Well, this is one of the best films of the year – so, don’t believe any of the negative hubbub floating round net land. A tale of dueling psychopaths – one rich, one poor – and the women left in their wake. Christian is a classic Ellis character up there with Clay and Patrick Bateman – a manipulating trust fund kid movie producer control freak with Daddy issues and a nice pair of rubber gloves and accompanying blade. Best line: “I will kill him and get away with it. Look at me, babe”. The script is tight and a slow burn toward a psychologically powerful climax. This is plot wise most like parts of Glamorama and The Informers from Bret’s oeuvre, so his literary fans will find plenty to commune with. This is Schrader’s most accomplished directing effort in 10 years – from the haunting title sequence to The Hills type mise en scene – but darker and smoother. It’s reminiscent of his earlier masterpieces American Gigolo and Comfort of Strangers and sits in their company. James Deen is a revelation as Christian – the looks, all stone cold menace and boyish insecurity – not unlike a young Tony Curtis – but with more gravitas. Lindsay Lohan gives her best performance in years, that is hard to fault and is rather sympathetic. Who cares if she behaved like a brat who needed a slap on the ass on set a few days – or has some drug issues. Whatever – when is that new there in Hollywood? Her Tara anchors the film down with some level of emotional humanity and is delicate, sassy and most importantly – lost. Ryan, the third wheel to this pair, is played by Nolan Funk who steps up as the financially challenged second narcissist and rival to Christian. An ice cold portrait of contemporary LA in all it’s blank ‘glory’ – from a uniquely assembled team alchemizing a truly impressive new piece of cinema2.0. on a micro to low budget. Look at it, babes.
July 18, 2013
Back from Only God Forgives. First Up: The film is not a Drive – sadly. It is ‘interesting’. Which means it’s OK on some levels – but is really not that good. The rumours out of Cannes about it being a bit crap had some legs. Nicholas Winding Refn tries to sort through his Mommy issues in a odd, stilted and strange tale of a revenge cycle taking place in Bangkok. The huge mistake of the film is the use and embrace of an out of place formalism. Bangkok is SO not the place to make a formalist movie – as it’s so hustle and bustle – but Refn tries is darndest. It’s influenced heavily by a little seen film – Soi Cowboy – by Thomas Clay (MUFF 2009) another Euro filmmaker going all formalist in Thailand – it’s almost a copy of that movie. Gosling wanders around silently for most of the film with a look on his face wondering “WTF am I meant to be doing in this shot?”. It has all the ear marks and potential to be a great film. But the rather poor to non existent script and out of place formalism makes it a lesser work in the Refn oeuvre, in my humble opinion. Kristen Scott Thomas brings some life to it in a fairly impressive turn as Gangtser Mom -but she can’t save it and it never really rocks. It’s worth a look of, course. If you are a formalist cinema fan you may like it. It’s well shot and has a certain strange charm, still that gets you thinking about it. Oh and the good news is: I’m in it! – for a blink and you’ll miss it uncredited cameo as Gosling approaches the Sukhumvit Road when he is following Vithaya Pansringarm in a white T-shirt. As Gosling turns on to Sukhumvit I enter frame (top left) for about two seconds looking sleazy. That completely random synchronicity of fate or whatever tells me I’ll work with one of these guys (Gosling or Refn) one day.
June 1, 2013
The quest for controversy is well underway once again as submissions for the Melbourne Underground Film Festival are open until 28 June.
MUFF are seeking innovative filmmakers to follow the revolutionary path of James Wan and many others to take out a MUFF award at Australia’s wildest independent film festival. If you are a low budget cinematic insurgent then submit your film, long or short, by following instructions available on www.muff.com.au.
MUFF is renowned for showing the type of transgressive, progressive, transcendental and just plain mad productions that will never be screened at Hoyts. We don’t care if you shoot on the latest red camera or an old and banged up PD150. If your original film demonstrates passion, spirit, inventiveness and guts in any genre then we want you to receive the recognition you deserve.
