EDIT (11/11): If you missed my talk, but still want to catch it, you can access a recording here.
I have been invited to deliver an online research seminar as part of the Film Studies Departmental Speaker Series at the University of St Andrews next Wednesday, November 10. I’m particularly excited to be sharing some new work on the intersections of cinematic, geological, and colonial timescales in Nic Roeg’s Walkabout, which will eventually feature in the edited collection Screening Australia: Culture and Media in Context, a long overdue book project that I’ve been working on with Dr Peter Kilroy (to be published by Peter Lang next year).
The Department of Film Studies at the University of St Andrews is thrilled to welcome Dr Stephen Morgan, to discuss his work on landscape and settler colonialism in Australian cinema.
Deep Time, Deep Space: Towards a Geologic Cinema in Walkabout
The centrality of landscape has long been a key focus of representations of Australia on screen. But relatively little attention has been paid to what happens when cinema’s focus on geological formations moves beyond the purely pictorial or touristic or descriptive. In interrogating the temporal disjunctions at the heart of Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout (1971), this paper seeks to explore its address of landscape via a contextualisation of the relationships and resonances of the film’s geological and historical pasts. By reconciling the film’s diverse, geographically disparate shooting locations with European and Indigenous understandings of geomorphology, and contrasting that with more recent colonial histories, I aim to uncover the layers of narrative – temporal, geological, and metaphorical – that underpin this iconic vision of the land now known as Australia. In doing so, I seek to articulate the role of geological timescales within the film, and how we might begin to think ‘geologically’ about the film and, more broadly, about national cinemas in settler contexts.
The event will include a presentation followed by a Q&A session. All are welcome!