The 11th London Short Film Festival

The Punk Singer

The 11th London Short Film Festival

Dates: 10-19 January 2014

Various venues, London

LSFF website

The London Short Film Festival has just announced its programme and it’s packed with inventive and exciting events. The festival opens on January 10 with a screening of The Punk Singer (presented in association with Birds Eye View Film Festival), a documentary about radical musician and activist Kathleen Hanna, of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, who embodies many of LSFF’s ideals.

Running from January 10 to 19, the festival has expanded to 32 programmes, including their regular strands (Femmes Fantastique, Left and Luscious), to which they’ve added a Gothic and Grotesque selection to tie in with the current BFI season, Celluloid Traces, for experimental and documentary filmmakers working with film stock, and a late-night Thriller programme. Retrospectives include renowned screenwriter Tony Grisoni (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Red Riding) and animator Chris Shepherd. As always the festival has numerous music-related events, including Lisa Gunning’s new Goldfrapp video project and a Music Video Showcase playing for free in East London bars.

At Electric Sheep we are particularly looking forward to the live visual and aural remix of Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England by category-defying electro-post-rock band Teeth of the Sea, which promises to expand the psychedelic thrills of the film. The Ghost Box record label, which impressed us at the Flatpack Festival in 2010, will present one of their eerie visual and sonic shows, incorporating children’s programmes, 1960s underground animation, abstract op-art and 1970s TV to create a brilliantly hallucinatory experience. We are also intrigued by the performance of harpist and songwriter Serafina Steer in the magical Victorian surroundings of the Horniman Museum, alongside the work of animator Sam Steer.

Watch out for the Teeth of the Sea’s Film Jukebox in early January, in which the band discuss their 10 favourite films.

The festival will also feature a Straight 8 filmmaking challenge, debates and discussions, as well as industry events. Always buzzing with energy and ideas, LSFF is a terrific way to start the filmic year.

Brian Yuzna and the Horror of Society


audio Alex Fitch talks to filmmaker Brian Yuzna about his work, from his memorable debut as producer of Stuart Gordon’s Re-animator, his underrated satire of 1980s American preppy culture, Society, and later career making sequels to several franchises, including Return of the Living Dead and Silent Night, Deadly Night. (Recorded at the University of Brighton in conjunction with this year’s Cine-Excess Festival)

Cine-Excess VII is taking place at Birmingham MAC from 15 -17 November 2013, with guests including French filmmaker Catherine Breillat (Romance, Anatomy of Hell) and Italian auteur Francesco Barilli (The Perfume of the Lady in Black, Pensione paura)

For more info and formats to stream/download, visit

Podcast produced by Alex Fitch

Kim Newman on Johnny Alucard

Dracula by Andy Warhol

audioAuthor and film critic Kim Newman talks to Virginie S&#233lavy about Johnny Alucard, the latest and fourth instalment in his Anno Dracula series, which charts an alternative history of Dracula from 1888 to 1991, weaving in historical and fictional characters from Queen Victoria to Francis Ford Coppola.

Anno Dracula was set in a Victorian England ruled by vampires after Dracula successfully invaded Britain and married Queen Victoria. Its sequel, The Bloody Red Baron, took place during World War I. In the third volume, Dracula Cha Cha Cha, Dracula got married in 1950s Rome while the latest episode, Johnny Alucard, sees the story move from Transylvania to America between 1976 and 1991.

In the podcast, Kim Newman discusses the rules behind the Anno Dracula series, the vampire as dominant cultural icon, Dracula and Heart of Darkness, vampirism and celebrity, Andy Warhol and Orson Welles.

Fabio Frizzi Live in London

Fabio Frizzi PosterSMALL
Fabio Frizzi Live in London

Fabio Frizzi Live in London

Date: Thursday 31 October 2013

Venue: Union Chapel, London


For Halloween, soundtrack label Death Waltz Recording Company and Paint It Black are presenting a very special event: legendary Italian composer Fabio Frizzi will perform a selection from his scores, including Seven Notes In Black, Zombi 2/Zombie Flesh Eaters, City of the Living Dead, The Beyond, Manhattan Baby, live at the magical, atmospheric Union Chapel. In his first ever UK show Frizzi will be presenting his works in newly commissioned suites, accompanied by his seven-piece band and with an additional string section, the F2F Orchestra.

