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TitleAntipodean Gothic Cinema: A Study of the (postmodern) Gothic in Australian and New Zealand Film since the 1970s
AuthorAshton, Romana
InstitutionCentral Queensland University
AbstractAlthough various film critics and academics have located the Gothic in Antipodean cinema, there has been no in-depth study of the Gothic and its ideological entanglements with postmodernism within this cinema. This study is divided into two parts and locates the (postmodern) Gothic in twelve Australian/New Zealand films ranging from Ted Kotcheff’s Wake in Fright (1971) to Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures (1994). Part one theorizes the Gothic as a subversive cultural mode that foreshadows postmodernism in terms of its antithetical relationship with Enlightenment ideals. Interconnections are made between proto-postmodern aspects of early Gothic literature and the appropriation and intensification of these aspects in what has been dubbed the postmodern Gothic. The dissertation then argues that the Antipodes was/is constructed through Euro-centric discourse(s) as a Gothic/(proto)-postmodern space or place, this construction manifest in, and becoming intertwined with the postmodern in post 1970s Antipodean cinema. In part two, a cross-section of Australian/New Zealand films is organized into cinematic sub-genres in line with their similar thematic preoccupations and settings, all films argued as reflecting a marked postmodern Gothic sensibility. In its conclusion, the study finds that “Antipodean Gothic cinema”, particularly since the 1970s, can be strongly characterized by its combining of Gothic/postmodernist modes of representation, this convergence constitutive of a postmodernized version of the Gothic which is heavily influenced by Euro-centric constructions of the Antipodes in Gothic/(proto)-postmodern related terms.
Thesis 01front.pdf 78.3 Kb
02whole.pdf 859.6 Kb