Sixteen-year-old Jamie feels isolated by the poverty of his surroundings, his lack of a father figure, and his mother's preoccupation with his younger, more demanding brothers. So when he falls in with the charismatic and much older John, he is slowly drawn into John's world of homophobia, violence, and murder.
'This essay begins from a simple premise: determinations of ‘Australianness’ and ‘the Australian character’ have been and continue to be inextricably linked to the fetishisation and reification of space in popular cultural manifestations of Australia. This is evident throughout white Australian cultural histories, as well as white histories of Australian culture. Perhaps this is a tautological claim in relation to any conception of nation, tied as such conceptions are to modern practices of cartography and geography. However, it is my contention that whilst notions of space play a determinant role in general vis-à-vis the configuration of nation (and national character), they play a larger role than usual in the configuration of ‘Australia’; the function of space in the conception of Australia is less modulated through competing discourses such as class, ethnicity and religion than in other national examples. This emphasis continues to privilege a mythical vision of space, with terra Australis incognita reified according to either of two dominant paradigms: the landscape is cultivated as a blank space offering the egalitarian opportunity for ‘man’ to reassess and reassert ‘his’ place in the natural order; or the landscape is cultivated as a sublime object—grand, and at times terrifying in its vastness and emptiness, a spectral antipodean environment that seems to ‘naturally’ lend itself to the gothic mode.' (Introduction)
'The article focuses on n Australian film director and screenwriter Justin Kurzel. Topics include charismatic nature of the heroes and villains of Kurzel's films including John Bunting, the psychotic Messiah in "Snowtown," Kurzel's fascination with leaders which is a confessional undertone of the need for directors to be autocrats, and why Kurzel finds films as very visceral. Also mentioned is Kurzel's adaptation of "Macbeth" which sheds the moral qualms that inhibit Shakespeare's character.' (Publication summary)