Is calling Australian films Australian bad attention?

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When a person loves a product they are likely to tell one person, but if a person has a negative experience they are said to tell ten people. This is where the belief that any attention is good attention originates. The pure belief that whether the product is famous or infamous does not matter, people will look for the item out of sheer curiosity. But does this saying also work for films?

If people post bad ratings for a film often it will deter other audience members, it is a rarity that a film will become a pop culture success just for being an awful film. Sharknado is an example of a tragic film where the bad attention turned it into a pop culture classic. Similar to Mad Max which may be seen by many as another “weird” Australian movie created in the boom cycle, however; this film has gained a significant cult following and has seen a revival  last year with Fury Road.

Australian films seem to have a continual hype due to being Australian. As a culture we are continuously encouraged to support Australian content, though it is the Australianness of films that often deters the audience. When we look at the film Babe, many Australians did not even realise that it was shot locally in Bowral. Babe utilised opposite binaries compared to traditional Australian films (Brabazon 2001p.154), it also ensured that the film would be received internationally by not creating a specific setting.

Babe has attempted to create a setting that could be anywhere, with no true Australian accents, native Australian animals or landmarks; this resulted in the film becoming an international success. Bowral requested a sign to be erected publicly stating that it was the ‘home’ of Babe (Brabazon 2001 p.155), however; the producers did not want to gain any attention from the location where it was filmed. Evidently they feared the downfall of their Australian film purely due to being Australian. Though are Australian films even achieving any attention at all?

Dow (2014) states that due to international blockbusters marketing budgets, it is lucky if we even see an Australian film poster at our local cinema. Sometimes any attention can be good attention if it leads to a pop culture sensation, however, sometimes attention to the nationality of the film seems to result in a negative view. Makes you wonder whether Australian films are attracting any attention at all in today’s market?

References:

Brabazon, T 2001, “A pig in Space? Babe and the problem of landscape”, in Craven. Ian (Ed), Australian Cinema in the 1990’s, pp.150-156.

Dow, S 2014, ‘What’s wrong with Australian cinema?”, The Guardian, 26th October, viewed 11th January 2015, < http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/oct/26/australian-film-australian-audiences >

 

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