Friday, March 25, 2011

A Heartbeat Away reveals gulf between Australian filmmakers and the public

I don't know why people talk about the Australian film industry, because it's not really an industry as such. It's more like a highly creative and skilled "work for the dole" program. But instead of handing out payments in the hundreds of dollars to its recipients, the Government gives them tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So few movies have made even a small profit over the years, it's just a joke. Sure, we've got a small population. But that can't be used as an excuse when you look at the tragic box office figures for some of the lemons we've made.

I think it's a cultural problem. The Aussie film industry, like so many other parts of Artsville, is completely dominated by dreary, PC lefties who just loathe the wider Australian society. So they produce a lot of sanctimonious, turgid filmic fare about how racist, sexist and materialistic we are. Of course, people stay away from those movies in droves.

But even when they make films they hope will have wide appeal, they just can't seem to connect with he public. Take this movie A Heartbeat Away. Watch the trailer. It's looks excruciatingly lame and contrived.

It seems to be a hotchpotch of hackneyed elements, made with zero passion and integrity. There's the corporate greed theme which is almost de rigueur in Aussie films with a contemporary setting. Then there's the community musical angle, a la Brassed Off! The sleepy coastal town setting is reminiscent of Sea Change. Of course there's a love story. Then they've wheeled in that old standby of the son trying to redeem his crusty old man's honour.

It's just the kind of movie you'd make if you were a sneering inner-city lefty who thought mainstream audiences were full of sentimental, gullible meat heads. Of course they're not like that, which is why they've avoided it like the plague.

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