MUFF 777

For the seventh year in a row, Richard Wolstencroft — fascist twat and Director-for-Life of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF) — is back. Again. With yet more ‘underground’ films to entertain Melbourne’s undiscerning yuppies; although, interestingly, with noticeably less fanfare than in previous years.

Reading Wolstencroft’s ‘Director’s Statement’ reveals him to be not only narcissistic (indeed, massaging Wolstencroft’s ego appears to be the Festival’s main — and perhaps only real — purpose), but a supremely untalented writer, and an even worse thinker. Given these facts, the only real question worth asking of MUFF is: ‘Why do filmmakers bother associating themselves with this Festival, and, by implication, Richard, and his appallingly bad vision?’

Buggered if I know. I just hope that this year Wolstencroft has actually sought and obtained permission to screen — and to make money from screening — other people’s films; something which he singularly failed to do in 2004, when the ‘political’ festival screened films by Mick Duffield and Gee Vaucher…

The Last Word:

Pearls Before Swine—I’ve kind of always distrusted Richard Wolstencroft, filmmaker, Melbourne Underground Film Festival director, and tedious bore, partly because of his avowed fascist tendencies. Now that I’ve paid money for and sat through his fucking film, I just want to beat the cunt senseless.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2017 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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8 Responses to MUFF 777

  1. Wee Jin Suk (Korean for LotchKonez) says:

    I have never been to the MUFF myself because it does not have quality enough for my ultra-anarchoyuppie tastes. I also know the loonar watch people who closed down his David Irving screening and I respect their views BUT:

    – If he is a fascist as you state why does he have Jewish film maker Lloyd Kaufman from Troma films as guest of honour this year?

    – The SAW film makers launched their careers at MUFF, an Asian and a Jew. They grossed several million $ from their last two releases and changed the horror genre with their innovative style.
    They were runners up to Mark Bakaitis’ Narcosys in first place at one of the 1st MUFFs. Now Bakaitis’ company were sponsoring the event and Narcosys has been reviewed in the following manner here:
    “This movie is a major mess as far as a sci-fi movie goes…”

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0293445/usercomments

    If there were any criticism of the MUFF it would be its bias towards crap movies from Vermont South directors. On grounds of taste I can agree with criticisms of both the MUFF and the MIFF but the MUFF and its organisers could not be described as fascists, they seem to be as open as possible as an underground organisation can be.

    – Wolstencroft basically supports freedom of speech and this is a libertarian anarchist stance. So he had to take the buck off Bakaitis in order to get started and likes a bit of controversy like Jewish Malcolm MacLaren who used the swastika with the Sex Pistols but so what, it is better than TV I imagine even if it is not up to scratch aesthetically.

    ———–

    The problem with Melbourne media and film and facism is currently the appointment of Sean Cubitt as research professor of Media and Communications at Melbourne University.

    He is an Anglo – Irish Catholic fascist who has an obsession with the well known racist film text Lord of the Rings.

    He failed his PhD on the Rock against Racism movement at McGill University. Then he obtained an honorary PhD from Liverpool JMU using his erroneous previous publications so that he could emigrate to New Zealand. He is in charge of research at unimelb but has not produced a successful thesis himself.

    Cubitt was unpopular with the people who hired him at Waikato in NZ, why does Melbourne have to suffer this?

    At Liverpool JMU he gave a PhD thesis to a racist skinhead and hired him as a lecturer, this skinhead in turn organised an honorary thesis for Cubitt. This skin organises anti racist rallies with Billy Bragg in Liverpool but will then play Skrewdriver music to the students to finish off a three hour lecture about skinhead culture. He does not feature on Redwatch Merseyside because he is a double agent. I have witnessed his racism KantOath!

    Get in touch with Macintyre (Dean at Melbourne) or do whatever you have to do to get rid of Cubitt to keep the house in disorder @ndy otherwise you really are a slack bastard.

    My two hundred thousand petrodollars worth,

    Professor X
    Oakland Black Panthers in search of lesbian pussy at Mills College

  2. @ndy says:

    G’day Wee,

    “If he is a fascist as you state why does he have Jewish film maker Lloyd Kaufman from Troma films as guest of honour this year?”

    Wolstencroft has previously declared *himself* to be a fascist, but of a particular variety: a ‘transcendental’ one. I believe this appeals to his sense of Being Someone Special. Rather than what he is, which is Someone Stoopid.

