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Good Essays for Looking for Alibrandi
**2008 class essay topics** (July)
Looking for Alibrandi Year 11 Visual Text Study

Directed by Kate Woods
Original novel and screen play Melina Marcheta

Josie is a teenager who is struggling to find her identity and place in life.

The movie has the message that “sometimes things don’t turn out the way you wanted them to – but can actually turn out better..”

By using the themes and issues: racism, social class division, search for identity and sense of belonging, family pressure, pressure of tradition, superstition
PLUS THE
Verbal technique of dialogue and internal monologue by the narrator, the director shows this message to the viewer.


Through the use of the verbal technique of internal monologue or narration we learn about life through Josie’s point of view.

We learn that she doesn’t feel like she fits into her Australian-Italian world and that she doesn’t like her father. The dialogue about him is negative and so the audience sides with Josie’s point of view about him.

When Michael Andretti comes to school to stop her from being expelled for belting Carly over the nose with a text book, we start to see that things can turn out for the best quite unexpectedly. Having a father around isn’t such a bad idea. So through the conflict that Josie has with Carly Bishop, Josie starts to like her father and develops a relationship with him.


Visual Text Essay Looking for Alibrandi, directed by Kate Woods.

Describe an important conflict between characters in the text. Explain how verbal and /or visual features were used to help you understand why this conflict was important.

In the movie Looking for Alibrandi, directed by Kate Woods, there were many conflicts. The conflicts that I found important were between Josie and Michael Andretti, Carly and Jacob. This essay will explain what verbal/visual features were used and how they help me to understand the importance of each conflict.

The first important conflict in the visual text Looking for Alibrandi, by Kate Woods was between Josie and Michael Andretti. It was when the family was having lunch at Easter. Christina and Michael were talking about their daughter Josie. Josie comes in and starts defending her mum by yelling at Michael. Nona walks in and everything goes quiet. Nona clicks that Michael is Josie’s father. The feature used in this scene to help me understand its importance was the aeroplane that flew over the house while they were all standing there and Nona putting the pieces together. The sound of the aeroplane indicates a major advance in the plot – in this case that Nona is understanding what the conflict between Josie and Michael is all about.

The second important conflict in the visual text Looking for Alibrandi by Kate Woods was between Josie and Jacob Coote. They were at the movies trying to pick which movie to go and see. Josie was already mad about how little Jacob cared about his appearance and didn’t make any effort to dress up for their date. Jacob keeps making silly comments. Josie gets really mad at him and they start to argue. Jacob goes too far and says “Well I’ve never had to go out with an ethnic girl before.” The visual feature that helped me to understand the conflict and Josie’s pain and anger was her body language. She stomped down the street . The verbal feature that supported this was Josie’s internal dialogue “Dickheads book of records. I’ve just been on a ten minute date!” This quote shows Josie’s anger and helped me to understand the depth of frustration that this conflict with Jacob caused.

The final important conflict in the visual text was between Josie and Carly a girl who attends her school. Carly is a part time model and comes from a high socio-economic background. She is “part of John Barton’s world.” When Josie comes out of the confession box Carly makes a comment about “Wogs”. This offends Josie who calls her a “stupid bitch”. Carly replies “At least I’m not a bastard”. Josie smacks Carly in the face with a text book and breaks her nose. Carly’s dad tells Josie she had better call her lawyer. So Josie calls in her dad. They go outside to talk and Josie’s dad tries to find out what Carly said to make Josie so angry. Josie starts to cry but doesn’t tell her dad about being called a bastard because she doesn’t want her dad to know that being conceived by two people who weren’t married actually hurt her, but just tells him “she just says all this stuff and makes everyone feel like ‘shit’”. This verbal exchange or dialogue between Josie and her father helped me understand Josie’s pain and the importance that Josie’s internal conflict over being born illegitimate played in her lack of self acceptance and identity.

In the visual text, Looking for Alibrandi, directed by Kate Woods there were many conflicts. The director’s use of verbal and visual features helped me to understand the depths of these conflicts. MORE PERCEPTIVE COMMENT ABOUT THESE CONFLICTS AND SOCIETY TO TODAY.