The Great Gatsby – an Australian Movie?

By Laura Himmelmann

The Great Gatsby is a novel and movie adaption most of us are familiar with, hopefully. The majority of people are unaware that on paper, it could count as an Australian movie rather than American.

Looking at the cast, we are confronted with Leonardo Di Caprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan. All American actors that are well known for their movies. However, if we look further, we are met with a whole list of people that have Australian origin. It is a presence that is palpable.

Baz Luhrmann, the director of the movie, is Australian and he brought in his team which consisted of fellow Australians: so does the movie count as an Australian one?

What makes a movie Australian?

The plot of The Great Gatsby follows Jay Gatsby, a millionaire who carries a mysterious aura wherever he steps foot in. His long-lasting crush Daisy, someone he knows, is out of reach. We view the story from Nick Carraway’s POV, years after everything we are about to witness, happened. The message of the movie is to warn of the dangers of the American dream and the death grip materialism has on people. It also depicts the irresponsible lifestyle of the rich, especially with the focus on parties and alcohol.

While it takes place in the fictional town West Egg, imitating New York City, the director moved the filming process to Sydney. In other words, the movie was filmed in Australia but depicts the America of the 1920’s. Throughout the years there have been various novel and movie adaptions that are associated with different countries. Such as The Piano, set in New Zealand, written, and directed by a New Zealand team but produced by an Australian (DailyTelegraph). Therefore, it is accepted as an Australian movie by award associations. For The Great Gatsby, we have a hugely known American novella as source material, but an Australian team in the background. So, we must consider it as a possibility of representation.

What is meant with that?

The source material should not limit the creative adaption but rather encourage various people to take over and add their nuances. The Great Gatsby is a prime example of Australian influence and the success it may carry. It creates differences to the original, those that may change the setting, acting and developing of a plot, but it does not need to be connected to negativity. Furthermore, it opens the door for representation in Hollywood, for recognition and acceptance apart from the usual norm.

So, yes, The Great Gatsby needs to be seen as an Australian movie, for that it not only consists of mostly Australian cast and crew but it also offers a difference to usual Hollywood blockbusters. It opened the doors of possibilities and the space to think about productions that not only consist of Americans when telling a story even one set in America. This is thanks to people like Baz Luhrmann who pour their individuality and ideas in big projects, turning them into something different, something new.


‘Great Gatsby’ and the Australian influence (

Is the Great Gatsby really an Australian film? | Daily Telegraph

Sleepless by Jay Kristoff

Foreshadowing and Analysis

By Mara Geißen and Laura Himmelmann

Sleepless by Jay Kristoff, is a short Australian horror story and part of the book Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, released in 2015. The plot revolves around a man who is in a six-month chat relationship with a young girl. Leading up to the point where they will meet for the first time in real life.

The story starts off quite innocent, with chat history being written out and filling the pages. It carries an unsettling note that grows more suffocating with every passing dialogue. We as the reader follow Justin’s POV and learn that he lives alone with his mother. A woman who had an accident and has been bedbound ever since. His only escape are the daily chats with coffeegirl, her real name is not being revealed until the very end.

The Relationship to his Mother

For a few pages we are being led on by the weird atmosphere. If we pay attention, the foreshadowing is placed perfectly and sets an eerie feeling that drags on throughout the story. Justin describes his mother as sickly, her skin is tight on her bones, her eyes a pale blue, soulless almost. There are tons of scented candles placed around her bed, a mosquito net covering it so she is shielded. While it seems caring, it creates questions as well. If Justin is 17, why is his mother describes as old and fragile, unable to do anything alone?

Surely one could track it back to the apparent accident that took place. However it does not explain the number of candles and the ever-appearing perfect interruption whenever Justin is chatting. As well as her endless talks about how every girl he has been with has been terrible and that she is the only woman that should matter. It mirrors possessive behavior. What makes it weird though is, that every time we experience a conversation between them two, she does not say anything new, it is always the same.

Sentences that focus on his chats, God, and Jesus. A repetitive order that contradicts a natural, changing conversation one would have with their mother every new day. To give it an even more unsettling note, we recall the conversation Justin has with his mom, after he brought her out onto the terrace to let her watch the sunset. She does not even react to it, but cries about not wanting to be here, wanting to be gone, dead and free.


Turning to the girl Justin has been dating online for 6 months. The girl, called 2muchc0ff33_grrl in the online chat, is 16 years old and a normal teenager, upset about homework and her mother. Her name as well as the title of the story indicate the theme of insomnia. Coffeegirl drinks too much coffee because of nightmares. She opens up to Justin and explains that she has difficulties sleeping because of voices that keep telling her sad things that make her cry and get mad. Even when she is awake, she still has the feeling that voices are there.

Moreover, it is also worth mentioning that during one of their conversations, Coffeegirl and Justin talk about a case of a serial killer. She reports that belongings of five girls he murdered, were found in the serial killer’s house and that he has been missing for 12 days. Justin seems relatively uninterested in the subject and only makes statements about how many serial killers keep trophies of their victims.

The topics seem to be discussed relatively casually. Just normal chats between two teenagers talking about their problems, news and interests. But as a reader, one is aware that nothing is ever mentioned without greater meaning behind it.

The Revelation

The story initially focuses on a meeting between Coffeegirl and Justin. At their first meeting, however, Justin does not introduce himself as wolfboy_97, but pretends to be his dad. Here we discover what the reader may have already guessed. Justin is not 17 years old and not a teenager, but a grown man. During the meeting between Coffeegirl and Justin, he takes the reader back in time. He tells of his former girlfriends, Alice, who was the first and he made a mess of, Lucy, who had a bad mouth, and Sally, who woke up too early.

All the girls are not good enough, so there is only one polished bone, one silver dumbbell and one retainer left, and the ground owns the rest. To top it off, Coffeegirl is witnessing Justin talking to his mom and the guesses are being revealed as true. She has been dead for a long time, placed on the bed to keep Justin sane. By now the reader knows. Justin is the serial killer. Coffeegirl is his next victim. The conversation about the serial killer was not a coincidence. It was a foreshadowing for the reader, for us.