Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Night of Horror International Film Festival Diary, Entry # 3

I know I have been quite lazy about writing this entry, but I haven’t had any time until now to continue sharing my ramblings with my ‘devoted readers’ (Yes, they exist!)

As I had stated in my previous entry, the second event I attended on march 29th, Sunday was the horror themed party held at the “notorious” Club 77 of King’s Cross. The programme informed me that the party would be the world premiere of the French film Burn Paris Burn, and it would also feature some short films and horror themed music videos, as well as “live Surgical Side-show”. This, the programme said, would be a party to end all parties!

Now this all sounds very exciting, but frankly, the party turned out to be not quite what I expected it to be. A world premiere! At a “notorious” club! In King’s Cross! And a surgical side-show!? Horror themed music videos! A party to end all parties!!! I may be a bit over-imaginative but I had an image of a night club, which wasn’t much different from the one in the opening scene of Blade, with countless Goths dancing under flashing lights to some techno-industrial music. I was even hoping we would be sprayed with blood! (No, not really)

Instead, I went into a sparsely populated underground club, showing some trippy short films on the screen, which was otherwise really quiet. Not that I didn’t like the atmosphere in there, but it was hardly as apocalyptic as the programme promised it to be. In fact, it was hardly a party – just a bunch of really enthusiastic horror fans gathered to watch obscure stuff that they probably won’t have a chance to see again.

Here’s the party’s programme:

Short films:
Anyone There? - 10 Min Holger Frick (Germany)
Kagimiko - 13 Min Mathieu Arsenault (Canada)
The Flies - 5 Min Josh Collier (UK)
Stygian Horizon - 5 Min Evan Chan (Canada)

With horror themed music videos:
More Control - 6 Min Steve Daniels (USA)
The Beauty - 4 Min Luca Vecchi (Italy)
Hunt - 2 Min Yohei Ito (Japan)
Francois Martin By The Tenth Stage - 4 Min John Von Ahlen (AU)
The Man Who Made Monsters - 6 Min Onethirtyeight (UK)
Haunted By The Thought Of You - 6 Min Terran Schackor (USA)
Karaoke Show - 5 Min Karl Tebbe (Germany)
Crystal - 4 Min Jason Lapeyre (Canada)

Of the short films, Anyone There? and The Flies were my favourites. Anyone There? is a slasher with a twist ending – watch the teaser trailer here. The Flies is a black and white surrealist piece that draws its texture from the stuff nightmares are made, and wasn’t unlike something David Lynch would make. To watch the film, click here.

One of the best music videos shown at the party was The Heist and The Accomplice’s More Control directed by Steve Daniels. The video opened with a quote from Kenneth Anger: “Cinema is an evil force. Its point is to exert control over people and events” and continued with five minutes of the band playing in an old cinema theatre and being attacked by the said evil force. I quite liked the retro feel of the video, which fit the indie style of the band nicely. Watch the video here.

Oh, I almost forgot! In between the short films and videos, there was another trivia quiz, and this time I won a DVD (The Descent by Neil Marshall) by answering the question “Who was Videodrome written and directed by?” Thanks A Night of Horror!

After the music videos, it was time for the Surgical Side-show. Well, no, it wasn’t a carnivale act featuring live surgery, but it was a performance piece by two mascots wearing skull masks, and a woman dressed alternatively as a receptionist and a policewoman. And it was quite enjoyable, in fact, surprisingly much more so than live surgery! Find out more about the Surgical Side-show here.

The final treat of the night was the bizarre French film Burn Paris Burn, with its world premiere (this almost made me look around for a red carpet inside the club). Check the trailer here.

In an attempt to define Burn Paris Burn, I will call it a surrealist-goth-fantasy rock video meets Japanese giant monster film. Romarik de Malkhange (co-director Laurent Sebelin) is a student who is into computer games, collectible toys, and rock music. One day, he meets Venus Flytrap (Elodie Briet), who happens to be a young witch. Venus takes a peek into Romarik’s mind, and sees his alter ego, with raven black hair, goth make-up, and a constant joker smile on his face, shows great potential as a rock star who can take over the world with his music, which he makes with a bone flute. So she casts a spell on the album Romarik records with his band Satan System, and a series of events that lead to the destruction of the entire city of Paris transpire. Visually, the film was no different from a music video, and it wasn’t going for a realistic imagery, either. It was highly entertaining, and Club 77 was definitely the right place to see it with its Goth club feel.

The night was still young for vampires and other children of the night, but I was quite tired after the “party”, so I headed home.

Next on the diary: The Dead Outside!

No comments: