Dr Ari Mattes

Assistant Dean; Lecturer in Media & Communications and English Literature
BA (Hons I) MA (Creative Writing) PhD

Email: Ari.Mattes@nd.edu.au
Phone: (02) 8204 4198

  • Biography

    Ari Mattes completed his PhD in American film and literature at the University of Sydney in 2010, and worked at ANU and the University of Sydney before securing an ongoing role at UNDA in 2013. He has published widely on multiple aspects of cinema, literature and culture, and is currently working on the following major projects: The Cinema of Accidents: Hollywood Film in the Age of Disaster; The Office, at Work: Office Cultures in Literature, Film and Media; The Man Who Fell to America: The Literature of Walter Tevis.

  • Teaching areas

    • Media and Society
    • The Language of Film
    • Australian Cinema
    • World Cinema
    • World Literature
    • Postcolonial Literature
  • Research expertise and supervision

    I have supervised students in film studies, literature, and media and cultural studies, and invite applications to conduct research under my supervision in these areas.

  • Books

    Clift, Edward M., Mirko Guaralda, and Ari Mattes (eds). Filming the City: Urban Documents, Design Practices and Social Criticism through the Lens. Bristol: Intellect, 2016.

  • Book chapters

    • Mattes, Ari. “Everything is Awesome When You’re Part of a List: The Flattening of Distinction in Post-Ironic LEGO Media.” In More Than Just Bricks: Cultural Studies of Lego, edited by Rebecca C. Hains and Sharon R. Mazzarella. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming 2019).
    • Nelson, Camilla, and Ari Mattes. "Lego, Creative Accumulation and the Future of Play." In Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Play from Birth and Beyond, edited by Sandra Lynch, Deborah Pike and Cynthia à Beckett, pp. 265-279. Singapore: Springer, 2017.
    • Mattes, Ari. “Unlawful Entry: The Imbrication of Suburban Space and Police Repression.” In Filming the City, edited by Edward M. Clift, Mirko Guaralda, and Ari Mattes, pp. 9-26. Bristol: Intellect, 2016.
  • Journal articles and proceedings

    • Mattes, Ari. “Imagining Excess: Ideology in Contemporary Hollywood’s Florida.” The Journal of Popular Culture 50, no.3 (2017): 622-645.
    • Mattes, Ari. "Antipodean Dream, Antipodean Nightmare: Spatial Ideology and Justin Kurzel’s Snowtown." Australian Humanities Review, 61 (2017): 27-47.
    • Mattes, Ari. "The Cinema of Cruelty: Olympus Has Fallen and the Action-Spectacle Aesthetic." Journal of Asia-Pacific Pop Culture 2, no. 1 (2017): 93-118.
    • Mattes, Ari. "Lord Business is dead–long live Lord Business!: Second order ideology in The Lego Movie." Australasian Journal of Popular Culture 5, no. 2-3 (2016): 93-106.
    • Mattes, Ari. "Action without regeneration: The deracination of the American action hero in Michael Mann's Heat." Journal of Popular Film and Television 42, no. 4 (2014): 186-194.
    • Mattes, Ari. "Turning the gun on America: Cobra and the action film as cultural critique." Australasian Journal of Popular Culture 2, no. 3 (2013): 457-470.
  • Conference papers

    Invited Presentations and Workshops:

    • “The Ontology of the Victim in the World at Risk,” American Cultures Workshop, US Studies Centre, University of Sydney, 6 June, 2018.
    • “Last Words of the Condemned: Christian Rhetoric in the American Abolition Debate,” American Cultures Workshop, US Studies Centre, University of Sydney, 22 November 2017.
    • Paper respondent to Ben Eldridge, “A Crysis of Perspective: (S)pawning Subjectivity in Interactive Media,” Sydney Screen Studies Seminar, UNSW, 24 May, 2017.
    • “Florida Film: Sun, Sand, Screen,” Centre for Modernism Studies Australia, UNSW, May 2016.

