Funny spoof on Mel Gibson’s new film. Mel vs the Jews! Enjoy!

Marcus Westbury wrote this bemoaning the Australian internet filter. See here.

Here is my response, in agreement, and further outlining and discussing the dilemma:

Hi Marcus,

I hope we all do something about this filter. I’d be more than happy to join, campaign, etc., against this filter. I am very anti censorship on anything and everything; word, image, art, photography, etc… that is not technically illegal like material involving the abuse/harm of minors and snuff movies.

One of the things on the Government blacklist that they wanted banned was The Abby Winters site run by G Media, an Aussie soft core porn site. It features 18 to 25 year old nude models. I read that founder Garion Hall was charged with producing illegal material (… it is illegal to make porn or it seems even nude erotica here in Victoria, an absurd law, I might add!) and child pornography ( probably because a model or two on his site had false ID, or he messed up in his age checking process… or who knows?). Anyway, the Abby Winters site looks to be a perfectly normal and harmless one of girls 18 and over without clothes like legions of others all over the web. Why is this site being black listed?

The link is here:

I think the adding of a site like Abby Winters, whose main offense appears to be that it is erotica and made in Australia to the banned list is the thin edge of the wedge. You can see it could be applied to a vast number of legal nude sites online, including ones dealing with erotica and art.

I feel this filter is a real and tragic death for a creative, free thinking and sexually unrepressed Australia.

RE: Content of the censored material. When they say Sexual Violence be sure that they mean Sadomasochism and B&D. A lifestyle as legit as the homosexual one, in these times, I would strongly suggest. Which means any bondage, kinky or spanking text or images amongst consenting adults no matter how innocent, or even just erotica, can be banned. Even Bettie Page stills from Irving Klaw could be labeled Sexual Violence!

Here is just one blog entry from a female spanking fan who realizes her own sexuality blog could and will be banned in her own country and bemoans the situation:

This filter can easily be applied to imagery from the art world and to the work of people dealing in areas of transgression and sexuality. Artists whose work could be banned (…to name just a few) include: Larry Clark, Trevor Brown, the Chapman Brothers, Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, John Willie, Irving Klaw, Richard Kern, Suehiro Maruo, Toshio Saeki, De Sade, Lautreamont, Bataille, Sacher Masoch, et al…all deal with sexual violence in art, photo or text.

What do they mean, also, by ‘other’ criminal activity? How to grow pot or drug advice sites? Pro Grafitti sites? How to circumvent the filter? Holocaust Denial? Pro Palestinian, or pro terrorist sites like ones on Hamas, or whatever else, from this controversial political field.

The question of monitoring and regulation is another minefield.

Also, the video game bans currently in force are crazy. It’s become a major part of 18 to 50 year old culture and now its policed and restricted in a way far more draconian than film ever was. Why?

Your piece makes many salient points most important is that it can be circumvented by criminals anyway, which makes it implementation completely pointless. The need is there to action change from the arts community like they/we did to support Bill Henson. This issue is a much, much bigger one than the Henson issue, as it is a blanket ban on so much material, images and information. And it seems to be about to implemented with little fight from the arts community!

Best Regards

Richard Wolstencroft

MUFF director and Hellfire Club founder

My latest feature will be released through Peter Castaldi’s new distribution company The Pack in 2010. It will have a theatrical run in Australian capitals and play some regional engagements before a DVD release later in 2010.

The Beautiful and Damned had its World Premiere at The F.Scott Fitzgerald Festival last October in Baltimore after being sneak previewed at MUFF X in 09. It will have its Official Australian Premiere in Sydney at the cool new Oz Film Festival The Australian Film Festival in April.

Wolstencroft is also planning to shoot the second part of his low budget “March On Rome” feature trilogy in the second half of 2010.

See her for details:

The Melbourne Underground Film Festival is proud to officially announce the dawn of its eleventh year in this exciting new decade. The call for entries to the 2010 festival has now officially opened for all national and international films, and the MUFF team is buckling down and prepping for the announcement of new festival plans, events, and of course, the 2010 MUFF theme.

