Death in Paradise: Beauty, Danger, Isolation and Failure in Christine Jeffs’s Rain (2001)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Christine Jeffs’s Rain (2001) is a dark, multifaceted film that engages with, and challenges, several established themes and tropes typical of New Zealand cinema. In re-visiting this important movie, this article seeks to highlight that it is characterized by a series of paradoxes that deliberately unsettle and disrupt: safety/nostalgia and danger; stasis and change; family and isolation; homely and unhomely. It also subverts the conventional active/passive dichotomy attributed to masculine and feminine subject positions and questions the prominence of patriarchal authority, but at the same time highlights female vulnerabilities and the precariousness of agency. As such, the film can be aligned with the equally complex and contested category of postfeminist Gothic. Furthermore, the use of landscape and music creates a distinctive aesthetic and soundscape that enhances and comments upon the film’s themes. The expressionistic environment captures and accentuates the mood of the characters and their relationships and foreshadows a death in paradise.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAntipodes: A Global Journal of Australian and New Zealand Literature
Volume34
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • New Zealand
  • Isolation
  • Masculinity
  • Femininity
  • Postfeminist
  • Gothic

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Death in Paradise: Beauty, Danger, Isolation and Failure in Christine Jeffs’s Rain (2001)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this