Representation of Men in Australian Films

Essay by snoochieboochies August 2004

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Throughout Australian film history, various Australian Male representations have been formulated. The result of this is a variety of Male images from the rough, wholesome and hardworking to the softer, busy, consumer orientated stereotypes. This paper will compare and contrast the representation of men in the Australian films; "Sunday Too Far Away" (1975) and "Priscilla Queen of the Desert"(1994) through the discussion of stereotypes, icons, the film language and how it adds to the themes and issues raised as well as the cultural and institutional factors contributing to the content of the films.

"Sunday Too Far Away" (1975) is a film set in 1955 about the events surrounding sheep shearing. It faces the tedious routine and typical lifestyle of the shearers focusing on Foley, the brawling, hard-drinking Aussie bloke. Facing the crucial issue of the day, the 9-year shearing strike, Foley looses his job to the 'scabs'.

The characters portrayed are very typically Australian Males/blokes. Foley's image of Anti-authoritarianism shows when the owner of the ranch is looking over the shearers, in case they cut off their "knackers and pistles". He hates this officiousness and is anything but threatened by authority and so plays a joke on the owner. Mateship, defined as one who is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for his habitual companion, to stick together through thick and thin, (Rees Griffiths September 2002, Kalmund, D 1995 ) is obvious within the film when the group sticks together in the strike, and loose their jobs to the 'scabs'.

...Uses the eclectic character range of the film to demonstrate the masculinity and mateship of Australian culture in the era. (A R Lantzke 1999)

Other images that depict the 'typical Aussie Male' icon of the time is the masculinity of the group- such as the...