'Touched by the Still Life' : Feature Film Script and Exegesis

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

John Rapsey


In the feature film script, Touched by the Still Life, the central character Evelyn is a grandmother who has taken up painting. Her life is almost perfect, her husband is retired and she finally has time for herself after years of bring up children and working. Her daughter and family are returning home to Perth from Sydney for the Christmas holidays when she receives a letter from the daughter of a long-lost school friend, telling her that Gladys is dying. The letter throws Evelyn into remembering her past, the events of spring of 1950, when her friendship with Gladys changed. At a time when her focus should be on her family she finds herself unable to concentrate on them, perpetuating existing problems. Evelyn is forced to confront her past and to finally resolve the bitterness of her long-lost friendship. Motion Pictures, films, movies, the cinema provide an audience with a window into another world. This allows the audience to escape into another realm of experience. With films being marketed to a younger audience, a gap has been left for older female actors. Touched by the Still Life seeks to fill this gap by providing significant dramatic lead roles for older female actors within an Australian context. This occurs through the use of a flashback narrative structure, which allows the audience to access the past story directly. This allows for two time frames, the present day and the 1950s. 'The 1950s' as it is used in Touched by the Still life, is drawn from the real world of Australia in the 1950s, a time when Australia was predominantly white, Christian and patriarchal in a post-war economic climate. Australia at this time was being increasingly influenced by an American way of life, which came from the war service personnel who were stationed here, and American films, which influenced Australian teenagers. Touched by the Still Life seeks to escape these stereotypes of the 1950s by placing it just before it began. All this works together to explain the title of the piece.

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