Andrew Bolt on the Australian Film Industry Crisis

May 18, 2008

Andrew Bolt is a lot of fun. While I may not agree with a lot of his conservative trex in the Herald Sun, I can’t help but like the fact he is our answer to Bill O’Reilly… or even Stephen Colbert. This guy needs his own reactionary TV show! He used to be an arts writer too, so he has a stone in his shoe about the vast wastage of tax payer dollars in the arts community. Bolt should be taken more seriously as a writer, than many give him credit for, in my eyes. And occasionally on various issues Mr.Bolt is spot on. Like, for example, in this article about the Australian films industry here.

He rightfully attacks Esther Blueberger for being the piece of shit it was. Yes, I saw it, what a turkey.

Here is a choice Bolt quote from the piece,

“The badness of Australian films is now so firmly fixed in the mind of the public that you’d earn more money selling tickets to the opening of a leper’s scabs.”

Pretty harsh, but acknowledging there is now a firmly entrenched prejudice against Australian films in the public’s eye, after 20 years of the current ‘regime’ running the film industry.

Bolt goes on to attack film critics who go easy on Australian films. Pointing out Stratton and Pomeranz from At The Movies, for chastisement.

There is a certain truth here. If people praise shit like Blueberger, Oyster Farmer, Danny Deckchair or laud unworthy accolades on mediocre at best films like Somersualt and The Black Balloon. How will anyone know, for example, that Rats and Cats that opens next week in a limited release really is a good, if not great, Australian movie?

Jim Schembri and Leigh Paatsch tell it like it is, many times, and should be commended for doing so.

The issue of critical responsibility is all part of the on going Crisis in the Australian film Industry declared in The MUFF manifesto. The crisis appears to be getting more serious, as time goes on.

5 Responses to “Andrew Bolt on the Australian Film Industry Crisis”

  1. That’s the great thing about the internet. You can report on month and a half old articles like they were written yesterday. 😉

  2. Greg Maxwell said

    Bolt on Andrieu Rieu

    “I guess he’s offering not just schmaltz – always popular, and reassuring – but utterly safe and undeniably tuneful music of the kind that pleases people who want to feel civilised, even cultured, without their brain hurting. These are people who want to feel connected again to the chocolate-box culture that produced a Johann Strauss without them quite knowing who the hell he was. Or they simply want to feel connected to Western culture at its most ideally benign. “

    He can be quite acerbic in his own conservative way.

  3. richard777 said

    Yes. Six weeks is not that long ago, syms, is it? You internet kids think last week is like ten years ago.

    Reminds me of the Radiohead song “Down is the new Up” lyric “Your future’s bleak, your so last week”

    Slow down.

    Western history is long and beautiful. All of it. Even our floundering about like wet fish now. I suspect a new generation is coming that will put an end to all that.

  4. Yesterday is ten years ago. I can’t even remember 6 weeks back. 😉

  5. I am somewhat baffled about the length of the crisis. Surely, in the last years someone should have done a hardnosed analysis.
    Why have Australian movies not appealed to Australian audiences, let alone international ones?
    One reason sometimes mentioned is a ‘story shortage’. Can it be that for years now, they have been looking for stories in the wrong places? When focussing on ‘Australian stories’it all becomes a bit narrow. People want to see ‘good’ stories and spectaculars. It looks to me that these stories are not to be found where they have previously been looking. With Australia being a small country with a relatively short history, we may indeed have exhausted the material that could be found.
    The bookmarket no longer seems to provide the body of material which it once did, because there are such a lot of books in the ‘extended’journalism’ section now (memoirs, political stuff, true crime, celebrity blurbs), that the fiction market has shrunk considerably.
    Authors still write, but only one in a 1000 books offered can be taken up by trad publishers. There are a lot of authors out there, 999 of a 1000, who check their options: recycle bin or self-publishing. I do not really know if self-published work is a treasure trove for the movie industry, but what I do know is that ignoring this category leaves them exactly where they are now. Self-published authors can withdraw their work from the market 24/7, and by the time the movie and companion book come out, it’ll be quite fresh again.
    I am a self-published author and would like to know how I could ‘apply’for my book to be considered. It’s not an Australian story, just a spectacular story, designed for the international market. Where can I/we get a chance? If there is a law that only Australian stories can be developed into Australian films, then the crisis will probably not go away as recent years proved.

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