The 2009 festival, MUFF X, went off with a like a pair of Yemenis exploding underpants in last August under the theme of ‘MUFF ATTACKS’. The tenth in a long line of transgressive MUFFs held in Melbourne and directed by veteran filmmaker/troublemaker Richard Wolstencroft, MUFF X continued the proud tradition of offering an underground alternative to mainstream contemporary cinema in Australia. With a focus on spotlighting Australian-made independent feature films, many of which are swept under the cultural rug because of a lack of government or industry support.

Major MUFF X awards were taken out by Nathan Chrisoffel’s sci-fi epic Eraser Children (which has since enjoyed award-winning screening as the opening film of the Fantastic Planet Film Festival), Dominic Deacon’s exploitation flick Bad Habits (which has recently secured American DVD distribution) and Andrew Scarano’s documentary Into the Shadows, which has played at cinemas all over the country since its premiere.

So great was the success of the 2009 festival that the MUFF team are ready to jump straight back in for another round of subverting the OZ cinema status quo. Plans are already underway at undisclosed locations and wheels are in motion to make MUFF 11 bigger, better with added bite in the year to come. Expect more guests, meaner films, more awards for shorts and our aggressive and unique retrospectives. The call for entries is open for both shorts and features of all varieties, with entry details to be found on the MUFF website.

The MUFF team look forward to seeing you all for another year of deviancy, debauchery and damned good Indy entertainment at the 11th annual festival! Get to it boppers!

For more updates, see

Answer: 300. I found this information nowhere on the web, so here it is here at Idea Fix your trusty guide to Facebook – Not!

On fascism and Von Trier

January 5, 2010

Sometimes conversations on Facebook are too interesting not to share with all. This one started in a response to a Mr Steve Baker’s viewing of Lars Von Trier’s new film AntiChrist. Enjoy!
Antichrist is a film about misogyny. Its message sits there in broad daylight out in the open. Von Trier had been accused of misogyny in the past, unfairly in most cases, I’d say. But, this time I think he went for it. He had a misogyny adviser on set, even! Sort of daring, I thought. Though not his best film. To me Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark, Dogville and Manderlay are four stone cold masterpieces. This was as good as The Boss of it All, his fun take on hierarchies and authority. Von Trier is an interesting new variety of right wing reactionary that confuses all the post modern wankers out there, hence, naturally, I love his work.
Steve Baker
Steve Baker

A misogyny advisor?! Wow… I must admit, it was not the story I cared about. The strange atmos and bold artistry of it all just swept me up. The film felt like staring at a beautiful painting that slapped me in the face from time to time. I have immense respect for Von Trier, simply cause he does whatever he wants to do. You gotta love that. …However his rather lame sense of melodrama is what lets his films down at times, at least in my opinion. If you’re going to be melodramatic, learn from the master – Lynch. And Dogme! Please… The day I follow 10 idiotic rules to make a film is the day I shoot myself… Other than that, he’s amazing!
Richard Wolstencroft
Richard Wolstencroft

Well the melodrama in Breaking The Waves is to make a theological point. In say Dancer in the Dark its an exercise in sadism… people often mistake what Van Trier does to his characters in that film as being in some empathetic. It is not. He tortures Bjork’s character in a sadistic manner, again most likely to make a theological point on the nature of God. The Dogme rules are a great reaction to the CGI shit cinema that is Legion these days. Of course, they are another one of his pranks, attempting to make people seek certificates and obey rules, but I feel the message behind the prank of getting cinema back to basics and parring it down is sincere. One doesn’t need his certificate or approval, but his ideas are fascinating. That’s why he is (…or could be) as he says he is ‘the world’s greatest living director’. The scary thing about that statement, obviously, is he may be right…?

