L'ETRANGE FESTIVAL 2012: ScreenAnarchy Preview, Plus Updated Guest List!
Let's start with guest directors, an impressive list which has been growing over the past few weeks and, to the best of my knowledge, currently stands as such:
Painless - Director Juan Carlos Medina
Vanishing Waves - Director Kirstina Buoyzte and Bruno Sampler (Only Sampler will present)
Sightseers - Director Ben Wheately
The Bullet Collector - Director Alexander Vartanov
A Fantastic Fear of Everything - Director Crispian Mills
Hated - Director Lee Madsen
Dead Shadows - Director David Cholewa and the crew of the film
Resolution - Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
Ernest and Celestine - Directors Benjamin Reiner, Vincent Patar and Stephane Aubier
Road Dogs - Director Shane Aquino + the neo metal group Heavenly Trip to Hell (!)
The Iron Horse - Director Pierre William Glenn
And that's in addition to directors like Jan Kounen and Kenneth Anger who will present their Carte Blanche choices. And now onto the films! As noted, the lineup is extensive and narrowing down my top choices to ten was difficult, thus, as you'll see I cheated a bit. Also, going in, I can already wholeheartedly recommend Brandon Cronenberg's Antiviral (review) and Ulrich Seidl's Paradise : Love (review). Now, onward!
1. Vanishing Waves (Kirstina Buoyzte and Bruno Sampler)
A neuro-scientist experiments with entering the mind of a comatose woman. Once inside, he begins to see visions of an unknown woman who he slowly becomes obsessed with and... I'm already there.
2. Citadel (Ciaran Foy)
Word of mouth around the world for this Irish horror flick has been great, and from what I've heard, it's equally strong among the programmers for L'Etrange Festival. Besides, any movie with "violent, marauding child-demons" immediately gets my attention anyway.
3. Painless (Juan Carlos Medina)
An intriguing premise involving children who don't feel pain, an intense trailer and a simultaneous premiere in Toronto? Juan Carlos Medina's debut feature is looking very promising indeed.
4. Eega (SS Rajamouli)
Our own J. Hurtado has already declared this Indian fantasy comedy opus with a housefly protagonist completely unmissable.
5. Headhunters (Morten Tyldum)
And then there's this Norwegian hitman thriller, which pretty much our entire staff has already praised to the moon.
6. Jan Kounen Carte Blanche program
Twitch favorite Kounen (99 Francs, Dobermann) has put together a program of five films as eclectic and unpredictable as his filmography, including the rarely screened Sam Raimi gem Crimewave and a version of Blood Freak that is supposedly superior to the English language version. I'll have more on that one and the rest program in the next few days in a full interview with Kounen.
7. Dead Shadows (David Cholewa)
Any B-movie produced in France is cause for celebration, as its a feat rarely pulled off these days. Besides that, tentacles still make me squirm for some reason (I'm sure Freud would have fun with that one), and this sci-fi invasion action movie looks to be swarming with the things.
8. Les Pepites de L'Etrange
Cheating again, since this program is comprised of ten films, but what films! L'Etrange festival once again unearths an impressive set of strange gems from the past that almost never screen, including the psychosexual madness of Karim Hussain's Subconscious Cruelty, the 80's cheese ball fun of Jeff Lieberman's Remote Control and the Jack Cardiff movie with Donald Pleasence that I didn't know existed, The Mutations (pictured above).
9. Kenneth Anger and Brian Butler's Technicolor Skull + The Occult Program.
Anger and Butler create a live-music "sensory experience" using projected visuals, a theremin and an electric guitar. The performance is followed by a rare screening of shorts by both artists including Anger's Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome.
10. Maniac (Frank Khalfoun)
What can I say? I'm still intrigued by the casting of Elijah Wood in this remake, and while I'll always treasure the original, the trailer for this re-imagining suggests a stylish, baroque sense of humor and menace.
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