February 10, 2004

FROM THE OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF NOBODY CARES

Freedom-loving artistes demand regulation:

After intensive lobbying that involved Toni Collette, Geoffrey Rush and Sigrid Thornton (editor's note: HA HA HA HAHAHA! HAAAAAA HAHA HA HA HA HA!!! HA HA!) the film and television industry was yesterday downbeat about the free trade agreement.

The executive director of the Screen Producers Association of Australia, Geoff Brown, said it felt like a defeat for the industry campaign to protect local content.

"The outcome, regardless of what the Government is saying, will impact significantly on our ability to regulate in the future," he said.

Australian culture isnít yours to control, film boy. Now get me my popcorn and shut up.

Posted by Tim Blair at February 10, 2004 02:19 AM
Comments

That wouldn't be the same Geoffrey Rush who benefitted from the lack of US regulation by appearing in Pirates of the Caribbean and other (bad) US films?

The idiocy of these people never ceases to amaze.

Posted by: chip at February 10, 2004 at 03:06 AM

I'd recommend getting some Canadian Content. Swap some Bernard Bolan (``Not Many Fish'') for Gordon Lightfoot (``Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald''). I only point out the similarity.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at February 10, 2004 at 03:12 AM

Geoffrey Rush who benefitted from the lack of US regulation by appearing in Pirates of the Caribbean and other (bad) US films?

The same Geoffrey Rush who was in Quills, Shakespeare in Love, Finding Nemo, and the same Toni Collette in The Sixth Sense.

Posted by: Quentin George at February 10, 2004 at 06:33 AM

Geoffrey Rush was the best thing about Pirates of the Caribbean. Johnny Depp was the second best. Otherwise the movie was too long and wandered alot. I'd still wouldn't call it "bad" Chip.

Of course none of that has anything to do with ozzie artsy-fartsies fear of hollywood.

Posted by: LB at February 10, 2004 at 06:36 AM

Regarding Pirates of the Caribbean, I quote James Lileks: skeleton pirate army.

Posted by: Steve in Houston at February 10, 2004 at 06:47 AM

shouldnt each country to to protect its own interests?

Posted by: michelle at February 10, 2004 at 07:18 AM

The government must act now if it is to preserve the Australian culture. I believe we are in serious danger of having our way of life swamped by inferior Asian "culture".

Posted by: Jorge at February 10, 2004 at 07:39 AM

Oops! That was a typo. What I meant to say was:

The government must act now if it is to preserve the Australian culture. I believe we are in serious danger of having our way of life swamped by inferior American "culture".

Sorry about that. Amazing how slipping one word can turn you from Sigrid Thornton into Pauline Hanson, isn't it?

Can I have my grant back now?

Posted by: Jorge at February 10, 2004 at 07:41 AM

The poster above has hit on the truth. The "artistes" who shout about the "need for an Australian voice" are also the same types who are forever whining on about multiculturalism and the need for "diversity". They hate "the Australian voice." What they love is the sound of their own voices, funded by lots of lovely taxpayers' dollars.

Posted by: Toryhere at February 10, 2004 at 07:47 AM

Who would have thought that Australian culture was so fragile that it needs the likes of these bludgers to "protect" it? Who annointed them for chrissake? I can't remember the last Australian film I saw that I liked. Oh yeah that's right , there was "Woop Woop" with Rod Taylor ... no, no, only joking.

Posted by: theories at February 10, 2004 at 08:15 AM

In the last decade there has been an explosion of Aussie talent on Hollywood's silver screens and many more behind the scenes.

You could make a good argument to suggest that some of the government subsidies had paid off because we are now a recognised destination for movie making. Surely this would signify the moment that government cuts back its subsidies and grants so that our industry, like most others can learn to stand on their own feet unprotected.

Of course belonging to the same trade union as journos helps these twerps get far more exposure than they merit.

Posted by: Michael Gill at February 10, 2004 at 09:00 AM

What about Mark Lewis's _Cane Toads: An Unnatural History_? The aggrieved American ex cat-owning scientist's rising indignation has never been better done.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at February 10, 2004 at 09:01 AM

Representatives of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance and Australian Writers Guild also said the agreement threatened Australian culture.