    As for Kaufman’s participation, being a fascist does not necessarily mean one is anti-Semitic. It’s also entirely possible that Kaufman has little or no knowledge of or interest in Wolstencroft’s politics. In this sense, he would be in the same camp as all other participants in and consumers of MUFF: they really don’t give a shit if a self-confessed fascist is the permanent director of an ‘underground’ film festival. In any case, I think the reasons for Kaufman’s partcipation have a whole lot less to do with his being Jewish than it does his involvement with the Troma brand.

    “…MUFF and its organisers could not be described as fascists, they seem to be as open as possible as an underground organisation can be.”

    Maybe. But I’ve only described Wolstencroft as a fascist — not the Festival as a whole. In fact, the nature of Wolstencroft’s beliefs are such that others taking part in the organisation of the Festival would likely have to undergo a lobotomy before sinking to his depths. Besides which, it’s Wolstencroft’s monopoly over the Festival that is ‘fascistic’…

    More later.

  3. Wee Jin Suk (Korean for LotchKonez) says:

    I don’t actually believe him when he says he is a transcendental fascist. According to the lootch he is never at the meetings with davros on the planet skunkosphere.

    The main objections people had to him and the MUFF were the anti-semitic David Irving film and this was probably proposed for the sake of controversy as he is clearly not an anti-Semite across the board. Someone said something about the LaTrobe philosophy department where he was based as being a den of fash. Any info there? The Hellfire Club was sexual and in a sense social deviancy which would not suit the family first type of psytrance fash.

    He and the judges gave the prize to Bakaitis’ Narcosys which could be described as a humanitarian rather than a fascist act as it could not be based on entertainment value except in a Plan 9 from outer space type of sense.

    The popularity of the MUFF did succeed in bringing the MIFF up or down to his level, the MIFF started press releasing their cat torturing films in order to move into his perceived market sector.

    So the collective psychic lobot was as a success! Thereby allowing Cubitt to enter the psychic void where the cut occured.

  4. @ndy says:

    1) http://www.aijac.org.au/review/2003/288/scribb288.html

    Scribblings

    Richard’s Fascist Flirtation

    Richard Wolstencroft, the man who directs and founded the Melbourne Underground Film Festival, claims his decision to this year include Holocaust denier David Irving’s racist rant on film, “The Search for Truth in History” in his festival was a statement about free speech, and against censorship. Never mind that the film is 10 years old and freely available in this country, many in the media echoed this claim.

    Cynics might argue that the decision was more about Wolstencroft’s search for publicity for his rather obscure film festival. However, there is at least some evidence to suggest another explanation — namely that Wolstencroft has a fascination with fascism.

    In his Festival Director’s statement, Wolstencroft talks about his “dream” of what he calls “Transcendental Fascism”: “I believe fascism to be about the brute application of power and that all politics is inherently fascist in nature. Why transcendental then? Because in the name of Sex, I want to change and temper this brute fact but still retain the only force possible to fight the oppressive status quo.”

    Nor is this the only time Wolstencroft showed an ugly flirtation with fascism and nazism. Before he started the Melbourne Underground Film Festival, Wolstencroft founded and ran a Sado-Masochism club called the Hellfire Club. This venture came to public prominence in 1993 when Wolstencroft, who used the pseudonym Richard Masters for his Hellfire Club activities, organised a “Nazi Nuremberg rally” night, and advertised it by saying “that period of history has such amazing imagery, architecture and uniforms we’ve got to pay homage to the lure of fascist propaganda.”

    Like the Irving film, Wolstencroft’s previous Nazi effort was cancelled by the venue owners in the face of massive community outrage.

    2) http://www.aijac.org.au/review/2003/289/scribb289.html

    A “Transcendental Fascist” revisited

    Last month, Scribblings revealed that Richard Wolstencroft, director and founder of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (which attempted this year to screen a David Irving film and interview Irving, as well as screen another film about French Holocaust denier Robert [Faurisson]) had described himself as a “transcendental fascist” and had a history of flirtation with Nazism. This sort of put paid to claims made by the festival that they only wanted to show the Holocaust denial films to demonstrate their support for free speech, no matter how extreme.

    Well, in the aftermath of that story, Scribblings was contacted by a former co-worker with Wolstencroft, who has a website devoted mainly to expressing his concerns about Wolstencroft’s fascism. The website, [not] available at http://www.geocities.com/wollythewhip/, has even more evidence that Wolstencroft is what he says he is, a fascist. For example, a British filmmaker, Ben Hopkins attests that Wolstencroft told him that “fascism is the only way forward” and then tried to convince him of the misunderstood greatness of Hitler, based on an idiosyncratic interpretation of Nietzsche and Heidegger. Wolstencroft also describes as his philosophical mentor a man named Boyd Rice who starred in one of Wolstencroft’s films, but was formerly a member of an American neo-Nazi group called the [American] Front, and has a long history of other links with Holocaust deniers and other fascists.

