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.
December 3, 2009
My ex and the star of The Beautiful and Damned Kristen Condon was a guest on John Safran’s Race Relations getting spanked as part of a Christian Discipline Group. You can watch the show here. Enjoy.
John couldn’t seem to make it hurt. Kristen said she only said it hurt to me later so John wouldn’t be embarrassed. She did go out with me for 7 years, so what do you want! He just needed to come see little old me, and I’d have given him a few helpful hints and tips on how to spank a woman properly. Anyway, funny episode. The show is good. The episode on his Mother who passed away was moving and one of the best things he’s done. Next week he gets crucified… and its long overdue.
August 13, 2009
April 15, 2009
Here is a cool new comedy team from SNL, The Lonely Island (see on a Boat Motherfucker, below) doing White Power. This is an early video of theirs. They are crazy, but don’t call them wack…get their new CD “Incredibad” for a giggle and check out their clips on You Tube.
Don’t jiz in your pants, just sit back put your dick or pussy in a box, and enjoy…
April 11, 2009
As part of what must be the closing stunt of his new ABC TV show Race Relations, Australian media and religious critic, prankster and trouble maker John Safran has had himself crucified in the Philippines. Yes, with real nails, through hands and feet. Like JC. Ouch!
Crazy? Out there? Masochistic? Self hating? Jesus trip???
Whatever it is…it takes guts, I give him that.
Father Bob is quoted online saying he would have done it as part of his investigation and interest in religion as being at the centre of the Universe. Other Catholic representatives have scolded Safran who has been known to mock religion in the past. It is and will certainly get him a lot of publicity. I’d like to see The Chaser crew top that?
He is listed online in some articles as being 33 (the age Jesus had a run in at Golgotha), but John is 36.
I was wondering how he’d top the Bob Larsen exorcism at the end of John Safran vs God when I heard about Race Relations, and, dare I say it, I think he has!
Safran the crucified, it even has Nietzshean overtones.
Many online think its a brave stunt, which it is, it takes balls.
But maybe its more than a stunt. John, who I know from the film industry and a few social occasions, is, I think, deeply religious under his sarcastic public persona. I’ve always thought the real him has more in common with a middle aged conservative Rabbi. He is into Judaism (…I thought?), but very tempted by Christianity (…I assummed due his obsession with it, and his promotion of Catholicism at JJJ with Father Bob). This act is a resounding endorsement of faith in Jesus, if its meant that way. One that most true Christians would balk at, perhaps, with good reason.
There is also mention online in some news articles that John Safran did it this for his ailing Mother (?!), as miracles have been known to happen after people perform this ritual. If this is true, it adds a whole ‘other’ dimension to the act…
April 10, 2009
Super hip English media critic and razor sharp wit Charlie Brooker is now reviewing the news, after his excellent TV show Screen Wipe that reviewed the media like no other. This new show is equally classic, Brooker’s opinions are right on, his choice of back ground music like Dawn of the Dead sound track, Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon classical music and Escape from New York electro, are sublime and spot on. Brooker wears his misanthropy on his sleeve and has some of the best insults on the idiot box that will have you with pen in hand taking notes. He picks the best topics about which to vent his spleen and has a a rare talent for getting to the heart of an issue or subject. Dare I say it, he has views on some topics very similar to some of my own. Some even say I look a bit like him! I think he looks a bit like Jon Hewitt, or a mixture of myself and Jon to be more precise…
Anyway, Brooker is a discovery, he has a blog here and a cool book out of many of his essays and writings called Dawn of the Dumb that is a must have. Brooker appears to be a ‘Dawn’ junkie constantly referencing it with music from the film over moronic Arab or social unrest to make a strong political point, and even doing his own great Zombie TV show on BBC Dead Set. Hunt Dead Set down it rocks!
Here are the beginnings of the first two episodes of Newswipe. The continuation of these episodes is to be found on You Tube.
Now go away.
April 4, 2009
A few months back my partner in crime Kristen Condon, after watching hours of movies and TV shows that I’d made her watch, said to me, “We are watching Big Love, its research for something I’m doing, and you might like it, its HBO”. I looked at the DVD. It looked like Desperate House Wives, but it was about polygamy, and that sounded strangely cool. So, we watched it…
By mid season 1, I was hooked like Joseph Smith on his golden plates. This show was fucking classic… the best thing, drama wise, HBO has done since The Soprano’s and The Wire. I couldn’t believe it… its also a chick show. It has many story arcs all about female feelings and here I was, totally diggin’ it! In other words, it’s a work of pure genius.
But Big Love is not just a chick show. So, here’s Idea Fix’s male take on the whole ‘she bangs’.
Big Love is essentially about promiscuity on the conscious level, and the incest taboo on a subconscious one.
