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Richard Wolstencroft
Born April 23, 1969 (1969-04-23) (age 40)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Works Bloodlust'Pearls Before Swine'The Beautiful and Damned

Richard Wolstencroft (born 23 April 1969, aka Richard Masters) is an Australian filmmaker. Son of David William Wolstencroft he grew up in Lower Templestowe, a middle-class suburb of Melbourne, attending Templestowe Heights Primary School and later Ivanhoe Grammar School.

Wolstencroft began making short films at age 11 in 1980 starting with clay and action figure animation. He got a home video camera around 1982 and started shooting many lo fi shorts. Many of his early works are collaborations with childhood friends Mark Horponitch and Jamie White and are either horror spoofs and/or imitations or outright offensive comedies. He met mentor Mark Savage at a Super 8 film group around 1984 and together they made the low budget zombie short "Undead" with Savage directing and Wolstencroft starring. He then co-produced and acted in Mark Savage's Marauders in 1986, one of the first video features ever made in Australia.

He co-directed his first feature Bloodlust with collaborator Jon Hewitt in 1990 which went onto to become a cult hit amongst genre and exploitation fans and has recently been featured in Michael Adams book "Showgirls, Teen Wolves and Astro Zombies" in a three page spread. Adams points out that Bloodlust had many of the same obsessions and concerns as the oeuvre of Quentin Tarantino and he notes it was released 2 years before Reservoir Dogs. Adams acted in the film in the role of "Stoned Hippie."

In 1992 Wosltencroft founded the Hellfire Club, a BDSM-themed nightclub which operated in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and other states for many years.

In 1996 he began work on his second feature film Pearls Before Swine, a project which would take him three years to complete starring Boyd Rice. In 2000, the film was submitted to the Melbourne International Film Festival, but was not selected. In response, Wolstencroft founded the Melbourne Underground Film Festival, which, as of 2009, has remained an annual event.

Wolstencroft has acted in several films. He appears as actor and producer in Mark Savage's Marauders and acts in Savage's [[Defenceless] and in many of his early shorts. He also appears in Andrew Leovold's Lesbo A Go Go, Nicolas Debot's Extremism Breaks my Balls and Stuart Simpson's upcoming Il Monstro Del Mar.

Wolstencroft's writings, have appeared in a variety of publications, including Filmnet, Misanthrope magazine (issue 2), Fangoria Magazine (issue 162), Large magazine (various issues), Beat Magazine (editor 1989-1990).

His fourth feature is The Beautiful and Damned based on the novel by F.Scott Fitzgerald. The film is a modern adaptation, the first ever attempted of any of Fitzgerald's work and stars Ross Ditcham, Kristen Condon, Paul Moder, Zen Ledden, Norman Yemm, John Brumpton, Tanya Wenczel, Peter Lesley, Alex Spalck, Colin Savage and Frank Howson amongst others. The film was sneak previewed at both the 9th and 10th Melbourne Underground Film Festival, of which Wolstencroft is the director.

The Beautiful and Damned had its US Premiere at the 10th F.Scott Fitzgerald Festival in Baltimore in October 2009 and will play at The Australian Film Festival in April, 2010. It is to be released in Australia by distribution company The Pack following its AFF screening.

He also keeps a blog Idea Fix running since early 2008.

He shoot a low budget documentary in Uganda in July 2009 to be called "Heart of Lightness" with Ebony Butler. In October 2009 he shot a documentary on Michael Tierney (aka porn star Joe Blow) and the contemporary LA adult film scene to be called "The Last Days of Joe Blow". Both documentaries will be ready to play festivals sometime in 2010.

Controversy

Wolstencroft is known for his controversial opinions, writings and events, relating to BDSM and neo-fascism, that have dated back to theme nights during the early days of The Hellfire Club and even screenings of his and Mark Savage's films in the 80's at Super 8 film groups.

Some of the most often cited controversies concerning Wolstencroft are:

As part of the 2003 MUFF festival Wolstencroft decided to screen a program of Holocaust denial videos provided by the Institute for Historical Review, including The Search For Truth In History, a 1993 videotaped lecture by David Irving, . Members of the Jewish community (including the Jewish Community Council of Victoria which went to court to seek a ban the film[1]) had problems with Wolstencroft for this. The screening was ultimately cancelled when the cinema's landlord who just happened to be Jewish locked the MUFF organisers out.[2]

On the issue Wolstencroft said:

Sure, I thought we'd get a little half-page story about Irving — 'Ooh, this is a bit controversial.' I didn't expect it would be news every day for about a week.

Wolstencroft's main concern, he claimed, with the Irving screening was to bring attention to the issues of freedom of speech and unpopular speech. Wolstencroft has a long history of such freedom of speech actions at MUFF over its ten years.

Wolstencroft has often declared a fascination with fascism. He wrote his honours thesis in philosophy on the topic. He stresses that he is interested in "a new conception of fascism", an idealized "transcendental" form of non-racist, internationalist fascism that has not yet existed. "Fascism doesn't have to be the way it's been in the past, just as communism doesn't have to be about Stalin." His concept is of a fascism that takes into account "the inherent paradoxes of its nature and dialogue" and which has the capacity to "interact with other political philosophies worthy of integration like anarchism, socialism and conceptions of justice, equality, liberty and autonomy". [3]

In December 2008, in relation to the shooting death of Tyler Cassidy, Wolstencroft commented on his blog Idea Fix on the Australian racist group Southern Cross Soldiers, saying they "lack ideological sophistication and use unfortunate language, but are still obviously heart felt attempts at political expression" and "This reach for a political voice in Australian youth is unusual in an age where young people are generally apolitical hipsters, empty bubble headed consumers or simply unengaged to political discourse."

References

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