News That’s Fit To Punt

Adelaide Film Festival

It’s always good to see some good news on the Australian film industry. Pleiades as usual was on the lookout and found this piece: by this account, the Adelaide Film Festival is doing well.

The AFFIF has provided something much more than a programming edge, says festival director Katrina Sedgwick. It has nurtured commercial successes and allowed risky projects to come to fruition.

The first feature it supported was Sarah Watt’s debut film, Look Both Ways, a humble comedy-drama starring William McInnes and Justine Clarke that went on to earn a respectable $2.7 million at the Australian box office in 2005 and to be judged the Australian Film Institute’s best film.

The fund has since backed such disparate projects as Rolf de Heer’s Ten Canoes, Tony Ayres’s The Home Song Stories, Kriv Stenders’s Boxing Day, Michael James Rowland’s Lucky Miles and de Heer’s silent black-and-white comedy, Dr Plonk.

“I’d love it if they were all blockbusters, but the nature of supporting creative endeavour is it’s full of risk.” says Sedgwick.

She points to Lucky Miles and The Home Song Stories as films deserving of much bigger theatrical audiences. “But for our purposes, the fund is first and foremost about supporting great creatives and great teams to create things that have great artistic value,” she adds. “On that basis, we’ve been pretty successful.”

Certainly the fund has helped bolster the South Australian film industry. Richard Harris, chief executive of the South Australian Film Corporation, says the fund is “highly significant”, particularly when used as a co-producing fund with the SAFC.

“Personally, I’m very excited about what we’ve managed to come out with, and what’s also great is that a film like My Tehran For Sale is a film that would have been very difficult to make in any other state. It provides a real point of difference for us to other states.”

Well, that sounds nice.

Not to be too mean, but a film that grosses $2.7m at the Australian box office is not “respectable”. If I were truly mean, I would say it was more “miserable” than “respectable”. I know the festival has to talk up the film it funded, but you get the feeling this was another one of those ‘worthy’ film projects that make you groan.

Believing In Evolution

It’s Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday this year – he was born on 12th February 1809. So tomorrow, make sure you get into your monkey suits and dance up and down!

I find it hard to believe that there are people out there in the first world who still believe in Evolution. Some say it’s unproven (insert guffaw here) or that it’s “only a theory” (so is gravity!) or that the good book says the Lord made the world and they are fundamentally mental enough to take gospel as gospel.

I have to say I really take every opportunity to disparage such idiocy at every opportunity because there’s no point letting the unenlightened try to turn the clock back to the dark ages. Let’s face it, the dark ages were called the dark ages precisely because there wasn’t much enlightenment, and reason alone lets us get out of the idiotic shadow of religious dogma.One can crack any number of jokes about religious types but I’ll skip that.

Today I came across this article in the Economist.

In the most recent international survey available, only Turkey is less accepting of the theory than America. Iceland and Denmark are Darwin’s most ardent adherents. Indeed America has become only slightly more accepting of Darwin’s theory in recent years. In 2008 14% of people polled by Gallup agreed that “man evolved over millions of years”, up from 9% in 1982.darwin

Devout’s okay. Educated is better. I’m a little shocked Switzerland is so low. America being on a par with Turkey is not very surprising, but it is disturbing. They’re medievalists with nukes. Think about that.

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Filed under Cinema, Film, General, Movies

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