Saturday, July 08, 2006

Miffed by Stonecock's MUFF.

 I notice I'm getting plenty of hits on this story for some unfathomable reason, maybe it's funny, maybe it's twisted, I haven't got a fucking clue. I know it comes across as extra bitter, I honestly thought nobody would read this shit, I just have fun getting the hair out of my arse, so forgive my ratbag rave, it's part of running the gauntlet that is the 'arts' world, my life's travail.

I'm always amazed by how much people kid themselves, that is, believe their own bullshit eg. John Howard, George Bush, Kim Ill Jung: all the power-mongering fuckwits earnestly believe the guff they ladle out, especially when it's to do with their own prowess and activities. A case in point is Richard Woollstonecock, the "director" of MUFF, the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. In his brochure for this years crap-fest he writes, so badly it's almost unreadable, that he's a true-blue supporter of the grass-roots Auz Film Industry, that the govt. film funding bodies are a bunch of tokenistic, mean Philistines and that he and his gang are revolutionaries, eschewing money and fame for cinematic bean sprouts and tee-pee theaters in Utopia, or some such nonsense, behind the facade it's actually concentration camps, all the time quoting Heidegger, promoting German expressionism and squawking fascistic anarchism. (As if bad vampire videos and Tarantino-rip offs are revolutionary?) Who does he think he's kidding? 14 year old Hollywood wannabes?

Last year a friend of mine in Sydney got my film, "Virgin Beasts" into MUFF 6 and I flew down to Melbourne for the occasion. I was given the arctic slot of 11.30 pm on a winter's Saturday night and not a soul came, not Stonecock himself either, no gracious director like I've met at other festivals: an empty theatre, but I brought 7 members of my family and fulfilled a childhood dream, of showing my own movie in a real theatre on Collins Street, site of all my early silver-screen orgasms, (think Regent, Metro Collins, Plaza Cinerama and Athenaem Cinemas where I saw Some like It Hot, Gorgo, 2001 Space Odyssey and The Longest Day.) (I grew up in the movie theaters of Melbourne.) The night before my film screened, Dickie showed a piece of shit film by an American wanker who Dickie was all over like an STD: the film was a rip-off of the classic "The Warriors" and you could hear Dickie's tongue slurping as he followed the American around.

What truly irked me and has me writing this shite is the Yankee video nasty-guy was most infamous for making yet another exploitation flick of the Sharon Tate murders, this one in exceptionally bad taste, he's the only bastard to show poor Sharon Tate getting knifed on screen, repeatedly, like he got off on it, so gross it's a big turn off and to think Dickie sucked up to this creep. Also the mug got drunk, thought he was just too cool for us Aussie dags, abused us the audience and the projectionist till I wanted to kick him in the arse.

When I walked up to the great festival director to say hello and get my warm festival welcome, I got 4 free tickets to my own movie shoved briskly into my hands and as I tried to ask how his fest was going I found I was talking to his back as he walked away, he just wasn't interested in me. So much for supporting Aussie grass-roots artists, it was all a load of cods-wallop dished out for dumb shallow fame whores. (I often get this response, as soon as some upper-class trendoid power-monger spots me entering the door, an aging ugly homo in non-designer clothes, I'm given the blow-off.)

There was no friendly glass of beer at the bar, slap on the back in mate-ship or jolly dinner full of raconteur tales of film-making; no enthusiastic chat about my years of showing underground films in all the rock'n'roll venues of Sydney, no questions about my winning the 1st International Trash Film Festival in France beating 6 other freaky nations, nothing, just a view of his arse as it swayed off to chase the American braggart. When I got back to Sydney my friends asked if I'd been feted, met at the airport by a limmo, put up in a 3 star hotel? I laughed bitterly. Not that I expected it, I've been around the traps too long. I was left in the Melbourne gutter to eat the icy sleet that rained in my face, that's what I'm used to. Some revolutionary that Stonecock is. Has he ever been arrested for some civil disobedient, situationist stunt like I have 13 times? No, I don't think so. His idea of rebellion is to heckle the director of the St.Kilda Film Fest from which he'd been excluded years ago and over which he's been ruminating sour grapes like a cow with mad filmmaker's disease ever since.

His special guest for this year's MUFF is Lloyd Kaufman, of Trauma Film experiences, New York, and Stonecock lauds him like the 2nd cinematic coming, possibly fishing to have his own flatulent celluloid picked up by the Maestro of exploitation flicks. I just received my umpteenth invoice from Trauma telling me , after 15 years of showing it around the world, it has finally made $3000 and I now only OWE them $63000. The only reason it finally made money according to their fuzzy accounting is that my film product is all over the satellite  networks and obviously doing some business and thus they can't bullshit me forever. Underground filmmakers beware, don't dream of riches and fame thru Trauma, think of bloodsucking, triage and emergency bandages instead. "Virgin Beasts", with it's animation and rock'n'roll, took me 10 years to get it to see the light and as far as Trauma is concerned I could've starved to death since it's completion, for Lloyd's got his Rolls Royce and his kid's private school fees to pay for. It's a good thing I'm not down there in Melbourne for the meet and greet, otherwise I'd have lambasted all those pseudos with my intrepid punk vitriol.

