Movie Essay, The Aussie Landscape

Movie Essay, The Aussie Landscape - 9/24/07 Contemporary...

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9/24/07 Contemporary Australia National Landscape The Australian landscape is both beautiful as it is vast. It is a strong symbol of Australia’s national identity. The center of the country, often referred as the ‘red centre,’ is a giant desert, where living conditions are harsh and it takes strong, tough individuals to withstand nature’s powerful forces. This harsh landscape covers a large majority of the continent, as it does not have many large rivers. This lack of water makes it hard to sustain highly populated areas, or even most things that cannot survive under extreme conditions. This hardship represents a major ideal of the Australian people. One of the traditional icons is of the weathered, hard workingman whom makes an enjoyable life out of this difficult setting. Another representation of the harsh Australian landscape is that of the aboriginal people and their culture. Two movies, the adventures of Pricilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) and The Castle (1997) depict the Australian landscape quite differently. The Castle shows a family living in a substandard house right next to an airport and huge power lines. While this standard of living does not represent a lot of Australians, the movie pushes the setting to the extreme to highlight their string family values. It also shows an interesting perspective of how the aboriginal people feel about the dispossession of their native lands. Meanwhile, The adventures of Pricilla, queen of the desert shows the long journey of three transvestites across the harsh desert. These three individuals not only encounter the harsh desert, but they also encounter the hardened people who have dealt with this intense setting for a majority of their lives. These two movies portray extremely different perspectives of Australia’s landscape and people, but
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through them, one can gain insight into the distinctive layers of culture that make up this relatively new nation. When talking about the landscape, there are several aspects that make Australian landscape different from anywhere else in the world. In David Carter’s book Dispossession, Dreams and Diversity, Australia is described as “the oldest earth on earth.” Furthermore, it is understandable that the landscape is so desolate as the topsoil is shallow and erodes away easily. David Carter defines national landscape as what is “typically, distinctively or essentially Australian.” Along with Australia having such an
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course AUST 1000 taught by Professor Davidcarter during the Three '08 term at Queensland.

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Movie Essay, The Aussie Landscape - 9/24/07 Contemporary...

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