Friday, February 4, 2011

Must-See Australian Movies for 2011?

Far be it from me to skeptical of a major Australian news publication actually having something positive to say about the Australian film industry, but... well, I'm skeptical. Anybody who has followed these sort of things would know that most Australian media writers like to use the Aussie film industry as one it's prime whipping boys; the moment a film disappoints at the box office it's because the industry isn't making movies Australians actually want to see. So on and on and it gets very tiresome. So, yes, I was skeptical to read this article at the Sydney Morning Herald, but was pleasantly surprised.

All 12 titles mentioned were featured in my Australian Films of 2011 list from a few weeks back. There's a nice cross-section, too. I can already attest to Ivan Sen's Dreamland, but it's uber-artiness makes it's inclusion in such a list makes me smile. Many of the other titles show promise. Movies like Happy Feet 2, The Eye of the Storm and Griff the Invisible could be box office heavyweights; The Reef and Wasted on the Young (the new trailer to which I've included below - love the very end with the winking smiley face) could be solid genre pieces; Mad Bastards and Here I Am look to continue to formidable reputation of indigenous cinema and Mrs Carey's Concert could prove to be a break out documentary.

Of course, there are the prerequisite trolls that come with such an article in the comment section. How about these doozies of idiocy?

I read this list for a laugh, as "must see" and "Australian film" are rarely used in the same sentence by any tax payer, or anyone who actually goes to see an Australian film. More likely they say, "I saw a film last night that was rubbish, but I noticed it was financed by the Australian government".

Why dont film makers make films that a larger audience would like to see, instead of these art house failures that go straight to DVD if they are lucky.

how about we have an aussie movie that isn't about the aboriginals? or an aussie movie that isn't about the hardship of the land?
honestly, if aussie movies weren't depressing or pandering to the left wing tree-huggers out there, people might actually go out to see them on the big screen.

But what can you expect? They make my blood boil for several minutes and then I promptly remember they're dimwitted idiots without a clue as to what they're talking about and move on. I guess all the people who routinely complain about movies "larger audience(s) would like to see" conveniently forgot all about Tomorrow When the War Began, Bran Nue Dae, Mao's Last Dancer, Animal Kingdom, The Kings of Mykonos: The Wog Boy 2 or Sanctum 3D that has been released just this weekend. They're the same sort of people who think it's good journalism to not even do research for a column on Australian cinema. They'll never disappear until every single movie we make is aimed at the same sort of multiplex zombies who made Little Fockers one of the biggest hits of the Christmas season.


BRENTON said...

Thanks for these comments Glenn. There are some people who would prefer Australia to have no culture of it's own at all! No films , no books, no art etc. etc. For some reason the negative comments come from people who THINK that they are very Australian. I dont want more cinema from America. I can tolerate few Amercian films, especailly the socalled comedies! What is there to laugh about? I love Australian films, especially art house and my partner and I go on a regular basis to view them. Looking forward to 'Eye of the Storm' and 'Snowtown'. Outside of Aussie films, I love Danish and Spanish cinema and TV.

Glenn Dunks said...

Thanks Brenton. I agree with you, too. People seem to pride themselves on how much they can criticise Australian films (without having even seen them) and then they'll turn around and say "I'm so Aussie" or something.

Alice said...

Hear Hear, Glenn! I agree the SMH gives a nice cross section - something for everyone - except the trolls that is!

Gillian said...

I'm Irish and will happily go out of my way to watch any Australian film I can find, I cant get enough of them. I don't know what it is but I find Australian cinema compelling, and if a film is Australian, I will watch it. Just because they're not necessarily reaching the mainstream, doesn't mean they're not good quality films. I only wish Australian films got a wider release!

Mark said...

I agree with Gillian, Aussie movies are among the best movies I have seen. Totally different experience from the 'American' idea of a movie.

Anonymous said...

I'm American and have just recently begun watching Australian movies. I must say I have been pleasantly surprised and my wife and I love them. Keep up the great work :)