Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Ray Greene on his withdrawl from MUFF

Got an email from Ray Greene, the director of the SCHLOCK! The Secret History of American Movies regarding his choice to withdraw Schlock! from the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. At his request, what follows are the two letters he sent to MUFF detailing his withdrawl of the film and his position on censorship. Please read them, as I fear the general media reporting on the withdrawl of Schlock! misrepresented Greene somewhat (and since that's all I had to got on, my earlier post regarding the withdrawl ain't 100% fair, either). The letters:

LETTERS TO MUFF REMOVING SCHLOCK! The Secret History of
American Movies
from the 2003 Festival Roster


(LETTER 1: to the associate director of the festival who invited Ray Greene to
submit his project):
Rebecca -

Given the festival's decision to present Holocaust denier David Irving with a platform from which to spew his racist nonsense, I have decided to exercise my own right to free speech by withdrawing my film from the 2003 edition of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (please see attached). It is my hope that by choosing NOT to have my voice heard in the ridiculous context your press releases indicate you are so proud to have fostered, I may present you and your fellow directors with some small demonstration of the virtues of responsible silence -- which is not censorship, and which in my view would have been the appropriate reaction to any project which David Irving submitted for your consideration.

If you're looking for a way to fill the hole in your July 12 programming which the withdrawal of "SCHLOCK!" has created, may I recommend "Night and Fog," "The Last Days" or "The Sorrow and the Pity?" I think it might do MUFF's patrons a world of good to see that there are ramifications to the blithe stupidities you people have decided to present them with.

Ray Greene
Writer/Director,
"SCHLOCK! The Secret History of American Movies"

(LETTER 2: Copy of Original Withdrawl Letter Sent to MUFF -- Greene warns: "and I
apologize for the obscenity in the first sentence, I was very angry")
TO: MUFF

FROM: Ray Greene, Director, "SCHLOCK! The Secret History of
American Movies"

What the f**k do you people think you're doing giving a platform to a racist crank like David Irving? It's one thing to be against censorship -- I am too, unequivocally. It's something else again to provide exposure for the ideas of a man who has done everything he can to discredit the historical record of Nazis atrocities, providing aid, comfort and intellectual justification to the armies of intellectual darkness the world over.

If Irving wants to publish, let him. If Irving wants to hold press conferences, fine. I am quite confident that truth is more than a match for his distortions, fabrications and self-delusions. But in choosing to be the vehicle by which he continues his unholy crusade to minimize Nazi genocide, MUFF has crossed a far from imaginary line, and allied itself with an intellectually and morally indefensible message. There's a difference between supporting the right of even a bigot to state his opinions and choosing to become the megaphone by which his voice is magnified.

I am appalled that my work has in any way been affiliated with a festival that would behave with such reckless stupidity. I hereby withdraw my permission for "SCHLOCK! The Secret History of American Movies" to be screened, promoted or displayed in any context related to MUFF, and request that all copies of the film and press materials related to it be returned to me IMMEDIATELY.

Ray Greene
Writer/Director
"SCHLOCK! The Secret History of American Movies"


I think I'll just let Greene's letters express his views. Your views on his views are, as always, welcome: just hit the comments button below. (Also, The Movie Show Forum has a message-board discussion thread about Greene's views).

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