chapter  5
12 Pages

Towards an understanding of Australian genre cinema and entertainment: Beyond the limitations of ‘Ozploitation’ discourse

ByMark David Ryan

The terms ‘popular movie genres’ and ‘entertainment’ rarely figure in discussion of

Australian cinema. A great deal of criticism of the Australian film industry’s performance

in recent years, however, has revolved around the failure of Australian films to connect

with audiences, and without being explicit, the subtext of such criticism is often that

Australian movies are not entertaining. Within film studies, commercial filmmaking is

generally associated with popular movie genres such action/adventure, science fiction,

crime, and horror among others, and film theory has long identified genre as having a

symbiotic relationship with audience. Indeed, Hollywood – dominating global audiovisual

markets – is regarded, and often derided, as a genre cinema. While Australian cinema

has produced a stream of local ‘genre movies’ since the 1970s New Wave of Australian

Cinema, genre cinema has occupied a precarious position within a subsidized national

cinema.