Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Future of Australian Cinema

It has come to my attention that the business focus of large income, franchise cinemas in Australia has taken a very disturbing turn. We find ourselves in a capitalist world where the primary goal is to generate and increase revenue, and heavily promote the consumption of food and beverage items to further enhance the overall cinema experience. It is true that most people are dumb enough to fall into this trap and overindulge all for the benefit of sitting in recliners in a relaxing theatre and then having to survive an awful film like Transformers 2. The goal of going to the cinemas, it seems, is not about appreciating art, or the experience of viewing a great film, but to consume as much as possible. Why do we require all these items to enjoy a film? Can we use it as a distraction? Wow, this film sucks, hey at least we got to have a beer and a sundae.

To take a look at the quality of films being shown at a prominent city cinema, we rarely see anything beyond the mainstream, wide distribution, blockbuster crap. An idea has been thrown around between myself and few of my close colleagues, which suggests that we make one of the cinemas the home of all the independent films normally snubbed by large cinema franchises. We can play 2 to 3 films for a couple of sessions a day, for up to three weeks depending on their popularity and the revenue they bring. The five nominated Razzie films; Transformers 2, Land of the Lost, GI Joe, All About Steve and Old Dogs, all received lengthy time at Event Cinemas and Hoyts, while only half of the ten Best Picture nominees have currently been shown in these cinemas. This is a very disturbing observation. But will the cinema become obsolete within 10 years? With an ever increasing number of people choosing to download films from the net rather than spend the money to see a film on the big screen, it spells doom for the Australian cinema industry.

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