Publication Details

Marshall, P. D. 1998, 'Playing backwards: Anticipatory memories in the Antipodes', M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, vol. 1, no. 2.


When I first relocated to Australia, there was a clear three month delay for cultural products coming from North America to arrive. It was the era of Jurassic Park and for those three months I had a high level of what Bourdieu originally called "cultural capital" amongst a certain age group who were anticipating the breakthrough computer-generated images of the flocking dinosaurs and the menacing intelligence of the raptors. At that time, there was no basketball team named after a dinosaur (Toronto Raptors) and only the first season of an ice-hockey team named after a movie (Anaheim Mighty Ducks). It was 1993 and life apparently was simpler and idyllic.

It is a definitive cultural condition in Australia to already possess a great deal of knowledge about a television programme or a film before it has arrived. For film reviewers, they are aware of box office receipts in the United States, other reviewers' comments and the wealth of promotional material that is part of their press kits. For the audience, according to key publicists in Australia, magazines and television rarely now hold to the rule of following the conventions of matching the release date of a given product for their release of a 'feature' article on its stars. The three months gap of knowledge has eroded completely in Australia. In fact, the Internet through websites destroys the organisation of Australian-targetted promotional campaigns for X-Files episodes/movies as fans seek out advanced information well before their domestic release. We already know who not to trust before we experience the actual programme and it produces a fundamentally changed cultural experience. Harry Jay Knowles's website "ain't it cool" has revelled in the infamy of disrupting Hollywood's carefully crafted saturation promotion and ad campaigns.