Our forceful guardians of dubious morality, the OFLC, have been quite busy in the last couple of years. Oh yes.
Last year they banned Bruce LaBruce's L.A. Zombie outright. The scissor-happy sadists then refused to grant it a festival exemption, which would have allowed it to play at the Melbourne International Film Festival where it was already scheduled to do so. The MIFF organisers got cold feet and cancelled the screening.
Shortly after that, Richard Wolstencroft (director of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival) organised for a screening of the film to be held at MUFF, in protest of the OFLC's actions. The screening went ahead, but not long after Richard was rewarded for his troubles by having his house raided by police and charges laid against him. That debacle is still being played out in the courts.
Then last December the OFLC flew into another fit of tooth-grinding moral outrage while enduring a viewing of Srdjan Spasojevic's A Serbian Film. Of course their reaction to it was to freak out and ban the fuck out of it. Later, after the film's Australian distributor trimmed two minutes of carnage and resubmitted it... they banned that cut too! On the third submission (with three minutes excised) they finally relented and granted it an R18+, but the fully uncut film remains contraband in this country.
The silver lining to all this is that, with impeccable timing, Shawn Lewis and the other degenerates at Rotten Cotton have recently unleashed a line of t-shirts to celebrate the transgressive boundary destruction that is A Serbian Film. It couldn't be a better time to show your support for freedom of artistic expression and your distaste for the censor's shears. There's three designs to choose from (I'm partial to "MILOS" myself), and you can order right HERE.
More info on censorship in Australia HERE.
UPDATE: Well, I just learned that I'm a bit out of touch... according to their website the OFLC (The Office of Film and Literature Classification) ceased to exist back in 2006, and to quote their FAQ: "its responsibilities were transferred to the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board and the Attorney-General's Department." Anyway, it's just the same bunch of puritanical bureaucrats operating under a different name.
So it's just the "Classification Board" now is it? How much more Orwellian sounding can you get?