MUFF has been discovering Australia’s most interesting cinematic talent for close to fifteen years so if you’re a creative revolutionary then we want you to get involved.
MUFF will be publicly exposed from 6-14 September. What has been seen can never be unseen.
Me with Guru Shaun Partridge – receiving spiritual guidance for MUFF 14, Feb 2013, Portland, OR.
March 4, 2013
Well, at great personal pain I am 50 minutes in to Mental starring Toni Collette and directed by PJ Hogan.
Being the regular font of wisdom on Australian Cinema (and it’s ills) that I am, I think I’ve divined what is going on here.
In the 90’s and much of the 00’s the funding bodies made these awful art movies on worthy topics (mental illness, asylum seekers, Aborigines, health, women’s issues, etc) that no one saw (or wanted to see). In the late 00’s there was a change of tactic due to an on going irrelevance of the National Cinema (due to these cinematic abortions) toward a more commercial and genre driven type of cinema. A good move in theory. But guess what? Instead of good genre films, based on exciting, edgy and original topics or ideas, etc., back came all the tired social causes (mental illness, asylum seekers, Aborigines, health, women’s issues) to further and condescendingly pollute our National Screen and bore a whole new generation of local cinema goers. The funding bodies would then attempt to make quirky comedies and feel good dramas about these ‘worthy’ social issues with equally, if not even MORE disastrous results. We are seeing the proof of this on our screens on a now monthly basis down under. See Save Your Legs and Goddess for further proof of this. Or the aforementioned Mental, Not Suitable for Children, Lore and many others from last year.
So, that’s where we are at the moment in mainstream Australian Cinema.
Addendum: I finished watching Mental and apropos it’s ‘worthy’ cause of Mental Health issues – I have never seen a more insulting and absurd movie about the issue in my life. So, these films are even failing as ideological engines of social responsibility. Is it not long overdue that we had some kind of National Forum on Cinema with the funding bodies to address these and other issues? We can’t allow Australian Cinema to so languish in the doldrums and for funding to be so wasted without responsibility or accountability.
November 3, 2012
The Last Days of Joe Blow Trailer on Vimeo.
We have had to cut it a bit to meet their silly sexuality guidelines.
Trust me the feature is much juicier.
It is at the AFM right now, folks, with the Producer Jason Byrne. So if you’re from a fest playing next year and want to see it – drop Jason a line and meet up/make contact. etc.
Otherwise sit back and enjoy the trailer. http://vimeo.com/52599100
Director/C0-Producer-Richard Richard Wolstencroft, Producer-Jason Byrne, Co-Producer-Tait Brady, Associate Producer/Editor-Mark Bakaitis. Camera-Mark Mark Savage & Richard Wolstencroft, Music-David Thrussell, Damian Whitty and others. Featuring Michael Tierney as Joe Blow. Also featuring William Margold, Ron Jeremy, Eric John, Missy Woods, Charlie Chase, Jeremy Steele and many others. Special guest commentators Bruce LaBruce and Andrew Richardson.
A few stills below. A couple with raunch.
October 31, 2012
Excellent Halloween News marking a Special Event:
The 20th Anniversary of The Hellfire Club will take place Sunday December 16 at:
The LuWow Tiki Bar and Nightclub
62/70 Johnston St., Fitzroy.
Stand by for fliers, ads, event details, giveaways, performers, DJ’s, merchandise, old cards and posters on Sale and all other kinds of Hellfire related mayhem, madness and kinkiness.
My Hellfire Club – back in the last month of 2012.
21st Anniversary Edition. Full of new extras and some old ones too we had to keep. Here is the Cover of the DVD.
From Monster Pictures. More on this release soon.
You can pre order it here: http://www.dvdwarehouse.com.au/bloodlust-9342424003107.html
August 31, 2011
Chosen by jury head Jimmy The Exploder in consultation with The MUFF team.
