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Wednesday, 1 August 2018

On Australian Film - Another provocative essay posted by Bill Mousoulis about the problems screening indy Oz films

Bill Mousoulis
Another interesting and provocative essay has been posted by Bill Mousoulis on his invaluable website Pure Shit Australian Cinema  dedicated to independent, usually non-government funded, Australian film-making. This essay is by Mike Retter,  a film director, of the indie feature Youth On The March, creator of the zine "Cinema Now", and the Podcast "Meat Bone Express" and part of the Port Film Co-op.

Here are the opening paras.

Who are the artists making our movies? The actual amount of people we could seriously call artists that get to make our mainstream films is a tiny number. If one went to Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane or Perth and had a conversation with a cinephile, the same handful of serious artists working in funded projects would come up. There is seldom more than three names mentioned, usually the same names every time, basically a series of anomalies, exceptions to the rule, which I am glad exist  but I’m not so glad about there only being three.

Mike Retter
Thus, cinephiles must dig deeper and watch underground work from Australia if they want to be nourished by their own country’s cinematic output. The only problem is, for the most part, they don't watch such films or even know they exist. There are reasons for this. A lack of festival exposure for underground work means such feature films languish as private Vimeo links. An unconscious bias against anything made outside of the system, which is a kind of extension of industry protectionism, prevents institutions like festivals getting behind them. Also the work itself, because it’s not all brilliant by any stretch. There is a bit to wade through before finding these great works of art. But on the latter, I think it’s important to explore what is and isn't brilliant by understanding both the context for film and how undeveloped the Oz cinema culture may be on these matters.

Click on this link to read the rest. 

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