I guess a lot of our understanding of suburban life actually shows up in our movies and fiction so it’s interesting to look at some of the more memorable Australian films and novels that depict some aspects of suburban life.
I am far from an expert here, but if I were to list a few of my favourites they’d be:
The Castle – This one should go “straight to the pool room” We used to use The Castle as induction training for young American SBC missionaries who came to Oz on short term visits. After arriving here bleary eyed and jet-lagged we’d make them stay up late while we laughed at humour that made absolutely no sense at all to them! Seriously, The Castle is a wonderful movie albeit a caricature of blue collar Australian life. Even down to Bonnydoon as the weekend hideaway… “Ah… the serenity”…
Muriel’s Wedding – This one’s just a bit of a hoot!
Neighbours – would have to be the classic, but I have actually never watched it – and yes I wear that as a badge of honour!
Home & Away – see above
Kath & Kim – ah… now you’re talking! Some might even call this a caricature… but its only funny because we all know people just like the characters in the show! Gotta love the amount of laughs that we can poke at ourselves in this one.
Winter Close by Hugh Mackay This is one of my all time favourites as Mackay describes the relationships in an ordinary suburban street. Its a must read if you are genuinely seeking to reflect on suburban life
Cloudstreet by Tim Winton – This Aussie classic is set in the developing suburbs post war and is just a wonderful read. Then again I have heard plenty of people say they thought it to be crap… I am an avid Winton fan though!
So what about others?
What are your favourite Aussie novels, films & TV shows that give us insights into suburban life?