Learning intention: To better understand thematic issues, of Bran Nue Dae and the behaviours, motivations and relationships of the characters. 1. Describe in your own words the events, actions and characters depicted in the animated sequence, the use of both on-screen and camera movement, and the general colour scheme. What might these elements be suggesting to us about the content, mood and themes for the rest of the film? The start has an angel falling down and eventually regains its balance and starts flying above a town when it is knocked down by a bottle who someone threw, which later lands in a pond and scares the fish away.
2.Write a short character sketch of: o Willie: Shy, likes Rosie, protagonist, wants to be a priest, mothers boy, innocent, caring, honest, free o Rosie: Adventurous/risk taking, doesn’t want to get married right away, o Theresa: Religious, wants the best for Willie, Willie and Slipperys’(half) mother o Uncle Tadpole: Funny, adventurous/carefree, drunk, Willies’ uncle, smart, bad influence, Willies’ father o Lester: Sexist, interested in Rosie, antagonist (to Willie), flirt, bad influence, o Father Benedictus: main antagonist, creepy/weird, racist, strict, weird sense of humour, o Slippery: Hippies, German, respectful, Father B’s son, Annie: Hippies, gullible, kind, racist o Pastor Flakkon: religious, aboriginal, o Roxanne: Aboriginal, funny, drunk, married, [Some parts of the movie are choreographed (e.
g. Rosie and her friends sitting down in the cinema) to add dramatic aspects-movement] [Humour-(moment when Father B demeans Willie and aborigines) there’s nothing I would rather be-funny and meaningful; it was serious then changed to humour] 3. Write an analysis of the internalised and externalised conflicts experienced by Willie.
For example, examine the conflicting desires between those of Willie and those of Theresa, and how these impact on Willie’s relationship with Rosie. Look at the emotional pressures placed on Willie by Father Benedictus and the power relationship between them. Internal conflict (fighting against yourself): -When Willie watches boy play sport, he thinks of time with Rosie -Rather be with Rosie (Father B: wasting your time, useless) -Feels he’s not good enough Confesses about lustful thoughts<<<can’t become a priest -Thinks he wants to be a priest, thinks he isn’t good enough to be one though
-Trying to live up to his mothers’ expectations 4. Offer an explanation as to why Willie confesses to stealing food from the tuckshop when none of his boarding mates does so. How does this scene relate to the fact that Willie is Indigenous? In other words, why does he begin to sing ‘There’s nothing I would rather be than to be an Aborigine’ in this scene? -they don’t want to be whacked -felt guilty -it was serious then changed to humour saves the little kid 5. Discuss the following possible view about Willie’s departure: he is running away from, and turning his back on a formal education that will benefit him in the years to come, without having considered or thought about his situation at all. Explain whether you would agree or disagree. I would disagree, considering his mother was hoping for the best for him and yet he just ran away, without even thinking about the consequences in the future. 6. The film concludes with Willie and Rosie in each other’s arms, surrounded by a ‘blackout’ image of a heart.
But what is Willie’s future now that he has returned to Broome? What does he mean when he says, near the end of the film, ‘God is here’? What has Willie lost? What has he gained? -Willie has gained what he always wanted truly in his heart, his home and his girl. -Willie lost the chance of being a priest and having respect from everyone. 7. Father Benedictus says to Willie, ‘You want to waste your life like all those useless black fellows up in Broome? ’ Is Benedictus correct or not? What do you think he means by ‘wasting’ a life and being a ‘useless black fellow’? -Incorrect Being a priest, you’re above everyone else -Wasting your life: not being a priest, if you don’t work like white people -Aborigine life: work for what you needed then leisure<<<white people thought of aborigines as lazy 8. During the brawl between Slippery, Annie and Willie at the police station, Uncle Tadpole quietly advances to the counter and removes his hat, bag and vest, while Roxanne sits quietly on a bench. Explain what you think these gestures tell us about Uncle Tadpole’s and Roxanne’s lives and past experiences, and why it is that Annie displays the most outward demonstration of rage.
