And as an AFI member myself - alas, I am only allowed to vote for Best Film, Best Documentary and the short film categories - it really hurts me to quite blatantly mock the institution that I pay good hard-earned money for, but it still continues to boggle the mind that Matthew Newton's astoundingly good Three Blind Mice didn't get a single nomination for this year's AFI Awards. Won't it be embarassing when (and I really do hope it's a matter of "when" not "if") Three Blind Mice becomes an international festival hit and it didn't get a single nomination here? Oh wait... what's that...?
Silly me, turns out that's already happening! I was so excited today to see that the film has won (via) the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at the London Film Festival. Shocking. A good movie (nay, a great movie) actually winning prizes. It's times like that that remembering Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger and The Tender Hook scored nine AFI nominations between them really hurts. Newton's film is sure to be remembered longer and more fondly than either of those films, yet because - one has to assume - Newton isn't the most popular guy on the block these days he gets snubbed for movies that are nothing more than turgid dull-as-dishwater Mean Girls ripoffs.
The only solution I can think of is that Matthew Newton ditch Australia and head overseas to make any future products. It's quite obvious that the "people who matter" don't care for him and, at least, he would be appreciated overseas. Isn't that the Australian thing to do anyway? And this time the media wouldn't be able to persecute him for "ditching" Australia because, clearly, they ditched him a long time ago. And then, five or ten years in the future when people are scratching their heads as to where all the talent went from the Aussie film industry (or, hell, next year!) they can put the blame squarely at their own feet because they decided to dig for trash instead of taking the treasure that was staring them right in the face.
Also, in a much less mean-spirited but similarly-themed add-on, I must mention that Steve Jacobs' upcoming Aussie film Disgrace won the same prize at the Toronto International Film Festival so things are perhaps actually looking on the up!