Venice Film Festival 2015 Preview

Venice 2015
Venice 2015

Venice Film Festival

2 – 12 September 2015

Venice, Italy

Venice website

The 72nd edition of the Venice Film Festival is underway and opening this year’s festival is Baltasar Kormákur‘s survival thriller Everest, while Scott Cooper’s highly anticipated gangster drama Black Mass, screens out of Competition.

Among the 21 titles competing for the Golden Lion this year are Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl, a love story inspired by the live of the artist Einar Wegener, who became one of the world’s first transgender women, and Thomas McCarthy’s Spotlight, starring Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo in the true story of how the Boston Globe revealed a child molestation cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese. Other promising titles include Drake Doremus’ Equals, a futuristic love story set in a world where emotions have been eradicated, along with A Bigger Splash, Luca Guadagnino’s star-studded remake of Jacques Deray’s superb 1969 thriller La piscine, 11 Minutes by Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski (Essential Killing), and Heart of A Dog, the feature debut of experimental performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson. We will also check out Atom Egoyan’s revenge thriller Remember, Marco Bellocchio’s Sangue Del Mio Sangue (Blood Of My Blood), Charlie Kaufman’s animation feature Anomalisa, and Pablo Trapero’s crime family story El Clan, produced by Pedro and Augustin Almodóvar.

Beyond its Competition line-up, Venice has a strong penchant for documentaries which are almost always worth a watch. This year Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow will present their co-directed documentary De Palma, while documentary-veteran Frederick Wiseman returns with In Jackson Heights. Plus, one of the most controversial works on show could be Helmut Berger, Actor, a relentless, yet intimate portrait of the legendary actor and former Luchino Visconti “muse” Helmut Berger.

The Horizons sidebar, another competitive section that runs parallel, features The Childhood Of A Leader by actor-turned-director Brady Corbet, alongside Danish drama A War, about an officer who is put on trial upon his return from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, directed by A Hijacking director Tobias Lindholm.

Pamela Jahn

For more information about the programme visit the Venice website.

Freaks, Hippies and Witches: the obsessive, salacious cinema of Antony Balch

horror hospital 1
Horror Hospital

Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies – London

Instructor: William Fowler

Date: 10 Sept 2015

Time: 7-10pm

Venue: Horse Hospital

Address: Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD

Prices: £10 advance / £8 concs / £11 on the door

Miskatonic website

‘An awful lot of people are going to miss all that gusto and kindness and fun,’ reflected distributor Derek Hill when Balch died in 1980. Critic Tony Raynes remembered a ‘lively, interesting, engaged, vigorous’ man who ‘threw a hell of a party’.

An extraordinary figure of 1960s-70s British film, Antony Balch was a true original. His love of cinema was infectious and he worked across nearly all the different areas of the business. Best known for directing the camp, grisly Horror Hospital and for collaborating with William Burroughs, he also ran two London cinemas, directed ads, made trailers, wrote reviews and distributed exploitation movies such as Don’t Deliver Us from Evil, Truck Stop Women and Massacre for an Orgy.

Horror and weird cinema fans should celebrate him for securing the first ever UK release of Tod Browning’s banned Freaks (with the help of Kenneth Anger). The 70s were a heady time for boundary pushing and he played an important part, resisting criticism whilst calling the press ‘the number one exploiter of fear, horror, hate and violence in the world’.

In this wide-ranging illustrated lecture (part of Scalarama 2015), William Fowler will explore Balch’s holistic approach to cinephilia as well as his ideas about censorship. Selected short films by Antony Balch will screen as part of the evening.

This is the first lecture of the autumn semester of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies – London.

About the instructor:

William Fowler is a writer, film historian and musician. He is Curator of Artists’ Moving Image, BFI National Archive and the co-founder and co-programmer of The Flipside at BFI Southbank. His seasons and restoration projects at the BFI have included GAZWRX: the films of Jeff Keen, Queer Pagan Punk: Derek Jarman and This Is Now: Film and Video After Punk, the latter of which is currently touring internationally through LUX. He has written for The Guardian, Sight&Sound and Frieze, appeared on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, and he also contributed chapters to Inside Out: Le Cinéma de Stephen Dwoskin and The Edge is Where the Centre: David Rudkin and Penda’s Fen (which he co-edited). He programmes the monthly BFI strand Essential Experiments and has since 2013 been the co-programmer of Experimenta in the London Film Festival.

About the Miskatonic Institute:

Named for the fictional university in H.P. Lovecraft’s literary mythos, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is a non-profit, community-based organization that started in Canada, founded by Kier-La Janisse in March of 2010. The school currently has branches in Montreal and London, with Miskatonic London operating under the co-direction of Kier-La Janisse and Electric Sheep Founder/Editor Virginie Sélavy.

All classes take place at the historic Horse Hospital, the heart of the city’s underground culture. Season ticket is £35 and will be available shortly. Individual class tickets are £10 advance / £11 on the door / £8 concessions and will be available 30 days in advance of each class.

For full details of the next courses please check the Miskatonic website. For all enquiries, please email[at]