'Trashing the suburban streets': Learning about 'bad' youth with/in Idiot Box and Suburban Mayhem

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Abstract

Katrina is a suburban 19-year-old single mother with murder and mayhem on her mind. Kev and Mick are unemployed 20-something suburban blokes who get the idea from a cop show to rob their local bank. This article considers how images and ideas about suburbia frame representations of gendered and classed youth in the Australian films Idiot Box (Caesar, 1996) and Suburban Mayhem (Goldman, 2006). These films ambivalently celebrate and critique suburbia in their portrayals of 'bad' young protagonists. Taking a post-critical approach to pedagogy, this article explores these films as vehicles for teaching and learning about youth and subjectivity. The films and their suburban settings are considered in relation to a (post) Gothic aesthetic in Australian cinema. The article analyses key locations highlighted in the film, including the neighbourhood, the beauty salon, the shopping mall and the street, and asks how contemporary youthful femininities and masculinities are constructed and known in these simultaneously familiar and uncanny places.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-306
Number of pages14
JournalStudies in Australasian Cinema
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

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