Have you been paying attention?

BCM330, Uncategorized

Debate: Any attention is good attention?

 Australian films attempt to quintessentially showcase Australia. That is, representing Australian stories, culture, characters and landscapes to shape our National Identity. Film is often an important tool for countries to represent their culturalisms and history to audiences not only domestic but for international audiences. National films give an international audience an idea about something they maybe are not familiar with. As seen in Australian films, there are many reoccurring themes.

Australian films typically involve a heroic, masculine character. An underdog who must go through hardship in order to triumph in the end. There is that emphasis on that ‘Australian’ lifestyle, having a laid-back attitude and being a larrikin (Brabazon, 2001 p.150-151).

When the world met the larrikin character of Paul Hogan, he was immediately catapulted to the worlds stage, being a symbol of who an Australian is. In 1984, Paul Hogan starred in the Tourism Australia campaign, an attempt to sell Australia to USA. The campaign was a success. Paul Hogan’s character inviting Americans to come Down Under and have a ‘shrimp on the barbie’ became a cultural catchphrase for Americans to associate Australia with. American visitors increased by 54 per cent in years following the campaign.

We then saw Paul Hogan two years later in Crocodile Dundee, he was again playing his trademark larrikin character, in a fish-out-of-water comedy which went on to become the highest grossing Australian film of all time, making $US 328 million at the box office world-wide.


The character of ‘Mick Dundee’ has been debated whether or not he is the appropriate representation we want as Australians. His character established Australian stereotypes; a strong, white man of bravery and masculinity, he is un-classy and brash. As he enters the city of New York he strongly identifies as an outsider and portrays Australians as unsophisticated and provincial. His anti- authoritarian attitude is another Australian cultural trait, perhaps going back to our colonial heritage. We as Australians are seen to hit back at authority, similar themes seen in Mad Max; a masculine figure braving the elements of the harsh Australian outback (Breeton, 2010 p.114-115) .

Is there anything wrong with Mick Dundee? After all is he just a down to earth bloke we can all deep down relate to? 


source: http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/

Though since Crocodile Dundee, we have seen a transformation from the ‘bloke’ character and embraced more complex ‘underdog’ stories such as 90’s classics, ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ and ‘Priscila Queen of the Desert’ and even recent hits such as ‘Oddball’. We have continued our Australian formula of following a likeable character to triumph or personal growth but have been successful in showcasing all types of Australians, including women, indigenous and LQBT people. In conclusion, I feel that any attention is good attention and anything that encompasses the Aussie spirit is a story worth telling. Australia is a young country and we root for the underdog prove that we are capable of growth and self-realisation, without taking ourselves too seriously.



Beeton, S. 2010, ‘Landscapes as characters: film, tourism and a sense of place ‘, Metro : media & education magazine, no. 166, pp. 114-118

Brabazon, Tara 2001, ‘A pig in space?: Babe and the problem of landscape’, in Craven, Ian (ed.), Australian cinema in the 1990s, F. Cass, London, pp. 149-158




Don’t Ozploit our identity

BCM330, Uncategorized

Debate: What can the case study of ‘Ozploitation’ tell us about the Australian film industry?

The Australian film industry has always struggled for an identity. Australian films have not been coy about shoving an exaggerated version of national identity down the audience’s throat; just the mere mention of an Australian made film is enough to send a cringe down our body. There is nothing wrong with this by any means, I am stating that the Australian film industry as an overall has struggled to gain continual success, in terms of a commercial and a cultural perspective (Ryan, 2012 p.141-142). It is often noted that the Australian public are the harshest critics of Australian film, cringing at our own culture being portrayed on screen. With that I say that the Australian film industry is like a lost puppy, searching to find its place in the world, connecting with its’ audience.


source: http://www.gstatic.com/

At the start of the 1970’s, Australia was producing some high quality, art-house films, with examples such as ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ and ‘Storm Boy’. These films were often described as films for art’s sake purposes and part of a cultural crusade to foster ‘Australian Stories’ to the public audience. Part of a political policy introduced by the Whitlam government, in 1973, started the Australia Council a body to fund the arts industry in Australia and by 1975 the Australian Film Commission was started (Burns & Eltham 2010, p.105). An attempt to produce quality prestige arthouse films for Australia.

