George A. Romero, USA, 1973, 53′
Filmed for a Lutheran charity in 1973 as a public service announcement but never released, the long lost newly restored The Amusement Park is an angry denouncement and a surrealist horror take on the dangers of ageism, directed by none other than the father of the modern zombie film.
Benjamin Christensen, Sweden/Denmark, 1922, 106′
Structured as a series of hypnotic and hallucinatory vignettes, Christensen’s highly inventive and pioneering combination of documentary and horror cinema proposes to chronicle the history of witchcraft and the occult, but in fact offers a stark criticism of modern society. Live music!
Phil Tippett, USA, 2021, 83′
Over thirty years in the making, legendary visual effects artist Phil Tippett’s Mad God is a labour of love, a testament to the power of creative grit, and an homage to the timeless art of stop-motion animation. Ready your eyes. Ready your spirit. Prepare to meet your maker.
Jean Luc Herbulot, Senegal, 2021, 82′
The Congolese director’s second feature is a supernatural gonzo thriller, influenced by spaghetti westerns and stories of Mexican cartels, yet rooted in African mythology and postcolonial reality.
FOCUS: NORBERT PFAFFENBICHLER 01
Norbert Pfaffenbichler, Austria, 2021, 65’
The neo-silent film by Austrian experimentalist Norbert Pfaffenbichler is, no doubt, an homage to Chaplin’s The Kid, yet the stroboscopic flickering, heavy metal music, psychedelic colour distortions and episodic Gameboy tunes also make it a love child of punk revolt and Tod Browning’s Freaks. Guest talk!
Norbert Pfaffenbichler, Austria, 2013, 60′
Pfaffenbichler masterfully re-edits parts of 46 surviving films starring legendary actor Lon Chaney to create a surreal tribute to his acting and the lonely horror landscapes he once populated, in which he now resurrects as “The Ghost of a Thousand Faces”. Guest talk!
Tod Browning, USA, 1927, 35mm, 65′
Master of the Macabre Tod Browning and silent screen legend Lon Chaney, “The Man of a Thousand Faces”, join forces for what is considered their best collaboration, one of the earliest cult films and last great masterpieces of silent cinema. Live music!
KINO EKRAN: MIDDLE EASTERN CINEMA
Mani Haghighi, Iran, 2016, 108′
With multiple perspectives, mocumentary re-enactments, crazy leaps in time and place and surrealist humour, A Dragon Arrives! is all about the nature of truth, myths, paranoia and invention, with its unique style paying homage to the Iranian New Wave. Guest talk!
Fadi Baki, Germany/Lebanon, 2017, 29′
A satirical mocumentary with an old school approach to sci-fi tells the tumultuous story of Manivelle, a robot gifted by France to Lebanon on the occasion of its independence. Guest talk!
RETROSPECTIVE: FILM SOLEIL
John Sturges, USA, 1955, 35mm, 81′
Sturges’ sun-scorched study of xenophobia, racism, toxic masculinity, and collective guilt is a true early film soleil, where western and noir intersect and where Spencer Tracy, in the lead role, deals you a deadly karate blow. The harsh condemnation and pessimistic view of American culture most likely contributed to the fact that the film became a great but overlooked classic.
Russ Meyer, USA, 1965, 83’
With its frenetic style of quick-cutting, exuberant action, comic-book imagery, and bizarre dialogue, this is the ultimate cult classic by the King of Sexploitation. In the words of the King of Camp, John Waters: “Beyond a doubt, the best movie ever made. It is possibly better than any film that will be made in the future. Russ Meyer is the Eisenstein of sex films.”
Arthur Penn, USA, 1966, 134′
Although it was renounced by both director Arthur Penn and screenwriter Lillian Hellman, critics, theory, and history remain on the side of The Chase, a brutal masterpiece of American Southern Gothic, imbued with violence and grim pessimism.
Georges Lautner, France/Italy, 1970, 35mm, 96′
A slowly smouldering, sun-scorched and delirious twilight of the hippie era, mixing incestuous sex, drugs, and delusions, with Rita Hayworth in her penultimate film and platinum diva of biker flicks and giallo films, Mimsy Farmer.
Lucio Fulci, Italy, 1972, 35mm, 102′
While its portrayal of the Catholic Church sparked outrage, scandal, and lawsuit against its creators, Don’t Torture a Duckling is today considered one of the most original, unusual, and uncomfortable giallo films in the history of the genre.
William Friedkin, USA, 1977, 121′
William Friedkin’s adaptation of the Georges Arnaud novel The Wages of Fear, previously filmed by Henri Georges-Clouzot, was a critical failure on its initial release. For decades Friedkin’s film maudit is today rightfully considered an indisputable masterpiece.