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2013 Sydney Underground Film Festival: Official Lineup

Poster for 7th annual Sydney Underground Film Festival

The 7th annual Sydney Underground Film Festival, which runs this year on September 5-8 at the Factory Theatre, opens with a real bang when they will screen cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s latest cinematic odyssey, The Dance of Reality. This is Jodorowsky’s first film in over twenty years and is an imaginative and playful quasi-autobiography.

The rest of the four-day celebration is packed with more film oddities and excursions into surreal and transgressive territory. One particular highlight that is not to be missed is Don Swaynos’ incredibly crowd-pleasing comedy Pictures of Superheroes, about a slacker cleaning woman’s descent into an absurd world she can’t escape. Read the Underground Film Journal’s review of Pictures of Superheroes here.

Other twisted fiction films screening include Drew Tobias’s sick and twisted See You Next Tuesday, Cody Calahan’s apocalyptic Antisocial and Lloyd Kaufman’s highly-anticipated sequel Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Vol. 1. The fest then closes on the 8th with Paul Schrader and Bret Easton Ellis’s collaboration The Canyons.

SUFF this year is also filled with wild documentaries, including the portrait of an avant-garde master, Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton by Stephen Silha, Eric Slade and Dawn Logsdon; the profile of an immensely popular character actor in Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction by Sophie Huber; mail-order love is explored in Seeking Asian Female by Debbie Lum; and the hit music doc A Band Called Death by Mark Christopher Covino and Jeff Howlett.

Special events include a presentation on degenerate cinema by underground film historian Jack Sargeant that will include Charles Pinion’s transgressive feature We Await; “Bad Movie Bingo” with The Room, Troll 2 and Birdemic; a conversation with filmmaker George Gittoes; loads of short film programs and more.

The full Sydney Underground Film Festival lineup is below. For more info, please visit the fest’s official website.

September 5

7:30 p.m.: The Dance of Reality, dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky. An “imaginary autobiography” of the famed director.

September 6

6.30 p.m.: Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, dir. Sophie Huber. This documentary profiles the cult character actor.

6.30 p.m.: Discoverdale, dir. George Kane. The lead singer of a rock band criss-crosses Europe to find his real father: David Coverdale, of the ’80s hair band Whitesnake.

6.30 p.m.: Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton, dir. Stephen Silha, Eric Slade and Dawn Logsdon. This documentary celebrates the life and work of poet and experimental filmmaker James Broughton.

6.30 p.m.: Seeking Asian Female, dir. Debbie Lum. This documentary chronicles the love affair between a white American man and the Chinese bride he romances online.

8.30 p.m.: Magic Magic, dir. Sebastián Silva. A woman suffering from insomnia struggles through a disturbing vacation in Chile with her cousin.

8.30 p.m.: A Band Called Death, dir. Mark Christopher Covino, Jeff Howlett. This documentary profiles the unlikely history of what may be the world’s first punk band.

8.30 p.m.: The Institute, dir. Spencer McCall. Explore the real world consequences of the actions of a secretive underground society in San Francisco in this puzzling documentary.

8.30 p.m.: Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector, dir. Dan M. Kinem and Levi Peretic. Meet the obsessive collectors of out-of-date VHS video tapes.

10.30 p.m.: The Room, dir. Tommy Wiseau. Was this intentionally made to be one of the worst films of all time? Or was it a sincere effort on Wiseau’s part that he’s now milking beyond belief? Find out at this screening of the notorious cult classic.

10.30 p.m.: Antisocial, dir. Cody Calahan. Five young people face the end of the world on New Year’s Eve through their computers and mobile devices.

10.30 p.m.: “Best of the Fetisch Film Festival”
The Chauffeur, dir. Maud Ferrari
Jumpcut, dir. Saskia Quax
Da Kink in My Lair, dir. Yulia Petrauskas
Miss D, dir. Stefan Blomquist
My Day With Tarna, dir. Chris Caliman

10.30 p.m.: This Band Is So Gorgeous!, dir. Dunstan Bruce. The adventures of the first punk band, Sham 69, to tour China is chronicled in this documentary.

September 7

12:00 p.m.: The Final Member, dir. Jonah Bekhor & Zach Math. This documentary follows a museum curator’s quest to acquire his most challenging object yet.

