Adapted from the beloved novel by Miles Franklin, Gillian Armstrong’s Australian New Wave classic MY BRILLIANT CAREER depicts the world of a rebellious young woman who dreams of becoming a writer while growing up in the rugged countryside of nineteenth-century Australia. In this episode of Observations on Film Art, Professor Jeff Smith explores how Armstrong uses lighting, costuming, and decor to upend the conventionally masculine mythologies of the frontier tale, creating a uniquely feminine “western” in which self-realization is tied to creative expression and the rejection of patriarchal norms.
Directed by Gillian Armstrong • 1979 • Australia
Starring Judy Davis, Sam Neill
For her award-winning breakthrough film, director Gillian Armstrong drew on teenage author Miles Franklin’s novel, a celebrated turn-of-the-twentieth-century Australian coming-of-age story, to brashly upend the co...