However, the Australian film industry was going through another transition at this time. In 1971, Australia introduced the R rating for films. This saw an explosion of low budget genre films. The 2008 documentary ‘Not Quite Hollywood’ discusses the production these of genre films and the term ‘Ozploitation’. A term that was coined by the documentary referring to the exaggerated niche genre films that exploited cultural trends.


source: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com

3 types of films were overly exploited during this period were, horror, sex comedy and actions features. As with the 10BA tax subsidies set up by the Fraser government in 1981, saw these ‘Ozploitation’ films continue from the early 1970’s well into the 1980’s (Burns & Eltham, 2010 p.105). These types of films have come under scrutiny from many Australian film scholars as not being culturally relevant or appropriate for the Australian film industry. The idea of a genre film, has been describes as the vein of Hollywood films and associated with commercialism and box office results (Ryan, 2012 pp.141-143). A genre film provides a contract with the audience about what elements such as plot lines, characters and themes they can expect from the film. A genre film is much easier to market to the public, unlike and Australian genre film were the audience isn’t given that contract about what they are seeing. As the title suggests ‘Not quite Hollywood’ this period was an attempt to capitalise on genre films from Hollywood and become successful, to which these films will always have a place in Australian film industry. As described by scholar Brain Macfarlane there has always been a presence of genre on Australian films and we owe genre recognition as some of the most successful Australian films have been genre films, Crocodile Dundee and Mad Max for example (Ryan, 2012 p.143).

So, in conclusion I recommend that we continue to utilise genre films blueprint as well as our own Australian quirkiness that have been used to advantage and make films that the audience can respond well to, and with that we can redefine what our film industry identity can be.



Burns, A & Eltham, B 2010, ‘Boom and bust in Australian screen policy: 10BA, the Film Finance Corporation and Hollywood’s ‘race to the bottom’ ‘, Media international Australia, no. 136, pp. 103-118

Ryan, M D 2012, ‘A silver bullet for Australian cinema? genre movies and the audience debate’, Studies in Australasian cinema, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 141-157

Australian Film industry – financial bust? or cultural must?

BCM330, Uncategorized

If you were to ask the question; what is wrong with the film industry in Australia? You would be hard pressed to pinpoint exactly what the problem is. Australians love to consume content; whether it be at the movies, on television, via streaming services or on the internet. Though when it comes to consuming Australian-made content, we are not so eager. During the 2000’s decade 90% of all content was foreign produced (Burns & Eltham, 2010 p.103). Australia has had a long history of terrific film-making, from high-praised arthouse films such as ‘Man from Snowy River’ and ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ to cult classic comedies like ‘The Castle’ and ‘Muriel’s Wedding’. However, the history of Australian cinema success has been very sporadic since the 1970’s, with many highs and lows. Australian content in the past twenty years has averaged making up for less than 5 per cent of all box office revenue in Australian cinemas. Australian content hit a major low in 2016, with just 1.9% accounted at the box office. It is these kinds of statistics that put a lot of debate about whether the Australian film industry is succeeding and worth funding? There is uncertainty surrounding what it means if a film has market failure, is it based on financial factors or do Australian films play a larger role in society, to help construct our cultural identity?


source: empireonline.com.

Market failure in commercial terms, means a film is a box office flop. The money put into making the film was not returned in revenue from box office sales. Australian films are continuously plagued by this and yet are still being produced. How did we go from the glory days in the 1980’s where such films like ‘Crocodile Dundee’ helped Australian content account for 23 percent at the box office compared to the measly 1.9 per cent in seen in 2016? An argument that comes from article ‘More Than Ballyhoo’ discusses how the Australian audience has become Americanised. The article looks back at history to show how Australian content consuming habits have been formed. In 1923, the head of the Motion Picture Producers and the Distributers of America utilised Hollywood’s platform to sell ‘the purposes, the ideals, the accomplishments, the opportunities and the life of America’ to the rest of the world with American made films (Bowles, Maltby, Verhoeven & Walsh 2007, p99). Though seen as an ambitious attitude by many, the slow growing consumption of American culture began speaking for itself. Australian cinema audiences were adapting to American trends. For instance, Australian moviegoers dressed as cowboys when watching western films, women’s magazines showed how to style hair like the famous Hollywood actresses. American catchphrases and one-liners also began to become part of everyday conversation amongst Australian culture (Bowles, Maltby, Verhoeven & Walsh 2007, p98). Americanisation has helped create an Australian cultural identity that is obsessed consuming American content and thus creating our cinema identity.


source: Aljazeera.com

How have we allowed this to happen?