    The bottom line is that the Australian government is providing much of the funding, via the Australian Film Commission, for a film festival whose main organiser and guiding spirit is someone with definite fascist sympathies, which are clearly affecting the programming decisions.

    3) http://www.hi-beam.net/fw/fw23/0981.html

    An open letter to Richard Wolstencroft from Shane Lyons.

    Dear Richard,

    Over the last two weeks we’ve obviously seen a demonstration of your “benevolent and benign” transcendental fascism, and your “defense to the death” of free speech:

    In the Australian Jewish News of Friday the 27th of June you invited members of the Jewish community to debate David Irving but admitted you had not thought of doing so until objections to the screening and interview were raised.

    On Wednesday the 2nd of July several paragraphs referring to my website – What’s Wrong With Wolstencroft? – were deleted from the “Art of the City” column in Beat magazine, possibly at your instigation but certainly for your benefit.

    On Thursday the 3rd of July, a day when you were supposed to be in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal defending your right to screen David Irving’s The Search for Truth in History, you were in a bar giving interviews to the media while festival staff handed out promotional videotapes. Nor did you, or any representative of MUFF, attend VCAT the following day.

    On Friday the 4th of July I was told, by an intermediary, that you wished me to make deletions from the website, including material which is a year old, to which you provided substantial responses at the time (which remain posted on the site), and which you at no time before last Friday asked me to alter or remove. I refused in spite of your threat of legal action.

    Your only public written response so far to What\’s Wrong With Wolstencroft? was a posting on the Melbourne Indymedia website on the evening of Saturday the 5th of July. In that posting you failed to address in any meaningful way the material on What’s Wrong With Wolstencroft?, constantly insulted myself and Ms Vanessa Steinberg, revealed private correspondence between yourself and Ms Steinberg, and claimed that I was accusing you of being a racist and an anti-semite in spite of my clear statements that:

    “…None of this is actually conclusive proof that Wolstencroft is racist, anti-semitic or deeply involved with any neo-fascist or neo-nazi groups…”

    and that you have to be “put through some serious questioning” and your views “investigate(d) more deeply” before any definite conclusions could be made about the nature of your brand of fascism.

    Over the last two weeks you have attempted to undermine access to public discourse for one of your critics while at the same time loudly insisting that a proven liar, racist and anti-semite deserves to have his opinions taken seriously by a paying audience. You have exploited the suffering and emotions of the victims and survivors of the nazi Holocaust, and their offspring, in an obvious and sickening attempt to promote yourself, your film festival and to make money.

    You are a liar, a coward, a hypocrite and a grossly insensitive egomaniac.

    Do not imagine that the continued support of many people for MUFF is support for you. Even I support the “Politics of History” screenings being allowed to take place and think some of this year’s programming is well worth showing. Do not imagine that your only critics are myself and some “Jewish censors” as one of your gallant champions called them. You have said my opinions are worthless because of my lack of activity in the film community, but given the public silence of a great many sane and sensible people who are active in that community I believe it is only the fact that I have nothing to lose which has allowed me to be so vocal in my criticism. You use the positive aspects of MUFF to prevent the raising of legitimate concerns about your leadership and general behaviour.

    If a similar film festival existed in this city you and your few genuine supporters would fade into a richly deserved irrelevance and final, whimpering oblivion and, sadly, take your festival with you.

    ____________________

    Before leaving you behind me forever I will give you one last opportunity to provide clear, succinct and honest answers to several questions, all of which are raised in “What Fascist is That?”

    – You have said that you openly admit to admiring figures such as Hitler and Mussolini. What do you admire about Hitler and Mussolini, and what aspects of their ideology and activities have influenced your own activities and world view?

    – If “transcendental fascism” is meant as a radical departure from any previous form of fascism then why use the term fascism at all?

    – Some elements of previous forms of fascism must necessarily be carried over into any supposedly new form of fascism. What are those elements?

    – How is a transformation of fascism into a “benign and benevolent political conception” compatible with your obvious contempt for the mass of humanity, admiration for militaristic dictators and conquerors, and your interest in violence and violent sex?

    – What beliefs, social attitudes, and philosophical positions do you share with Boyd Rice?

    – Before programming David Irving’s The Search for Truth in History, and writing your director’s statement and section introduction, to what extent were you aware of the several decades of criticism of Irving and the overwhelming evidence that his opinions have absolutely no veracity?

    – If you did not have this awareness, why not?

