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2000 Weeks

2000 Weeks (Tim Burstall, 1969) aka Two Thousand Weeks; wrs Tim Burstall, Patrick Ryan; Jeanie Drynan, Mark McManus, Eileen Chapman, David Turnbull, Michael Duffield, Stephen Dattner, Bruce Anderson, Dominic Ryan, Nicholas McCallum, Anne Charleston, Graeme Blundell; writer's isolation: he only has 2000 weeks to achieve something in his life

I had the wrong idea about 2000 Weeks (Tim Burstall, 1969). I was hoping Tim had made a worthy film, and, disappointed by its poor reception, went into sexploitation almost as revenge. But I’m afraid it deserved its poor reception.

One of Australia's most influential critics at that time, Colin Bennett, wrote a long review in The Age, 29 March 1969, headed 'Banality lets down our great film hope', criticising the dialogue for its 'incongruous naivety', and the script generally for its lack of 'guts' and for its 'dangerously thin if not cardboard' characters. Under the impact of such attacks, the film immediately foundered commercially. Burstall laid the blame squarely at the feet of the critics. He wrote (in a letter to the authors, November 1977): 'In the 1950s those of us interested in getting an industry afloat thought (1) All critics of goodwill would be our natural allies... (2) All distributors were our natural enemies... After The Prize and Two Thousand Weeks I realised two things. (1) The critics were in favour of a film industry in a general way but when it came to the crunch, ie, a particular film, they saw themselves as having other obligations (ie, to their own critical sense, to their readers)... (2) The hated distributors on the other hand were genuinely interested and (ironic though it may seem) did see possibilities of growth in the work we did. They even talked about the possibility of some day financing pictures.' Pike & Cooper: 244.

Garry Gillard | New: 25 October, 2012 | Now: 24 November, 2019