Michael Pascoe writes:

You have the distribution rights
to a hit movie featuring an Oscar-nominated Australian star, you’d want
people to have the chance to see it, right?

Wrong – if you’re Village Roadshow and the movie is Brokeback Mountain.
The distributors are keeping a very tight rein on the gay cowboys,
making it difficult for those beyond the inner-city to check out the
chaps.

TheSun-Herald yesterday picked up on the story that had an airing on ABC Sydney local radio last week and ran in The Courier-Mail last month.

The Sun-HeraldreportedBrokeback Mountain
is not being shown in Sydney suburbs including Campbelltown, Hornsby
and Blacktown nor in regions including Newcastle, the Hunter, Central
and South Coasts:

A spokesman at the Greater Union complex at Campbelltown
said staff had been flooded with calls from people wanting to see the
film.

“A few calls? We have had so many it is ridiculous,” he
said. “We could definitely fill cinema after cinema but the distributor
decides where it goes and because it is classified as an art-house film
Campbelltown doesn’t qualify to see it.

“They must think we are second-rate out here.”

The
paper found cinema patrons who had driven an hour to the inner city to
see the movie and Campbelltown Mayor Russell Matheson chimed in to
voice disappointment, but the best quote came from Roadshow managing
director Joel Pearlman:

When questioned about the film’s lack of screenings in
Sydney’s western suburbs, Mr Pearlman said: “It is on at Norton Street,
Leichhardt, and the Dendy at Newtown.”

If Leichhardt and Newtown are western suburbs, Campbelltown must be in WA.

Maybe
Roadshow just fears everyone beyond Sydney’s mardi gras belt is so
worldly-wise in the traditional Australian way that he or she already
knows what happened to the cowboys – American sheep are ugly.

As Sam would say, you know it makes sense.

Peter Fray

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