This book is dedicated to those we have lost:
Christine Elizabeth Jones (1954-2008)
Bernadette Anne Carstein (1954-2007)
And those we have gained:
Appolonia Gigi Bernard (27 March 2008)
'This chapter explores diaspora's signification flexibility and Aboriginality's appropriation within the Australian cinema. It also examines the movement of women into conceptual and physical spaces of Aboriginals citing the films "Journey Among Women" and "Over the Hill" where female characters mimic Aboriginal women in environments promoting female unity and survival.'
'Popular Australian film comedy since the early 1970s has been dominated by reinventions of the national type. These reinventions involve transformations of the urban larrikin and the bush battler, first established in silent film classics such as The Sentimental Bloke (Raymond Longford 1919) and in Cinesound Studio's Rudd family comedies of the 1930s, directed by Ken G. Hall. These comic types continue to surface in popular film and television as the larrikin, ocker or decent Aussie bloke, exemplified in the 1970s by Bazza McKenzie, in the 1980s by Crocodile Dundee, in the 1990s by Darryl Kerrigan in The Castle, and most recently by cable TV showman Steve Irwin until his untimely death in 2006. Yet despite decades of multiculturalism, little attention has been paid to the impact of post-war, non -British immigration on Australian comic types. This chapter examines three popular comedies which champion ethnically marked characters as either 'New Australians' (They're a Weird Mob, Michael Powell 1966), 'wogboys' (The Wog Boy, Alexsi Vellis 2000) or `chockos' (Fat Pizza, Paul Fenech 2003). It asks whether 'wogboys' and 'chockos' - as diasporic, multicultural or new world comic types - have trumped the larrikins and ockers of Australian screen comedy, or whether 'wogsploitation' films are popular with Australian film and television audiences precisely because they tap into a long. standing national type without disturbing its key characteristics.' (Publication abstract)
'How are Russians portrayed in Australian cinema? In contrast to their proportionally small population and minor, non -cohesive multicultural grouping, there hove been numerous representations of Russians in Australian Films and television serials. These are exoticized images that use Russians as catalysts of narrative conflict and cultural excess. Russia occupies on ambivalent space in the Australian cinematic imagination: romantic, mysterious, dangerous, emotional and dramatic. It is imagery informed by literary classics, especially the psychological lavishness of Leo To!stay and the spiritual inordinateness of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. While there is a long history of Russian migration, there is a relatively recent record of the representation of Russians on Australian screens. Russians are not cast as villains in the same way that we come to expect from American cinema during the Cold War, nor are Russians portrayed as 'normal', assimilated members of a brood multi -ethnic nation. They are more often cast as exotic, passionate and radical, dangerous and excessive.' (Publication abstract)
'War films are not an obvious starting point to discuss Australia's diasporic cinema. Nevertheless, portrayals of the enemy draw attention to the nationalizing discourses which serve to maintain an assimilationist model of the nation. While neither German nor Turkish identities figure prominently in Australia's contemporary multicultural cinema, these national 'types' play a more significant role in Australian visual culture produced in the first part of the twentieth century. German, and to a lesser extent Turkish, villains feature in numerous films produced in Australia during both world wars. In this chapter, we argue that in the short term Australian film portrayals of the 'the cruel Hun' and 'noble Turk' encouraged glorification of soldiers in Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), while in the long term these perpetuated a more nationalistic construction of the Anzac legend' (Publication abstract)
'A minor character in the Australian film Japanese Story (Sue Brooks 2003) ruminates on the ambivalence of many Australians towards Japanese people:
In the war we thought you blokes were coming after us - we had stuff stashed away up in the hills, evacuation plans, people tying knives to the end of broomsticks - ridiculous really... Now you blokes own the place. There was a time there when nobody would buy anything made in Japan. Wife, she'd go into the shop and turn the thing over and if it said made in Japan she put it back on the shelf - she wouldn't buy it. Still don't, I guess. Only country to have a trading surplus with you lot. Funny life, isn't it? (DVD transcript)
'These observations signal various perceptions of Australia -Japan relations for Anglo-Celtic Australians, and the monologue suggests how these can be articulated in Australian cinema. This chapter offers an overview of historical and contemporary relations between Australia and Japan as a framework for analyzing the diasporic cultures represented in two early millennial Australian films, Japanese Story and Bondi Tsunami (Rachael Lucas 2004). These depict Japanese visitors to Australia, however the approach (as well as the style) is significantly different in the two films, one concentrating on middle-class Euro-Australian cultural contact and the other on youthful transnational surf culture. In contrast to each other, the films raise issues about the practices deployed to represent Australian perspectives on Japanese culture.' (Introduction)
'This chapter maps how certain film-makers of Greek-Australian descent have delineated important aesthetic, cultural, exilic, gendered, historical and political complexities over the last several decades. The film-makers I examine here are, to varying degrees, nomadic, decentred, exilic and marginal- They include George Miller, Anna Kannava, Michael Karris, Peter Lyssiotis, Bill Mousoulis and Lex Marinas. I begin by examining features of the aesthetic, cultural and political realities that have influenced these film-makers of bicultural estrangement, loss, belonging and identity. Then my discussion ends on Ana Kokkinos's landmark feature Head On (1997). All these film-makers are, to cite the critic George Steiner, 'extraterritorial' wanderers across art, culture, language and society (Steiner 1971: 11). But in no way does this chapter speak of the Greek-Australian cinema in definitive, comprehensive terms. The subject is complex because of its intricate enmeshing with questions of bicultural marginality, class, exilic modernity, identity, masculinity, migrancy, sexism and power. ' (Introduction)
'Although they possess 'a European heart', writes director Paul Cox of his films, their roots are firmly in Australia (1998a: 82). In this chapter, I attend to the diasporic aspects of the biography and early films of Paul Cox, exploring well-known works such as Kostas (1979), Lonely Hearts (1982) and Man of Flowers (1983), and paying particular attention to My First Wife (1984). This largely historical chapter works to better comprehend how such films, from the 1970s and 1980s, 'construct' Paul Cox as an exilic, 'homeless' Australian film-maker. These films, well received by Australian and international audiences and critics, popularized Cox's name in the art house world as an Australian auteur making subtle films about human relationships, as 'Australia's Ingmar Bergman' (Chipperfield 1989: 12; Rattigan 1991: 224-26). It is through the recurring themes of exile and isolation, the diasporic motifs of memory and migration, and filmic strategies deploying the construction of mental landscapes and 'European' interiors that the personal relationship between Cox the film-maker and his adopted homeland is to be understood. ' (Introduction)
'A discussion of the representation of Lebanese Muslims in Australian media, with a focus on two films by documentary maker Tom Zubrycki: 'Billal' and 'Temple of Dreams'.'