Sticky Fundraiser, David & Margaret at ACMI, MUFF, Foto Biennale and Cherry Blossoms the Weekend

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August 18, 2011 5:00 pmtoAugust 21, 2011 11:00 pm

Hi there milky bar kids. Straight into it: MUFF generates so much grist for the grindhouse that even deciding whether or not to include it in an events listing can be contentious, and not just due to the content of the festival’s program. Any discussion of the festival will unavoidably lead to a discussion of festival director Richard Wolstencroft and his politics. MUFF raises a lot of questions, and we at Milk Bar like questions. Our first question for you this week is – Do you feel in the mood to watch some graphic depictions of violence and necrophilla, or would you prefer a day trip to the National Rhododendron Gardens to view the cherry blossoms?

Shock and Gore
MUFF is a unique event where films that would otherwise not be screened because they are unpopular, weird, tasteless, poorly made, have terrible acting, are banned, or are extreme right wing racist Neo-Nazi Holocaust denying propaganda are thrust into the public’s face like the penis of a homeless man who believes he’s an alien zombie sent to earth to resurrect the dead by engaging in homosexual sex. But MUFF isn’t all torture and porn and torture porn, this year’s program also contains a rom com (The Little Things). If you’re into robust intellectual debate on the line between art and pornography, if you feel the need to exercise your right as an adult to make your own decisions about what you can watch by watching something nobody needs to see, if you want to know what Gumby would look like with a tit, want to see some Ozplotation or if you just get off on watching fucked up shit MUFF has something for everybody…well it’s definitely not for everybody, but you know what I mean.
What: Film screenings and shit stirring
Where: Memo / Dog’s Bar, St. Kilda
When: Fri 19 – Sun 27 August
Web: www.muff.com.au

Margaret and David at ACMI
On the subject of film, Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton are to me a highlight of Australian television. Not only are they informative and insightful on ‘At the Movies’, but entertaining in their banter and mannerisms. For some reason, I see them as the cute pixie in earrings and the jolly lawn gnome. 2011 marks their 25th year on television and to celebrate, ACMI has developed a special commemorative exhibition featuring never-before-seen interviews, photos and the opportunity to step into someone else’s earrings and critique a movie of your own.
When: Now until 4 Dec, 10am – 6pm daily
Where: ACMI at Fed Square, FREE
Web: www.acmi.net.au/media-margaret-david.htm

Cold Snaps
Still on film – The Ballarat International Foto Biennale is a multi-tiered, month long festival of photography staged in over 50 venues throughout the City of Ballarat. The program features exhibitions, projections, special events and workshops, while the size of Ballarat makes it easy to get from one event to the next. My favourite so far is Young by photographer Kirrilee Bailey – a series of portraits of six young women exploring “states of loneliness and moments of pathos, as the subjects undergo a coming of age”. Bailey captures a raw and honest teen angst that John Duigan or John Hughes would be proud of. Ballarat is an 80 minute train ride from Melbourne. It’s bloody cold there so take a scarf.
What: Photography Festival
Where: The Rat, Grind My Bean, 204 – 206 Strut Street, Ballarat
When Aug 20 – Sept 18
Web: www.ballaratfoto.org/bifb11/structure.html

Funding Cut (CTRL X) and Paste (CTRL Y)
In today’s online information age it’s easy to forgot about the tangible supporters of real world practitioners, and people like the crew at Sticky Institute can end up an after thought. Sticky provides both logistical and emotional support as well as a retail outlet (in the underground bypass to Flinders St Station) for self publishers, zine makers, comic artist, photographers and crafters – they even have a button maker where you can make your own badges. It seems the Government no longer sees the cultural value in what Sticky do and this year they’ve missed out on funding. Despite this many people, including a collection of some great bands (Oscar and Martin, Parking Lot Experiments, Brothers Hand Mirror and more) still treasure Sticky and are organising a fund raiser to help keep them going. If you still think cutting and pasting is sometimes best done with scissors and glue or just feel like seeing a good show check out Love Don’t Pay The Rent, or stop by Sticky and say hello.
When: Sun 21 Aug, 7:30pm – 11:00pm
Where: The Toff In Town – Second Floor, Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street
Tix: $13.30 + $3.20 BF = $16.50 online presales
Web: www.stickyinstitute.com/rent/1.html

The National Rhododendron Gardens and Olinda
OK, so I might be getting a bit ahead of myself but when cherry blossoms start to come out the best place to celebrate the imminent spring is the National Rhododendron Gardens in Olinda. The gardens are host to an unparalleled variety of brilliantly coloured blooms, rhododendrons (duh), azaleas, camellias, cherries and daffodils spread over 40 hectares and features a gorgeous lake with stunning views of the Australian Alps. Fauna includes King Parrots, Crimson Rosellas and, if you’re lucky, the superb Lyrebird. Guided tours are available or you’re welcome to explore on your own. For best results take a picnic and if there’s time after lunch check out William Rickets Sanctuary just down the road. If visiting from Friday to Sunday the famous Bavarian Chalet Cuckoo Restaurant is open for dinner with yodeling, wood chopping, slap dancing, and if you end up imbibing too many steins of lager there are a number of places to stay including the Camelot Tower and Penthouse, which offers a  $36,000 French Bed, one of Australia’s finest. Oh la la!
What: Pretty nature stuff, Bavarian food, fancy French beds.
Where: Olinda is a one hour drive from Melbourne in the Dandenong Ranges, or 90 minutes on public transport with buses departing from Belgrave Station.
When: The National Rhododendron Gardens are open 10am-5pm daily except Xmas Day
Web: www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/1park_display.cfm?park=162

Namatjira is the story of the artist himself, who in the 1930s sold out shows within minutes and was recognised as the first Aboriginal citizen of Australia. Big hART productions provides the audience the opportunity to be transported into the art studio alongside Namatijira’s descendants, highlighting the collaborations between Namatjira and Rex Battarbee. It is a production described as being a “collaboration between white fellas and black fellas”, the story of one of Australia’s most influential artists.
What: Theatre
Where: Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne
When: Now until Sat 28 Aug
Web: www.malthousetheatre.com.au/page/Namatjira

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