The real truth is that Dickie Woollstonecock is hankering to be the great auteur filmmaker and have us all lick his shitty boots. If the Govt. Film Financiers offered him $10 million he'd stretch his arsehole to fit it all in comfortably, and eye Hollywood with feverish, delusional grandeur. His MUFF is for all those desperate wannabes who dream of celebrity and riches via a 7 minute piece of sludge wherein they stare wistfully at the camera for the whole shoot with some red paint, as blood, spurted across their mugs for vicarious enjoyment. Most of the underground films are dreary in the extreme, especially the celluloid dysentery that pours out of 'Stonecock', he shows his own crap every year, even if it's just the video time-stopped rough cut, he thinks he's such a genius even his bum-prints will impress us.

And every year he writes a long bitch rave in his brochures about being fucked over by the Establishment; well this Blogged one of mine is out in public to match it. Thank nogod I'm out of all that competitive posturing and vampiric glad-handling, especially to do with film. I've never met a bigger bunch of cunts than filmmakers, they'd sell their grandmothers into third world brothels for a slot in a cinema and a shot at some arse-lick awards. I know I come across as bitter and twisted, I am! Actually I'm relieved to be burnt out, non-caring, retired in my Surry Hills flat, contemplating world history and nursing the old and dying a few days a week, writing out my punk attitude as if in a bunker at the end of history, and all filmmakers, critics, festival directors, entrepreneurs and stars can go fuck themselves.

The reason I'm raving on and on about all this is I can't stand bullshit artists, the con most fools wank on with to get themselves some attention, like their soul's worth depends on it, (and now that religion has been dumped by these cynical times, movies are the only shot at immortality left.) Dick's rant in his MUFF brochure stuck in my craw; as a nobody human I expect to be shat on in the big rush to Somebodyhood, I just wish THEY would be honest about it and not pretend THEY are saving my arse when in reality THEY are standing on it to get a leg up.

P.S. I just got a chip-spitting reply from Stonecock, some American WEB eagle-eye had spotted my rave; I'm amused and stunned that it got read, by somebody on the other side of the world! And Dickie did his ingrained bullshit response, again kidding himself, calling me a bitter failure, and how cool in reality he was to me. In fact he was very rude, he actually showed me his arse when I tried to speak to him, like he's an alpha baboon, and I didn't even get 3 words in greeting. It never worries me too much about being fussed over by the organizers or attracting big audiences as long as I can get a few souls to put their bums on seats, which I did, it's the 'realness' of the people involved that I'm looking for. I tried to promote my own film by quickly flying down to Melbourne and putting up posters wherever I could; I'm over radio-interviews etc, and it's true my old film is not worth the effort, it's already done the rounds, I just expected some respect from the "director" who raves about supporting the "Aussie rebels of Filmdom", but he was too up himself to bother with "nobodies" like me. He was and is a star-fucker, the grass-roots strugglers and ground-breakers don't really interest him, I suspect he just wants to further his own non-career with all the bullshit. I actually paid him for the tickets to the American wanker's film because I felt sorry that no one was going to his low-rent festival, and yes, I'm a bitter/twisted punk who hates all the poseurs and starry-eyed careerists.

Repeat, I'm glad I'm out of the "Business", it was a horrible experience of vampiric inhumanity, the gladiator wannabe filmmakers, the Film Commission, the Festivals , the critics etc. When I was in the 'game' I got stabbed in the back so many times here in Auz, with the 'cringe factor' ruling, I was from the wrong class and gender and I always got shown the back-door even tho my films showed all around the world and won 2 cool International film awards, something Stonecock will never achieve. I can't even believe I'm still spending time wasting my glucose over it.

Blogging is fun,  it gets the hairs out of your arse, like hyperventilating, you can even catch your breath. But I should be careful what I moan about, for lo and behold, people actually read me and I could get lynched, an irreverent sense of humor is sorely lacking in this uptight world, and satire is mistaken for insults. I just can't help myself, I get anxious if I don't write or draw daily, my serontonin uptakes get clogged and I do silly things around the city like throw temper tantrums in cinema queues.

