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Metro No. 207

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.

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Australian Teachers of Media Incorporated
€ 6,65(Incl. btw)
€ 24,16(Incl. btw)
4 Edities

in deze editie

10 min
free country colonial incursions in stephen maxwell johnson’s high ground

High Ground is a provocative interrogation into the nation’s bloody history, as Nicholas Godfrey writes. High Ground (Stephen Maxwell Johnson, 2020) is an arresting and immersive film that uses the genre of the western to bring Australia’s past to life. It has been a long time coming for Johnson; while his journeyman career has included music videos and television work, he has not directed a feature film since 2001’s Yolngu Boy. High Ground has been well worth the wait, however. Its international premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2020 yielded international sales to Playtime in Europe, Samuel Goldwyn Films in the United States and Madman locally, shortly before global film exhibition ground to a shuddering halt. High Ground’s COVID-safe gala at the Adelaide Film Festival in October 2020…

11 min
mending fences animosity and adaptation in jeremy sims’ rams

Back in 2015, the new film from Australian director Jeremy Sims, Last Cab to Darwin, did the rounds of the international festival circuit alongside an Icelandic film called Rams, directed by Grímur Hákonarson.1 The latter is an understated triumph of cinema, which, through the tale of two feuding brothers, meditates on the cycles of life and death; humankind’s relationship with animals, landscape and climate; and the emotional intricacies of family. The film would have sat at the back of Sims’ mind for a couple of years until producers Janelle Landers and Aidan O’Bryan approached him to direct an Australian remake based on an adapted script by screenwriter Jules Duncan.2 The result is Rams (Sims, 2020). Its predecessor is a beautiful film, touched by a sense of quiet, of repose, of world-weary…

14 min
hogan’s heroes star image in dean murphy’s the very excellent mr. dundee

‘Why don’t we just turn around and go back the way we came up?’ the eighty-year-old Paul Hogan, playing himself, asks at the outset of The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee (2020). In one of writer-director Dean Murphy’s wittier touches, the image that accompanies this plainly reflexive line suggests a visual pun on the phrase ‘over the hill’ – the hill in question being one of the Hollywood Hills, where Hogan has gone for a stroll with his mate Barney (Roy Billing). At present, the pair are wondering how to proceed, having just caught wind of a dangerous snake nearby. Hogan’s most famous fictional alter ego, Northern Territory crocodile hunter Mick Dundee, would know exactly what to do. This is less true of the Hogan of Mr. Dundee, a fictional construct in…

9 min
elusive connections ritual and reconstruction in jayden stevens’ a family

Communication is commodified in A Family (Jayden Stevens, 2019). Its lonely central figure, Emerson (Pavlo Lehenkyi), holds auditions to find himself a set of parents and siblings whose paid interactions will be scripted and rehearsed before being performed for their employer. Each mundane family ‘event’ is greedily recorded by the protagonist’s bulky home-movie camera; it is clear that the process of producing a record of these interactions is of paramount importance. In fact, when the camera runs out of batteries, the entire production shuts down with immediate effect. Most of the characters remain nameless throughout, reduced to the essential signifiers of ‘mother’, ‘father’, ‘sister’ and ‘brother’, and Emerson is only interested in his scripted dialogues; any interaction beyond the scope of his constructed reality is off limits. This dynamic is…

12 min
bathing in genre homage and experimentation in parish malfitano’s bloodshot heart

Bloodshot Heart is one hell of a title. It’s evocative in a visceral way – in every sense of the word. For me, it calls to mind the image of a swollen heart, its crimson flesh straining against the polluted arterial liquid within: a manifestation of deep emotional scars. It’s a fitting title, then, for Parish Malfitano’s lurid first feature, which debuted at the 2020 Revelation Perth International Film Festival,1 with all the gory genre grotesquerie its title promises. Typically, this is the point at which I’d offer up a halfhearted synopsis of the film, but Malfitano’s screenplay isn’t so forthcoming as to lend itself to easy summary. The premise is straightforward enough, I suppose: Hans (Richard James Allen) is a decidedly off-kilter driving instructor whose life begins to veer out…

14 min
reflections on a shared history monica zanetti on ellie & abbie (& ellie’s dead aunt)

Just as stories of gay men have tended to overshadow or even obscure lesbian history, until very recently the same has been true of cinematic depictions: the boys in the band hog the limelight. Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt) (Monica Zanetti, 2020), which became the first Australian film to open the Mardi Gras Film Festival (MGFF) in February last year, brings lesbians to the fore for the change. Ellie & Abbie originated in 2017 as a Zanetti-penned and -directed play that debuted at the Depot Theatre in Marrickville, in her home town of Sydney. The original production starred Sophie Hawkshaw as driven high school student Ellie and Geraldine Viswanathan as her secret crush, the more forthright Abbie. With Viswanathan leaving the country to pursue a now-flourishing career in Los…