HOMAGE: FABRICE DU WELZ
Fabrice DU WELZ graduated from the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Liège and INSAS in Brussels. After shooting Super8 films and writing humorous sequences for Canal+ during the ‘90s, he made his first live-action short A Wonderful Love (Quand on est amoureux c’est merveilleux, 1999) which won the Grand Prix at the Gérardmer Fantastic Film Festival. His feature-length debut Calvaire (2004), presented at the International Critics’ Week in Cannes, already established du Welz as one of the most confident and original voices in contemporary genre cinema. While his sophomore feature, a phantasmagorical journey into the jungles of Thailand Vinyan (2008) saw the filmmaker cross over into that marvellous, complex domain of arthouse and genre hybrids that defy easy categorization – a mark of originality which inevitably divides critics and audiences alike. Du Welz’s “artsploitation” reached its apotheosis in the stunning, 16mm-shot Alleluia (Alléluia, 2014), a masterly mixture of psychological drama and very earthly horror, which won the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation’s Méliès D’Or for Best Film of 2014. In the same year du Welz completed another feature, the French policier Colt 45. A contemporary riff on Blaxploitation Message from the King (2016), starring Chadwick Boseman, was his first foray into American production. But we are very happy to see him return to home turf this upcoming summer to explore the boundaries of a maddening, destructive love once again with Adoration, the third and final chapter of his Ardennes Trilogy, preceded by Calvaire and Alleluia.
RETROSPECTIVE: QUEEN KONG
Monica STAMBRINI graduated from Film School in Milan in 1994 and has since directed several short films, documentaries, videoclips and art videos which screened in festivals all over the world. Her debut feature Gasoline (Benzina, 2001) had its international premiere at the Toronto Film Festival and won Best Actresses in Annecy. More recently, her documentary Electric Chair – The Making-of the Film Me and You (Sedia Elettrica: il making of del film Io e Te, 2012), shot on the set of Bernardo Bertolucci’s Me and You (Io e te), was presented both at Venice and Rotterdam Film Festivals. Queen Kong (2016), an x-rated short film, won Best Narrative Short at Queens World Film Festival and was a big special event at the Pesaro and Milan Film Festivals. She is currently editing the documentary short Io sono Valentina Nappi (with the pornstar Valentina Nappi) and working on a documentary about her grandfather. She lives in Rome and is the foundress of “Le Ragazze Del Porno”, a collective project of explicit films by Italian female directors.
CULT FILM CONFERENCE
Dr Russ HUNTER is a Senior Lecturer in Film and Television in the Department of Arts at Northumbria University. His research focuses on Italian genre cinema, European horror cinema and genre film festivals. He has published on a variety of aspects of Italian and European genre cinema and is the co-editor (with Stefano Baschiera) of Italian Horror Cinema (2016). He is currently writing Italian Horror: A History, which will be published in 2019 by Edinburgh University Press. He has published in numerous film encyclopedias and reference guides and works closely with a number of European genre film festivals.
Dr Steve JONES is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences at Northumbria University, UK. His teaching interests are based in cultural politics, moral philosophy, the philosophy of self, and identity (particularly gender). His work mainly centres on horror, pornography, and representations of violence. He is the author of Torture Porn: Popular Horror after Saw (2013) and co-editor (with Shaka McGlotten) of Zombies and Sexuality: Essays on Desire and the Living Dead (2014). His published articles can be accessed for free at http://www.drstevejones.co.uk/publications.html.
Dr. Alexia KANNAS is a Lecturer in Media and Cinema Studies in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Her research concerns topics in cult cinema, film genre, film sound and cinematic modernism. She is the author of Deep Red (Columbia University Press/Wallflower, 2017) and is currently completing a monograph on the Italian giallo film for SUNY Press.
Doris KUHN is a member of the legendary collectively-run cinema Werkstattkino in Munich. As a filmmaker she was part of the ’80s S-8 movement in Germany. Her short film Morgen (1984) and the feature film Jesus – The Film (Jesus – Der Film, 1986) which she co-directed were recently showcased at the 2015 Rotterdam Film Festival. She occasionally does travelling roadshows on selected topics with analogue films from Werkstattkino’s film archive, and was guest curator at Viva Erotica film festival in Helsinki between 2015 and 2017. She earns her daily bread writing film reviews for Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Filmdienst.
Dejan OGNJANOVIĆ (Niš, Serbia, 1973) has a PhD in Literature (“Historical Poetics of Horror Genre in Anglo-American Literature”). Writes book and film reviews and articles for Rue Morgue magazine. In Serbia he has published seven books: two novels, three studies, a collection of essays and a book of interviews. He edited H. P. Lovecraft’s best stories in Serbian (Nekronomikon, 2008.). His essays in English have been published in the books edited by Steven Schneider (100 European Horror Films, 501 Movie Directors, 101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die), as well as in academic collections Speaking of Monsters (2012) and Digital Horror (2015). He is an editor at Orfelin Publishing (Novi Sad, Serbia) where he works on the series “Poetics of Horror“.His first book in English is The Weird World of H.P. Lovecraft (Rue Morgue, 2017).