Viet Kong: Aping America’s Heart of Darkness

“The word remake is anachronistic to the degree to which our awareness of the preexistence of other versions (previous films of the novel as well as the novel itself) is now a constitutive and essential part of the film’s structure: we are now, in other words, in “intertextuality” as a deliberate, built-in feature of the […]

ANALYSIS: God in all things: Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s ‘Hail’

In an industry where marginalised social classes are routinely depicted as loveable larrikins, comical bogans or dangerous criminals and sexual predators, Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s Hail signals something of a breakthrough in Australian cinema. Based on the life and stories of Daniel P. Jones (who also performs the lead role, Danny), the film broadly depicts one man’s […]

ANALYSIS: The White Man’s Journey: ‘On The Road’

More than half a century after it was first published and three decades since Francis Ford Coppola acquired the rights to the material, Jack Kerouac’s Beat Generation novel On the Road (d. Walter Salles) has been adapted for the screen. Of the many challenges in reproducing Kerouac’s celebrated work (e.g. contending with the sprawling structure […]

ANALYSIS: Reigning Men?: Masculinity in ‘Magic Mike’

You’re not just stripping. You are fulfilling every woman’s wildest fantasies. You are the husband that they never had. You are that dreamboat guy that never came along. You are the one-night stand: that free fling of a fuck that they get to have tonight, with you on stage, and still go home to their […]

ANALYSIS: Polisse: Empathy or Exploitation?

At what point does representation become exploitation? Classifying the inherent ethical value of art is a perilous pursuit. As the response to Bill Henson’s photography or the calls to ban Adrian Lyne’s Lolita, Gregg Araki’s Mysterious Skin and Srđan Spasojević’s A Serbian Film reveal, this is particularly so when the work involves children. Recently released […]

ANALYSIS: Neuralysing History: Race, Time and Fatherhood in ‘Men in Black 3’

As far as blockbusters go, the recently released Men in Black 3 (dir. Barry Sonnenfeld) might seem to be a fairly unremarkable film. However, the narrative, which continues the story of extraterrestrial law enforcers Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), is noteworthy for other reasons. With its emphasis on the rescue […]

ANALYSIS: ‘There’s No God Down Here’: Maternal Absence and Abjection in ‘Sanctum’

In her gender analysis of Aliens (1986) Barbara Creed notes how the “dark and slimy” interior spaces of the Alien Queen’s egg chamber “offer a nightmarish vision of what [Julia] Kristeva describes as ‘the fascinating and abject inside of the maternal body’” (1993:51). The mise-en-scène of Aliens (where this viscous-coated lair is contrasted with the […]

ANALYSIS: She Reminds Me of He: Gender Ambivalence in ‘True Grit’

For mine, the defining moment of Henry Hathaway’s True Grit (1969) occurs towards the beginning of the film. Given the slip by the two men charged with hunting down her father’s killer, Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) takes chase only to be refused passage on the river barge that the pair have boarded. Not to be […]

ANALYSIS: Opening Pandora’s Box: The Voice and Technology in The King’s Speech

The voice is elusive. Once you’re eliminated everything that is not the voice itself – the body that houses it, the words it carries, the notes it sings, the traits by which it defines a speaking person, and the timbres that colour it, what’s left? What a strange object, what grist for poetic outpourings… – […]