    Conference Presentations:

    • “The Cinema of Accidents: Hollywood Cinema in the Disaster Ecology,” Screen Conference, University of Glasgow, 23-25 June 2017.
    • “The Cinema of Accidents: Writing the Disaster in the Hollywood Ecology,” Camera-Stylo: Intersections in Literature and Cinema, University of Sydney, 10-12 July, 2017.
    • “Staging the Post-Cinematic City: New Representations of Digital-Urban Mobility in Hollywood’s Miami,” New Directions in Film-Architecture, University of Newcastle, 1-2 December 2016.
    • “Televisual Affect in Early Haneke,” 24 Shocks a Second: The Cinema of Michael Haneke, University of Sydney, 3 November 2016.
    • “The Man Who Fell to America: Anti-Apocalyptic Autology in the Fiction of Walter Tevis,” Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association Conference, US Studies Centre, University of Sydney, 6-8 July 2016.
    • “Assassin Aesthetics: Nietzsche as Metaphysical Sniper,” Nietzsche & Aesthetics: A Research Symposium, UNSW, 7 December 2015.
    • “No Dark Sarcasm in the Classroom: Pedagogy in the Age of Revolution Without Reason,” Reason Plus Enjoyment, UNSW, 10-14 July 2015.
    • “Antipodean Dream, Antipodean Nightmare: Spatial Ideologies in Australian Literature and Cinema,” Literary Networks Convention – AULLA, ASAL & AAL, University of Wollongong, 7-11 July 2015.
    • “Imagining Excess: Hollywood’s ‘Florida’ and the American Dream,”  The State and US Culture Industries,” United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney, 25-26 June 2015.
    • “The Apatow Effect: Contemporary Hollywood Comedy and the Banal Verbal Double,” Camera-Stylo: Intersections in Literature and Cinema, University of Sydney, 8-10 April 2015.
    • “Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers (2012): Toward a Theory of Accidental Narrative,” SCMS Annual Conference, Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, Montreal, Canada, 25-29 March 2015.
    • “Spring Breakers: Accidental Narrative in the Black Box”, Aesthetics After Finitude, National Institute for Experimental Arts (UNSW Art & Design), Sydney, 5-6 February 2015.
    • “Jonathan Kaplan’s Unlawful Entry (1992) and the Radicalization of Suburban Space,” Architecture_MPS: The Mediated City Part 2 Los Angeles, Woodbury University, Burbank, CA, 1-4 October 2014.
    • “The Cinema of Cruelty: Antoine Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and the Emancipatory Action-Spectacle,” PopCAANZ 5th Annual International Conference, Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, Tasmania, 18-20 June 2014.
    • "Friday Night's a Great Night for Movies: The Last Boy Scout and the Anti-Spectacular Action Film." POPCAANZ 4th Annual International Conference, Sofitel Hotel, Brisbane, 24-26 June 2013.
    • “From Nam to Afghanistan: The Dirty Dozen, The Expendables and the Sanitization of Action Cinema in post 9-11 America.” POPCAANZ 3rd Annual International Conference, Langham Hotel, Melbourne, 27-29 June 2012.
    • “From Steam to Mean: White Heat and the Electrification of Genre.” FHAANZ Conference – Cinema, Modernity and Modernism, UNSW, Sydney, 30th November-3rd December 2010.
    • “The Missing, in Action: The Vietnam War and American Ahistoricism.” Film & History Conference – War in Film, Television, and History, Dolce International Conference Center, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, 9-12 November 2004.
    • “Future Disease: The Italian Post-Apocalypse Film” at the “Contaminations” Conference, UNSW.
    • “The Prejudice of Extremes: Extreme Prejudice and American Cultural Consciousness” at the annual English Conference, Sydney University
  • Original creative works

    • Mattes, A. (2012) ‘The Toys Do Not Speak’, Regime Magazine 1 (1), pp.6-15, 2013
    • Mattes, A. (2012) ‘RomCom’, Hide Your Fires: UTS Writers Anthology (Sydney: UTS) pp.240-246, 2012
  • In the media

