September 27, 2009
My father died a week ago September 20 after his heart stopped for maybe up to half an hour a few days before. It’s been a terrible time. One of the worst things that can happen in life. I’m pretty inconsolable.
Family and friends have been looking after me. And I them…
Here is some pictures of David William Wolstencroft – 1942-2009, aka The Aussie Auditor, “Woofer”, “Rain Man”, and my dear old Dad.
I’ll publish my speech from his Service, last Thursday, sometime soon.
See you Dad! If there is anything after this life, I’ll find you…
Meanwhile, I’m off to the US this week as a guest of The 10th F. Scott Fitzgerald Festival in Baltimore. I am throwing myself back into some work and travel to help me move on. Normal posts will return here shortly.
September 18, 2009
My dad David Wolstencroft’s heart stopped last night. An ambulance was called, and he was resuscitated, but we don’t know how bad the oxygen loss was to his brain. If you are religious, say a little prayer for my dear old Dad, David “Woofer” Wolstencroft. He has been a great friend, supporter and buddy for my entire 4o years on this Earth. A sweet, loving and kind man who certainly liked a drink, a smoke and a lively social chat. But, I guess we never thought his drinking and smoking would catch up with him…he has been sick recently with a cold that was getting worse.
My father is a Christian, and after being asked, Father Bob was nice enough to visit my father today, and give a blessing and say some words. All our hopes and prayers are with him in his hour of need. Come back to us! Time is crucial for him to regain consciousness… and we do need a miracle.
Here is a recent photo of my old man in happier times. Times I would give anything to share with him again.
– His loyal son forever, “Rick”.
September 4, 2009
The MUFF awards shot live by Mike Smith from Indie Film Nation! Thanks Mike!
Enjoy! See here.
For some reason I can’t embed Vimeo, when I cut and paste the code?
September 1, 2009
The first review of The Beautiful and Damned and its a goody.
From Bad Lit. See here.
“The key to Richard Wolstencroft’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s sophomore novel The Beautiful and Damned comes during one of the early, numerous party scenes. In the scene, one of the party-goers announces to Anthony Patch (Ross Ditcham) that he knows exactly what the lower classes need, a nice strong fascist hand to whip them into shape. Then he bends his head over for another snort of cocaine.
Of course, the “lower classes” don’t really show up in The Beautiful & Damned, so why they need whipping who knows. But it’s clear who really needs the sharp stick of fascism in the eye: The rich and degenerate. The idea of “transcendental fascism” is one that Wolstencroft explores much in his theoretical writing. Yet, the film clearly addresses his favored subject by making it practically completely absent from his screenplay.
The plot follows the carefree exploits of trust fund baby Anthony Patch, who gets by in life by living off of an extravagant allowance given to him by his grandfather, Adam Patch (Norman Yemm). In order to get his money, Anthony must provide weekly status updates proving that he’s a productive member of society. However, he ends up just bullshitting his way through a cockamamie plan to write a nonfiction book about the young heroes of WWII. Grandpa knows he’s being bullshitted, but he never cuts off the funnel of money, probably thinking his grandson’s wanton ways are just a youthful phase.
However, Anthony’s has much more sinister ideas. Oh, he’s too much of a coward to kill the old man and receive his inheritance. But, figuring the old dude doesn’t have much longer to live, Anthony plans to live as decadently as he wants with his slutty wife, Gloria Gilbert (Kristen Condon), and just wait until Grandpa croaks to get his mitts on the family fortune.
None of these motivations or assumptions about the characters’ behavior is ever explicitly discussed through the dialogue. Instead, the film barrels along from one debauched scene after another. But the real genius of the film is how it’s themes and subtext pop up through the casually tossed off line or action, knitting together scenes that race from their abrupt beginnings to their equally abrupt endings. The hyper-kinetic pacing ingeniously hides the more serious contemplations of the subject matter.
Also interestingly, Wolstencroft has taken the Jazz Age setting of Fitzgerald’s novel, which also took place in NYC, and has successfully updated it to a modern day Melbourne, Australia — Wolstencroft’s hometown. This speaks to Fitzgerald’s universal truths about the upper class, but at the same time instead of making the film completely modern, through the set design and costuming, particularly of the Patches, Wolstencroft does retain a Fitzgerald sense of style. It’s clear by the Patches’ old homesteads that their money is old money and that grandpa is trying to hold his grip on the illusion that the world is still like his simpler, less morally bankrupt “good ol’ days.” If he only knew what his grandson was really up to.
Actually, eventually grandpa does find out, which instigates the most dramatic portion of the film when the young Anthony faces the possibility of being cut out of the family will. With no skills to be of any use to society, Anthony becomes a very desperate man to regain his unearned fortune.
As a main character, Anthony goes beyond being a cipher and is a bit of a bland blank. Typically, this would work as a detriment to a film, but here the characterization works in his favor because we keep wishing he will eventually grow a pair and fight for something in his pathetically tragic life. There’s a brief glimmer of Anthony having a reasonable moral center during a hilarious and frightening scene where he encounters the director and star of rape videos, played by a terrifically menacing Wolstencroft himself. A life of fun and games is perfectly fine as long as nobody gets hurt, right?
But plenty of people get hurt in The Beautiful and Damned. Yes, physically, but mostly emotionally. However, the characters’ psychic scars and open wounds run so deep, they accept them as an everyday normalcy. To Anthony, he feels his “damnation” comes when he’s forced to live like an average commoner, yet he’s completely oblivious to the hell on Earth he aimlessly wanders through and, if he used his inheritance wisely, could have easily escaped from.
Without having read the original source material, as I have not, it’s impossible to tell how much Wolstencroft has changed and updated, except for the obvious, of course. For example, I doubt Fitzgerald wrote about rape videos. Yet, using that source material for his own vision of The Beautiful and Damned, Richard Wolstencroft has crafted an originally terrifying vision of rampant amorality among the so-called “upper” class.”