12:00 p.m.: “Ozploit!”
Catch of the Day, dir. Patrick Feary
Ringwood, dir. Megan Palinkas
Gull, dir. Ben Damon
The Devil Rides Out – ‘Burn Again‘, dir. Richard Eames
Exit, dir. Livia Rubiolini
Winning the Fox Hunt, dir. Christian Doran
Work/Flow, dir. Elena Knox
Baseline_Shift, dir. Emma Hicks
The Hand That Feeds, dir. Jasper Marlow
Heidi Fires Everyone, dir. Nikos Andronicos & James McFay
Greed, dir. Nathan Bender
Kindred Spirits, dir. Stephen Rangott
The Invisible Force, dir. Ella Condon
FMK, dir. Emma Varker & Joshua Haddad Gilmore-Kerr

12:00 p.m.: Troll 2, dir. Claudio Fragasso. A family on vacation are turned into vegetables by goblins.

12:00 p.m.: See You Next Tuesday, dir. Drew Tobia. A pregnant young woman with a loose grip on reality involves her alcoholic mother and “party girl” sister into her increasingly chaotic life.

2:00 p.m.: Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, dir. Sophie Fiennes. Philosopher Slavoj Zizek muses on the subjects of cinema, psychoanalysis and dreams.

2:00 p.m.: Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey With Mumia Abu-Jamal, dir. Stephen Vittoria. This documentary profiles the controversial activist who has spent the last 29 years on death row.

2:00 p.m.: Pictures of Superheroes, dir. Don Swaynos. A professional cleaning woman gets dumped by her boyfriend then begins working for a neurotic businessman. Read the Underground Film Journal movie review.

2:00 p.m.: “Free Radicals”
Battlegroup, dir. Simon Sheills
Supernova, dir. Gregory Godhard
l’apparition de courbes aurorales [bleu], dir. Samantha Gurry
Double Graffiti, dir. Paul Winkler
Cinamnesia, dir. Nicola Walkerden
WAP, dir. Dirk de Bruyn
Long Life (1), dir. Merilyn Fairskye
The Park, dir. John Gillies
Comfortable, dir. Natasha Foster
Epicormic, dir. Josephine Starrs & Leon Cmielewski
Neon Spread, dir. Tony Lawrence
Going Along, dir. Dee Hood
The Moon Has Its Reasons, dir. Lewis Klahr
A Beginning a Middle and an End, dir. Jon Behrens
A Party Record of Sex and Sadness, dir. Bobby Abate

4:30 p.m.: Unlawful Killing, dir. Keith Allen. This documentary explores the controversial death of Princess Diana.

4:30 p.m.: UnHung Hero, dir. Brian Spitz. Is Patrick’s lot in life determined by his small genitalia?

4:30 p.m.: “Mr. Doodleburger”
Australia’s charming Mr. Doodleburger eviscerates videos in this live performance.

4:30 p.m.: “LSD Factory”
Auto Bambina, dir. Rob Crow
Retrocognition, dir. Eric Patrick
Grumble Body Beauty, dir. Dean Tirkot
Doughnut, dir. Patti Tsarouhis
The Breast Around, dir. Ryan Suits
Filth, dir. Emma Varker
Keep a Modest Head, dir. Deco Dawson
Stamina, dir. Vitalic
Metamorfoze, dir. Martha Colburn
Baby, I Love You, dir. Faiyaz Jafri
Woman Who Hates Plants, dir. Morgan Miller
Blotto 649, dir. Mike Marynuik
#Postmodem, dir. Jillian Mayer & Lucas Leyva
DUUUUUH!, dir. Diego Ramirez

6:30 p.m.: The Room, dir. Tommy Wiseau. Was this intentionally made to be one of the worst films of all time? Or was it a sincere effort on Wiseau’s part that he’s now milking beyond belief? Find out at this screening of the notorious cult classic.

6:30 p.m.: Seeking Asian Female, dir. Debbie Lum. This documentary chronicles the love affair between a white American man and the Chinese bride he romances online.

6:30 p.m.: Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector, dir. Dan M. Kinem and Levi Peretic. Meet the obsessive collectors of out-of-date VHS video tapes.

