France's L'Etrange Festival announces line-up


Quite Earth: September looms over us, and with it comes the 17th edition of L’Etrange Festival. The Parisian hot spot of weird, bleak or astonishing cinema is once more living up to expectations.

I do have to state that this year’s vintage, while being of utmost quality, might not be of perfect appeal to the international crowd in terms of movies as there are few international premieres. For the local crowd who is not gurgling itself up to choke point on the various dedicated torrent sites, I can boldly announce that there are about 25 French premieres. Sadly, the distribution circuits being what they are, this means that most of what’s screening is already available on Blu-ray somewhere else in the world.

That being said, it doesn’t detract from the quality of the movies nor the global aggregate of the festival. Two bonus point for actually getting off your ass to see these films on the big screen with a cheering crowd rather than seeing them on Netflix with a pack a cheetos for company.

Speaking of bonus points, what makes a festival in addition of the scheduled screenings is the crowd and the people. And what people we’ll have this year.

What about spending a full night with Rutger Hauer? Attenting a cineconcert with Marco Caro? There’s even the father of UnPop himself, Mr. Boyd Rice, layering his NON act upon a cult classic. As for the redbull infused insomniacs, there are nights; one dedicated to the Shushi Typhoon label, in addition to the dozens of fucked up Japanese movies screened. If you live under a rock in the middle of a cultural desert, Shushi Typhoon is a movie house; a cross between Hammer and GenkiGenki. As far as their movies go they’re fun, bloody, somewhat smutty in that “oops I’ve shown my panties” ecchi fashion, and more or less a guaranted riot when seen with friends and enough beer.

The other big night is a grindhouse fest. You’ll see Hobo with a Shotgun (review), wich maybe be the most accurate modern adapation of grindhouse narrative schematics. There’s also my personal favourite slasher of the year: Tucker And Dale vs. Evil (review), wich is an absolute must see for its humour, characters and compelte reversion of the genre codes. There’s also Kommador Treholt Ninja Troppen, a quirky little gem about a band of ninja trained to defend the Norwegian Way of Life in face of external cultural invaders. I have seen it quoted by Anders Brevik, but the parallel can’t be ignored and I fully endorse a fest with the balls to show that movie in light of the recent events.

I could go on and on for pages about the quality of the movies shown but you’re better to head over to their website and see the line-up for yourselves.

A few last notes: Liliana Cavani will be there, with a tasty selection of classics and a screening of her sensuous and fascinating The Night Porter which is perhaps the bleakest love story ever commited to celluloid.
The short competition is also something to be accounted for, I know I don’t usually speak of it much but while browsing the catalog I came accros little gems like Putain Lapin described as “a whore meets a bear she mistakes for a rabbit”… things like this HAVE to be seen.


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