Writing an Australian film noir

  • Simon Weaving

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This creative research project involved a detailed analysis of all the feature films made in Australia from 1938-1958 (the period frequently held out as being the original film noir cycle), focusing on the structural arrangements that underpinned the production of cinema in the country at that time. In addition, the research explored the nature and function of genre in order to understand some of the problems film theorists have identified with genre theory. Using Mikhail Bakhtin’s work on language and discourse, the research then developed an approach to genre that reconciles theoretical positions with what happens in the practical field of filmmaking. The research also examined the strategies for the application of film noir conventions in two recent films: Briande Palma’s The Back Dahlia (2006) written by Josh Friedman, and Fernando Meirelles The Constant Gardener (2005), adapted from the John Le Carré novel by Jeffrey Caine. The insights gained from the research supported the writing of a feature film in a noir style, set in 1940s Australia. Entitled Burnt, it tells the story of an Australian soldier who returns from the war psychologically damaged, and who is involved in the investigation of a murder on his family’s cane farm on the slopes of Mt. Warning in Northern New South Wales.
    Date of Award2014
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorGreg Battye (Supervisor) & Jen Webb (Supervisor)

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