That is interesting – if I think about his films without the empathy, then they completely different. Almost nasty… I totally get the sincerity behind dogme, and also that it was sort of a prank. It just didn’t feel like a very smart one. It felt like some kids paying in the backyard. If he had put some actual intelligent thought into making a movement or stand against studio cgi etc, then perhaps he could have created something special… At the end of the day he’s just as interested in self promotion as he is creating art. Hey have you seen Martyrs? Holyshit! For the first time in my life I almost wussed out and couldn’t finish a film, but I’m so glad I did. The 2nd half blew me away. It took the idea of true horror in cinema to a whole new level. I was even strangely moved by the notion of what these people were doing.
He is an interesting visual stylist and mood creator. But he’s just disappointed me with what has to say in films since Breaking the Waves. He’s got a nasty little sadistic point of view, particularly with women, which he was blatant about in Antichrist. His scripts are terrible and his point of view juvenile. I think the amount of medication he took for his depression really impacted on Antichrist. A misogyny advisor? Why is that interesting? I think dogme actually is his most interesting contribution and has had an incredible effect on the democratising the movie business. It was a reaction to studio films…and some great works came out of it. Festen, Open Hearts, etc.
Almost nasty. They are nasty. Von Trier deconstructs narrative and replaces it with sadism, cruelty and violence for its own sake. Martyrs is full on, it even had me stop it two thirds of the way in for a break, but I soldiered on and the ending was great. Still a sick, sick film. I do not think Von Trier’s scripts are terrible. Dogville is superb for example like a play. Dogme is cool and transgressive and not done just for self promotion.
But the essence of what he’s saying in his films seems so purile and reductive that i don’t get it. yes the forms interesting, and i’ll give you that about dogville and dancer. but the story of a woman who’s persecuted by a small town with a chain around her neck seeks revenge in a massacre. what’s so insightful about that? i guess i’m not that into his nasty content because he dresses it up in art house form. in fact, i really don’t like him because of it. i absolutely agree about dogme though…it totally was transgressive and cool, and helped create some awesome cinema.
Richard Wolstencroft
I do not think its purile, I think his positions are very dark and daring. He is a true pessimist and misanthrope. I think Von Trier is also a sort of fascist filmmaker, and he arrives there from his previous attributes mentioned above. The “Von” is effected, by the way, so he sounds more Germanic. His real name is Lars Trier. His goal is to take exploitative subject matter and turn it into high subversive fascist art, which he does. I think he makes interesting right wing statements on religion and martyrdom (Breaking the Waves), misanthropy and control (Dancer in the Dark), the desire to exterminate the awfulness of most of humanity (Dogville), the pointlessness of freeing any type of slave, as they are even worse than than their masters when free (Manderlay), the hidden evil and absurd comedy of democratic and social power (Boss of it All) and the evil destructive essence of women (AntiChrist). The biggest joke is people don’t see his vast reactionary agenda, and treat him as some kind of post modern god…
Stephen Lance

Mmmm…I guess I just don’t like the way he exploits the medium and his actors for such fascist desires. I don’t like ring wing agendas and the idea of embracing a film about the evil destructive essence of women seems ridiculous, to the point of hilarity. it’s just too reductive for me. but thank god you’re out there for him.
Steve Baker…perhaps one thing we could all agree on – he would love us debating over him??? Therefore he wins!?

Richard Wolstencroft
Well I don’t think he is saying that all women are that way. Its more a personal pessimistic musing on the nature of women. He is making politico-theological statements on the human condition, as he sees it. He may not even recommend any political platform, or position from this. The breadth of his nihilism is impressive, though. Whether you agree with him sometimes, or no, his positions provoke… as they do ring true on occasion. Are not people often miserable and worthless? Is not nature and humanity vastly cruel? Is democratic Western government not a sham that hides the powerful and privileged pulling the levers? Though I think his AntiChrist is the weakest statement, and hardest to swallow. Women hardly like to allow their children to be killed as portrayed in that film. Unless one talks about the unconscious and dark desires within, which I think he is to some extent…the dark feminine unconscious of which Freud spoke, etc…