August 30, 2014
on The Rover by David Michod. A complete misfire Apocalyptic musing movie from Michod after the somewhat impressive local crime drama Animal Kingdom. Guy Pearce is uber grim as a completely unlikeable main character, basically, trying to get his car back in a sad sack Mad Max universe that’s filled inexplicably with lots of Asian outback extras. Guy Pearce’s part is one dimensional and dreary – but at least he can act his part and carry it. He is joined by Robert Pattinson in an excremental role of a semi retarded American hick side kick – who for some reason is in the Aussie outback – being forced to go with Pearce. Normally just wooden, Robert Pattinson is bordering on the embarrassing in this film as his overwrought attempts at acting chew the scenario and his put on accent grates the ears and nerves. The nondescript script is also somewhat weak and meanders all over the place. Has a few nice moments of grim violence and nihilism and a new take on a local Apocalypse – but that fails to hold together and redeem this rather dull and bleak film.
August 13, 2013
Spoke to a number of different people at MIFF about the films they saw. Most said the fest played films that rank about 5 or 6 out of ten. With a few exceptions of course. I have noticed a dulling of taste and curation in art and Indy film circles of late. People like safe and mediocre things. Even in genre and geek land these days. Things that do not challenge or stand out too much. Things that are somehow a little passionless and lifeless. I have noticed this trend in other festivals outside MIFF – of it’s ilk and caliber. And a dulling of the critical mind and even a sense of outrage. Look at that film The Act of Killing – that is essentially a collaboration with genocidal maniacs who still heavy Chinese people who they once massacred – IN the film. This is a sick film on many levels. Sicker than any Horror fiction like Human Centipede and Serbian Film. The film subtly normalizes genocide. And the art house and fest circuit lap up this repulsive dreck – mostly without a peep. That’s an odd case, sure – but many other films at MIFF and those that play at many other festivals are just so, so. They lack passion, a directorial or authorial voice, they are gimmicky and niche driven, they lack something to say in general and are a kind of like an ersatz cinema – not as interesting or confronting or original as the the cinema that moved me in the 70’s to the 90’s. Cinema has died and Cinema 2.0 is in it’s birth stages. It’s a critical time to foster authentic and independent voices and help bridge the aesthetic crisis of the art itself. Thoughts?
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.
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
March 1, 2012
Where? Mana Bar, 336 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne AUSTRALIA.
When? March 1st, 6.30pm to 8.30pm
“Plenty of Reasons to Stop Worrying and Love Pornography: Can Pornography Save Cinema?
(In conversation with Richard Wolstencroft, Australian Filmmaker and Festival Director)
Screening: Trailer Richard Wolstencroft’s The Last Days of Joe Blow (2012)
Synopsis: Controversial filmmaker, curator, festival director and cultural and political trouble maker Richard Wolstencroft will delve into the wonderful world of pornography. He will advocate for the social, artistic, cultural, aesthetic and political significance of what is arguably the most neglected product of latter day Western Capitalist culture. In addition, he will demonstrate how Australia has one of the worst Free Speech records when it comes to pornographic material. Wolstencroft will also show footage and a trailer from his up-coming feature on the pornography business The Last Days of Joe Blow and discuss the making of this new documentary and his personal experience witnessing the porn biz in LA’s The Valley.”
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/
July 20, 2011
– The Tunnel (Carlo Ledesma)
– Chris Sun (Come and Get Me)
– Josh Reed (Primal)
– Damian Walshe-Howling (The Reef)
– Kelsie McDonald (Come and Get Me)
Best Supporting Actor
– Michael Rooker (Penance)
– Steve Davis (The Tunnel)
Best Supporting Actress
– Kerry Ann Reid (Family Demons)
– Ursula Dabrowsky (Family Demons)
– Michael Gilbert (Come and Get Me)
– Shing Fung Cheung, Steve Davis (The Tunnel)
Best Special Effects and Make-Up
– Chris Sun (Come and Get Me)
Best Cult Film
– Starship Invasions
Best Short Film
– Meth to Madness (Chris Mitchell)
Best Short Film Director
– Chris Mitchell (Meth to Madness)
Best Short Film Actor
– Jeremy Kewley (Shepherd’s Hill)
Best Short Film Actress
– Jamie McDowell (Home)
Bloodfest Genre Innovation Award
– Someone’s Knocking at the Door (Chad Ferrin)
Special Short Film Jury Prize
– Flow (Scott Dale)
Special Jury Prize
– The Reef (Andrew Traucki)
– Video Nasties (Jake West)