During the so-called resurgence or 'new wave' of Australian cinema in the late 1970s and early 1980s, a number of films appeared which specifically focused on the Australian landscape. Many of these films went on themselves to become icons, not only of the newly re-established Australian film industry, but also of a newly confident Australia itself. The landscape in these films was not simply an uninscribed field against which the action of a narrative was played out, it was the very means by which these films proclaimed both their Australian identity and their cultural value. My interest lies in the role played by the Australian landscape within these popular and nationally influential narratives, and the resonance this has with a number of feminist theories relating to representation and subjectivity. In a number of popular Australian films from the period, films such as 'Sunday Too Far Away', 'We of the Never Never', 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' and 'The Man From Snowy River', the Australian landscape is foregrounded as the entity which defines, contains or motivates the narrative occurring within it. The landscape is the prime determining feature which identifies the film as Australian and overtly influences both the nature and the actions of the characters.
Screening the past: papers from the 6th Australian History and Film Conference, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 30 November-04 December 1993 / John Benson, Ken Berryman and Wayne Levy (eds.), pp. 88-91