This is the entirety of the Australia Live: Celebration Of A Nation broadcast. My good mate FlemishDog found this off his own mate’s VHS donation, and he uploaded it, and since Australia Day is on the horizon once again it’s time to talk about cultural cringe and the general embarrassment people claim to have of Australian cultural product compared to American stuff which is viewed as “funnier” or “superior”.
Humour is very subjective, and so is quality, but I can say without a doubt I’m far more embarrassed as an Australian by this footage meant to represent us as a country than say, BMX Bandits, or Mad Max or even the comedy sketches of The Late Show. There’s some sense of an anti-Australian content subtext to what I get from people like my brother, who hated the Goddess trailer when he first saw it in the cinema this week.
He’s a film graduate who claims not to be against Australian film, but instead against this film. I’m not so sure, because I’ve heard him make comments against Ozspolitation cinema at some point as well. There’s an undercurrent of “Australians don’t make good comedy or good films” in the air, and from what I understand from what my brother’s told me about how Australia neuters homegrown children’s programming compared to America that gave us Batman: The Animated Series that might be true. I don’t know, I’m not a filmmaker, I’m a book writer and street photographer at best.
But there’s definitely a sense of impotence to change how we’re perceived through our media, because from what I understand there’s severe limitations both financial and through censorship that Australians have to tackle when making Australian content.
If it were up to me I’d burn the OFLC to the ground so that Australia would be liberated to make the art we want, but that would mean I’d potentially burn all those confiscated copies of the Caligula deluxe DVDs that rightfully belong in the hands of Aussie perverts, not locked up in some puritanical dungeon of the nanny state.
We’ve only just gotten an R18+ rating for “Adult Games” but I don’t trust that the government won’t water down the R18+ rating just to pretend they did something about what video gamers were rabid and angry over. I trust the Australian people and their artists better than I trust the systems set in place to outlaw free expression.
The internet and indie DIY projects seem to be Australia’s last hope for content that actually says something about us with our own voices. The bastards in charge of ACMA and the OFLC have tried to censor the internet in the past too. Don’t pretend they didn’t try to pull the wool over that one.
I’m tired of Australian creative people feeling defeated and ashamed of whatever shred of culture we can claim for ourselves to be a force of good in this world. The old systems where you couldn’t make a video game for grown ups or a film that actually says something about us have to go.