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2006 Melbourne Underground Film Festival: Official Lineup

Logo for the Melbourne Underground Film Festival that is just yellow text on a black background

The Australian MUFF (hey, that sounds like a porno movie), aka the Melbourne Underground Film Festival, has posted their lineup in a super snazzy .pdf file, including a dense three-page Director’s Statement by Richard Wolstencroft entitled “Choking on Tokenism.” Download the whole thing here. (Right-click and “Save File As” — Tip: Don’t look at .pdfs in your browser.) And, by the way, “Tokenism” as defined by Wolstencroft is:

The practice of making only a perfunctory or symbolic effort to do something about a social or political problem.

The Australian government funds part of the movie industry down there and Wolstencroft is pissed money is going to films that highlight a social issue while at the same time the government doesn’t do a damn thing to seriously fix those exact issues. Reasonable complaint.

Here’s a list of the features and semi-features lineup (I’ll include anything over 45 mins.):

1) darklovestory: Dir. Jon Hewitt. Opening night film about star-crossed lovers in Sydney’s red light district who get embroiled in a heist-gone-wrong crime thriller. MUFF says: “Exactly the way Australian films should be, but aren’t.”

2) Stained: Dir. Mark Savage. Also showing on opening night, a dark drama about child pornography and the people who may or may not be producing it. A box set of Savage’s earlier films is going to be available in August in the states. Read more about that here.

3) Welcome Stranger: Dir. . Closing night film about two troubled teens hooking up and having a drug and alcohol fueled day.

4) Call Me: Dir. Tom McEvoy. A woman enlists her best friend to try and seduce her boyfriend.

5) Blue Notes: Dir. Bill Mousoulis. Five tales of depression.

6) When Darkness Falls: Dir. Rohan Spong. A film noir about a detective who is suspected of murder and must clear her name.

7) Caffeine: Dir. Paul Dowie. A coffee addict plays security guard at an all-night supermarket when he can’t sleep.

8) Pornstar Pets: Dir. Margie Schnibbe. A documentary about, yes, porn stars and their pets. Oh, what those animals have seen… (the cats and dogs, I mean)

9) Damon and Hunter: Doing It Together: Dir. Tony Comstock. Chronicling the ups and downs of a gay relationship.

10) Jupiter Love: Dir. Michael Andre. A female traveler is pursued by a mad stalker.

11) Gamers: Dir. Christopher Folino. A mockumentary about role-playing game addicts. With guest appearances by Kelly LeBrock, Beverly D’Angelo, William Herd and William Katt! (Read the underground movie review)

12) When Evil Reigns: Dirs. Luke and Alix Jackson. Teenagers fend off the living dead.

13) Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea: Dir. Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer. A documentary about an ecological disaster. Narrated by John Waters! (Read the underground movie review)

14) The Scent of Infection: Dir. Sean Murphy. “An allegory between sex and suicide.” (Love that title.)

15) Waiting for Nesara: Dir. Zeb Haradon. A documentary about messianic ex-Mormons after 9/11. (Read the underground movie review)

16) Dusk: Dir. Iqbal Barkat. A retired, misanthropic boxer tries to deal with life out of the ring.

17) Roseberry 7470: Dir. Stefan Popescu. A teenage girl deals with life in the suburbs.

18) Red White Black & Blue: Dir. Tom Putnam. Two WWII vets reminisce about a secret battle against the Japanese in Alaska. A documentary.

The festival is also showing a ton of short films in what they’re calling “Mini MUFF” and three special curated side fests by Rebecca “Beckster” Sutherland, Andrew Leovold and Bill Mousoulis. Plus, “Sexy MUFF” curated by Nik Vuko; an Australian Cult Cinema sidebar; obscure shorts and films by David Lynch, Lars Von Trier, Peter Watkins, Lindsay Anderson and George Romero. And finally, a special Troma Films retrospective with special guest Lloyd Kaufman and films:

1) Cry Uncle! (1970)
2) Mother’s Day (1980) — A favorite of mine.
3) Jefftowne (1998)
4) Touch Me in the Morning (1999) — By Underground Film Journal favorite Giuseppe Andrews.
5) Terror Fimer (1999)
6) Trailer Town (2003) — Also by Giuseppe Andrews.
7) Lollilove (2004) — Directed by and starring Jenna Fischer of the U.S. version of The Office.

I think I got everything. Check the online catalog for more info and there’s a lot more info in there. Also, visit the MUFF official site. And by the way: The fest runs July 6-16, which may be the longest and biggest underground fest I’ve seen.


Underground Film Feedback (4 comments)

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  • Hello! Thank you so much for mentioning our contribution to MUFF! If I may make a minor correction to your blurb about D&H.

    In a world where the only way that “serious films” address sex is by having one or more of the lovers die or get cholera or comsumption, ‘Doing it Together’ dares to show sex as pure joy, where the only consequences are good. There is no down in this film, only up (pardon the pun!)

    It’s no small trick to make a film with some degree narrative drive without putting the protagonists in peril, nor is it easy to resist the expectation to punish them for enjoying themselves or each other too much; especially if the enjoying is done san culottes!

    But I think (hope!) this film is successful enough on both counts to make a fun, sexy, and provocative evening out.

    Enjoy!

  • Mike says:

    Hey Tony, thanks for the clarification/longer description of your film. Sex is used as a “weapon” so much in films because it’s an easy source of conflict. Your film sounds like an interesting alternative. Hope the screening goes great!

  • If anyones at all interested… the site for my film WHEN DARKNESS FALLS is slowly being uploaded to : http://www.darkdames.net. CHeers!

  • Mike says:

    That’s great, Rohan. I’ll add the link to your film’s entry in the blog post. I try to find sites for all the films I feature, but sometimes come up short.