In this opinion, it is due to the inequality of distribution of content. Australian films are bound to fail if they are not available for the public to access.  The American film market is noted the prime market to recognise a films popularity. A film’s box office success in the American market is used as a guide for further potential success in overseas markets, in this case Australia (Bowles, Maltby, Verhoeven & Walsh 2007, p99). These films are promoted much heavier than Australian films with expensive marketing budgets. They are typically released at peak times, for example, the Christmas period and school holidays. A 2015 report from Screen Australia discusses some of the issues in the cinema industry that are affecting the distribution of Australian content. Increasing competition from other platforms, television, DVDs, internet and streaming services have made it harder for Cinema complexes to get people in to the cinemas. The cinemas negotiate with the distributors to how many screens and sessions the content will be played at. Using box office success from overseas releases and successes from similar genre films to determine potential revenue return. The amount of content generated continues to grow, an average of 398 films released to cinemas each year, with only around 25 being Australian made. This means that the cinema ‘shelf space’ is tight. As the Hollywood, big budget films take more screens because they continue to produce more revenue, Australian films have been pushed aside. In the last ten years, the amount of Australian films being screened at less than one hundred cinemas has doubled. Independent and arthouse cinemas are most likely to take on Australian films however in very scattered locations making it very inaccessible for many. This argument aids to why the Australian film industry is going through considered market place failure.


source: edge.alluremedia.com

As the Australian film industry continues to struggle and be tainted as a continual financial bust, we continue to cultivate our legacy as Australians. Films not for profit but for the greater good. It is important that we continue to protect and fund the film industry. It is no secret that thought of an Australian film makes us weary, we as an audience are very harsh critics. However, when it comes to the local box office, it’s our own Australian-ness that has delivers success. Films like ‘Crocodile Dundee’, ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ and ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ all had distinct cultural themes and characters that were unmistakably Australian, however had that balance to be well received by domestic audiences as well as achieve universal appeal for international audiences (Ryan, 2012 p. 150). A 2011 survey by Screen Australia showed that people’s attitudes towards Australian produced content were quite positive. Over one thousand people surveyed showed ninety-one percent felt it was very important to have Australian narrative content being produced. The research showed that people found it important that Australian stories and culture were portrayed in film; and that more should be done to stop the bombardment of American content at cinemas. One finding was the surveyed, found that people love that the film industry provides employment and generates money in the economy. This was also highlighted in the article ‘Australian films at Large’, highlighting that success of film can be the economic benefits it provides to those in the film making industry as well as a boost to the tourism industry (Verhoeven, Davidson & Coate 2015, pp 9-10).


source: smh.com.au

In this opinion piece, I recommend that the Australian film industry taps back into the Australianness culture of films that made them easily translatable for overseas audiences to enjoy also and to not be afraid of genre films. Genre films are typically more commercially successful and the audience have a better understanding what they’re about to consume. There is a way for genre and Australian identity to co-exist in film. It is this way the film industry can begin to become more profitable and the cultural stigma against Australian films can be eased. The film industry would best be operated through private investment as shown that the top three Australian films of all time (The Story of the Kelly Gang, Crocodile Dundee and Mad Max) were all privately made with no government aid. By operating a profitable film industry, we can assure a sustainable workforce for those in the industry and ensure Australian cultural identity can be brought to life on screen.


Bowles, K., Maltby, R., Verhoeven, D. & Walsh, M. 2007, ‘More than ballyhoo?: The importance of understanding film consumption in Australia’, Metro : media & education magazine, no. 152, pp. 96-101

Burns, Alex & Eltham, Ben 2010, ‘Boom and bust in Australian screen policy: 10BA, the Film Finance Corporation and Hollywood’s ‘race to the bottom’ ‘, Media international Australia, no. 136, pp. 103-118

Ryan, Mark David 2012, ‘A silver bullet for Australian cinema? genre movies and the audience debate’, Studies in Australasian cinema, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 141-157

Verhoeven, D., Davidson, A. & Coate, B. 2015, ‘Australian films at large: expanding the evidence about Australian cinema performance’, Studies in Australasian cinema, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 7-20




‘Some Truth About Anger, Boundary Setting, and Declarations of Freedom’ Literature Review

BCM311, Uncategorized

‘Some Truth About Anger, Boundary Setting, and Declarations of Freedom’

This blog post by Elan Morgan is a powerful piece of narrative writing. It is a raw and honest account that derives emotions right from the heart.

Elan begins, as the title suggests, discussing the topic of anger. Anger, that she was taught from her early teen years, no one wanted to see or hear. Anger is an ugly emotion and such an emotion, that young woman especially should not display. Elan writes that anger evokes fear in others and it has negative associations. She questions why this is the case.

