Perhaps when audiences of media content are approached and questioned to think about comedy in Australia we’re inclined to think about works that are iconic to our country and have seen success overseas about how the stereotypes we embrace are laughed at and with by a global responder. These shows or movies could include The Castle or the Crocodile Dundee franchise. The way these, particularly Crocodile Dundee, use the accumulated stereotypes Australians are sometimes identified as to convey humour and perhaps a new way to view a culture is seemingly harmless and increases our popularity with places like the USA and UK. However, our humour when it comes to producing content for our own audiences seems to lack the same integrity and morality, and is usually exaggerated to the point of shock laughter.
Audiences are attracted to cultural products ‘that are close in cultural content and style to the audience’s own culture(s)’ (Straubhaar, 2007)
Movies then create a whole new commercial market with its content that includes new or “best case scenario” footage of countries that have desirable locations. With the example of Crocodile Dundee, the humour showcased by lead protagonist Paul Hogan in mannerisms as well as the way he interacted with the land resonated with people. As well as this, tourism Australia have initiated collaborations with the film and more specifically, Kakadu National Park. This was the site for the majority of the filming of the movie
“Crocodile Dundee had an incredibly powerful impact on the destination. The Paul Hogan character and the stunning landscapes of Kakadu combined to present a powerful image that had rarely been seen before on the screen.”Chair of Kakadu Tourism, Rick Allert, said that conditions were perfect a major revival in tourism to the national park. ”
The Crocodile Dundee movies were hugely successful and the scenes filmed in Australia provided wonderful exposure for our country’s raw nature and warm and welcoming people, embodied by Paul Hogan as the likable larrikin Mick Dundee.
Roger Riley is a doctoral student and Carlton Van Doren is a professor at the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University and they’ve released an insight into the growing nature of using film and the comedic interaction with the landscapes within a culture to draw the audiences in the US to a film such as Crocodile Dundee, thus:
“Along with the notion of US tourists travelling to movie sites within the USA the paper suggests that the movie ‘Crocodile Dundee’ increased awareness of Australia’s attractions in the minds of potential travellers. Reasons for attraction potential appear to lie within the motivations of escape, pilgrimage and a quest for untainted environments. These motivations are illuminated for the viewing public through movie story lines offering extended periods of vicarious contact with the destination and its attraction features.”
This builds on the notions of satire VS. Documentary. Obviously some of the scenes and events portrayed in the film had to be amplified for the entertainment aspect, however, witty one liners and uncanny resemblance to outback Australia and particular where I’ve grown up in Central West NSW, these depictions are often resonated in remote areas. We see a lot of exchange students and backpackers choosing to come and live in remote isolated areas with a passion to experience a “red dirt” mentality. Perhaps an interesting path of research would be to understand if these individuals do infact base their travelling endevours on Media content they’ve been showcased to, and if the ability Australia has developed to “make fun of our sterotypes” in comedic lights in fact helps our culture grow and have an easy, approachable relationship globally.
Tourism Australia 2016, Crocodile Dundee anniversary to boost Kakadu tourism, Tourism Australia: Corporate Website, viewed 31st October 2016, <http://www.tourism.australia.com/news/news-stories-17925.aspx>
: A ‘pull’ factor in a ‘push’ location, Volume 13, Issue 3, September 1992, Pages 267-274, Available online 23 April 2002, <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/026151779290098R>Tourism Management: Movies as tourism promotion
Moran, A., 2009. TV formats worldwide: localizing global programs . Intellect books. [Chapters 11 and 15]