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Australian Post-War Documentary Film
An Arc of Mirrors
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Price £35, $50
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ISBN 9781841502106
Hardback 176 pages
230x174 mm
Published November 2008
Imprint: Intellect
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Books by Deane Williams
Books in Film Studies
Chapter Titles     |      Reviews     |      Comments

The post-war period in Australian cultural history sparked critical debate over notions of nation-building, multiculturalism and internationalization. Australian Post-War Documentary Film tackles all these issues in a considered and wide-ranging analysis of government, institutional and also radical documentaries.

On one level, the book is a selective history of Australian documentary film in the immediate post-war years. It also charts the rise of a progressive film culture. As a whole it is a thorough study of the international flows of film culture. Williams illustrates these themes by critiquing the key films of the era, including the seminal

The Back of Beyond, often cited as the greatest Australian film of all time. Australian Post-War Documentary Film retells film history by reading these documentaries as part of a nexus of international, and particularly Australian filmic, written and dramatic texts, with close attention to textual analysis. The book will appeal to anyone interested in international cinema, the way that it theorizes the period and offers a host of international comparisons, widening its ideas to the fabric of cultural production that surrounds all art works.

Chapter titles
Chapter 1: 'A Realist Film Unit and Association in Australia' - Page 21
Deane Williams
Chapter 2: 'Cecil Holmes's Folk Politics: The Intertextuality of Three in One' - Page 51
Deane Williams
Chapter 3: 'John Heyer's Inernational Perspective: The Overlanders, The Valley is Ours, The Back of Beyond' - Page 83
Deane Williams
Chapter 4: 'The Neo-Realism of Mike and Stefani' - Page 113
Deane Williams
Chapter 5: 'Settler Journeys' - Page 141
Deane Williams
Reviews
'Deane Williams re-evaluates Australian documentary film production after World War 2, positioning it as part of an international left culture.' – Associate Professor Ina Bertrand, University of Melbourne

'Australian Postwar Documentary Film: An Arc of Mirrors is a thoroughly and painstakingly researched study of its subject, which draws upon a wealth of new oral and other forms of historical resource related to the Australian labour movement and associated film-making.' – Ian Aitken, De Montford University

'With erudition and insight, Deane Williams in this book reconstructs a previously obscured era of documentary cinema in Australia, shedding light on the network of affiliations and associations that underlay the making of a cluster of compelling, politically charged documentary films in the postwar era.' – Charles Wolfe, University of California, Santa Barbara

'In looking closely at a small and seemingly insignificant site of documentary production, Williams has also given us a much broader vision.' – Ross Gibson, University of Technology, Sydney

'So readers are taken on an always enlightening and often exciting journey, through a complex web of people and films and events, to view Australian culture through the documentary film "arc of mirrors".' – Screening the Past

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