A Serbian Film (Srdjan Spasojevic)
Michael Dorman (Needle)
BEST ACTRESS (Tie)
Viva Bianca (Holly Rowe ‘X’)
& Hanna Mangan Lawrence (Shay Ryan ‘X’)
Larry Wessel (Iconoclast)
Iconoclast (Larry Wessel)
James Harkness (Birthday)
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
Needle (John V Soto)
BEST GUERILLA FILM (Tie)
Boronia Backpackers (Timothy Spanos)
& Garth Lives in a Van (Gregory Pakis)
BEST SUPORTING ACTOR (Winner)
Richard Wilson (Birthday)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (Winner)
Kestie Morassi (Birthday)
BEST SHORT FILM
RUNNER-UP BEST SHORT FILM
Gumby’s New Tit
BEST SHORT FILM DIRECTOR
Michael Adams/Charlotte Squires (Grandma’s Gift)
BEST SHORT FILM ACTOR
Paul Yardley (Don’t Ya Wanna Dance)
BEST SHORT FILM ACTRESS
Deanna Ortuso (A Tale of Obsession)
BEST SHORT SCREENPLAY
Michael Adams/Charlotte Quires (Grandma’s Gift)
Needle (Horror Version)
August 11, 2011
MUFF 12 catalogue in all its brutal and beautiful glory at: http://www.muff.com.au
New MUFF blog by JJ DeCeglie. http://notesfromundergroundmuff2011.tumblr.com/
Opening night a nice little piece of Eastern European Cinema, A Serbian Film.
The MUFF 12 Press Release:
MUFF 12 is here! The most controversial and confronting film festival, even arts event, this fine country has to offer. Yes, all you screen zombies… we are back in 2011 to: Destroy All Movies!
“Destroy All Movies” can be taken as a query, a question and even a complaint about cinema itself. How often do we question our passion in this kind of ontological sense and depth? At MUFF 12 we go there.
Australia’s premiere film festival for anything left (or right!) of centre, Indy or underground is back with a vengeance. In 2010 they tried to shut MUFF and renegade film festival director Richard Wolstencroft down, over LA Zombie, with a MUFF Raid and court trail over our Free Speech advocacy and action. But like the proverbial Phoenix MUFF is back in 2011 to cause more mayhem.
Festival dates are: August 19 to 27. We have two ace venues this year: the amazing re-opened art deco cinema venue St Kilda Memo at 88 Acland st St Kilda (behind the RSL) and it’s sister venue Dog’s Bar Art’s Hub just down the road from Memo at 54 Acland Street.
We have four great sections: MUFF Neu – presenting a range of low budget and Indy underground and genre cinema with highlights like Needle, Iconoclast (on Boyd Rice by Larry Wessell), 2012 and Birthday, MINI MUFF – presenting new short films from Australia and abroad, with highlights The Basher, Hooked, 6ft Hick, Payload and Garth Lives in a Van; our themed retrospective DESTROY ALL MOVIES – featuring the anti-aesthetic of Paul Morrissey, Joe Dellasandro and Andy Warhol, and the MUFF ACADEMY is back! At this year’s academy we have the Billy Marshall Stoneking intensive acting seminar and a screening of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Saló” followed by a discussion panel on the film’s merits (or lack thereof) as well as a broader discussion on the sense of censorship.
Plus our notorious gala Opening Night film “A Serbian Film”, one of the most fiendish movies we have ever played at MUFF. And, keeping with our Tribute to Serbia theme for Opening/Closing our Closing Night film is “The Life and Death of a Porno Gang,” followed by the esteemed MUFF 12 awards.
Check out the program online or at any good store or shop in yo’ hood. 24 sessions, over 9 days, all at two venues with a bonus Mystery Screening. What more can you ask? Streamlining is the name of the game. Check it out and join the local cinema screen revolution.
Melbourne Underground Film Festival Director
Full program online now: http://www.muff.com.au/