Natalie Gravenor | Wednesday July 21st, 2010
The Australian film classification board notified the director of the Melbourne International Film Festival, Richard Moore, that it could not screen L.A. ZOMBIE, the latest film by Canadian auteur Bruce LaBruce, because it would be refused classification. Classification is usually NOT a prerequisite for festival screening.
The Melbourne Film Festival has in the past presented controversial films. Last year, the festival showed TEN CONDITIONS OF LOVE, a portrait of Uyghur human rights activist Rebiya Kadeer, despite pressure from Chinese authorities, leading to a walkout of Chinese films. In 2003, however, Larry Clark’s KEN PARK was removed from the program after censors raised objections.
As for Bruce LaBruce (whose SKIN FLICK, an X-rated meditation on racism, skinhead subculture and gay sex screened at the One World Berlin Human Rights Film Festival in 2005), his work deliberately and continuously pushes the envelope, angering conservatives and politically correct queer activists alike. Theater and film actress Susanne Sachsse, the female lead of the Red Army Faction porn-farce RASPBERRY REICH (2004), was dropped by her agency because she engaged onscreen in hardcore sex which was integral to the film’s plot and message. HUSTLER WHITE (1996) explored amputee fetishism along with the hustler scene in L.A. L.A. ZOMBIE riffs on zombies, extreme sex ‘n’ gore and necrophilia – themes that LaBruce first introduced in OTTO OR UP WITH DEAD PEOPLE (2007).
The trailer can be watched here (in some countries YouTube has blocked it for viewers under 18 years of age).