Film and history: the representation of history in recent Australian film
AuthorHutton, Anne Bernadette
AffiliationSchool of Fine Arts, Faculty of Arts
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
CitationsHutton, A. B. . Film and history: the representation of history in recent Australian film. Masters Research thesis, School of Fine Arts, The University of Melbourne.
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©  Anne Bernadette Hutton
The primary concern of this thesis is an exploration of the questions which film theory inevitably poses for any applied usage of historical films. It is a concern bred by experience: in fact, this work as it now stands is an attempt to highlight some of the problems raised by my research as it was first conceived. Initially working with the notion of using historical films within a sociological framework, I was first interested in the fact that such a steady proportion of our recent film and television productions were of an historical nature. More predictable, but no less interesting, was the fact that most of these Australian productions stem from fictional sources, e.g. novels, secondary historical accounts, myths and legends. This made me wonder what parallels might be drawn between earlier Australian films and the more recent historical ones, expecting that comparative questions of myth, genre, legend, tradition, melodrama, and the like, would all be there for the asking. For some time I worked upon the notion of 'major themes' in these historical representations, looking at Bushranging and the Kelly's in particular, and the depiction of Australian involvement in wars. Not for a moment do I regret this initial period of research, in fact I am positive that without having experimented with this kind of 'comparative philosophy', that I would never have realised the necessity of questioning the very basis of such idealist research. From which it became obvious that a more rigorous theoretical approach would be required. (From Introduction)
Keywordsmotion pictures and history; historical films; motion pictures in Australia
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