Whither culture? Australian horror films and the limitations of cultural policy

Ryan , Mark David (2009) Whither culture? Australian horror films and the limitations of cultural policy. Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, 133, pp. 43-55.

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Cultural policy that attempts to foster the Australian film industry’s growth and development in an era of globalisation is coming under increasing pressure. Throughout the 2000s, there has been a substantial boom in Australian horror films led by ‘runaway’ horror film Saw (2004), Wolf Creek (2005), and Undead (2003), achieving varying levels of popularity and commercial success worldwide. However, emerging within a national cinema driven by public subsidy and valuing ‘quality’ and ‘cultural content’ over ‘entertainment’ and ‘commercialism’, horror films have generally been antithetical to these objectives. Consequently, the recent boom in horror films has occurred largely outside the purview and subvention of cultural policy. This paper argues that global forces and emerging production and distribution models are challenging the ‘narrowness’ of cultural policy – a narrowness that mandates a particular film culture, circumscribes certain notions of value and limits the variety of films produced domestically. Despite their low-culture status, horror films have been well suited to the Australian film industry’s financial limitations, they are a growth strategy for producers, and a training ground for emerging filmmakers.

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8 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 29127
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Cultural policy, Australian film , horror movies , Australian horror films
ISSN: 1329-878X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Film and Television (190204)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Screen and Media Culture (200212)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Disciplines > Film & Television
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Please consult the author.
Deposited On: 08 Dec 2009 00:03
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:05

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