It's a shame. Nowra actually says something that needed to be said, but then goes into stupid arts wanker mode. The reality is I feel that most of these people hate Australia. I think it is that simple.
If they were reacting to the Howard years, then why react so negatively to a period of sustained economic growth were just about everybody became better off?
Why would any sane person, other than a mollycoddled artist living off of the generosity of that very same government, possibly think that this was a bad thing?
What was so bad about people getting on with their lives and enjoying themselves and providing for their families?
From Andrew Bolt:
Nowra writes that Australian films suffer a “monotonous bleakness” and are “so dispiriting that they make Leonard Cohen seem positively cheery” ...
So far, so much sense. But then Nowra tries to explain this near-uniform grimness - this death of beauty - and either indulges in parody ... or lapses into astonishing stupidty:
Nowra asked himself why films including Last Ride, Lucky Country, Balibo, Beautiful Kate, Van Diemen’s Land and The Combination “suffer from a surfeit of glumness"…
He believes this year’s films are a legacy of the John Howard era. They were developed and financed in the last years of his government and all “express a sense of national impotence”.
“Howard never gave you the sense of enthusiasm and idealism and these films are the last cultural residue of the era… The film and literary people and intellectuals of Australia didn’t know how to deal with Howard so they came out with this bleakness, as if there was nothing they could do any more...”
If Nowra’s theory has any weight, next year’s Australian films will be all-dancing, all-singing festivals of joy unconfined. Can’t wait.