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Crocodile Dundee never seemed destined to become an art-house favorite. Maybe that’s because film-studies snobs never understood it. According to a new book by McGill University sociologist Andrew Mouldovan, ’80s Aussie chic constituted no less than “a parodic subversion of hierarchical capitalism.” That’s Not a Knife: The Australian Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism argues that, in cultural terms, Australia’s rough-and-tumble natives and its complete isolation from the nuclear threat represented such an “absurdly idealized Reaganite dystopia” that U.S. moviegoers inevitably saw its films as coded calls to left-wing dissent. I guess that makes “throw a shrimp on the barbie” Australian for “smash the bourgeoisie,” mate. Mouldovan defends his thesis in a round-table talk with ’80s Aussie film celebs Paul Hogan, Yahoo Serious, and Jacko (the Energizer guy) Lockard at 8 p.m. at the Australian Cultural Institute, 57110 Merrywood Dr., Herndon. Free. (703) 232-0938. (Allen Pfiffer)