It is just over 24 hours until PiFan 2013 kicks off and here at ScreenAnarchy we can barely contain our excitement - which you've probably noticed from our flurry of preview posts highlighting the best of what's in store over the next 10 days. Today, I wanted to highlight three of the festival's Special Programs, grouping together films either with common themes or from the same filmmaker.
Arguably one of Twitch's all-time favourite filmmakers, Japan's Tsukamoto Shinya has created some of the most singular, exhilarating and batshit insane films to appear in last quarter century. PiFan will be screening 7 of the director's films, including Tetsuo, The Iron Man, Kotoko and his little-seen 1987 short, Adventure of Denshu Kozo. Tsukamoto will be in attendance at the festival, and will take part in a special master class on 25 July.
One of the most important films of my youth, certainly one that informed my tastes as a movie lover more than almost any other, Paul Verhoeven's Robocop heads up a fantastic selection of sci-fi thrillers that explore the morphing relationship between man and machine. George Lucas' THX-1138 is the other retro film in the selection, but it's the three newer titles: Steven Kostanski's Manborg, Caradog James' The Machine and Andrew Bujalski's Computer Chess that should have local audiences most excited.
A fantastic batch of American crime thrillers make up this final program, set in the rotting metropolis that was New York City in the late 70s and early 80s (and in one case, a "future" 1997). Walter Hill favourite The Warriors (a film that's actually on my List of Shame, so a big target for me) and John Carpenter's excellent Escape From New York can be seen on the big screen alongside a trilogy of sleaze from the great William Lustig. Maniac, Vigilante and Maniac Cop 2 will all be screening, together with Franck Khalfoun's rather excellent remake of Maniac, starring Elijah Wood. A number of grim & grimy nights in the dark are in store for PiFan audiences this year!