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Metro No. 204

Independent, outspoken and often polemical, Metro features writing by some of the region's foremost academics and critics, providing readers with comprehensive coverage of Australian, New Zealand, Asian, and Pacific screen industries. Combining a wide range of topics and disciplines, Metro offers a unique blend of in-depth scholarship and popular writing, perfectly capturing key trends and developments in screen culture.

Australian Teachers of Media Incorporated
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in deze editie

11 min
not another dying girl how shannon murphy’s babyteeth challenges a weary trope

At the movies, we like to watch girls die. How else do we account for the success of the slasher flick in which girls die left and right, and the one who survives only does so thanks to her extraordinary ‘ungirlishness’: her primness, her bookishness, her resourcefulness, her inability to attract the sexual attention of functional (read: non-psychotic) men? Elsewhere, girls die to prompt the hero’s journey of a lover, brother or father; they die to be a lesson someone else learns; they die so that others might truly live. Girls in corsets cough into handkerchiefs and delicately expire; girls, uncorseted, are found livid and mottled, dead in the woods – stark images to haunt investigators already teeming with personal demons. Or girls simply vanish and, gone those girls, leave…

14 min
the political is personal helen reddy and the generational politics of i am woman

The announcement that a prestige biopic on Australian-born musician Helen Reddy was to be Screen Australia’s jewel in the world-premiere crown at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) was met – in my anecdotal experience, by almost everyone I know under forty – with an immediate and emphatic, ‘Who?’ For some, a few bars of ‘I Am Woman’, Reddy’s 1972 blockbuster single that became synonymous with the second-wave-feminist movement, might have rung a bell, but only maybe. Even I (and I’m over forty) had only the smallest fragments of recollection to work with. Somewhere in the memory banks was a faded echo of seeing Reddy on reruns of The Muppet Show when I was a kid, singing ‘You and Me Against the World’ with Kermit the Frog. Perhaps more…

12 min
maternal instinct genre, grief and mental illness in kim farrant’s angel of mine

The best thrillers are built on a bedrock of deception. Narrative duplicity goes hand in hand with the genre. The potency of a barbed twist – he’s been dead the whole time; she’s really his daughter; turns out he was the bad guy all along – is sharpened by its unexpected nature. The best thrillers capture their audience’s attention while drawing said attention away from whatever’s going on behind the curtain. There’s another kind of deception found within the genre. Kim Farrant’s Angel of Mine (2019) is a great example of a thriller that – for a while, at least – deceives its audience into believing that they’re watching something other than a thriller. Certainly, that’s how it was for me. I caught the film at last year’s Melbourne International Film…

12 min
‘ are you not entertained?’ maziar lahooti’s below and the morality of pay-per-view violence

As Maziar Lahooti’s film Below (2019) opens, Dougie (Ryan Corr) is getting the bashing of a lifetime – and he’s grinning. The camera holds tight on Dougie as he smirks and cracks jokes while unseen thugs smash electronic equipment around him. He even tries to light a cigarette, though it’s punched out of his mouth in slow motion. Immediately, we sense this is a film about spectatorship: one that locates entertainment in the act of watching violence. Eventually, Dougie is left to explain to his mum, Cheryl (Alison Whyte), who owns the just-trashed house, that he owes money to some shady people. His professional milieu is the darknet – the online underworld below the World Wide Web, beyond the rule of law. There, he presents himself as an entrepreneur, an impresario.…

13 min
first, do no harm the treatment of refugees in against our oath

In late 2016, Dr Nick Martin responded to a job advertisement for a senior medical officer. The details provided in the ad were scant: the location of the position was stated simply as ‘offshore’. When he rang to inquire about the position, he quickly deduced that the job was in immigration detention on Nauru. ‘I didn’t know much about it; I think the media blackout had been pretty effective,’ Martin says from his home in Sale, Victoria. I knew of the existence of [the detention centres on] Nauru and Manus [Island], and I knew that Australia had been criticised on the international stage. I thought it would be interesting to go and see for myself what it was about. The UK-born doctor had moved to Australia to work as a GP four years…

13 min
loved back to life hope, community and policy failures in life after the oasis

Paul Moulds is the kind of man who’ll sooner meet a challenging situation with a smile than a frown. That’s just as well: as a major in the Salvation Army who has spent his life supporting some of Australia’s most vulnerable groups, including homeless teens and asylum seekers, he is never short of a challenge. Whether it’s dragging a clothes hamper full of food up several flights of stairs or encountering nineteen athletes who have fled from the Commonwealth Games to seek asylum on his doorstep, he seems to draw on a relentless positivity that means laughter is never far away – even if it’s sometimes tinged with exasperation at yet another seemingly impossible situation he has to resolve. For Paul, helping those in need is more than a career; it…