MELBOURNE — “The question is why does Hollywood go on making the crap they pass off as movies?”

So asked the Academy Award-winning producer of “The English Patient,” Saul Zaentz, drawing applause and cheers in his Nov. 14 keynote address to the Screen Producers Assn. of Australia conference.

Zaentz, who produced “Patient” for $34.5 million (plus $9 million in deferrals) after Fox pulled out and the pic was rescued by Miramax, was the guest of honor at the Nov. 14-16 confab, which is Oz’s premier filmmaking gathering.

“The answer is money,” he said. “The reason you are there (Hollywood) is money.

“Studios are interested in money, but they think they are creative, that is the problem. Almost all their creativity goes into guessing trends because they love numbers, they love natural disasters and aliens, invasions,” Zaentz said before poking fun at Hollywood’s love of sequels.

“With Disney’s success with ‘Con Air’ who can believe they’ll stop making prison breakout movies. Studios love TV and the familiarity of ‘The Addams Family,’ ‘The Brady Bunch’ and ‘The Flintstones.’ ”

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