My book The Victorian Planning System: Practice, Problems and Prospects is now available from Federation Press.
My book Movie Towns and Sitcom Suburbs is out now through Palgrave Macmillan.
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RCI Planning is my consultancy providing expert advice, VCAT advocacy and statutory planning services in the Victorian planning system.
Monthly Archives: March 2008
The site has had, until yesterday, another quiet few weeks, what with one thing another. Whenever I go through one of these periods where I don’t have time to get something substantial up (or where, as was the was the case over the last week or so, I’m labouring over something that starts as a short post and ends as a great big one) the temptation is always to keep the page ticking over by posting the various silly things and rumours on this page. But then I get self-conscious about how lightweight some of this stuff is.
After I’ve just published a “proper” article or post, though, I’ve got no such qualms. So on the coat-tails of my piece on Film Theory, it’s time to catch up on the frivolous stuff from the internet.
Anyone who makes a habit of writing or even talking about films in any depth – debating meanings, interpretations, and so on – will sooner or later get the dismissive response: “well, you can make it mean anything, really, can’t you?” It can be a frustrating reaction, because often it is prompted by a knee-jerk resistance to the idea that there’s anything deeper going on in a medium such as film that is so synonymous with popular entertainment. It becomes particularly maddening when it can be easily verified that an interpretation under discussion was intended by the filmmakers: so, for example, if someone is dismissive of the idea that High Noon has a subtext commenting on McCarthayism, despite screenwriter Carl Foreman having endorsed that reading. At the same time, though, such scepticism serves a purpose in demanding some sort of justification: either a recourse to evidence that the filmmaker intended a reading, or an explanation of why a reading unintended by the filmmaker is nevertheless plausible and useful. That’s a positive impulse, and part of the fun of interpreting and discussing films is haggling over where to draw the line between an interesting interpretation and an unsustainable crock.
Roads Minister Tim Pallas has announced that studies will continue to assess the viability of linking the Eastern Freeway with CityLink via a proposed tunnel. The tunnel will run from Collingwood to Flemington, under the Melbourne General Cemetery and via a lost underground civilization of cave-dwelling mole men.
“This is a practical, real-world solution to Melbourne’s traffic problems,” declared Pallas. “There are a lot of people out there who would like to see us pursue all sorts of fantasy-land proposals, like train lines to Cranbourne East and South Morang, or peak hour trains less than 20 minutes apart on the Upfield Line. But we aren’t interested in dreams. We are interested in feasible solutions, like the Collingwood – Moletopia – Flemington link.”