The 6th Offscreen Film Festival opens with Berberian Sound Studio (2012) and welcomes John Waters as its guest of honour. The festival, an annual gathering for fans of bizarre and cult cinema, will once again open its doors from 6-24 March. Independent films, classic B-movies and the strangest cinema from the four corners of the Earth will once again take centre stage, in three festival weeks packed with more than 60 screenings at Cinema Nova, Bozar, Cinematek and Cinema Rits – an exhibition of photos and illustrations, a live soundtrack show and a screening in Odorama will also help make this edition a true party for the senses!
The opening film, Berberian Sound Studio, is a pleasure for both eyes and ears. This story of a shy British sound engineer (Toby Jones) hired to do post-production on an Italian low-budget horror film is an ingenious homage to Italian giallo, as reminiscent of the classics by Dario Argento and Mario Bava as of Brian de Palma’s claustrophobic masterpiece Blow Out (1981). This Begian advance screening will take place in the presence of director Peter Strickland (Katalin Varga) and Brussels vocalist Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg.
Also, in the section Offscreenings, we’ll present our selection of bizarre, never-before-seen films: The Final Member, a documentary about the only museum in the world dedicated to… the penis; the surrealist Sadourni’s Butterflies by Dario Nardi, one of the most promising Argentine directors; Eega, an insane Indian UFO coming directly from ‘Tollywood’ to tell the misadventures of a man reincarnated into a housefly; and of course I Am Divine, the final biopic on Harris Glenn Milstead, best known for his drag persona and alter-ego Divine in films by John Waters.
Which brings us to the Pope of Trash himself: American cult director John Waters is our very special guest for this edition. He’ll be in Brussels to present his hilarious one-man stand-up show This Filthy World and give a master class. But our homage won’t stop there: an entire section of the festival is dedicated to the ‘Baron of Bad Taste’. We’ve organized a retrospective program covering every production from Pink Flamingos to A Dirty Shame, a special screening of Polyester in Odorama and screenings of John Waters’ own personal selection of beloved top 5 camp and trash films.
Starting with his very first films, John Waters worked hard to build a bridge between the camp and trash aesthetics. He and directors like Mike & George Kuchar or Russ Meyer use camp as a way to rebel against the socio-cultural norms and conventions of their time, and to challenge the idea of “good taste.” Reason enough to explore the phenomenon of trash & camp cinema by way of a lecture (see attached PDF) and a fine selection of B to Z movies: from 50s-era Hollywood kitsch (The Girl Can’t Help It starring Jayne Mansfield, a matinee screening in Cinemascope) to the famous drive-in and grindhouse classics (Blood Feast, Glen or Glenda by Ed Wood), via a few low-budget sexploitation trash films like Deadly Weapons and the Trash Show From Hell collection curated by Jack Stevenson.
Equally as trashy are the experimental animated cut-out films by Martha Colburn which propose a demented mix of Jérome Bosch, Max Fleischer and Monty Python. This underground American artist will present a selection of her films and lead a workshop for animation students at Rits.
At 84 years old, José Ramón Larraz continues to be a unique figure of 70s-era Spanish cinema. He’ll visit Offscreen to present his strange films, including the rarely screened Symptoms and the classic B-movie Vampyres. To mark the occasion, galleries Hors Série and La Crypte Tonique are organizing two thematic exhibitions throughout the month of March featuring Larraz’ work: one dedicated to his photography, the other to his illustrations.
It’s also a fitting time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Nikkatsu. Offscreen has put together a selection of the most remarkable films from their rich catalogue. Nikkatsu counted amongst the biggest Japanese studios in the 1960s and was a cradle for the Japanese New Wave, home to experimental visionaries like Seijun Suzuki. Following a drastic drop in movie-theater attendance in the 1970s, the company took a radical turn by concentrating exclusively on the production of erotic films, the famous roman porno. We’ll screen several rare examples of these films as well as bring in world-renowned specialist Jasper Sharp, co-founder of the quintessential Japanese cinema website Midnight Eye, to give a lecture.
Finally, the programme wouldn’t be complete without the now-institutional Cineketje screenings for children, the Shortscreen dedicated to short films and concocted in collaboration with Kortfilm.be, a live soundtrack session for Rudderless, an experimental film by Hungarian brothers Buharov accompanied by the band The Pastorz, and the campiest and trashiest-possible lobby decoration at Nova, plus good food and much more.
And, of course, you wouldn’t expect Picturenose to let you down when it comes to fab freebies, would you? That’s right, we have 20 pairs of tickets to give way for the films listed below.
|08.03||20h||Cinema Nova||Jack Stevenson’s Trash From Hell Show|
|09.03||20h||Cinema Nova||Errors of the Human Body|
|16.03||22h||Cinema Nova||Youth of the Beast|
So don’t say we don’t look after you – all you have to do is send an email with Offscreen Giveaway in the subject line, to firstname.lastname@example.org – please also include your name, address, daytime telephone number and choice of film with your entry. It’s first-come, first-served, so best of luck, and enjoy Offscreen!