Aug 242009

>We’ve just got word from Jennifer Lyon Bell that her CineKink award-winning short film, Matinée, has been banned from screening publicly in Australia.


Jennifer’s piece was scheduled to run tomorrow at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. But the event has been informed by the nation’s censorship board, the Office of Film and Literature Classification, that of all of the selections submitted for permission to screen as “unrated”–which is typically how Australian festivals are able to screen independent works which haven’t gone through a costly classification process–Matinée could not be exhibited. (Another film presented at CineKink, Tony Comstock‘s documentary Damon & Hunter enjoyed this dubious distinction back in 2006!)

In a statement of protest published by MUFF, Jennifer questions the OFLC’s decision:

The sexual relationship portrayed by the characters Mariah and Daniel in Matinée is not only a consensual, emotional and nuanced relationship, but their sex plays an important role in the story of the film. The story is not tacked on to the sex; rather, the story has everything to do with the way the characters continue to communicate nonverbally throughout the entire sex scene.

And festival director Richard Wolstencroft, after extolling the work’s artistic merits and noting its relevance in promoting a positive view of female sexual empowerment, criticizes the ban as sexist and hypocritical in light of other recent descisions by the OFLC :

Lars Von Trier’s ‘Antichrist’ was recently passed by the OFLC for the Melbourne International Film Festival. This film depicts extremely high levels of sexual violence and genital mutilation, and encourages a phallocentric vision in its audience that touches on the idea that women are inherently evil. ‘Matinee’ depicts actual sex between two adults in a loving and consenting partnership, and significantly it focuses on the importance of women’s pleasure in sexual intimacy, and presents a remarkably strong female lead. Passing ‘Antichrist’ but banning ‘Matinee’ reveals a tendency in the OFLC to suppress films which strengthen female sexuality on screen and to allow films which encourage view that female sexuality is damaged, fractured or violent.

There’s been some talk that MUFF will go ahead with its originally intended screening as an act of civil disobedience. That would be as part of the Mini Muff Session #5, scheduled for Wednesday, August 26 @ 7pm.

Jul 292008

>There are definitely a few more significant issues we might ponder. The Child Online Protection Act (COPA) was struck down again, as an appeals court upheld last year’s ruling by a federal judge that the act is “overbroad and unconstitutional.” And an entirely different appeals court just tossed out the FCC fine that was once levied across Janet Jackson’s infamously bare nipple.

But it’s hot and it’s sticky. And we’d just as soon sit here in the dark a/c, looking at sexy women in our underwear. Or their underwear, rather.

We’re not sure if this is actually provocative or our worst freshman gym class nightmare finally realized…but enjoy!

(Snagged from Violet Blue, whose post on sex in advertising could have us procrastinatingresearching examples for days to come!)

Jul 122007

>Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

From director Michael Ney comes word that photographer Noel Graydon died last week from heart failure.

Subject of the documentary, Liberty in Restraint, which played CineKink in both short (Best Documentary Short/CineKink 2004) and feature (CineKink 2005) versions, Noel had been a fixture of the Sydney fetish world for over a decade. For five years he trained and worked as a BDSM Master, aka “Master Venom,” and established the friendships which led him to genuinely photograph and capture this sometimes clandestine world.

Noel began his career as an assistant to a commercial photographer and assistant video cameraman in several video production companies. During this time he pursued freelance photojournalism with several newspapers and street press. As a photojournalist, Noel covered a variety of fields including humanities, Gen X and sexual lifestyle issues. His work was published in many magazines in Australia, as well as in the UK’s SkinTwo. He also spent time with Flesh magazine as their BDSM columnist and recently launched a series of podcasts documenting many aspects of the fetish world.

The funeral will be held Friday, July 13 in Brisbane, Australia, with his wife, Annette, and their two daughters, as well as his parents and sister.  Noel was 36.

Our very best thoughts to his family, friends and colleagues. Noel will surely be missed.