Hit back now. Recall the Wiggles.

Posted by: ilibcc at February 10, 2004 at 10:03 AM

Unfortunately, the Leftie media/film lobby got its way, and local content laws are still in place. So I don't know what the hell they are whining about.

I have never seen such a ridiculously biased media reaction to something since, oh, the War on Iraq. I mean here we have a broad trade agreement that even delivers in some agricultural areas we never would have imagined we'd get movement on, and all the media can talk about is sugar. These bastards are determined to put Latham in the lodge, and merit be damned if it gets in their way.

Posted by: ABC Al at February 10, 2004 at 10:12 AM

"The outcome, regardless of what the Government is saying, will impact significantly on our ability to regulate in the future," he said.

Maybe what they're referring to is the ability to regulate new and emerging technologies/industries, like pay-TV, digital TV, internet, etcetera. The concern being, I suppose, that once old mediums like television, film, etc, become obsolete in the face of cheaper, more popular mediums - and the government won't do anything to extend their ability to regulate into these new industries.
If that is the case - well, sounds good to me!

Posted by: TimT at February 10, 2004 at 10:29 AM

What do they want- mandatory viewing of Blue Heelers repeats? Someone please kill me.

Posted by: Habib at February 10, 2004 at 10:36 AM

Proving yet again, TimT, that it is Australia's left and cultural elites - not John Howard, whom they so boringly refer to as stuck in a 1950s white-picket-fence timewarp - who live their lives looking backwards.

Posted by: ilibcc at February 10, 2004 at 10:56 AM

But isn't America preserving Australian culture all the time. I love Outback Steakhouse!!! And Hollywood did put out 2 really bad Croc. Dundee sequals, not to mention that Steve Irwin flick.

Or is that the kind of thing they are moaning about.

I was actually stoked to hear Mel was thinking about another MadMax movie.But since he may not be a darling of the left, we'll see if it gets made.

My respect for our good Australian allies requires that I do not comment on "Yahoo Serious".

Posted by: Fred Radcliffe at February 10, 2004 at 11:54 AM

"The outcome, regardless of what the Government is saying, will impact significantly on our ability to regulate in the future," he said.

Let's all hope that turns out to be true.

Posted by: David Blue at February 10, 2004 at 12:18 PM

Look, I can't understand how one can be all for Australians appearing in American films (taking jobs from struggling Yanks), or having American films move offshore to film in Australia and New Zealand (again, taking jobs from struggling Yanks) but be petrified if there's any sign of movement on the other side.

Sheesh. If you are so crap that you NEED this sort of protection, you shouldn't be in the industry. Get a real job.

Posted by: Quentin George at February 10, 2004 at 04:10 PM

if it needs "protecting" it isn't worth anything. Aussie films and film makers flowered with the help of generous government financing and subsidisation; it is a mature and sophisticated industry now and as Quentin points out, surely it must stand on its own feet.

Or do they believe handouts are forever?

We're building an industry from scratch in South Africa, and how? By attracting foreign movie companies to film here using great locations (one-stop shop for permits) and very skilled and inexpensive crew. This is building our industry very effectively, from the creative side (full-blown film schools) to catering.

A new megastudio is taking shape which will allow us to compete for full production of major features, using state of the art tech and first-class sound stages. Private enterprise is doing it.

Subsidies? There aren't any.

Posted by: Dave F at February 10, 2004 at 08:03 PM

Just wanted to endorse ABC Al's comments. There are so few journalist jobs in Australia. Why are there so many shithouse ones in our media that only ever report from the leftist view?

The bizarre reaction to the Free Trade Agreement is a case in point. There must be better journos than the current lot - why can't our media find them?

Posted by: john at February 10, 2004 at 10:08 PM

Newspapers have a problem - falling circulation leading to a vicious circle of having less money to pay for good people. Further, some of the best writers have better things to do than write for newspapers.

Posted by: ilibcc at February 11, 2004 at 09:50 AM