The Calgary Underground Film Festival kicks off a week of cinematic goodness with tonight’s screening of Abe Forsythe’s zombie comedy Little Monsters and MMC! couldn’t be happier! CUFF 2019 looks stacked with great titles sure to satisfy cinephiles looking to scratch hard to reach places. Eccentric documentaries, up and coming indie mavericks, art house genre masterpieces, and all around weirdness are waiting to be discovered at Calgary’s Globe Cinema this week. MMC! has seen almost half of CUFF’s programmed features already and so we are happy to point the way for those looking to navigate this great roster of titles.
Knife + Heart (Yann Gonzalez)
I’m not sure how many times MMC! can keep waving the flag for Yann Gonzalez’s Knife + Heart. It was our favourite film at the 2018 Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival and landed at #17 on MMC!‘s top 20 films of 2018. This sex-positive, queer riff on Italian giallo cinema is lushly sleazy in all the right ways, beautifully merging art cinema sophistication and exploitation sinema salaciousness. Set in the Parisian gay porn industry of 1979, Vanessa Paradis impresses as a third-tier production company’s matriarchal head struggling with the murders of her cast by a leather masked killer. Gonzalez makes no half-steps in Knife + Heart and viewers are rewarded with outlandish porn scenes, wild physical deformities, truly phallic murder weapons, and even a bizarre bear attack. This is a film that perfectly walks the line between creating a pastiche that respects its precedent and revising a familiar genre to reflect the diversity of people and stories that demand representation today. Knife + Heart should not be missed!
MMC! is pleased to announce that it will be providing coverage of the 2019 Calgary Underground Film Festival! Now in its 16th year, CUFF is having its biggest year yet with 30 feature films and 33 shorts, plus a Saturday Morning All-You-Can-Eat-Cereal Party and two different presentations by the Found Footage Festival. Those looking for a wonderful array of out-there art cinema and wild genre picks should be heading toward Calgary’s Globe Cinema on April 22 through 28.
In a press release, CUFF’s festival director and lead programmer Brenda Lieberman remarked:
“I always love seeing how our lineup comes together with the different films we see at various festivals, submissions, and the wide range of stories and genres that are out there. The unique tastes of our programmers are always represented, and this year we have more films, more time slots and the highest number of guests in attendance. Whatever your style, CUFF has something for every film fan.”
You’ll find no argument here as CUFF has programmed many MMC! favourites, including Yann Gonzalez’sgiallo-pastiche, Knife + Heart; the “Gekimation,” boy’s adventure-nightmare, Violence Voyager, Astron-6’s frontier swan song, Chowboys, Lorène Yavo’s tale of slacker sorcery, Count Your Curses; and Ilja Rautsi’s topically surreal Helsinki Mansplaining Massacre! MMC! is likewise hyped for Alex Ross Perry’s punk opus, Her Smell; Peter Strickland’s killer dress film, In Fabric; Luke Lorentzen’s portrait of a family-run, private ambulance service, Midnight Family, Ryan White’s bio-doc, Ask Dr. Ruth; not one, but two films by Claire Denis – High Life and Beau Travail; Calvin Lee Reeder’s sequel to the The Procedure; and the nightmarishly animated surgical-horror short, Caterpillarplasty.