    You should then go to the Geocities website at: http://www.geocities.com, click on the link named “create your own website” and create your own website. It takes less than five minutes. Post your responses to these questions on that site and I will place a link to it from “What’s Wrong With Wolstencroft?” at the end of the page containing this letter. Any direct communication from you will be ignored. Someone else will tell me the URL.

    Having done this you might have proven that you’re not a *complete* coward.

    I urge anyone who reads this letter to ask Richard Wolstencroft these same questions whenever and wherever you may meet him.

    Voltaire said:

    “I violently disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    He also said:

    “God is not on the side of the heavy battalions, but of the best shots.”

    Yours sincerely,
    Shane Francis Lyons.

    Wednesday, July the 9th, 2003.

    4) Something I prepared earlier…

    On Tuesday July 19, the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF) will be screening two films by Crass. The filmmakers have requested that MUFF not screen the films: in solidarity, I ask filmgoers not to attend the screening.

    When I learnt that MUFF was going to be screening two films — Semi Detached & Christ: The Movie — by the anarchist punk band Crass (1977-1984) I was curious: after all, according to the festival’s neo-fascist Director, Richard Wolstencroft, ‘real-life violence’ is objectionable “not from any moral perspective” but because “real life violence is the ultimate in bad manners. It is rude.” He also openly admits to admiring Hitler, Mussolini and Mao; seemingly on the basis that these are powerful historical figures, and Wolstencroft worships power.

    Crass, on the other hand, are well-known for both their anarchism and their pacifism, and their objections to violence — as expressed in both film and music — are rooted in a deep moral commitment to egalitarian social change. Further, they are notorious for having lampooned other ‘powerful’ historical figures: Margaret Thatcher as The Mother of A Thousand Dead, among others.

    So I wrote to one of the filmmaker’s — Gee Vaucher — to ask how Crass felt about their films being screened at the Festival, and to ask them if they were aware that an appeal has been made to boycott the Festival on the basis of its alleged promotion of fascist ideology.

    (For more details, see Simon Castles, ‘Storm in a despot’, The Bulletin, May 26, 2004: http://bulletin.ninemsn.com.au/bulletin/eddesk.nsf/0/57C5A54B2AD9D127CA256E960082C728?open)

    The reply I received from Gee stated that she had tried to email the Festival organisers but was unable to reach them, and requested that I try and contact them on her behalf.

    Her statement reads as follows:

    “Dear people who organise the festival, it has come to our attention that you are showing two films made by GEE VAUCHER and MICK DUFFIELD at this year’s event. Due to your not asking or informing us of your intentions we would be grateful if you could remove them from your schedule which I believe is allocated for Tuesday 13th July. Apologies for the inconvenience but maybe another time. With respect. Gee and
    Mick”

    I’ve also tried to contact MUFF but, like Gee, have been unable to reach them. (It appears that their mailbox is permanently overflowing.)

    In any event, I think it unfair of MUFF to profit from the labour of independent filmmakers, especially when permission to do so has been neither sought nor granted. I therefore think it appropriate for those who genuinely care about underground filmmaking to not support those who would so cynically exploit it; by not attending the film screening tomorrow and by asking MUFF to explain their decision to screen these two films.

    For more on Crass:

    http://www.southern.com/southern/band/CRASS/

    For more on MUFF:

    http://www.muff.com.au

    For details on the screening:

    http://www.muff.com.au/film_info/apocalypse_crass.htm

    On anarchism and the fight against fascism:

    http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/anarchism/fight/fascism.html

  5. Wee Jin Suk says:

    “As for Kaufman’s participation, being a fascist does not necessarily mean one is anti-Semitic. It’s also entirely possible that Kaufman has little or no knowledge of or interest in Wolstencroft’s politics.”

    Wolstencraft supported Asian and Jewish etc film makers the 1st MUFF onwards. He is clearly not antsemitic or racist against people who are not overweight brown eyed anglos like himself.
    He is into freedom of speech and Loonar Watch have freedom of speech to object and shut him down too. As far as I am concerned he is a joker and not even close to transcending anything but petty niche marketing for personal gain and a lucky few have made massive gains through his crapola.
    Your points have just proved that he was basically in it for the controversy not that he is a genuine anti semite or fascist.

    The MUFF is useless and the MIFF is governement funded tripe. Crass could never play their instruments and Judaism is a big fantasy and so is Nazism.

    Case dismissed .. Do what you thou wilt shall be the whole of the law , as that famous Irish junkie who died alone in a boarding house in the run down English seaport of Hastings once said.

  6. Pingback: BadLit » Diving Into the MUFF

  7. Actually that famous Irish junkie was a famous English junkie. There is a slight difference.

  8. Wee Jin Suk says:

    Irish background , like Morrisey ..

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