My diatribe upon Mr. Woolstone of MUFF fame got me his attention, he's now written a conciliatory letter asking my forgiveness for his rude treatment and the tripping of my sensitive artist's umbrage-meter, even inviting me to be special guest at next year's MUFF, promising air-tickets, a 3-Star serviced apartment, trumpet fanfare and grand prime-time sessions for my trashy non-films, also teaching up and comers the pitfalls of film-making, and asking me to reconsider my renunciation of the genre, for Auz cinema needs me. I think he's trying to pull my chain, as I pulled his, but I'll take it at face-value and see it as a rapprochement, and thank him kindly. But I was sincere, I'm out of 'the game', with much relief, blessedly, film-making no longer interests me, it's a mug's game for the most, one out of a 1000 might find celluloid satisfaction, even glory, but I don't want to waste my life chasing the false gold of 'tinsel town'.

I now find it hard to believe I put in so much effort making films all those years ago, and I was never so unhappy as then and, repeat, I never met such a bunch of awful people as hungry filmmakers on the make, trust me, they fucked me over mercilessly for the few scraps of fame they clawed their way to. Even living in Northcott Housing Ghetto and getting my face wiped with the arse of Kings Cross has been pleasant in comparison. I'll eventually tell the horrid story of my torturous journey in the Z-list level of the Auz film industry in "The 7 Lives of the Punk Poofy Cat" and I'll leave it to readers to discover it in any future publication, if it happens, maybe later in this Blog site. I'm proud to be a nurse and help the dying reach the 'Pearly Gates' in comfort and peace, and I still draw/paint/write works that deeply satisfy my artistic soul, and that's enough to scratch my artist's compulsive itch.

So Richard, forgive me for my over-reaction, the more you read of the "7 Lives", the more you'll come to understand why I'm such a monster, I've received so many kicks in the teeth, I just don't take it with a whimper, and never did. I'm bemused by your huge efforts at running a film festival for all the Underground/no budget, big dream projects, and if you want to hit out at the A-listers, that makes me laugh as they need shit thrown on their snooty, designer outfits/outlooks. As do you. I eventually discovered you are indeed a neo-nazi, a holocaust denier, a sado-masochist and racist dickhead, anathema to my beliefs. You apparently long have been a fuckwit gronk, showing shit films that any cool person would be ashamed of just to play at being clever and daring, an enfant terrible who needs a brain swap. My intuition about your personality was spot-on, as ever. Just to show you what my daily life involves,and  your rants and festivals don't register as important, read my diary entry that follows.

As I rode out of Northcott this morning on my trusty bike, I ran into the Housing Estate's Liason Officer, and he told me he's reading my blog. Nogod help me, I wonder how he get onto it, except maybe WEB searching for Northcott and finding missives from my bunker like "Murder Mystery at Northcott". I'm terrified my life will be disrupted by all my little hyperventilations getting aired, "They" will now be able to pinpoint me exactly, like computerized bombers, and I might get blown away, but modern living has that as a given, and a cool artist should never be afraid if his/her art causes ripples in the muddy pond. Dom, the Northcott Liason Officer, took offense at the words "Housing Ghetto", I can only reply that for us actually living in the place, it's a version of Purgatory. At least it's great grist for the mill of my psycho scribblings.

Housing Dept and Health Dept officials are welcome to their 'brick tower' views, but it's we denizens who suffer, from the muggings, the robberies, the murders, the mess, the noise, the breakdowns, and I simply have to get the horror off my chest, after 16 years of surviving it. "They" should live next to Eric the Beserker and see how "They" like it. Poor 85 year old Dolly on the other side of Eric deserves a quiet old age after 60 years of slavery and bringing up a family, but no, she's daily tortured by the creature, he even broke her arm once in a furor, all because the Health Dept. have dumped him there to save money, and the Housing Dept. don't have a say in the matter. It's me who gets to chase him off and listen out for her.

And only yesterday, on my way home after a tough night-shift in the Hospice for the Dying, I was importuned by a zombie who offered me ICE. When I told him to go to Antarctica if he wanted ICE he got aggressive, like the ape-man he is, and said he would bash me the next time he saw me. He then staggered back into the Pottery, the Paris end of Northcott, where some brainless cave-woman is putting him up, no doubt. This is what we denizens of the Housing Ghetto constantly face, and we walk in fear whenever we leave our doors, it's like a horror movie, surely in my old age I can find a little peace? No, now I have to look over my shoulder every time I go out, but I'm ready with my bike-chain, old as I am, I've survived years on the streets of Melbourne, India, Sydney's squats, and the back-alleys of Kings Cross, so I'm not that scared. But I'll leave it to "The 7 Lives of the Punk Poofy Cat" for you to figure out how I got to be in this invidious position, and become this monstrous character, like Frankenstein's creature crying for a human heart in the ice-cold wastelands.

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.