Saturday, 4 July 2009

Into the Shadows

Into the Shadows is a documentary film that attempts to dissect the Australian Film Industry at several levels in order to provide insight into where it is heading. It is directed by two lads, Andrew and Phil, and is their first full length bit of filmmaking.

The documentary includes interviews with veteran and active Australian film notables including Dr George Miller, Megan Spencer, Richard Wolstencroft, Rolf De Heer, Scott Hicks, and Bruce Beresford. If you don't know, Australian cinema has been in a recession for the past thirty odd years. There are many factors to do with its turbulent displacement including our dependence on Governmental funding, the gradual decline of policy support for independent local content, the move into private enterprise with an economy and population that can't support or feed it, and a regime of censorship and conservatism that has lasted ten or twenty years.

There are many opinions and suggested solutions offered to the "film problem" in Australia. The only thing lacking in the line up of interviewees in this documentary I felt was anyone with a cultural studies background. I do think some anthropological research needs to be attached to these kinds of questions. The issue for me regarding our film industry has little to do with film itself and more to do with social, historical and economic milieus. Much for me has to do with urban attitudes, entertainment values, standards in censorship and behavioral patterns of Australian citizen's leisure expenditure.

We currently have a Prime Minister who is in some ways more conservative than ever, it is a dangerous kind of conservatism because rather than an intellectual conservatism that can be debated, it is an emotional conservatism that is reactive to "the mob". This has been seen in many decisions made by the current Government across the various facets of our society. We are entering into a much deadlier period of repression. As George Bernard Shaw once said "A Government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul".

I once thought I had a few ideas on the issues at hand but recently I've noticed everyone else who has put their lips to the box of soap has pretty much covered what I would want to say. There is a long way to go before we could even come close to having a "Golden Age" again in cinema, social attitudes are much too different and unless the youth are preened towards some sort of fluxus, at least my generation will fail to sprout fresh tricks in thought and practice. We will just have to settle being the William S Burrough's of the pack.

It would be interesting to have a world summit on cinema, just to get a perspective from everyone else in the world also. To see where we all stand on a global level. Below is the Teaser Trailer for Into The Shadows. I believe the documentary is currently doing the festival rounds now.

This documentary goes well with Official Rejection, if you haven't seen that one you can read all about it in a previous snuffboxfilms post. Are filmmakers really on the verge of a nervous breakdown? Or is it more fitting to apply the Rolling Stone's lyric, "Just my 19th nervous breakdown".

You will notice that I have put into the sidebar of the snuffboxfilms films Blog a donation embed which enables Paypal donations. Why have I done this? Well, I too am mustering the materials to shoot a feature length film for next year, and every penny forwarded my way helps to cover the unseen costs of pre-production and production. I am not really looking for large donations just excess gristle trimmed off the decimal value of Ebay purchases and the like. It all helps, it is a bit like a global money pooling to get the project where it needs to be without destroying the economic environment.

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