Friday, 21 September 2007

Seven Deadly Cine

Seven films have been banned from the Melbourne Underground Film Festival by the OFLC,. Here is the list of offensive items; exhibit A.

  1. 70k
  2. Schulmädchen-Report: Was Eltern nicht für möglich halten (aka The Schoolgirl Report)
  3. Sex Wish
  4. The Farmer's Daughter
  5. Ashley & Kisha: Finding the Right Fit
  6. Whore
  7. 60 Second Relief

As you can probably surmise just by the titles, many of these films have something to do with sex. The Office for Film, Literature and Classification isn't a very sophisticated body when it comes to damning cinema it declares as unfit for public perusal, its system seems to run by the code that if it fucks, shoot it down.

Of course we here in Australia don't really uphold a document of esoteric national ideals. The United States despite its own troubles has a framework of idealism that the people can use as a formative framework for their development as a country and a people, ideals such as freedom of speech, and France under its Declaration of Man has some firm housekeeping ideals for their cultural and societal framework - so what do we have here in Australia? Think about the phrases we bally about such as “Fair go” and “Mateship”, apparently solid characteristics of our national pride. Well, a filmmaker would be completely ignored if he/she got up and said that "Fair go, my film, even though explicit, even possibly pornographic, is artistic expression, and therefore should be given the right to be screened" or “How about some mateship and let my film screen.” One fears that although it sounds nice to be called "The Lucky Country", the choice of words is rather careless, for as we all know, luck runs out. Luck is not something that can grow or be nurtured, it is just this thing that either exists or doesn't, and even then cannot be relied upon simply by the nature of its definition.

Not to bite the hand that feeds me, but rather I’m going to gnaw at it until it feeds me what I want, until I’m fed up to the back teeth with it.

I don’t understand the processes at work here. An underground film festival with a target market of people completely prepared for challenging or sense flexing cinema, totally aware of the potential content of the films they are going to see, possibly one hundred percent supportive of subversive or fringe cinema, get audited by a kind of mauve militia who has consulted the mob and decided that they, and only they shall have the final say on what kind of material is suitable for us as a public to subscribe to.

If you feel you would like to contact the The Classification Board about this matter either of your own opinion or what you investigate from the latest news from MUFF then I have linked the e-inquiry form from their website here.


Dale Slamma said...

I saw that yesterday and have since become quite cross about it. I think its time we all got a bit Margaret about this.

Tony said...

Last year MUFF screened our film "Damon and Hunter: Doing it Together" in defiance of an OFLC order not to. The screening was sold out and a second showing had to be arranged to handle the overflow crowd.

No doubt the banning of these seven film, including our own "Ashley and Kisha: Finding the Right Fit" is retaliation, intended to send a message to MUFF, and any other festival that might get it in their heads to show films that Australians want to see.

Ell said...

This post is so perfect Rupert - I have been having this very same conversation just recently - "Fair Go!" -- funny old place this Australia sometimes...and "mauve militia" had me snorting tea.

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