Cambridge, MA - Following up on last week’s exciting announcement, the Boston Underground Film Festival is proud to unveil its full program of films for the 18th edition of the festival, happening March 23rd through the 27th at the Brattle Theatre and Harvard Film Archive. BUFF’s already dynamic lineup is rounded out with even more intriguing films from around the world, including over eighty short films and music videos that promise to delight, enthrall, and disturb.
Previously announced Polish mermaid-vampire film The Lure opens this year’s cinema floodgates on Wednesday night (3/23), followed by a repertory screening of the hauntingly beautiful Belladonna of Sadness, which is finally screening through the U.S. for the first time, thanks to Cinelicious Pics’ immaculate 4K restoration. This 1970s animated erotic gem from Japan, based on the novel Satanism and Witchcraft, was directed by Eiichi Yamamoto (Astro Boy) and is a must-see masterpiece. The festival will be closed out with Sundance hit Trash Fire, a bleak and brilliant gut punch of a comedy starring Adrian Grenier, with director Richard Bates Jr. and actress AnnaLynne McCord in attendance.
Thursday night (3/24) highlights include a rare 35mm screening of indie horror cult classic Wendigo, presented by director and legend Larry Fessenden, Murder-thriller Kill Your Friends, adapted for the big screen by John Niven from his own hit cult novel, features Mad Max Fury Road’s pale-but-still-so-dreamy Nicholas Hoult as music exec anti-hero Steven Stelfox in this American Psycho-style dark comedy from the UK.
Friday night features (3/25) Detroit-based crime thriller Cash Only, directed by Malik Bader and scripted by/starring Nikola Shreli, a powerful film that takes place in the city’s underground Albanian community where a landlord is on a mission to save his daughter by any means possible. Shreli will be in attendance at the screening, Friday night at the Brattle.
Festival favorites Zach Clark (Modern Love is Automatic, White Reindeer) and Frank Henenlotter (Bad Biology) return to BUFF to present their latest and greatest: Clark’s Little Sister, fresh from its SXSW world premiere, screens Friday night and Henenlotter’s art heist caper comedy, Chasing Banksy, commands the screen on Saturday. Both Clark and Henenlotter will be in attendance.
Also on Saturday (3/26) straight from Sundance’s Midnight selection, comes Antibirth - a hallucinatory body-horror from Animal Collective visual collaborator, Danny Perez. With Natasha Lyonne stealing center stage as the possibly pregnant and almost always wasted Lou, and Chloe Sevigny stepping in as best friend, this is one twisted take on the Immaculate Conception. BUFF is thrilled to raise the curtain for a screening of Jaron Henrie-McCrea’s indie horror treat, Curtain, his sophmore follow-up to Pervertigo. New York real estate is bad enough without a portal to another dimension hidden in your shower; Danni, a burnt out nurse settling into new digs, definitely isn’t going to get reimbursed for all the shower curtains that keep disappearing through this mysterious hole. The inter-dimensional low-fi mystery Curtain is equal parts bizarre and horrifying and one hundred percent delightful.
Over at the Harvard Film Archive on Saturday afternoon, director Neil Edwards will be in attendance for his religious fringe documentary Sympathy for the Devil: The True Story of the Process Church of the Final Judgement. Immediately following, Ross Sutherland will be on hand with a spectacular live performance of his radical VHS poetry/synchronicity experiment and festival hit, Stand By for Tape Back-Up, which hypnotically recalls the The Dark Size of Oz (the beautiful, uncanny melding of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz). On Sunday afternoon, also at the HFA, Christopher Kirkley’s Rain the Color of Blue with a Little Red in It screens for the first time in New England. Originally titled Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai due to the lack of word for purple in the Tuareg language (which is spoken in the film’s setting of Niger), the film was conceived as a remake of Prince’s cult hit Purple Rain, but becomes its own gorgeous entity as this cultural transmission follows Mdou Moctar on his hero’s journey to guitar king of the Sahara.
BUFF is honored to present the world premiere of local filmmakers Michael J. Epstein and Sophia Cacciola’s lesbian vampire feature Blood of the Tribades on Sunday (3/27) afternoon at the Brattle. Also on Sunday, fresh from the festival circuit, BUFF is proud to bring audiences Sang-chan Kim’s return to filmmaking, Karaoke Crazies, straight from its world premiere at SXSW. Karaoke, Korea’s favorite pastime, becomes the moody backdrop for a thrilling psycho killer comedy. Festival darling Robert G. Putka (2012 Best Short winner for Mouthful) returns to BUFF with his feature debut MAD, fresh from its world premiere at Slamdance. Putka’s comedy cuts, as it weaves a story about a matriarch past the point of a nervous breakdown, her two daughters that don’t give a damn, and the missiles of resentment they hurt at one another.
This year’s critically acclaimed collections of short films are:
- An annual showcase on local tales of terror (and talent!), Homegrown Horror.
- A series of existential oddities, including revered underground filmmaker Usama Alshaibi’s latest film BAGHDAD, IOWA, will be featured in Perpetual Contemplation of Infinite Glory.
- Midnight short block Trigger Warning returns with abrasive, in-your-face films that are most definitely NSFW.
- Saturday morning’s kid-and-adult friendly Saturday Morning Cartoons, programmed by renowned curator, author, and Monster Fest director Kier-La Janisse with all-you-can-eat cereal buffet.
- Sound & Vision showcases the creme de la creme of surreal and powerful music videos from around the world.
- Mania, madness, absurdity and monstrosity abound in Fugue & Riffs, with 2015′s Best of Fest Short winner Jim McDonough’s newest off-the-wall follow up.
- Finally, the End of the Line celebrates all things weird and wonderful, delivering a surreal collection of adults-only animations.
Individual screening ticket prices vary and will be available online and at the Brattle Theatre box office on the day of screening and online. Harvard Film Archive screenings are available for purchase online through BrownPaperTickets and at the door. For full film descriptions, schedule and ticketing go to www.bostonunderground.org.