We all feel anger, it’s only natural. We are allowed to be angry.

Elan describes an occurrence where her anger began to manifest and how it lead to another being uncomfortable with her. It was New Year’s Day 2017 and a friend of hers died that morning of cancer. Elan admits she had lost contact with the friend, and that this is a sensitive topic for her given her own cancer experience. This news brought up a complex range of emotions, one of which was anger. Elan used Twitter as an emotional outlet to unleash her rage as she grieved the loss of her friend.

“I’m angry that my old friend died this morning, many old friends are honouring her at a pub today, and my sobriety means I can’t be there” – Twitter Post, 1st Jan 2017

After her 15-thread outburst Elan then tells how a Twitter follower which, for the purpose of the story, she names ‘Schartzmugel’ is uncomfortable with her anger. Elan admits she wasn’t surprised at ‘Schartzmugels’ backlash. People often don’t know how to react amongst anger. Elan’s anger was not directed at anybody and she wasn’t trying to stir up political debate to gain reaction. Though just from her expressing her emotions at this grieving time seems to cause another to be so uncomfortable. Elan gives three lessons in dealing with others’ and your anger.


  1. “It is very bad manners to say “I am sorry for your loss… but”
  1. “Anger is not an un-nuanced emotion that makes the world worse.”
  • Meaning that anger should not be feared or always associated with violence, it is a vital emotion that we need to accept in society.
  1. “Anger and love often move hand in hand”
  • Meaning that anger is the offspring of love, we tend to show anger when someone we love hurts us.

Elan’s final part of her narrative is the most important I found. She talks about using her anger as an instrument. An instrument that makes others uncomfortable as it demands change. She says to not be afraid of your emotions and use your anger as a constructive tool.

“People will tell you to shut up when you give voice to your anger, because it makes them pay attention, and that attention means you have power.”

As I absorbed the words Elan was writing, I applauded her honesty. The message she wanted to share was a message takes a dig at society. Society which has a prejudice against anger. Why are we taught that anger is evil? Why are women who show anger considered a bitch?

Elan is unafraid to speak her truth, she warns burying your anger is detrimental for your physical and mental well-being.After experiencing cancer, depression and alcoholism Elan found freedom in anger. Anger that gave her the power to be herself and is unapologetic in doing so.

While reflecting on Elan’s words, I find solace in her story. Anger is an uncomfortable emotion it stirs up an anxiety within in us and can motivate us to action. When we get angry it means it’s important to us. It means we want circumstances to change. The marriage equality debate in Australia at present being a great example. The anger from the LGBT community gives them a power that the government has had to respond to.

Use your anger as an instrument and don’t be afraid of others. As part of Elan’s concluding words.

“We have work to do and the fire to tend it. We have voices to sharpen and energy to spend. Our voices do not have to be pretty or appealing for others’ comfort when the job requires a different kind of tool. We’re goddamned fireworks.”


“A narrative that I have not experienced. A narrative that I have not lived”

BCM311, Uncategorized


The thought of writing another person’s story is a daunting and delicate process. Being given a responsibility, a responsibility of capturing the words and the emotions that come with and giving your best interpretation of that narrative.

A narrative that I have not experienced. A narrative that I have not lived.

The realisation here is…

The retelling of another’s story is never going to be the exact same.

I immediately think of that childhood game of ‘Chinese Whispers’. Chinese whispers, which I’ve now learnt is politically incorrect and considered somewhat offensive. It always seemed a harmless game to me but like other innocent parts of our childhoods (e.g. baa baa black sheep) have been stolen in our politically correct run world.

Anyway the point I wanted to make was, that the concept of that game is pretty similar the dilemma us storytellers have. That is, ultimately the original story (or whisper) ends up different in the hands of another person. It can be a deliberate or misunderstood change but more often than not, the story is interpreted different by the person listening.

How can we do justice to the original story?

We can’t always write down word from word what we are being told and then repeat exact words, as if it were some over rehearsed monologue.

As I reflect on my own experiences I realise that, we are all storytellers by nature. We exaggerate, we alter the details, we twist the truth, we take hold of a series of events and provide a story that makes interesting for our audience. Whether it be describing to our families an exciting Monday morning spent as if it weren’t mundane or an elaborate excuse for missing a friend’s birthday because we didn’t want to go.

