Slash Film Festival 2019 Sets THE LODGE For Opening Night, Features Historic Program on Female Terror

Contributing Writer; Belgium (@BelgianFilmBuff)
Slash Film Festival 2019 Sets THE LODGE  For Opening Night, Features Historic Program on Female Terror

Marking its tenth anniversary this year, the /slash 2019 film festival is getting ready to treat Vienna to something memorable (and perhaps a little wicked).

Kicking off the festivities on September 19, the 11-day movie extravaganza has reeled in Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz’s Sundance showstopper The Lodge for a home-crowd Austrian premiere.

Vienna’s gorgeous Filmcasino is still a main hub of the festival, but since we visited last in 2017 /slash has expanded exponentially, nearly doubling the number of films shown while also setting up shop in the Metro Kinokulturhaus. While the main event still takes place in the fall, /slash now has an annual weekend of genre goodness in May, called /slash ½.

The 2019 poster of Austria’s biggest fantastical film event was designed by Andre Beinbauer and, inspired by Dante’s Inferno, welcomes attendees to delve into the dark depths of genre cinema.

The full lineup will be announced late August and will surely be published in these pages. For now the festival has already announced an impressive historic program centered on female voices, curated by Dr. Alison Peirse:

The Mafu Cage (Karen Arthur - USA 1978), Wolf’s Hole (Věra Chytilová - CZ 1987), The Hitch-Hiker (Ida Lupino - USA 1953), Humanoids from the Deep (Barbara Peeters -USA 1980), The Slumber Party Massacre (Amy Holden-Jones - USA 1982), The Seashell and the Clergyman (Germaine Dulac - FR 1928), Pet Sematary (Mary Lambert - USA 1989), Urban Ghost Story (Geneviève Jolliffe - UK 1999), Ravenous (Antonia Bird - USA/CZ/UK/MX 1999), In My Skin (Marina De Van - FR 2002), The Boy From Hell (Mari Asato - JP 2004), The Grudge: Black Ghost (Mari Asato - JP 2009), Office Killer (Cindy Sherman - USA 1997).

For more details on the Female Terror retrospective, read on for statements from the press release and check out the unnerving festival trailer at the bottom. Created by Iraq-born filmmaker Kurdwin Ayub, the trailer is “a statement on pop culture and today’s mainstream standard of beauty, brutally honest and painfully relevant”. (It also prominently features a needle piercing a lip. Sensitive viewers, consider yourselves warned.)

FEMALE TERROR Historic program focus on horror films by female directors

As in the past years, the /slash 2019 selection of films is a mix of new releases, insider tips, and classics of genre cinema. This year, a historic program focus is placed on horror films by female directors. The highly successful film scholar Dr. Alison Peirse (University of Leeds/UK) curated the special program FEMALE TERROR for /slash that tells of the film history of female horror film. Spanning from Ida Lupino’s essential noir The Hitch-Hiker, over Karen Arthur’s obscure central piece The Mafu Cage, and Mary Lambert’s mega success Pet Sematary, to the enigmatic Office Killer by the star photographer Cindy Sherman, and combines both auteur horror and Věra Chytilová’s Wolf’s Hole or Marina de Van’s In My Skin, as well as wild exploitation visions by Barbara Peeters (Humanoids From the Deep) or Amy Holden Jones (The Slumber Party Massacre).

“ ‘But women were never out there making horror films, that’s why they are not written about – you can’t include what doesn’t exist, there are really, very few women horror filmmakers working today, that’s why so few are coming up!’ – This is what you get when you are a woman working in horror, whether as a critic, academic, festival programmer or filmmaker. These assumptions are based on decades of flawed scholarly, critical and industrial thinking about the genre. FEMALE TERROR is an opportunity to begin to set right these misconceptions, exploring a range of woman-directed horror films from 1950s to the present day, from North America, Europe and East Asia. Come and join us as we explore what happens to horror filmmaking when women are behind the camera, rather than just in front of it.” - Dr. Alison Peirse, Curator FEMALE TERROR

“Up until recently, horror film was regarded as an exclusively male genre. At /slash we find a dire need for a revision of this, not least as there are ever more female voices that define horror culture. Thus a collaboration with the film scholar Dr Alison Peirse that yielded the special program FEMALE TERROR came into being.” - Markus Keuschnigg, /slashfestival director.

/slash Filmfestival 2019 Trailer from slashfilmfest on Vimeo.

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