January 16, 2014
My Best Albums of 2013 (for what it’s worth)
In a rough descending order –
Young Galaxy –Ultramarine
Arcade Fire -Reflektor
The National –Trouble Will Find Me
Atoms for Peace –AMOK
Momus – Bambi
Non – Back to Mono
Ministry – From Beer to Eternity
Pet Shop Boys – Electric
The Knife – Shaking the Habitual
Portugal The Man –Evil Friends
Austra – Olympia
Kirin J Callinan –Embracism
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Push the Sky Away.
SNOG – Babes in Consumerland
Erasure – Snow Globe
OMD – English Electric
Polica – Shulamith
Pankow – And Shun the Cure They Most Desire
David Bowie – The Next Day
Depeche Mode – Delta Machine
January 16, 2014
August 13, 2013
I’m over ‘the Other’. People always accuse everything of being racist, so I’m having a little go at it and accusing the concept of ‘the Other’ as being counter intuitively racist. In what sense are foreign people ‘other’? Are we not just as ‘other’ to them, also? It seems to me to be a crit theory lazism catch phrase and magic ‘give me a grant’ wand that supposedly embraces foreignness and diversity. When I was in Uganda, I did not see the people I met or hung out with who were African as Other – I saw them as human beings – plain and simple. Often in a shitty country, run by corrupt officials and thieves our Government is well in bed with. Ricky Anyway Richards, my ‘brother from another Mother’ in Uganda was a just a bush bloke, former LRA soldier and now a peace worker. He was doing a good job, but he was human and smart too and he could see through the ‘otherness’ bullshit and our Western hypocrisies. There is no ‘other’. There is only people, regions, power, geopolitics and the way things are on the ground. There is much we can do to make foreign lands more prosperous and to flower in their own unique way- and to really help people – etc – and ditching the idea that they are ‘other’ might be a good start. They are not exotic and strange, even if they may appear so at times to us. They are simply themselves and their culture, as we are ours. Difference reigns, equality is a nice concept, but as anyone knows who has traveled, it is not exactly a reality.
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.
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.
I attended a lecture on the subject of censorship, pornography and free speech at Melbourne Free University (a tiny gallery space in Lygon Street) whose speaker was author Jeff Sparrow, author of Money Shot.
To provide some background: I was banned from MFU three months back for talking on the exactly same topic – due to what they perceived as my political indiscretions that they either wished to silence, side line or shun. Even though I never would have really touched on that topic, of course.This was a rather perverse irony as it was all about free speech (supposedly!) but here were the advocates censoring what THEY didn’t understand. The average leftist liberal is all about diversity and difference on the surface – unless of course you really are diverse or different – then you are a persona non grata. I didn’t raise the banning of me from MFU as I am polite.
Also the entire audience was Anglo Saxon or European apart from ONE half Asian chap. I’m sure there are many Far Right meetings more ethnically diverse. Doubly Hilarious!
Author Jeff Sparrow from Money Shot I had met before. He had asked me for an extended interview 2 years ago on LA Zombie – which I happily and graciously gave him over a long friendly lunch. I thought we had got along fine – but Sparrow hid his thoughts. As a limp wristed Marxist wannabe he objected (like MFU) to something I had said somewhere in internet land and decided to caricature me a bit in his recently published book Money Shot – on porn and censorship.
Which is fine – I find that kind of thing funny from a perspective of ideology, etc.
But allow me to return the favour a little: Sparrow is a fey, glib, myopic and innocuous twit in a RRR T Shirt and knows little about the topic on which he speaks. He reduces censorship and the whole debate to an under graduate reflection on dialectical materialism – which is how the not so sly devil slips his outdated Marxist crap in to his rather constructed and biased narrative. He was ungracious – not acknowledging me after being in a chapter of his book. He was not generous when I asked politely if I could have a copy of his book – he was selling them there as a chapter was on me – he said no, rather rudely blaming his publisher. I am well aware from many books readings and appearances that a simple word from him would secure a copy for someone featured in the book.etc
When I questioned the poverty of his method of approach – in the question time – relying mainly on the issues of commodification and materialism and ignoring the whole ontological, Libertarian, Libertine and hedonistic aspects of the debate – he stone walled. Other questions were absurd: one women felt ‘pursued by porn’ I wanted to ask her did it chase her down the street or around her apartment? This kind of attitude reveals a repressed desire to indulge in pornographic Libertinage and hedonism. Other questions concerned the ban of porn in Aboriginal settlements in the NT – which is plain patriarchal racism. But as it was implemented or maintained by Labour there was much pussy footing around that issue. When I pointed out that his own left liberal views, as he admitted!, are the views of the current censor regime – making him the the defacto enemy he is supposedly criticizing and investigating – he was gob smacked and moved on quickly.
Again not even willing to engage in any kind of real debate or discussion. This is what he is like and what goes on at these type of events. Nothing is said – everything is omitted. It’s self censorship – of the very worst kind – and an act of cowardice.
Which If I had to caricature Sparrow – that is how I would do so – as a coward. Touche to you Jeff.
And, also allow me to add: fuck you pal for being such a rude, inconsiderate and unappreciative journo pretender.