No 10 Conditions of Love for the Canberra International Film Festival

johnboy 9 August 2009 11

The Canberra Times brings the intriguing news that the Canberra International Film Festival doesn’t plan to follow the brave lead of the Melbourne Film Festival and screen “The 10 Conditions of Love” (Trailer above).

With such controversy surrounding the film one might think that audiences would be allowed to see it for themselves? Or perhaps the Festival organisers would at least see it for themselves? But no. The CIFF’s Simon Weaving (does he still write reviews for the CT?) had this to say:

    ”I wouldn’t select a film simply because it was popular because of some controversy,” he said. ”For me that would undermine everything that we stood for. The word out there is that it’s not a great film. I really respect [Radio National’s specialist movie critic] Julia Rigg’s opinion and she called it a hagiography.”

So, regular CIFF goers… has there never been a bad, but controversial film? Never been a hagiography? I’m rather curious about this.

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11 Responses to No 10 Conditions of Love for the Canberra International Film Festival
horseshoejones horseshoejones 3:40 pm 10 Aug 09

Comment #5 is bang on. It’s surely the height of ignorance for the artistic director of what is purporting to be an international film festival to form an opinion about a piece of work, without even bothering to view the work in question.

Sure, I would expect your garden-variety bourgeois “art-house” cinemagoer to base their opinions on the verbose rantings of a film critic. But a festival director should have the capacity to think for himself.

Of course you would never expect a festival director to accept a piece of work that in their opinion doesn’t cut it. But at least do the filmmakers and your audience the courtesy of viewing the film in order to form your own reasoned opinion. An opinion that should be based on your assessment of the film’s merits balanced with the level of public interest (which in this case is quite considerable), not on what someone else reckons.

You’ve got to wonder about the films that actually have made Simon Weaving’s cut for CIFF. Has the “artistic director” actually taken the time to watch them, or have they just been selected because they scored 90% on Rotten Tomatoes?

Wallly1972 Wallly1972 11:55 am 10 Aug 09

I thought the CT headline was a bit misleading. It implied either censorship or self-censorship whereas the director said the film probably wouldn’t meet the criteria.
#8: I like your style!

Mr Evil Mr Evil 11:49 am 10 Aug 09

I wonder if CIFF is acting under direction from above?

Quick Mr Stanhope, there are people outside Canberra being oppressed by China – please do something to help them!

Oh hang on, you’re a big fan of China, aren’t you!

Up The Duffy Up The Duffy 7:30 pm 09 Aug 09

I will only be watching it to piss off the Chinese Government, even if it is very boring to sit through, then after that, I will curse the Chinese Government, for opposing it.

Maybe its the Chinese Governments indirect way of pissing of Westerners by opposing something that may bore them S*&$less, for those of us. that want to show disrespect to the Chinese Government. Not the Chinese people!!!!! I feel sorry for the 98% of them that are not members of the Chinese Rape and Plunder Party.

Karl Marx would be spinning in his grave, if that was one of his indirect creations.

S4anta S4anta 11:42 am 09 Aug 09

As an aside to the political commentary, living in melbourne i have seen the film, apart from it highlighting a group of people who i had not heard of previously, it was rubbish.

NickD NickD 10:23 am 09 Aug 09

I presume that there’s a limit to the number of films which can be included in the festival, and its artistic director’s comments that he doesn’t want to include a film which has received bad reviews just because its controversial seems reasonable. I’d rather that they put on good/interesting films rather than those which happen to upset the Chinese government.

moneypenny2612 moneypenny2612 11:40 pm 08 Aug 09

I’d have thought this sort of agit-prop cinema would right up CIFF’s alley.

Hasn’t the festival previously exhibited films like Manufacturing Dissent (a diatribe about Mike Moore’s documentaries), and Who Killed the Electric Car? (a B-grade Inconvenient Truth).

Curious that the Festival director hasn’t seen the film for himself though. Smacks of ‘I am vaguely nervous about a diplomatic incident, but I don’t want to look too much like a paranoid goose… so here’s a review I read earlier.’

Clown Killer Clown Killer 8:11 pm 08 Aug 09

Ok so the CIFF won’t screen the film.

How about a screening organised outside of the CIFF. Does anyone have any idea of what would be involved? I would imagine that there would be a local (Australian) distributor with rights to the film who we would need to convince to come to the party – apart from getting in touch with them and lining up a venue what else would one need?

Venue-wise, just off the top of my head – I would imagine that a group like the ANU Film Club might just have the balls to host a screening. I’d sure as hell pay $15-20 to see the flick (even if it was boring as bat shit) just for the privilege of being involved in pissing off the pinko sh!tbags in the Chinese government.

Is anyone elee interested in trying to get this movie screened here in Canberra?

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 8:02 pm 08 Aug 09

For those who don’t move in quite the same circles as Johnboy, so may not find themselves using the word ‘hagiography’ in their lives, its a dedicated religious story with an extreme focus on the faithful acts, miraculous deeds, and inspiring moments which a saint experienced during their life.
(I had to look it up)

ie: Its uncritical and sings her praises to a reverential degree without accepting a countervailing view, aka “Public Relations Exercise” or “FanWank”.

According to Wikipedia piece about Rebiya Kadeer:
At the Melbourne International Film Festival in July 2009, a film about Kadeer called “Ten Conditions of Love” was screened. The Chinese consulate in Melbourne earlier asked for the film to be withdrawn and to dis-invite Kadeer from the festival. After the organisers refused to remove the film, several Chinese directors pulled out of the event and the website for the film festival was hacked by Chinese vigilantes using denial-of-service attacks, forcing the site to shut down, booked out all film sessions on its website and replaced festival information with the Chinese flag and anti-Kadeer slogans. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said China was “firmly opposed to any foreign country providing her with a stage for her anti-China separatist activities”; however the film’s director, Jeff Daniel’s, said it was good that “people were able to see different sides of the story” but criticised the amount of pressure from the Chinese government which resulted in heavy security at the screening.

MrPC MrPC 7:24 pm 08 Aug 09

China needs to be reminded often that the world does not revolve around the middle kingdom. Unfortunately the MIFF is full of hot air. Maybe Dendy or someone else will put the movie on of their own accord, and rake in the cash themselves…

bd84 bd84 7:12 pm 08 Aug 09

Weak. They should play it and tell China to go get f***ed.

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