program by Nathalie Snel
Ivan Zulueta (1979, Sp, 110 min)
2 dec. 2010, 21:00, Poortgebouw
A genuine cult title, Zulueta’s deeply eccentric, brooding and misterious underground oddity is barely known outside of Spain. A hallucinatory, claustrophobic examination of the potency of film itself, it enters the disorienting world of a young filmmaker who discovers his camera has a feature he never imagined. Rapture is the Spanish Videodrome. Predating Cronemberg’s film by four years. Taking one right back to those great 70’s mood movies, it’s a singular treat.
ELECTRAGLIDE IN BLUE
James William Guercio (1973, US, 113 min)
16 dec. 2010, 21:00, Poortgebouw
Striking one-off by a former record producer. A weirdly funny black comedy about an undersized cop, barely five feet tall but nursing a dream of becoming a Clint Eastwood hero. He makes the grade, (after a fashion, since the dream turns sour) by way of an alarmingly funny echo of Dr Strangelove (his mentor in detection has no need for evidence preferring instead to stand in the moonlight listening to his inner voices) and some spiky mockery of police methods. the message may be a little naive when he opts for humanity rather than authoritarianism, but the film has an extraordinary texture, peeling away layer after layer, to reveal dark depths of loneliness and despair as this cop Candide learns that he isn’t living in the best of all possible worlds. And Conrad Hall’s photography, especially of the monument valley landscapes is a joy.
Ted Bafaloukos (1979, US/JAM, 99 min)
6 jan. 2011, 21:00, Poortgebouw
A trenchtown variant on Robin Hood, with dreadlocked drummer Horsemouth (Wallace) up against the local minor-league mafia. An excellent soundtrack (Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Bunny Walier, Grecory Isaacs, etc), and an endearingly witty script which digresses through explanations of the Rasta faith and countless idiosyncratic solidarity rituals, makes for a delightful piece of whimsy. Complete with subtitles transtating the Rasta patois.
David Cronenberg (1980, Can, 103 min)
20 jan. 2011, 21:00, Poortgebouw
This looks less like Cronenberg’s popular mid 70’s exploiters (Rabid, Shivers) than one of his early experimental films, remade on a higher budget, with a small group of ‘scanners’; (warrior telepaths) fighting off a sinister mind war army that is backed, indirectly by industry and the state. Part concpiracy thriller,part political tract, it is Cronenbergs most coherent movie to date, drawing a dark (but bland) world in which corporate executives engineer human conception to produce ever more powerful mental samurai. And he punctuates it with spectacular set piece confrontations which really do dramatise the abstract, ingenious premise. As always there’s a nagging feeling that the script is not quite perfectly realised on screen, but Patrick mc Goohan’s bizzare cameo performance and the extraordinary sexual and moral ambiguity of the final scanning contest, more than make up for it.