Filmmaker Bruce Baillie was there at the first Aaff — and numerous times since. He’s back this year with a major retrospective of his entire career that spans three separate programs. Baillie, who’ll be in attendance of course, will present a brand-new restored version of his epic pseudo-Western Quick Billy, plus screenings of his classic short movies such as Castro Street, Yellow Horse, Quixote, To Parsifal and more.
There’s also a program dedicated to the films of the late Robert Nelson, including Bleu Shut and Special Warning, as well as sprinklings of underground classics throughout
The fest opens with Rivers and My Father — a documentary and fictional narrative blend that explores the family stories of filmmaker Luo Li — and ends with a live hardcore music soundtrack accompanying Todd Brown’s classic silent movie West of Zanzibar.
In between that, there are artist talks with John Gianvito, Paul Clipson, Mario Pfeifer, Beatrice Gibson, James MacSwain, Steve Reinke and others; several programs exploring the state of cinema in Africa; live cinematic performances by Andrew Lampert, Ellie Ga, Lindsay Seers, Icaro Zorbar and more.
Plus, don’t forget the experimental film & video screenings, including John Gianvito’s documentary essay Vapor Trails (Clark); and short works by Jodie Mack, Lewis Klahr,
A couple of the highlights include the highly anticipated feature-length documentary The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye by Marie Losier, which chronicles the pandrogynous love story between industrial music pioneer Genesis P-Orridge and his late wife. The film already made a big splash at the Berlinale earlier in the year and looks to be a major hit on the festival circuit this year.
Also not to be missed is a special retrospective of one of this year’s festival jury members, Vanessa Renwick, a longtime favorite on Bad Lit: The Journal of Underground Film. Renwick will screen 10 of her quirky and artistic documentary portraits,
The Ufg, as I like to call it, is a database project of underground filmmakers and films. Recently I decided to halt adding new entries and to make the old filmmaker entries I previously uploaded more comprehensive. One way I’m doing that is going through books on underground film and, if a filmmaker is written up in each book, I’ll add that book’s info to the filmmaker’s profile. If you’re interested and want an idea of what I’m talking about, go look at John Waters’ entry and scroll down to the book section.
One book that is a tremendous
But "Fear(s)" is a hypnotic cocktail, and its key liquor may be Frenchness -- some of the materials folded in have no sensible conclusion (the fear of "Tales from the Crypt" moralism is unavoidable), and some aren't stories at all. Some stand entire and alone,
Our official "B-movie" distribution stream -- straight-to-dvd releases -- grows in number and variety every year, as fewer films can be, or at least are, affordably shown theatrically than ever before. And these titles still can't qualify for awards or polls of any kind, or often even reviews, as the number of theatrical screens continues to drop. Does this make any sense? Here're my favorites from this year, the movies that first saw American screens (big or small) on digital video in 2008, be they brand new or decades old.
1. "Sophie's Place"
Lawrence Jordan, U.S., 1986
The renowned yet all-but-forgotten avant-garde filmmaker's grand animated masterpiece, a Victorian-styled dream-collage-painting-fever-feature brimming with hundreds of inexplicable epiphanies and a sense of visual magic that is all but utterly unique to Jordan. This honey was ensconced in Facets' lavish, under-celebrated set "The Lawrence Jordan Album," which in itself is more of an
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