Together with Ennio Morricone, Bruno Nicolai and Riz Ortolani to name but a few, Frizzi was one of the maestros who developed the art of soundtrack in Italy in the 1960s-80s, mixing rock, jazz, classical music, lounge, funk, psychedelia and electronica. He is best known for his work on some of godfather of gore Lucio Fulci’s most memorable films such as Seven Notes In Black, The Beyond, Zombi 2/Zombie Flesh Eaters, City of the Living Dead and Manhattan Baby. Frizzi’s ominous, dark synth scores add a whole new dimension to Fulci’s disturbing visuals and their seminal import has been re-apparaised in recent years, as musicians such as Umberto and Boards of Canada have acknowledged his influence – not to mention that the ubiquitous Quentin Tarantino used the theme music from Seven Notes in Black in Kill Bill Vol 1.

Filmmakers on Comics: Nicolas Roeg and Sandy Lieberson

Nic Roeg and Sandy Lieberson

audioAlex Fitch talks to two filmmakers who are regular attendees at Ian Rakoff’s comic book lectures at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Acclaimed film director Nicolas Roeg discusses his interest in comics and museum culture, how he nearly directed the 1980 adaptation of Flash Gordon and why the BBC wouldn’t let him choose Desert Island Discs for Radio 4’s Cultural Exchange. American Producer Sandy Lieberson, who worked with Roeg on Performance, talks about his love of classic newspaper strips, distinctions between high and low art and his involvement in The Magic Roundabout and Dougal and the Blue Cat. (Originally broadcast 30 September 2013 on Resonance 104.4 FM)

Nic Roeg’s memoir The World is Ever Changing is published in paperback by Faber & Faber.

For more info and formats to stream/download, visit

Podcast produced by Alex Fitch

Reconstructing Nightbreed


audioTo coincide with its tour of America, in a panel discussion recorded in Welwyn Garden City, actors Simon Bamford (Ohnaka) and Nick Vince (Kinski), restoration producer Russell Cherrington and restoration editor Jimmy Johnson discuss the reconstruction of the director’s cut of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, which is being presented at various venues to help fund a high definition print. The panel discuss the edits imposed on Barker by the studio, the disappointment felt by many regarding the bowdlerised version released in 1990 and how with the help of various formats and sources, a reedit of all the existing footage was mounted to restore the film to its original version. (Originally broadcast 26 July 2013 on Resonance 104.4 FM)

Nightbreed: the Cabal Cut will be screening in various locations across America during Summer and Autumn 2013, with an additional Australian showing in Melbourne in August.

For more information and formats to stream/download, visit

Podcast produced by Alex Fitch

Spike Lee on Crowdfunding

Spike Lee
Still of Spike Lee from his Kickstarter campaign video & an example of what his new film is not about

audioAlex Fitch talks to American film maker Spike Lee about his recent Kickstarter campaign to fund a new movie about ‘blood addiction’. They also discuss his forthcoming remake of Park Chan-Wook’s Oldboy, Lee’s thoughts on blaxplotation films such as Blacula and the director’s continuing enjoyment of being a film tutor. (Originally broadcast 18 August 2013 on Resonance 104.4 FM)

Spike Lee’s Kickstarter campaign ended on 21 August 2013 and has reached the film-maker’s $1.25m target.

For more info and formats to stream/download, visit

Podcast produced by Alex Fitch

Phase IV + guest speakers

Phase IV
Phase IV

Phase IV + talk

Date: Wednesday 18 September 2013

Doors: 7pm

Venue: Horse Hospital

Address: Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD

Price: £7 on the door /£5 in advance

Horse Hospital website


As part of Scalarama, Electric Sheep and Strange Attractor are excited to present the brilliant dystopian science fiction tale Phase IV, the only feature film directed by genius designer Saul Bass + special guest speakers art historian Petra Lange-Berndt and director of SCI-FI-LONDON Louis Savy.

