Monday, July 27, 2009


MIFF reads a bit like MILF. Do your own research on MILF. MIFF stands for Melbourne International Film Festival. Among the dross at MIFF, there are often gems. MIFF is a great thing in Melbourne. So many people dressed in black queued up to get into to see films. Very Melbourne.

Normally at MIFF time, it is botheration over censorship or what is deemed to be a controversial film. Not this year. The big guns are out.

The Chinese Embassy has been on the dog and bone, protesting about one film they did not like and which they thought reflected badly on China. The organiser chappie took no notice and the film remained in the schedual.

Then three Chinese made films were withdrawn, the makers no doubt under the influence of the government.

A British bloke withdrew his film because Israel funded travel to Melbourne of one of the Jewish film makers. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all have sympathy for the Palestinian cause but really, does he not know that the film festival audience is made up entirely of Palestinian supporters anyway?

To the credit of MIFF, the boss bloke has said to them, youse can all get fucked (paraphrase). It is my film festival I will do how I want.

Seriously, if Film Festivals start pulling movies because of political pressure, they will have lost their way. This time China and a Palestinian sympathiser. What next? We may not like what is shown, but it is up to the selectors so long as they judge by the standard criteria.

Of course the publicity generated by the telephone call from the Chinese Embassy to the film festival director has ensured a full house performance. China has a bit to learn about publicity.


  1. I'm so friggin' ignorant. I had no idea that any of that was going on.

    In fact the first I knew of this years MIFF was when the housemate left a copt of the program on the kitchen table, even then I only picked it up because of the hot looking wrester types on the cover.

    I've decided, despite my blanket shunning of all things fashionable, I may yet venture forth to see a couple of films. Most likely the really corny Eastern European slasher films. They look like my cup of tea, unless anyone can recommend something better?

  2. errr just had a quick flick through the program: 350 films! wouldnt have minded seeing anna karenina in conversation,(live!) page 6 lower left, or maybe page 10, film ist. a girl and a gun: features archival footage? i loved shooting the past by stephen poliakoff (1999)

  3. Saw someone reading the program on the train this morning.

    I read last week that the British bloke also pulled the same stunt at the Edinburgh (I think?) film festival, and they folded to his demands.

    Good on the the MIFF for not caving in to political shenanigans.

    As a letter in The Age last week said, it is ultimately a loss for the British bloke not showing his film to an audience, rather than a loss for the MIFF.

  4. I have not even seen the program Mutant, so you are step ahead of me and also with considering seeing a movie.

    Poet, as I don't have a program, I am not sure of the films you mention. I heard Anna K on the radio briefly today. Interesting.

    Missed that about Edinburgh Ben. What a pity they caved. Exactly what not to do. If at least Western countries stuck together on these matters, then such prima donnas would lose their power.

  5. The Big Deal this festival is the reissue of Richard Lowensteins DOGS IN SPACE the story of the Melb punk scene with Michael Hutchence playing the character based on Sam Sejavka of The Ears band - his blog is sailsofoblivion.blogspot

    what about those hacking Chinese eh ?

  6. Thanks twice MS. Why do I associate Dogs in Space with David Bowie. Now I understand. Space Dogs, separate.

    And damn me, I meant to include about the Chinese hacking but forgot. When you have several thousand Chinese mainlanders attacking your website, you must be doing something right.

  7. if you can be bothered theres a reasonable facsimile of the program guide here, you click on the arrow to turn the pages

  8. My girlfriend and I both tried to score tickets to Inglorious Basterds with Tarantino opening the film, but they sold out in moments. Program looks good though, and this controversy generating media and attention trick is still kicking it old school.

  9. Thanks Poet.

    I like Tarantino. Girlfriend Rob? I wasn't aware. So there go all the rumours Andy spreads about you.

  10. Indeed. It's been a little over a month. Andy hasn't really let up on the comments as he's yet to meet her. He requires proof of life before stopping such rumours! I've developed a keen sense of privacy over it, so that'll explain why she hasn't hit the blog!