Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Aussiewood woes

Australia has produced a disproportionate number of A-list stars: Mel Gibson, Naomi Watts, Heath Ledger, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, and Cate Blanchett. So why is Aussiewood unable to retain its talent or even lure Australians to see homegrown films?

My latest story takes a look at the Antipodean industry's deep-rooted problems as well as its hopes to boomerang back on to the world stage with films such as "Australia" and government restucturing of its various film agencies.

The last time an Australian film of particular note made an impact on US screens was probably "Lantana." The Dec. 5 release of a Toni Collette dramedy called "The Black Balloon" could make a similar splash on the art house circuit if US critics embrace it as much as Australian reviewers.

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