    • Mattes, Ari. “The Best Thing About the New Oz Horror Film The School is Its Poster.” The Conversation, 7 December, 2018.
    • Mattes, Ari. “Venom: An Excellent Superhero Film, Perhaps Best Not Experienced in 4DX.” The Conversation, 9 October, 2018.
    • Mattes, Ari. “From Klansmen to a Kindergarten Teacher: The Unmissable Films of Sydney Film Festival.” The Conversation, 19 June, 2018.
    • Mattes, Ari. “Upgrade is an Extremely Pleasurable Sci-fi Revenge Film.” The Conversation, 11 June, 2018.
    • Mattes, Ari. “The Australian Zombie Horror Cargo is Burdened by its Own Gravitas.” The Conversation, 18 May, 2018.
    • Mattes, Ari. “Cannes is Right, Netflix Movies Just Aren’t the Same.” The Conversation, 2 May, 2018.
    • Mattes, Ari. “A Critical Guide to the Oscar Best Pic Nominees – and Why Call Me By Your Name is the Standout.” The Conversation, 28 February, 2018.
    • Mattes, Ari. “2017 in Film: A Return to Form for the Hollywood Blockbuster.” The Conversation, 25 December 2017.
    • Mattes, Ari. "Wonder Woman and Aquaman are the only charismatic leads in Justice League." The Conversation, 16 November 2017.
    • Mattes, Ari. "Thor: Ragnarok, a joyous, trashy, retro-nostalgic comedy, is the best of the Marvel films." The Conversation, 20 October, 2017
    • Mattes, Ari. “The Top Five Films of the Sydney Film Festival (and the rest),” The Conversation, 20 June 2017
    • Mattes, Ari. “Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur – a Triumph of Modern Spectacle,” The Conversation, 17 May 2017
    • Mattes, Ari. “Los Angeles Overnight – One of the Best Films You Will (Probably) Never See,” The Conversation, 15 May 2017
    • Mattes, Ari. “A Critical Guide to the Oscar Best Pic Contenders – and Why Moonlight Should Win,” The Conversation, 23 February 2017
    • Mattes, Ari. “Australian Cinema for Australia Day,” The Conversation, 25 January 2017
    • Mattes, Ari. “2017: The Year Ahead in Cinema,” The Conversation, 23 January 2017
    • Mattes, Ari. “Lion is a Well-Made Melodrama with a Rather Disturbing Message,” The Conversation, 9 January 2017
    • Mattes, Ari. “2016: The Year of the Mediocre Film,” The Conversation, 20 December 2016
    • Mattes, Ari. “Halloween Films: The Good, the Bad, and the Truly Scary,” The Conversation, 31 October 2016
    • Mattes, Ari. “The BBC’s Top 100 21st Century Films? Give Me a Break!” The Conversation, 28 August 2016
    • Mattes, Ari. “Weiner’s Erotic Mediation: Bill Clinton’s Sex vs Anthony Weiner’s Sexting,” The Conversation, 4 August 2016
    • Mattes, Ari. “The Five Must-see Films of the Sydney Film Festival,” The Conversation, 21 June 2016
    • Mattes, Ari. “The Logies: A Yearly Advertisement for Australian TV,” The Conversation, 9 May 2016
    • Mattes, Ari. “Depp, Heard, Joyce – the Future of Cinema and its Critique,” The Conversation, 20 April 2016
    • Mattes, Ari. “The Witch – Excellent Supernatural Fodder,” The Conversation, 3 April 2016
    • Mattes, Ari. “‘Politics Lite’ as Usual in Oscar’s Bluff,” The Conversation, 2 March 2016
    • Mattes, Ari. “Will Inarritu Win His Fourth Oscar for The Revenant? Do You Care?” The Conversation, 28 February 2016
    • Mattes, Ari. “Hail, Caesar! or Hollywood, at Least,” The Conversation, 26 February 2016
    • Mattes, Ari. “Home Alone Feeling Scrooged? These Christmas Moveis Deserve Some Love, Actually,” The Conversation, 17 December 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. “Ending with a Bang or a Whimper? The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II,” The Conversation, 23 November 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. “Reflections on Paris: Technics and Terrorism in Vision Culture,” The Conversation, 17 November 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. “Thinking Through (Popular) Film,” The Conversation, 4 November 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. “Serial Commenting, Serial Killing: Some Notes on Web 2.0 and Kevin Williamson’s The Following,” The Conversation, 21 October 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. “Black Mass: A Remorselessly Bleak ‘True Crime’ Gangster Film,” The Conversation, 8 October 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. “Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth: Visually Magnificent but Dramatically Unsatisfying,” The Conversation, 30 September 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. “The Visit and Other ‘Accidental’ Horror Films,” The Conversation, 29 September 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. “Godzilla – A Tale of the Times,” The Conversation, 20 September 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. “ISIS Propaganda and gangsta rap videos," The Conversation, 8 September 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. "Straight Outta Compton - why now?," The Conversation, 2 September 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. "Wes Craven: Revisiting The People Under the Stairs," The Conversation, 31 August 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. "Pasolini, with Willem Dafoe, offers an unconventional biopic," The Conversation, 12 June 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. "Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon," The Conversation, 9 June 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. “Frenzy on Fury Road: Mad Max faces a post-digital apocalypse,” The Conversation, 14 May 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. “The Clouds of Sils Maria: a star-studded film about stardom,” The Conversation, 7 May 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. “Love in the Age of Mass Migration in Eastern Boys,” The Conversation, 24 February 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. “Perry Keyes’ Tales of Sydney’s Western Suburbs,” The Conversation, 20 January 2015
    • Mattes, Ari. “Nathan Hindmarsh, insidious advertising and normalising problem gambling,” The Conversation, 12 August 2013
  • Community engagement

