Screenwriting the Beach: Conflict, Catharsis and the Character Arc in Australian Film

  • Craig BattyEmail author
  • Philippa Burne
  • Stephen Gaunson


While Australian film has tended to focus its sights on the bush, the desert and the road, there is another intrinsic aspect of white Australian identity—the beach. From the danger and dread associated with open spaces, exemplified by iconic characters, Australian filmmakers have sought a different type of representation. This chapter analyses how the beach is used in Australian film, from the specific perspective of screenwriting. Focusing on the core aspect of most screen narratives—the character arc—this chapter reads a selection of films, including Storm Boy (1976), Puberty Blues (1981) and The Coolangatta Gold (1984), through a lens of conflict and catharsis, as developed and plotted by the screenwriter to reveal that the beach as story world allows for deep thematic resonance.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Technology SydneyUltimoAustralia
  2. 2.Victorian College of the ArtsUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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