6:30 p.m.: A Body Without Organs, dir. Stephen Graves. This documentary captures Graves’ father’s very real struggle with having his colon removed.

8:30 p.m.: Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Vol. 1, dir. Lloyd Kaufman. A young couple are terrorized by a grotesquely mutated glee club.

8:30 p.m.: Birdemic: Shock and Terror, dir. James Nguyen. Vicious birds attack a small town’s populace.

8:30 p.m.: “Lovesick”
Fatland, dir. Tessa Muskett
Blind Passenger, dir. Shahane Bekarian
S/M Wonderland, dir. Adam Geczy
First Love, dir. James Hartley
The Hidden Gem, dir. Namratha Thomas
Rubber Duckie, dir. Henry Alberto
My New Boyfriend, dir. Phillip McKenzie
Float, dir. Nick Hunter

8:30 p.m.: We Await, dir. Charles Pinion. A family of cannibals becomes possessed by a sentient green fungus.
Screening with: Outrageous short films curated by Jack Sargeant.

10:30 p.m.: Lords of Salem, dir. Rob Zombie. A mysterious record invites spirits from the past to get their ghastly revenge.

10:30 p.m.: Birdemic 2: The Resurrection, dir. James Nguyen. A horde of angry eagles and vultures viciously attack Hollywood, California.

10:30 p.m.: Poor Little Rich Girls (After Warhol), dir. Alex Munt. A remake of Andy Warhol’s classic Poor Little Rich Girl (1965).

10:30 p.m.: Antisocial, dir. Cody Calahan. Five young people face the end of the world on New Year’s Eve through their computers and mobile devices.

September 8

1:00 p.m.: How to Make Money Selling Drugs, dir. Matthew Cooke. The War on Drugs is analyzed in this provocative documentary.

1:00 p.m.: Troll 2, dir. Claudio Fragasso. A family on vacation are turned into vegetables by goblins.

1:00 p.m.: A Band Called Death, dir. Mark Christopher Covino, Jeff Howlett. This documentary profiles the unlikely history of what may be the world’s first punk band.

1:00 p.m.: “Reality Bites”
Buffalo Must Die, dir. Jesse Veverka
Power-Man, dir. Zachary Kerrholden
The Flat That Darod Killed, dir. Thomas Grainger
Save the Whales, dir. Isabel Fondevila
The Sandwich Nazi, dir. Lewis Bennett
A Finite World, dir. Erin Collett
General Dang, dir. Joshua Dang
Prepare for the Enlightenment, dir. Maximilian Reinthal
Tits, dir. Opal Dockery
A Life with Asperger’s, dir. Jamie Mekkens
Ô Divin Bovin, dir. Alexandre Rufin
Mugs, dir. Ronnie Cramer
International Noise Conference, dir. Ronnie Riviera
Fallout, dir. Paul Turano

3:00 p.m.: Magic Magic, dir. Sebastián Silva. A woman suffering from insomnia struggles through a disturbing vacation in Chile with her cousin.

3:00 p.m.: Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, dir. Sophie Huber. This documentary profiles the cult character actor.

3:00 p.m.: Unlawful Killing, dir. Keith Allen. This documentary explores the controversial death of Princess Diana.

3:00 p.m.: Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Vol. 1, dir. Lloyd Kaufman. A young couple are terrorized by a grotesquely mutated glee club.

5:00 p.m.: John Dies at the End, dir. Don Coscarelli. Two unsuspecting dudes ingest a funky sauce that reveals the true nature of the universe to them, which they discover only they can save from interdimensional demons.

5:00 p.m.: “What the World Needs Now: George Gittoes, In Conversation”
Australian filmmaker George Gittoes will discuss his filmmaking practices and techniques and show clips of his films, including the upcoming Snow Monkey.

5:00 p.m.: The Final Member, dir. Jonah Bekhor & Zach Math. This documentary follows a museum curator’s quest to acquire his most challenging object yet.

5:00 p.m.: Birdemic 2: The Resurrection, dir. James Nguyen. A horde of angry eagles and vultures viciously attack Hollywood, California.

7:30 p.m.: The Canyons, dir. Paul Schrader. A reluctant Hollywood filmmaker and his girlfriend descend into the dark underbelly of Los Angeles.


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