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The Phantasm of the Opera: The Sydney Opera House


Blackwood, G, The Phantasm of the Opera: The Sydney Opera House, World Film Locations: Sydney, Intellect Books, N Mitchell (ed), Chicago, pp. 88-106. ISBN 9781783203628 (2015) [Other Book Chapter]

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FOR A YOUNG NATION renowned for a cultural cringe - an old self-deprecating national joke says that the only Australian culture to be found is in yoghurt - the idea of building a massive arts complex was a big concern for the Sydney government of the post-war 1950s. This new building could inspire inventiveness on the stage, with a beautiful exterior that would be a landmark for the city. An architectural competition was started in 1955 for the creation of a new opera house building. The winner was a young Dane called Jorn Utzon, with an innovative design using the city's harbour theme of waves and yacht sails. Indeed, the complexity of the design meant the building took decades to build and was only officially opened in October 1973. For decades the building sat around in various stages of completion. John Weiley's documentary Autopsy on a Dream (2013) examines the painful origins of this building, as well as the political change that led to the resignation of Utzon. Weiley explains how the high-profile building site also served as a formative film-making playground for aspiring film-makers in the 1960s and 1970s: right from its start the Opera House was linked to film.

Item Details

Item Type:Other Book Chapter
Keywords:Sydney, film and national identity, cinema studies, screen studies
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Screen and digital media
Research Field:Cinema studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Visual communication
UTAS Author:Blackwood, G (Dr Gemma Blackwood)
ID Code:135938
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Media
Deposited On:2019-11-21
Last Modified:2019-11-22

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