Michael Coulter, writing in The Age, puts his finger on what is so wrong with the Australian film industry, and why Australians would "rather cross the road" than see a local film.
Back in 2004, after seeing "Rolf de Heer's multi-award-winning movie Alexandra's Project", was "if you like, the year my faith broke."
As Coulter observes, say what you want about Hollywood, but it at least makes films that people want to see.
For the simple reason of course that its films have to make money to pay for their production costs.
Whereas the local industry here is basically a parasite living off the money of the taxpayers who by and large wouldn't waste their time going to see the boring and self-indulgent rubbish that film makers here routinely churn out.
All too many films here are financed via government grants and absurd tax breaks.
And that's the problem. Government subsidies always end up producing effects that were not intended and distorting and corrupting market places.
The film industry here is no different, despite the idiotically pompous and pretentious bullshit about how "we" need to hear these people's stories to some how or other be genuinely "Australian".
Crap. The artistic elite in this country of course loathes and detests both Australia as it really is and Australians in general.
So of course it needs to essentially steal money out of people's pockets via the taxation system to survive.
If it was telling stories recognised as real and genuine by Australians, then it would be attracting an audience.
But it isn't, and therefore it doesn't. It is telling rather of the disaffection with Australia felt by an effete and privileged postmodern elite.
Now, I'm not suggesting that local films should just be producing fluff pieces about a land down under full of bonzer blokes and sheilas who like a beer and have hearts of gold.
No, but can't we have some introspection that at least is informed with a measure of humour and affection for its subjects? A human and humane appreciation of our strengths and capacity for good will and generosity, not just our seemingly irredeemable failings?
Tim Blair points to a comment by Rachel Ward that is a perfect example of how out of touch with reality the local industry is:
Sums it up perfectly. "Please protect us from competition that is better at making films that people want to see than we are."
The usual special pleading of the rent seeker.