20 Million Dollars Over The Budget

The Teeth They Are A Gnashing

Julia Gillard is star-struck. Having had a jolly time on set with Hugh Jackman and his Wolverine sequel, she’s decided she’s going to spend 20million (need to point pinky at the corner of your mouth, lady) to bring Disney’s ‘20,000 Leagues Under The Sea’ down under. It allegedly stars Mr. Brad Pitt, though it’s not really clear how this is in anyway Australian.

As you can imagine, the Australian Film Industry is upset that some American Blockbuster production gets 20million from the Prime Minster while Screen Australia’s own production budget is $30million per year and scheduled to shrink even more. I mean, really! How could the Prime Minster be spending that much money to bring Brad Pitt and the Disney production to Australian shores?

Julia Gillard’s position is that the money spent on Wolverine turned into $80 million spent on Australian soil so it was well worth the investment.It was tenuous at the time, but Hugh Jackman’s name sort of kept the appearance up of the Australian Film Industry getting something out of it. With this vehicle, it’s clear that the pretense is gone. it’s just about harpooning themselves a big fish and landing it down under.

Which, in my books is fine. It’s an odd choice, but if the Prime Minister wants to keep the infrastructure end of the Film Industry going (and believe me, it does need a leg up, what with the high dollar), then this is entirely acceptable. I imagine the cultural nationalists and the xenophobic elements together with the traditionally anti-American Leftists would argue otherwise, but sometimes it’s just freaking business.

It’s not the most commendable move, but it’s not the complaint-worthy move it looks like at first glance. That 20million dollars would easily be misspent on politcally correct and ‘worthy’ docudramas about something miserable and awful that nobody wants to see.

Then There’s Ed Husic

Ed Husic, member of Chifley would prefer the Prime Minster bought an MRI machine for the hospital in his electorate. That’s Mr. Husic doing his bets to look like he’s fighting for his electorate at the expense of his Prime Minster.

Mr Husic said he had been trying to get an MRI machine for his local hospital at Mount Druitt ”for ages”.

”I don’t need 20,000 leagues of sea [sic]; I need an MRI at Mount Druitt Hospital,” he said.

Oh boy. There you have it. The reason why this country never can get out of the cultural cringe. Its own politicians don’t want to spend money on culture at all if they can shore up their own votes.

Comparing that expenditure to special expenditures by the Prime Minster’s office is comparing apples and oranges at the best of times. here, we have a politician who is trying  to maximise the parochial angle. What Mr. Husic should be trying to extract is a visitation out at Mount Druitt by Brad Pitt.

Speaking Of Which…

This isn’t exactly the first time ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ is getting shot in Australia. back in the late 1990s, Rod Hardy directed a version for TV starring Michael Caine and Mia Sara.

Something tells me this new version is going to be a dog, even with Brad Pitt’s involvement.

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Filed under Cinema, Film, Movies

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