Film & HTMLGIANT Features & Random

The Boys from Oz

Australians have a history of distrust with the suburban space. It’s one that I think is far more ingrained than the ongoing American preoccupation with the suburbs. The abjection, otherness, decay and concealed violence of the suburban space, and the affect this space has on the Australian male, is an important part of the Australian imaginary. This is evident with the continuous repetition of these themes, particularly criminality and violence, in a whole host of recent films:  Wish You Were Here (2012), Snowtown (2011), Animal Kingdom (2010), Somersault (2004), The Boys (1998) and Head On (1998).

I’ve chosen to talk about The Boys and Animal Kingdom because I think that they offer a distinct and unique portrayal of masculinity: one that is on the borderline, in between the public and private, criminality and legality, contained in an uncanny domestic space. The everyday suburban space is ruptured, undone and exposed as an unsettling site for a stifling and childlike male development, categorised by violence and the need to return to the maternal. This is the common trope in Australian domestic cinema ‘which finds expression in a distorted reflection akin to a hall of mirrors; each person staring back is undoubtedly familiar, but is in some way simultaneously emphasised, concealed and misshapen.’ (Thomas and Gillard, Metro Magazine, 2003)


September 27th, 2012 / 11:19 pm

A.R. Ammons on Masculinity, Sex pt. 2

from Sphere: The Form of a Motion


this works in the bedrock, too, or undifferentiated gas:
one feels up the two legs of the possibility and, ever
tightening and steered, rises to the crux, to find

there the whole mystery, the lush squeeze, the centering
and prolongation: so much so that the final stone
never locks the peak but inlet: outlet opens unfolding

into nothingness’s complete possibility, the strangling
through into the darkness of futurity: it is hard at this
point to avoid some feeling, however abstract the circumstance:

if one can get far enough this way where imagination
and flesh strive together in shocking splendors, one can
forget that sensibility is sometimes dissociated and come:

Excerpts / 2 Comments
January 24th, 2011 / 9:37 pm