How many Australian Films can you name?
How many have you seen?
When was the last time you went to the movies to see an Australian film?
Why is it that we all see Australian Films in a negative way, I mean yes there are some great films that have come out of the industry, but why does the industry struggle as a whole?
Many argue that one of the primary downsides of the industry is the age-old stereotype that comes along with it of the Australian outback, rednecks, ‘bogans’ Holden utes, riding kangaroos to school and fighting crocodiles on a regular basis. Has the industry just lost new ways to be able to stop these stereotypes being seen as a recurring trend?
According to the latest Australian box office reports, ‘2014 is shaping up to be Australian cinema’s worst domestic performance in 10 years’ . (Roach, 2014).
If we take a look into the history of Australian films, we can certainly see where these tedious stereotypes stem from. One of the most primary themes that arose during the 1970’s, when Australian films were rising in popularity across the nation, was the unkind reality and dangers of the outback.
One that comes to my mind that is the epitome of Australian Film is the film series ‘Crocodile Dundee’ from 1986, with Paul Hogan, which penetrated global audiences, and in turn set in stone a certain image of Australian culture. In any given culture we can see emerging stereotypes. Every culture is trying to make their mark to inform and create an awareness otherwise all movies would be the same. Yes these stereotypes follow on and maybe we get mocked for it, but just because people think all we is have BBQ and ride kangaroos to school I think that we have it pretty good, there are many cultures that are feared of because of the way they are presented in film.
On the flip side– Australian media content is still highly sought after, and has an audience of millions waiting to view it. This can be seen in the ever-growing amount of Aussie television shows capturing audiences not just in Australia but all over the world. Reports from the Sydney Morning Herald for the television ratings of the first half of 2014 show that 20 of the top 30 shows being watched are Australian. With 6 of these 20 top rating Australian programs being written, produced and starred by Australians and raking in roughly one million viewers each episode (Dale, 2014).
According to Toli Papadopoulos of the Crikey.com Review Page, there have been common critiques that Australian filmmakers are too ‘art-house’ (2014) I definitely can agree with this statement. I think that Australian films don’t have that appealing want to watch factor that other international films portray, they seem to all have the same nature of storyline and emotion. We cannot say this for all films there are some films that have had a huge impact such as Muriel’s Wedding and The Sapphires and one, which I think I know by heart thanks to year 11 English, Strictly Ballroom that is now made into a theatre musical. These films bring out the great Aussie comedy and drama that can be linked to popular TV content produced in Australia.
While the Australian film industries crisis is not something, which is going to be fixed overnight, I do believe there is hope and when the correct changes are made to enhance the issues faced the industry will be highly ranked. Maybe looking into factors such as the marketing and advertising techniques used could help. We need to be able to support our local Aussie films and keep them going.
Of course I do admit that while these movies do not appeal to me like other ones, I cannot speak for the wider population. I think it comes down to the fact that we want something different and we really just want to be entertained!