Bill Paxton plays philandering Bill Henrickson, a successful businessman and practising polygamist who has left a Mormon cult called the United Effort Brotherhood (UEB – a recast version of a Fundamentalist sect of the Mormon LDS Church) and formed his own polygamy sect. Bill has three wives, and a gaggle of kids. His first wife is Barb a neurotic 40 something who survived a health scare. Second wife is my favourite Nicki Grant played superbly by Chloe Sevigny, in her best part down pat. She is an Ex UEB cultist and daughter of the cults Prophet Roman Grant. She is the meat in the sandwich of the marriages and a firm believer in “The Principle”, the rules of polygamy. She is a constant wheel around which the show turns. She is fundamentalist LDS, a compulsive shopper and gambler, a repressed sex maniac, a xenophobe, and an OCD manipulative control freak. In other words she’s classic. Youngest wife is Margie, a hot, mildly dumb, early 20’s sexpot, who is fuckable, and grows on you after the first season. Bill is fucking all these women, on different nights of the week. The show makes polygamy seem appealing, though in reality one can imagine it would be a nightmare. He has kids with each wife. His eldest daughter Sarah, played by the hot Amanda Seyfried, is an 18 year old sex bomb with big eyes. Bill’s not fucking her, but there is a tension in these two characters, as Sarah is only two years younger than Margene, and could have been cast as a wife. Same Margene, and even Nicki, could be Bill’s daughters. Due to the three Mommies and many children who are not blood related, Ben Henrickson, 16, Bill’s oldest son has the hots for 20 year old third wife Margene. You can see trouble brewing there, and hint of an all in adult fuck fest, and a general mood of perversity surrounds the show. The whole Mormon religious thing just adds an additional strangely erotic dimension to it all.
Add to that Alby, the closeted gay son of Prophet Roman Grant, who has a brilliant scene when he allows himself to be seduced by a male hitch hiker. To hide/repress his faggotdom he lets out a scream of repression so hideous, I knew the show was genius on the spot. The always wonderful Harry Dean Stanton is the near 80 year old Roman Grant, Patriarch to the UEB cult, who also has a fondness for teenage pussy. He grooms fifteen year olds in a little book, called “The Joy Book”, and doles them out at 16 to various male members of his cult, as new wives and payment for loyal service. The best character in the whole show is Rhonda Volmer a 15 year bride to be of Roman who is a venomous viper and vixen out to fuck everyone’s life up, but you can’t help admiring her cunning ways. Played to the hilt by Daveigh Chase, Rhonda is a vamp lolita who has her own plans for taking over her life. The incest vibe of Roman and Rhonda, and various other UEB members adds to the unconscious main theme I suggested earlier.
Into the orbit of these characters is the excellent Bruce Dern as Bill’s UEB polygamist evil father Frank. Bill’s crazy Mom is portrayed by the wonderful Grace Zabriskie of Twin Peaks fame in a great complex part. Add to that a second religious cult lead by an amazingly ominous fruit cake called Hollis Green, and his butch dyke wife Selma, who dresses like a man and you have an amazing ensemble. Oh, did I forget to add these Mormon cultists behave like mafia clans killing each other off, committing crime and running human slavery operations?
By now you’ll have picked up its not just a show about Mormons, in fact its the most controversial and confronting new HBO show in a while.
On top of this the show preaches Christian values and supports notions of large families and traditionalism that somehow works in this context.
Believe it or not its a great ad for the Mormons! The cult of Joseph Smith is presented as a revisionist Christian church of active, on going and current revelation. The Mormons come out of this looking cool. Their odd rituals strangely alluring. Their fanaticism wonderfully traditional, and yet new. The Mormons have an interesting eschatological world view and a soteriological philosophy that enacts a direct union with Christ. This show has some serious theological chops, and can have you talking religion for hours. I tell you, it made me want to read the the Book of Mormon. How many TV shows can you say that about?!
Big Love’s plot is dense, suffice to say its well done, and just watch it. It comes highly recommended. I just saw Season 3, and its was a Revelation.
Here is a clip of 15 year old wife to be of Roman Grant, on television, after much Machiavellian maneuvers singing a haunting song that ends a great episode of Big Love. The song is called “The Happiest Girl in the USA”.
Recent HBO (since The Soprano’s) is like 70’s US independent cinema. The most authentic, exciting, innovative and serious cinema is now on TV and not at the cinema. Big Love is a work of perverse religious art. Did I mention the show is also the most non-multicultural US show, in a long while? Well, that, and the excellent Mad Men.
Without further adieu Rhonda Volmer…this clip gives me goose bumps. It will you, too, if you watch the show…God Bless.
March 28, 2009
This blog deals with some dark and tricky subjects on occasion and sometimes its good to reflect on some people who are pretty cool and reveal another aspect of being. One such person is Ex-Python Michael Palin. I have had his autobiography by my bed for around a year now slowly reading it. I read about ten books at once for some reason. Some on fast rotation, i.e. Platform by Michel Houellebecq, about five days. Some take a few weeks (most novels) some take two months (philosophical works). This pile is constantly changing. But, Palin’s Python diaries have been there longest in my recent group, on the slow burn, 20 to 40 pages a month. I’m 2/3 rds of the way in. What a charming civilised human being Palin is. The book has an existential humanity that comes across in Palin’s notations on his most creative decade. The stories of the other Python’s are classic, and so too the tales of the creation and genesis of The Flying Circus, Ripping Yarns, Life of Brian and other classic works.
The world can be a dark place, but sometimes you realize it isn’t always that way and chaps like Micheal Palin, to my mind, is one of the reasons why. I like this guy, I even like his daft but sincere travel series when its on television.
He really seems like the rarest of sorts, a really nice, charming and genuine human being.
Mr. Palin, Idea Fix salutes you!