Tag Archives: psychedelic film

International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015

Videophilia (and Other Viral Syndromes)

International Film Festival Rotterdam

21 January – 1 February 2015

Rotterdam, Netherlands

International Film Festival Rotterdam website

The line-up of the 44th Rotterdam festival was as eclectic as ever, with an emphasis, as usual, on independent filmmakers from all over the globe. This year was dominated by European and American productions, and there was a plethora of Canadian – in contradistinction to ‘American’ – films of various lengths on offer.

One coup of the festival was to lure the Russian ‘punk’ band Pussy Riot to the festival, for an onstage Q&A, a late night stage appearance, and a viewing of Pussy Riot Versus Putin with teaser clips from the follow-up documentary about the band.

Readers of this magazine will all, undoubtedly, have their own view on examples of ‘mind fuck’ films, but this year I encountered what can only be described as an ‘eye fuck’ film. Not since the time travel/star gate sequence in Kubrik’s 2001: A Space Odyssey have I encountered such a visual explosion of near-psychedelic proportions as achieved by the Peruvian Juan Daniel F. Molero in the world premiere of his ‘digital trip’ down the byways and sewers of ‘the interwebz’ film, Videophilia (and Other Viral Syndromes).

The Cyprus/Greece/Slovenia co-production of Impressions of a Drowned Man, directed by Kyros Papavassiliou, was a very evocative existential – and poetic – meditation about memory and identity while the Vietnamese magic-realist fantasy film The Inseminator, by Bui Kim Quy, took as its subject traditional village values in an unchanging world. Joanna Lombardi’s Solos was a Peruvian road movie about a quartet of romantic individuals who take a film (which we never get to see) on the road to remote villages, showing it in market squares on a portable inflatable screen (how I wanted one of those!), exploring ‘what it’s like to see a film disappear from cinemas seven days after working on it for years’.

Alongside the vast selection of films, the Jang Jin retrospective was a rewarding addition and the commitment of Rotterdam to short and medium length films from a variety of filmmakers is always to be admired and championed. Now heading towards its 45th incarnation in 2016, Rotterdam continues to be a significant player in the film festival circuit – quite an achievement in a world where there is said to be around 3,000 film festivals annually.

James B. Evans

Flatpack Film Festival 2014: Preview

Flatpack 8 (photo: Miwa Matreyek)

Flatpack 8

20-30 March 2014

Birmingham, UK

Flatpack website

Birmingham’s brilliant Flatpack Film Festival returns for an eighth year for 11 days of inventive film delights, from 20 to 30 March. As always, expect a mind-stretching mix of new features, shorts and special guests, as well as avant-garde Austrian animation, a solipsistic installation, a Victorian magic lantern show, a psychedelic music night, walking tours and pop-up screenings in unexpected venues across the city.

Among the highlights:

&#149 PHONO-CINEMA-THEATRE, the first UK screening of short films, many of them in hand-tinted colour, which were made for the 1900 Paris Exposition and featured theatre and variety stars of the day. The films include Sarah Bernhardt’s Hamlet and a can-can by Gabrielle R&#233jane; many of them have original sound thanks to an ingenious gramophone system.

&#149 The UK premiere of THE GREAT FLOOD, a portrait of the devastation caused by the Mississippi floods of 1927 presented by experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison. Also screening are Morrison’s poetic take on archive footage of Durham miners’ lives from the 1900s to the 1970s THE MINERS’ HYMNS and his ode to cinematic decay DECASIA (we have an article on Decasia in our book, The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology, available from Strange Attractor Press).

&#149 CAF&#201 NEURO: a weekend of talks, screenings and activities that will exploit recent developments in brain-imaging and eye-tracking technology to explore what cinema does to our brains.

&#149 JAPANIMATION: a retrospective of Japan’s offbeat DVD label Calf including work by Mirai Mizue, Tochka Collective and Atsushi Wada.

&#149 DVD BANG, a Korean-inspired viewing lounge, where you can book in to watch a movie day or night.

Feature films include an immersive, semi-horizontal screening of Douglas Trumbull’s 70s eco-sci-fi movie SILENT RUNNING, electrifying Kathleen Hanna documentary that will make you happy to be alive THE PUNK SINGER, Haskell Wexler’s counter-culture classic MEDIUM COOL, fascinating, thoughtful UFO doc about disinformation and the creation of truth MIRAGE MEN, Ken Russell’s mind-bending ALTERED STATES, sensuous neo-giallo THE STRANGE COLOUR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS, Krzysztof Zanussi’s 1970s exploration of the mind ILLUMINATION, F.W. Murnau’s classic silent horror NOSFERATU, part faux doc on East German 80s skate subculture THIS AIN’T CALIFORNIA and Eiichi Yamamoto’s amazing-sounding psychedelic anim&#233 BELLADONNA OF SADNESS, based on a French novel about medieval witchcraft.

Read our previous Flatpack coverage.

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.