Australian cinema is still big; it's the audience that got small

Wolf Creek 2

In January this year Daily Review published an article titled Australian cinema in 2014: 10 films to get excited about. It highlighted a slate of yet-to-be-released features attached to pedigree names including directors David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) and Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) and stars Robert Pattinson, Ewan McGregor and Mia Wasikowska.

The article was unusual for the simple and sobering reason that for a long time the Australian media commentariat’s default position, when it comes to matters relating to local films, has been characterised by a far more sceptical mindset than excitement.

There are plenty of familiar criticisms and “end-is-nigh” prophecies synonymous with discussions of the Australian film industry. The most common concern is the industry’s problematic and heavily subsidised financial state — its everlasting struggle to get bums on seats in a market dominated by American content.

The second is about perceptions. Australian producers have long battled public sentiment that locally produced features are one of two things. The first, that they are morose hard-hitting dramas that explore the “human condition.” The sort of stories that follow characters who battle drug addictions, grieve over deceased family members and live dreadfully unhappy lives.

The other perception is that when it’s not busy depressing us with films about cancer and people who collapse in gutters with needles in their arms, Australian films are cringe-inducing “g’day mate” comedies. The sort of facepalm productions geared towards jokes featuring things as stereotypically nationalistic as shrimps on a barbie (thanks, Paul Hogan).

Full article at the source

Interesting read.