    • ABC Radio Sydney, 4DX and Venom (9th October 2018)
    • ABC Radio National, National Evenings, Horror Films (13th January, 2018)
    • 2017 ABC (Central Victoria), Halloween (31st October 2017)
    • ABC (South East SA), Halloween and Horror Films (31st October 2017)
    • 2SER (Sydney), Halloween and Cultural Appropriation (31st October 2017)
    • ABC radio (national), drive, The Year Ahead in Cinema (radio interview)
    • 2016 ABC radio (WA), The Year of the Mediocre Film (radio interview)
    • ABC radio (WA), Halloween Films (radio interview)
    • 2SER (NSW), Sydney Film Festival (radio interview)
    • 2015  SYN Media (VIC), “Represent,” Terrorism and Media (radio interview)
    • ABC Radio (WA), lunch, Social Media (radio interview)
    • “Dimensions of the Psyche in the Film Calvary,” CG Jung Society, Sydney Mechanics’ School, 10 April 2015 (Public Lecture)
    • 2014 “No More Monsters: Australian Horror Cinema and Boredom,” Yeah Sessions, Yulli’s, Surry Hills, 21 October 2014 (Public Lecture)
    • 2013 “Jurassic Park’s Dr Ian Malcolm was correct when he says ‘Dinosaurs had their shot, and nature selected them for extinction.’ It’s wrong to bring back an extinct species,” Jurassic Lounge, Australian Museum, 5 November 2013 (Public Debate)
    • “Anyone can be a photographer, but filmmaking requires real skill,” Jurassic Lounge, Australian Museum, 10 October 2013 (Public Debate)
  • Journal Reviews

    • Mattes, Ari. “Twin Black Panthers: Staging Marvel’s Counter-Revolution.” Australasian Journal of American Studies (forthcoming, 2019).
    • Mattes, Ari. “The Spectacle of Place: Multinational Cinema at the Sydney Film Festival,” Senses of Cinema 80 (September 2016).
    • Mattes, Ari. "Representing Capital: A Review of Anthony Macris' Capital, Volume One." U:, August 2014, p.17.