware of its own aspirations as a commercial feature film, and therefore a commodity. This is what is meant by the film's uncertain cultural politics: the paradox arises from the fact that cinema is both an artistic and a commercial medium; as a culture-industry, it seeks to criticize the commercial processes in which it is itself embedded (Author's abstract).

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 15 Feb 2011 12:03:42
279-294 Peter Carey's and Ray Lawrence's Bliss (1985): Fiction, Film and Powersmall AustLit logo Studies in Australasian Cinema
Subjects:
  • Bliss Peter Carey , Ray Lawrence , 1985 single work film/TV
Newspapers:
    Powered by Trove
    X