Journal article

The real gaze in Australian cinema

Alison Horbury

Studies In Australasian Cinema | Taylor & Francis (Routledge) | Published : 2020


This paper takes up Todd McGowan’s rethinking of psychoanalytic film theory to consider what such approaches might disclose in the work of a national cinema. I focus on Australia’s national cinema where it is caught, I argue, between the Imaginary gaze of an aestheticized nationalism and a traumatic ‘Real’ gaze that disturbs the field of cultural vision. I show how Ted Kotcheff’s 1971 Wake in Fright introduces the Real gaze to Australia’s cinematic vocabulary where it is taken up in the film Renaissance and disturbs the aesthetic inquiry into nationalism with the traumatic Real frequently repressed in national discourses. Here I suggest that if a national cinema can be seen to function as a ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers