Get Buried Alive in Atlanta – November 13-17!

The 2019 Buried Alive Film Festival is set to return to the 7 Stages Theatre in Atlanta on November 13-17 and a full schedule is now released! Atlanta’s premiere horror film festival has an exciting array of shorts (50 by my count) and features, plus a burlesque performance of The Toxic Avenger by Blast Off Burlesque and a screening of Andrew Leman’s The Call of Cthulhu accompanied with a new score by the psychedelic instrumental space jazz group Samadha. Check out BAFF’s latest press release below and visit the Fest’s site for full details!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The schedule is all set and tickets are now on sale for this year’s festival and we’re excited to officially announce our features for Buried Alive Film Festival 2019!

With 3 local features and a host of shorts, this year we have 5 feature film selections officially submitted to the jury.

ANTRUM (Thursday 11/14 9:30 PM)

Antrum, a feature length film shot in the late 1970’s, is cursed. In 1988, a movie theatre in Budapest that was screening the film burnt to the ground, killing the 56 people who were in attendance. This incident follows the inexplicable deaths of a number of film festival programmers that had received Antrum as a submission and died shortly after watching the film. These events culminated with a riot during an exhibition in San Francisco, after which the film vanished. These events have created a belief that watching Antrum will you kill you. Else Films has successfully tracked down a sole copy of the film for public release. This is that film.

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The Green Fog (Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, and Galen Johnson, 2017)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The Green Fog.

Commissioned by the San Francisco Film Society to close the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival, The Green Fog is the latest from Canadian iconoclast Guy Maddin and is an unusually evocative homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo assembled from Bay Area footage taken from a diverse array of sources including studio classics, ’50s noir, experimental films, and ’70s prime-time TV. With the help of co-directors Evan and Galen Johnson, composer Jacob Garchik, and musicians Kronos Quartet, this San Francisco fantasia celebrates the city through a century’s worth of assembled film and television, while also capturing the obsessive pull of Hitchcock’s spellbinding classic. The result is inventive, invigorating, and hilariously quirky, offering a “parallel-universe version” of a canonical cinema masterpiece, an unlikely city symphony, and a refreshing document of film history.

SPECIAL FEATURES

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N.Y., N.Y. (Francis Thompson, 1957)

Let’s take a look at another city symphony while we wait for the next MMC! proposal, specifically Francis Thompson’s wonderfully distorted tribute to life in New York City! Thompson’s short film celebrates the rhythms, geometries, and absurdities of city life through a variety of fanciful lenses, prisms, reflectors, and editing techniques (all of which Thompson was quite secretive about). Originally a painter and an art teacher, Thompson began his filmmaking career with The Evolution of the Skyscraper in 1939 and later won an Academy Award for To Be Alive! (1964). In a frequently quoted comment on the film, Aldous Huxley remarked on Thompson’s ability to escape colour photography’s tyrannical claim to verisimilitude and use the medium to further the voice of non-representational art. Huxley observed:

And then there is what may be called the Distorted Documentary a new form of visionary art, admirably exemplified by Mr. Francis Thompson’s film, NY, NY. In this very strange and beautiful picture we see the city of New York as it appears when photographed through multiplying prisms, or reflected in the backs of spoons, polished hub caps, spherical and parabolic mirrors. We still recognize houses, people, shop fronts, taxicabs, but recognize them as elements in one of those living geometries which are so characteristic of the visionary experience. The invention of this new cinematographic art seems to presage (thank heaven!) the supersession and early demise of non-representational painting. It used to be said by the non-representationalists that colored photography had reduced the old-fashioned portrait and the old-fashioned landscape to the rank of otiose absurdities. This, of course, is completely untrue. Colored photography merely records and preserves, in an easily reproducible form, the raw materials with which portraitists and landscape painters work. Used as Mr. Thompson has used it, colored cinematography does much more than merely record and preserve the raw materials of non-representational art; it actually turns out the finished product. Looking at NY, NY, I was amazed to see that virtually every pictorial device invented by the old masters of non-representational art and reproduced ad nauseam by the academicians and mannerists of the school, for the last forty years or more, makes its appearance, alive, glowing, intensely significant, in the sequences of Mr. Thompson’s film.

C’etait un rendez-vous (Claude Lelouch, 1976)

In anticipation of our next found footage Criterion proposal, MMC! is taking a brief and relevant tour through a favourite genre – the city symphony. We start with the unconventional example of Claude Lelouch’s C’etait un rendez-vous (1976), a thrillingly accelerated tour through Paris, from the Paris Périphérique tunnel, around the Arc de Triomphe, through red lights, up one-way streets, and across centre lines to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and Lelouch’s then-girlfriend Gunilla Friden. Lelouch shot the film himself one Sunday morning in August, driving a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 with a camera mounted to its front bumper and reaching a top speed of 200 km/h, although the film’s soundtrack is dubbed to the sound of the director’s Ferrari 275GTB. The short gets much of its charge from the fact that Lelouch is obviously not driving on a closed course. In fact, Lelouch had only one assistant along the route, Élie Chouraqui, who was posted at the Rue de Rivoli with a walkie-talkie to caution Lelouch on the blind junction located on the other side of an archway. The radios failed but Lelouch thankfully had a green light.

Those looking to connect C’etait un rendez-vous with our upcoming proposal might consider the short’s unconventional approach to the city symphony, the prominence of driving, and the potentially self-destructive actions undertaken for a beautiful blonde at an old basilica.

The Movie Orgy (Joe Dante, 1968)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The Movie Orgy.

A send-up and a celebration of mid-century American kitsch, Joe Dante’s epic pop culture mash-up, The Movie Orgy, entertained college campuses through the late 1960s and 1970s, drawing upon an ever-changing library of ’50s drive-in movies, vintage commercials, TV westerns, and political speeches. Re-discovered and re-cut by Dante for a revival screening in 2008 into its 280 minute “Ultimate Version,” this legendary cinematic event is now available outside of theatres for the first time. SEE a colossal collage of nostalgia! SEE an experience of mind-rotting celluloid hysteria! SEE thousands of performers in roles that earned them obscurity!  SEE bosomy starlets, juvenile delinquency, Christian puppetry, Elvis Presley, Groucho Marx, and Richard Nixon!

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • High-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Joe Dante, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with Dante
  • Rated Z, archivist David Neary on the history and significance of The Movie Orgy
  • Posters and promotional materials
  • PLUS: An essay by director John Sayles

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10 on the 10th – September 2019

These last ten films I’ve watched are an interesting bunch. Luigi Cozzi’s cut of Godzilla proved to be an underwhelming novelty, a primitively cut fanmix that was unfortunately dull as Raymond Burr stiffly toured through the movie under the haphazard haze of faded yellow and purple gels, then verged on offensive as it cut horrendous atrocity footage into Godzilla’s rampage and aftermath, creating a kind of Cozzila Holocaust. If only Cozzilla could have resembled something more intrepid like its colourful, sensational, practically incoherent epilogue, this movie could have at least been an entertaining mess.

  1. The Cremator (Juraj Herz, 1969)
  2. The Bitter Stems (Fernando Ayala, 1956)
  3. Magic Mike (Steven Soderbergh, 2012)
  4. Get Shorty (Barry Sonnenfeld, 1995)
  5. Cozzilla (Luigi Cozzi, Ishirô Honda, and Terry O. Morse, 1977)
  6. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (Ishirô Honda, 1964)
  7. Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)
  8. Come and See (Elem Klimov, 1985)
  9. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Michael Dougherty, 2019)
  10. Her Smell (Alex Ross Perry, 2018)

I also inadvertently managed to create a pair of unusual double features. Come and See and Midsommar were expectedly traumatizing in their own ways, yet they proved to be remarkably easier to watch than I initially anticipated thanks to some captivating storytelling. The Bitter Stems and The Cremator managed to find common ground on the subjects of death and delusion, however it was the slippery interiorities of these films and their wild subjectivites that really connected them. On reflection, I might recommend watching The Cremator first and letting its more audacious style enliven The Bitter Stems all the more.