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Metro Metro


No. 202

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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Metro staff Managing Editor Peter Tapp editor@atom.org.au Editor Adolfo Aranjuez metro@atom.org.au Subeditor David Heslin Contributing Editors Liz Giuffre, Dan Golding, Rochelle Siemienowicz Art Director Pascale van Breugel Sales & Online Services Manager Zak Hamer online@atom.org.au Online Services Assistants Amanda Camp, Angie Chan, Anneliz Erese Advertising Peter Tapp +61 (412) 473 116 editor@atom.org.au Contact Postal address PO Box 2040 St Kilda West VIC 3182 Australia Phone +61 (3) 9525 5302 Web & social media metromagazine.com.au facebook.com/metroaustraliatwitter.com/metrofilm Printing Shenzhen Tian Hong Printing Associate editors for refereed articles Keith Beattie Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University Felicity Collins Associate Professor, Department of Cinema Studies, La Trobe University Greg Dolgopolov Lecturer, School of the Arts and Media, UNSW Anna Dzenis Lecturer, Department of Cinema Studies, La Trobe University Beryl Exley Professor, School of Education & Professional Studies, Griffith University Trish Fitzsimons Associate Professor, Griffith Film School, Griffith University Lisa French Professor and Dean, School…

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poetry in action racism and resistance in partho sen-gupta’s slam

The latest feature by Sydney-based filmmaker Partho Sen-Gupta, Slam (2018), is haunted by a terrifying moment from his past. As a child growing up in Mumbai, he paid scant attention to dire warnings from his parents about the threat of kidnappings until, one terrifying day, when he was around seven or eight years old, a man attempted to snatch him outside his home. ‘I didn’t realise then how traumatic an experience that was,’ he recalls of the startling near-miss that haunts him, especially now that he has become a father himself. For many years, the memory was locked away within a dark recess in the 54-year-old director’s mind. But the full weight of the attack rammed back into his consciousness when he saw a poster of a missing girl on a…

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oceans within us eight perspectives on the pacific in vai

We sweat and cry salt water, so we know that the ocean is really in our blood. —Teresia Teaiwa1 A spiritual sequel to the anthology film Waru (2017), Vai (2019) – the second feature-length release from Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions – enlists eight female writer/directors from eight Pacific Island nations to make a portmanteau film about the latter titular character. The languages of the Pacific aren’t always mutually intelligible, but they retain certain shared words; ‘vai’ (‘water’) is a key example. This is undoubtedly a result of Islander cultures having been shaped, in fundamental ways, by the largest body of water on Earth; the Pacific Ocean flows through our creation stories, sustains our agricultural practices, is filled with life and is seen to give life. In a manner similar to Waru,…

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out of the trenches

A Queensland production over a decade in the making, Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan (Kriv Stenders, 2019) is a bold yet intimate Anzac war drama that sidesteps politics in favour of saluting Aussie brotherhood and bravery in times of conflict. I speak to Stenders about his experience of working with scribe Stuart Beattie – who previously penned Collateral (Michael Mann, 2004) and Tomorrow, When the War Began (Beattie, 2010) – to do big-screen justice to this curiously overlooked Australian chapter of the Vietnam War. Oliver Pfeiffer: The Battle of Long Tan is a lesser-known Australian contribution to the Vietnam War. Why was it important, for you, to revisit this particular Anzac story? Kriv Stenders: Firstly, it’s quite a remarkable story in terms of the actual statistics: 100 men going into…

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not kidding around australian–asian children’s television co-productions

Australia has consistently produced high-quality screen content for children, with some of the country’s best television series – from Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, which aired from 1968 to 1970, to today’s Bluey1 – having been broadcast, and now streamed, around the world. From a local policy perspective, children (generally referring, in industry terms, to persons under fourteen years of age) have been considered a ‘special audience’, easily influenced by what they see on screen.2 Within the landscape of television, therefore, children’s programming has experienced high levels of regulation since the late 1970s, most saliently in the form of the content quotas enshrined in the Children’s Television Standards (CTS) first introduced in 1979 and updated in 2009.3 But the rigorous scrutiny and regulation that attends to children’s media engagement, along with…

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killing the host class and complacency in bong joon-ho’s parasite

It is, perhaps, atypical of a Palme d’Or–winning film that among its most resonant images is one of a young woman sitting despondently on a toilet, staring at her phone, as sewage spews out of it like a cursed Willy Wonka contraption. Such is the earthy subversion of Bong Joonho’s Parasite (2019), a chattering social satire of wildly oscillating tones in which a family of hustlers insinuate themselves into the household staff of a renowned South Korean businessman’s bourgeois family. Bong’s latest excoriation of the ruling class and their attendant power is as cynical as his 2014 film Snowpiercer, which presents a dystopian future vision of humankind’s hierarchy compressed into the grim confines of a looping locomotive. But what distinguishes Parasite is its careful observation of the everyday inhumanity of being…