It is our nature to tell stories. So, with another’s story, it is only natural that we tell it using words and emotions as if the story were our own.

By controlling the narrative, it is our best way of understanding the true meaning of the story and portraying it as if we had lived it ourselves.


Better late than never..

BCM311, Uncategorized

It’s a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon in the Gong and I, being the sloth I am have chosen to spend the day indoors. Instead of being outside in the fresh air, soaking up some much-needed vitamin D and working on my non-existent tan, I thought I’d use the opportunity to begin the practice of blog writing for a new subject BCM311. In classic form, I could have written this a week ago but better late than, never right?

The first week of… class? I feel class is too formal a word, our shared learning environment if you will, we discussed what the prospects of entering the workplace. I, like most others in their final semester cannot wait to finish our studies and find our place in the world. However, will it be all that we hoped for? Will we all be Steve Jobs (except the cancer part)? We don’t know what the future holds, all we know is the present. The present though is happy to categorise us and tell us who and how to be. The Myer-Briggs personality type as an example. I don’t need a test to tell me in an introverted person, like most I worked that out on my own.

Earlier this week I began filling out applications for summer internships, not jobs just paid internships, yet still I’m applying to these companies having to describe myself and why I am the best choice for them. How do I know that? What if I’m not that good?

As a marketing student, I’m familiar with having to market a product or a service, though now I found myself having to market myself to the world as if I am a brand. This concept of our own brand isn’t new, I mean we have our social media pages, LinkedIn and this blog so it’s not a totally unfamiliar topic.

The main question is: How does one who isn’t comfortable talking about themselves, convince strangers of their best attributes?


Talk to Me

BCM310, Uncategorized

Humans are human and animals are animals, right? In our day to day rituals we have no hesitation stepping on bugs or eating a beefy hamburger. We as human are the superior and animals are merely the creatures that fulfil our lives, whether it be in the way of food or entertainment or putting them to work, like a sniffer dog. However, the world of humans and animals can become intertwined, the way in which we see our animal’s changes and they begin to appear with human like qualities.

We call this anthropomorphism. The term ‘Anthro’ derives from Greek origin meaning ‘human’. The animals are given these human like qualities by us, the humans ourselves, to allow us to better understand, communicate and form emotional bonds with animals.

Giving animals personality traits like our own helps stimulate a reaction from within us so we can better engage with the animal and form a deeper connection. To form a connection with any other person we need to be able to communicate with them, so it’s obvious that we give animals voices so they can communicate back to us.

article-2339722-1a439a34000005dc-606_634x831If you’d ever seen any Disney movie surely you would have seen this in action. Disney has made countless tales that feature an anthropomorphised character. Disney utilises the imagination to transport the audience to a world where animals are just like humans. They have the same emotions, the same struggles and same dreams and desires. The animal characters can completely replace the need for humans all together in some stories. For example, The Lion King is a retelling story of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, though uses lions who are the king of the jungle as the central characters.

However, in the anthropomorphised world there is quite often a somewhat realisation or awareness that the humans are the ones to be feared. In Disney films the animal characters are the ones often we relate or empathize with the most and our emotional bond is strongest with and the humans are the monsters or evil that we are against.

Finding Nemo, the popular Disney movie focuses on a father and son fish relationship, like a single parent family. The story begins with very humanlike rituals such as first day of school and swimming lessons, even though they are fish and already swimming? Human children relate to this so it isn’t questioned in the film. Nemo gets lost while swimming and captured by a scuba diver and taken back to his aquarium. It is immediately known that the human is the evil, the ominous tone and its large daunting appearance transform the human into the villain. Nemo is kept hostage in the aquarium fish tank and his experience is shown to be unpleasant and frightening. The theme of being taken away and captured by someone is a frightening thought to most of us, however it being extremely common in real life we often don’t give it a second thought, like when we go and choose a new pet and drag it away from its mother.tvlyyti

Although the fish and humans both speak English in the film they cannot communicate, emphasising the real-life relationship between animals and humans where there isn’t verbal communication. There is often a theme to the anthropomorphised characters of these movies that they are not understood by humans and that humans often do not take the time to understand the animals.

Humans are social beings and require emotions and feelings in their interpretation of communication. We target animals for anthropomorphising as they are most similar to us, as they do action and we can gather some form of response, e.g. a cat sits in front of bowl signalling it’s hungry or a dog barking signalling play time and through film techniques like animation we can transform our animals into very human like characters and can communicate to the audience with these personality traits and allow us to understand and form emotional bonds.