The Age is spot on with article on Australian film making………..but will it make a difference

August 30, 2009 |

Today’s piece in the Age, Screening the same old dreary story is spot on.  Michael Coulter is spot on.  He says his faith in Australian movies broke in 2004.  My faith was shredded well before then though I have saluted the occasional diamond, such as The Boys, Chopper and some excellent TV product.  But there is so much dross.  Even the supposed brilliant movies such as Lantana are disappointing.  Bleak doesn’t even begin to describe it. 

Unfortunately Coulter’s is a story run fairly often.  But it makes no difference.  Apart from his hypothesis, that an industry that lives of government funding need not worry about returns, there is another explanation.  The industry produces for its members and they love bleak super realistic product that fills the program at Film Festivals.  It frightens me to see the mass of autuers at the Melbourne Film Festival who spend their time rhapsodising over dreary, bleak, overwrought and generally appalling product.  Conversely they sneer at anything that is even vaguely commercial or aimed at a wider market.  What they miss is that the wider public have a yen for a good story well told.  Australian movies are poorly made stories badly told.  As Coulter notes, most of these efforts lack characters with whom the audience can empathise.  And like Coulter I can spend my dosh on stories that do engage you.  Or I can get a DVD of  a classic. 

It seems nothing will change.

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