Select at least two other incidents from the film where Uncle Tadpole’s actions give us an insight into his character and life experiences. -Uncle tadpole and Roxanne were ready for it. -Annie is a hippie and believes in freedom for everyone, rather than being locked up in a cell. 9. Concentrate on the visuals of the night-time dream sequence in the police lockup cells. What is the story told throughout these visuals? In what way is visual symbolism used? Why do you think the central character shifts from Uncle Tadpole to Willie? Through the visuals, it has aborigines circling and dancing. -The visual displays the story of how aborigines were once locked up and then try to rise up. -It shifts from uncle tadpole to Willie because the ‘son’ of the sky (i. e. the sun) symbolises hope and since Willie is part of the younger generation, they’re handing down responsibilities and continuing the aboriginal culture. -I think it shifts from uncle tadpole to Willie because it was a ‘night time dream sequence’ where Willie was asleep/dreaming. -Willie becoming a man. 10.
Listen carefully to the lyrics of ‘Listen to the News’ as sung during the dream sequence. What do you think this song is about? What is the ‘news’ of the title? Explain the emotional impact of the song upon you and upon audiences generally. For example, is it depressing and negative, or does it raise our spirits? -The news is about how people took away their land. -They talk about ways to get it back. -They wonder if it’s the end for their people. -It’s depressing and negative since they are getting something taken away and are unsure of whether or not they’ll be able to survive. 11.
Examine the final scenes of the film, which take place on the beach near Broome and outside the Roebuck Bay Hotel. Write a commentary on how these scenes capture and depict the mood, spirit and theme of racial reconciliation, in terms of plot events, physical movement and gestures of characters, and song and dance. Consider whether there is an underlying element of satire and irony in these scenes. Plot| Song| Physical movement| Dance| Characters| Satire| Irony| Father B, Slipper, Annie eat with Willies’ family. | Father B+ Slippery join in singing, ‘There’s nothing I would rather be’. Slippery hugs Theresa-sudden strong connection to his ‘mutti’. | | | | Christian gathered in front of the pub. | | | | | | | Slippery turns out to be Aboriginal, excited. | | | | | | |
‘There’s nothing I would rather be’ sung happily. | 12. Listen carefully to the words of ‘Long Way Away From My Country’ then describe the purpose of this song. What is it suggesting about the men grouped around the campfire? In what way does this song reflect Willie’s own thoughts and feelings? -relates to Willie: he wants to be with Rosie -Willie prefers to be at home 3. Compare and contrast the way Father Benedictus and Pastor Flakkon, both representative of the role of Christianity in the lives of Indigenous Australians, are presented. Father Benedictus| Pastor Flakkon| -Makes you feel shamed for your sins. | -Forgive and move on. | 14. Discuss why Bran Nue Dae is a musical comedy-romance rather than a straight comedy-romance. What does the music, singing and dancing bring to the film? Can a musical adequately tell a story, expand upon themes and develop meanings without distracting the audience?
Bran Nue Dae is a musical comedy-romance rather than a straight comedy-romance because the musical/dance in the movie emphasizes full-scale scores, song and dance routines in a significant way, i. e. when uncle tadpole began singing in the jail, but also they are centred on combinations of music, dance, song and choreography. A musical can definitely tell a story. Thinking that the song would actually distract the audience is a misconception. Fair enough if some musicals just add it in for the fun of it but for Bran Nue Dae, the music actually has deeper meaning to it. Comedy| Romance| Musical| Satire, irony, parody, puns| -Willies’ desire for Rosie is central to the plot| -Adds comic relief| -used to break up the seriousness-unexpected| -Willie gets the girl and it is implied that they live happily ever after by the heart| -insight into the ‘inner’ character-emotions/thoughts| -Exaggeration: -Characters-Tadpole, Slippery, Annie, Father B-Movements, singing-sound effects and music| -Complication-competition for Rosies’ affections| -moves plots along-closes scenes, introduces new ones| | | -communicates ideas that aren’t- be communicated via action or dialogue|
Cite this Bran Nue Dae Notes
Bran Nue Dae Notes. (2016, Oct 26). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/bran-nue-dae-notes/