Kinodvor and Kinoteka, Ljubljana twin temples of art cinema, are giving themselves up once again to the cheap thrills and honest trash of the annual Kurja Polt (“Goosebumps”) festival of genre film, this year in its 6th shocking incarnation.
This one is titled Freaks, and in addition to the Tod Browning classic of midnight screenings includes a number of other films that, for one reason or another, simply could not – and perhaps should not – be made today. Thus you’ll be able to marvel at underground classics like Isla – Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks, a film that, as the NSFW trailer attests, fully lives up (or down) to the potential of its title, with something to offend everyone.
Or you can enjoy the Italian giallo sex and violence thriller with perhaps the best title of the festival – in a programme packed with contenders – Il tuo vizio è una stanza chiusa e solo io ne ho la chiave, aka Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key. Sadly, no trailer for this is available, but the synopsis begins as follows:
Oliviero (Luigi Pistilli), a frustrated writer and an abusive husband to Irina (Anita Strindberg), amuses himself by holding drunken hippy orgies in their crumbling country villa. But when one of his lovers is found dead, he becomes the prime suspect to a series of mysterious murders. To complicate matters even further, Oliviero’s beautiful and seductive niece Floriana (Edwige Fenech) arrives for an unexpected visit….
With regard to family fun, and not just for the Mansons, there’s the legendary Roar, dubbed the most dangerous movie ever shot, with a cast of wild animals that at any moment could have decided to eat the actors:
Hank (Noel Marshall) is an energetic scientist, living in the bush country of East Africa, alongside a menagerie of over 100 wild lions, tigers, panthers and an elephant or two. They all live together in apparent harmony. Until one day, just as his wife and children (real-life wife Tippi Hedren, step-daughter Melanie Griffith and his sons John and Jerry Marshall) arrive from Chicago, a battle for dominance erupts between the lions. And things go badly wrong.
In addition to confirmed classics there are those in the making, including the intriguing Un Couteau Dans Le Coeur, or Knife + Heart:
Paris, the summer of 1979. Anne (Vanessa Paradis) is a 40-something gay porn director with titles like Anal Fury and Homocidal under her belt. After her editor and lover Lois leaves her, she tries to win her back by shooting her most ambitious film yet. But a mysterious killer starts murdering her actors one by one.
Non-western movies also get their turn on the big screen, with Filipino director Khavn de la Cruz appearing in person at both a workshop and screenings of Bamboo Dogs and Balangiga: Howling Wilderness.
While the Nigerian film Hello Rain will also be playing:
Through a potent but dangerous combination of juju and technology, three scientist witches Rain, Philo and Coco create magical wigs that grant them untold supernatural powers. But power corrupts and Rain, the leader, finds herself in a confrontation with her friends. She must stop them before they destroy the entire nation.
If you’re not afraid to take a walk on the wide side then I recommend you head over to the official site in order to see the full schedule, which also includes seminars, workshops, performances, and an art exhibition. As bonus for readers of TSN, non-English language films will be screened with English subtitles, so you’ll be able to enjoy every minute..
Finally, note that fans of this event should put the Grossmann Fantastic Film Festival in their calendars, which this year (2019) takes place 16–20 July in Ljutomer, while whenever you’re reading this you can see our guide to what’s on in Ljubljana, including at cinemas, here.