Home Film Censorship ‘Gay Zombie Porn’ Australia Censorship Woes + ‘Undertow’ at MixBrasil

‘Gay Zombie Porn’ Australia Censorship Woes + ‘Undertow’ at MixBrasil


Gay zombie porn”: Bruce LaBruce’s L.A. Zombie, in which gay porn star François Sagat is a Los Angeles zombie (or a schizophrenic homeless man?) who uses (really kinky?) sex to bring the dead back to life

What’s a democracy? A place where police can raid someone’s house because its resident has dared to show a banned movie? Nah. Those things would never happen in a democracy. By the way, one such instance has just taken place in Australia.

For holding a public “protest screening” of Bruce LaBruce’s L.A. Zombie, a cinematic mix of sex & gore, at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (website) back in August, Melbourne police have raided the home of filmmaker Richard Wolstencroft, MUFF’s founder and director.

You’d think Melbourne police would have better things to do, and you’re undoubtedly right. But attempting to confiscate kinky “gay zombie porn” – which had already been destroyed – sounds like so much more fun than going after real criminals. Think about it.

The Australian Classification Board, a censorship group that acts as the mommies and daddies of Australians, had banned L.A. Zombie shortly before it was to be screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival last July. Hence MUFF’s “protest screening.”

“We thought that police might come for the screening,” Wolstencroft was quoted as saying in Agence France-Presse. “But they didn’t. We don’t understand why they came after all this time.”

As per the IMDb, Wolstencroft’s directorial efforts are Bloodlust (1992), The Intruder (1994), Pearls Before Swine (1999), and an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and the Damned (2008).

The filmmaker had previously found himself embroiled in controversy when in 2003 MUFF attempted to screen Holocaust denier David Irving’s The Search for Truth in History. The screening was canceled at the last minute officially because of security fears.

LaBruce’s L.A. Zombie, which features gore, explicit and simulated gay sex, and Los Angeles sights, has been shown at film festivals in Berlin, Toronto (ironically, gay movies recently faced censorship issues in Canada), Locarno, Moscow, and will soon be screened in Paris and São Paulo.

In a Aug. 18 entry in his L.A. Zombie diary, LaBruce wrote the following about his latest effort:

What started out as a modest conceptual idea for an art exhibition is now a minor motion picture set to go into post-production. … I knew we were trying to do something fairly ambitious for the extremely limited funds that we had, but in some ways I think we actually pulled off the impossible in a way. Sometimes pure force of will is all you can rely on.

The project may still turn out to be a fiasco, or it may be true art, but one thing is for sure: it was an intense experience that I’ll never forget, no matter how hard I try.

Another source for this post: ABC News


François Sagat in Bruce LaBruce’s L.A. Zombie

The 18th MixBrasil Film Festival of Sexual Diversity (a longer but much more appropriate moniker than “queer”) will take place Nov. 11-18 in São Paulo and Nov. 26 (only one day) in Rio de Janeiro.

MixBrasil will open with a screening of Javier Fuentes-León’s Peruvian drama Contracorriente / Undertow, World Cinema (Dramatic) Audience Award winner at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and Peru’s 2011 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission. This supernatural romantic drama has been described as “Ghost meets Brokeback Mountain.”

Among the other screening films featuring people (and a few zombies) of various sexual orientations are:

  • Bruce LaBruce’s L.A. Zombie, a psychological, socially conscious, sexually explicit trip through decadent Los Angeles, where XXX superstar François Sagat’s flesh-eating zombie brings back to life the dead men he finds on his path.
  • Danish-based Brazilian filmmaker Carlos Oliveira’s feature-film debut Rosa Morena, about the adoption of a poor Brazilian child by a (gay) father from wealthy Denmark. Rosa Morena stars Anders W. Berthesen, David Dencik, and Bárbara Garcia.
  • Dennis Todorovic’s Sasha, about a young man (Sascha Kekez) whose German-resident family hails from Montenegro, and who keeps himself locked deep in the closet for fear his ultra-macho father (Predrag Bjelac) will find out about his sexual orientation. Things take a radical change when Sasha discovers that his beloved piano teacher (Tim Bergmann) is leaving the country.

Photo: MixBrasil.

Gay Ghost Love Story ‘Undertow’: New York & Los Angeles Screenings


Manolo Cardona, Cristian Mercado, Contracorriente / Undertow

Javier Fuentes-León’s Contracorriente / Undertow, winner of the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance 2010 and Peru’s submission to the 2011 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, opens Friday, Nov. 26, at New York’s Cinema Village and Los Angeles’ Laemmle’s Sunset 5 (actually in West Hollywood).

Undertow‘s synopsis, via distributor The Film Collaborative, reads as follows:

In this unique ghost story set on the Peruvian seaside, a married fisherman struggles to reconcile his devotion to his male lover within his town’s rigid traditions. Miguel (Cristian Mercado), a handsome young fisherman, and his beautiful bride, Mariela (Tatiana Astengo), are about to welcome their first child. But Miguel harbors a secret; he’s in love with Santiago (Manolo Cardona), a painter, who is ostracized by the town because he’s gay. After a tragic accident occurs, Miguel must choose between sentencing Santiago to eternal torment or doing right by him and, in turn, revealing their relationship to Mariela—and the entire village.

Its Los Angeles area opening means that Undertow will also be eligible for the 2011 Oscars’ regular categories as well. Will Academy members pay attention to a small, Spanish-language movie? We shall see.

Official site.

Future screenings include:

December 17
Miami, Coral Gables Art Cinema
Boca Raton, Living Room Theaters, Boca Raton

December 24
Portland, Living Room Theaters, Portland

December 31
Seattle, Landmark

January 7
San Diego, Landmark
Miami, Miami Dade College’s Tower Theater

January 21
Palm Springs, Cinémas Palme D’Or

January 28
Washington, D.C., Landmark

February 4
Boston, Landmark
Denver, Landmark

TBD
Chicago, Landmark
Philadelphia, Landmark
Minneapolis, Landmark

Photo: Héctor Álvarez / The Film Collaborative.

‘Happy Holiday’s news

A while back, Alt Film Guide did a q&a with filmmaker James C. Ferguson, whose Woody Allenish comedy-drama Happy Holidays, co-written by Ferguson and Tom Misuraca, centers on the dysfunctional friendship of three school friends reunited at their Connecticut hometown right before Christmas. One man (Paul Hungerford) is a gay guy at odds with his father; another (Thomas Rhoads) is a cheating husband (and devout Catholic) in town for his father’s funeral; and a third (John B. Crye) has just converted to Judaism so as to match the faith of the latest woman in his life.

Ferguson has some news about Happy Holidays, which can be found on the film’s Facebook page.

0 comment

You may also like

Leave a Comment

IMPORTANT: By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by Alt Film Guide. Make sure your comment adds something relevant to the discussion; *thoughtfulness* and *at least a modicum of sanity* are imperative. Abusive/bigoted, trollish/inflammatory, baseless (spreading misinformation, whether intentionally or not), spammy, and/or just plain deranged comments will be zapped. And finally, links found in submitted comments will generally be deleted.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you continue browsing, that means you've accepted our Terms of Use/use of cookies. You may also click on the Accept button on the right to make this notice disappear. Accept Read More