Famed as a graphic designer of posters and title sequences, Saul Bass only got one shot at directing a feature, and the resulting film is a period masterpiece that is both a microcosm of contemporary environmental issues and a beautiful, intelligent science fiction film.

Read the Reel Sounds column on Phase IV here.

After an unusual planetary alignment in our solar system exposes planet Earth to anomalous electromagnetic fields, ants start preying on larger animals, including humans, marching across America and destroying whole towns. In an attempt to try to stop them, English entomologist Dr Ernest Hubbs (a frothingly good Nigel Davenport) and American mathematician James Lesko (Michael Murphy) set out to observe a colony of the super-intelligent ants from the apparent safety of a geodesic biosphere in the Arizona desert. What follows is a long, tense stand-off between ants and humans.

Although its interiors were shot at Pinewood, Phase IV‘s arid, ant-ravaged locations convey a convincing sense of a dying America and, as you’d expect from a first-class designer, the film looks exquisite. A brooding score, featuring eerie synthesiser sounds from White Noise’s David Vorhaus, further accentuates the mood of alienation and impending ant-nihilation.

Nobody can have expected this enigmatic, philosophical and ultimately rather downbeat film to be a commercial success, but Paramount still tried to exert control over the final cut, leading to a quarrel over its ending. We are very excited to present Bass’s intended ending after the film.

We’re also thrilled to have art historian Petra Lange-Berndt, author of Animal Art, and Louis Savy, director of SCI-FI-LONDON, in attendance, who will be talking to Mark Pilkington and Virginie Sélavy after the screening.

Buy advance tickets from WeGotTickets.

Scalarama is a UK-wide film season dedicated to all forms of cinema exhibition that will run from 31 August to 29 September 2013. Check the Scalarama website for the full programme and follow them on Twitter for updates.

Watch the trailer for Phase IV:

Reinventing the Portmanteau Film

T is for Toilet

audio Alex Fitch talks to two directors of short films – Lee Hardcastle and Mitch Jenkins – about contributing to longer portmanteau works. Lee discusses his seminal short ‘Pingu’s The Thing’ and ‘T is for Toilet’, his contribution to the new horror movie The ABCs of Death. Mitch talks about his collaborations with Alan Moore on the photo novella Unearthing and series of short films Jimmy’s End, which he’s currently using a kickstarter campaign to fund its concluding chapter ‘His Heavy Heart’. (Originally broadcast 12 July 2013 on Resonance 104.4 FM)

The ABCs of Death is released on DVD/Blu-ray in the UK on 22 July 2013 by Monster Pictures.

The ‘His Heavy Heart’ fundraising campaign ended on 17 July 2013 and successfully raised its funding goal.

Director websites: Lee Hardcastle, Mitch Jenkins

For more info and formats to stream/download, visit

Podcast produced by Alex Fitch

Ben Wheatley on A Field in England

A Field in England

audioOne of the most talented contemporary British directors, Ben Wheatley revitalised the British crime thriller genre with his brilliant 2009 debut Down Terrace, following it up with the acclaimed horror/gangster tale hybrid Kill List in 2011 and the hilariously dark comedy Sightseers last year. He talks to Virginie S&#233lavy about his new film, A Field in England, a demented bucolic psychedelic trip about a group of deserters and an evil alchemist set during the English Civil War.

A Field in England was released on Friday 5 July. It is the first film to be released in UK nationwide cinemas, on free TV, on DVD and on Video-on-Demand on the same day, in a partnership between Film4, Picturehouse Entertainment and 4DVD. More information on the A Field in England website.

First broadcast on Resonance 104.4 FM on Friday 5 July 2013.

Watch the They’re Over Here Devil! trailer:

A Field In England – They’re over here Devil! from Rook Films on Vimeo.