Art & Design


Milk Bar’s Guide to MUFF

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Pssst, want to know a secret? The twelfth annual Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF 12) starts this Friday, showcasing a mix of transgressive, independent and avant garde features and shorts from around the world – many of which considered too confrontational to be exhibited at mainstream festivals.

MUFF 12 opens with the notoriously graphic A Serbian Film, a 2010 horror about a porn star unwillingly drafted into a snuff movie. With a warning from festival organisers “this is the sickest film we’ve ever played”, you know it’ll be a night to remember.

This will be followed by seven days of Sci-Fi and experimental shorts, as well as a handful of recent Australian films including Come and Get Me and Citizen Jia Li. The themed retrospective, “Destroy All Movies”, pays homage to Andy Warhol’s Lonesome Cowboys and his infamous collaboration with Paul Morrissey – the Trash trilogy. MUFF 12 wraps up rather appropriately with another Serbian shocker, Life and Death of a Porno Gang, which tells the story of just that.

Censorship is a running theme at MUFF, as various screenings organised by festival director Richard Wolstencroft have been cancelled in the past due to censorship issues. Some films in the MUFF 12 program have been heavily edited just so they can be shown. The subject of censors and their impact on underground cinema will be the topic of a panel discussion with film lecturer Dr Glenn D’Cruz and 3RRR’s Boris Trbic. This forum will follow a screening of Pasolini’s controversial masterpiece Salò: 120 Days of Sodom. Other seminars will be headed by writer/producer Billy Marshall Stoneking, a patriarch of Australian screenwriting.

With a mixed bag of the harrowing, violent and downright ugly, MUFF 12 gives Melburnians the chance to see films not normally showcased on the big screen. For film goers who wish to put their bravado to the test, MUFF 12 has a seditious selection of offerings to suit even the fussiest of underground appetites. Full ticketing and session times can be found at the link below, but shhh… don’t tell anyone.

The Melbourne Underground Film Festival runs Friday 19th – Sat 27th August.
For full program and ticketing information please visit:

DISCLAIMER: Milk Bar Mag would like to clarify that we do not share the political views of festival director Richard Wolstencroft.


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