Welcome witches and warlocks,
From March 23rd to March 26th I had the honor of attending The Boston Underground Film Festival (BUFF for short) and figured I should offer up a few words on the festival as a whole.
Walking up to the Brattle Theater, one could very quickly assume they are in the wrong place. I mean, here we are, just off of Harvard Square, walking up to a brick building that looks like anything but a film festival location. Being in the Boston area, I sooner expected to see some historic plaque designating this as the spot that Paul Revere spent the night after his famous ride than to find a movie house showing films inspired by and pertaining to the weird. My first indication that I had not gotten lost, was a small poster in a glass case advertising the festival itself. I took a staircase down to the box office and received my tickets to the first show.
For the sake of brevity, I will not play by play each movie I saw or each night I attended, but instead just try to give an overall feeling of the event.
The Brattle itself looks deceptively small at first which helps to create an intimate atmosphere. The fact that all seven movies I saw were at one convenient location made the festival feel all the more accessible to the general public. The ease of access combined with the intimacy made the people around you feel like family (for better or worse) so a real sense of community was present.
This sociable atmosphere came to the forefront during the question and answer sessions. Listening to people interact with the writers, directors, and stars was a fascinating experience as the conversations ranged from more lighthearted inquiries into the director’s favorite monster to more serious critiques of the portrayal of art in the film. Some of these sessions seemed more like a witch hunt than a traditional Q&A, but for the most part things were kept civil and the director was able to provide a lot of illumination as to their intention. I have to admit, I was very impressed that the festival was able to get so many of the writers and directors to show up. Out of the eight movies and seven shorts I was able to see, eight directors made appearances to talk about their work.
Speaking of the works themselves, BUFF presented quite a variety. Over the course of four nights I managed to catch films in the following genres: horror, comedy, crime, musical, and drama. In a way, I feel like the festival itself comes across as a horror only affair, but there was enough here to satisfy many different tastes.
All in all, the variety of films on offer, the ease of location, the sense of community, the affordability, and the great guests make this an easy recommendation for any cinephile.
Stay tuned for my review of the Irish horror feature The Hallow (2015).
-The Creeping Craig