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2008 H3R3TIC Film Festival: Official Lineup

Presented by Video Inferno, the first ever H3R3TIC Film Festival in Amsterdam is a four-day celebration of alternative ways of thinking and living. Dedicated to Guy DeBord, Robert Anton Wilson and Albert Hofmann, screenings will take place in nine different locations all over the city. Most of the films seem to be documentaries of extremely colorful characters, but there are some outré fictional films thrown into the mix.

This looks to be a really stellar and exciting film festival. Stephanie Silber of Random Lunacy alerted me to it. Her wonderful film, co-directed with Victor Zimet, is playing; as are several other Underground Film Journal favorites, including Marc Rokoff‘s excellent Unspeakable, and the short films of two of my favorite underground filmmakers: Greta Snider and Vanessa Renwick, who are showing films from their Nomads & No-Zones split DVD. Craig Baldwin‘s Sonic Outlaws is also screening, which I haven’t seen even though Craig’s a friend of the site. Plus, new friend Antero Alli, who we’ll be writing about soon, is having his European premiere with three of his older films.

H3R3TIC is also featuring several retrospectives, including a collection of films about Charles Manson, the Situationist Movement and Aleister Crowley. There’s also documentaries about the legendary underground filmmaker Harry Smith, the Living Theatre, the Weather Underground and Father Yod.

This is probably the most mind-expanding lineup of films that I’ve seen in awhile and it sounds like great fun: And before we get to the amazing lineup below, here’s a brief snippet from the festival’s mission statement:

For one long weekend at the end of May these locations will be linked and creatively connected for a contemporary happening devised as an antidote to the everyday clutter of conformism and mediocrity.

An act of magick disguised as a festival.

A pledge of cultural resistance dedicated to spiritual insurgency, uncompromising creativity and to the power of free thinking.

And now, the lineup:

May 29
6:00 p.m.: Alex Grey – COSM: The Movie, dir. Nick Krasni. A documentary about the painter, sculptor and author and his NYC retreat, the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors.

7:30 p.m.: Re-Visiting Father and the Source Family, dir. Evan Wells. Meet Father Yod and the Source Family, whose legendary commune is still going strong today.

8:45 p.m.: In Girum Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni, dir. Guy Debord. An autobiographical documentary about the main theorist of the Situationist International, the ’60s group of political and artistic agitators.

10:00 p.m.: Unspeakable, dir. Marc Rokoff. A portrait of Satanic Priest Steven Johnson Leyba, who is also a performance artist and painter — and likes to paint with his own feces and blood. (Read the underground movie review)

May 30
4:00 p.m.: Aleister Crowley: In Search of the Great Beast, dir. Robert Garofalo. The great occultist’s life comes to life via re-enactments of some of his more notorious incidents. Scored by Rick Wakeman, keyboardist of the band Yes.

6:15 p.m.: Robert Anton Wilson: Maybe Logic, dir. Lance Bauscher. Archived videos from the past 25 years explores the work of the legendary psychonaut.

8:00 p.m.: Aleister Crowley: The Beast 666, dir. Donna Zuckerbrot. Experts from around the world give their take on the master magician’s life and legacy.

8:00 p.m.: Kings With Straw Mats, dir. Ira Cohen. Kumbh Mela is an Indian pilgrimage that takes place every 12 years. Now you can see what it’s like without having to actually go.

8:45 p.m.: Timothy Leary Is Dead, dir. Paul Davids. Produced during Leary’s last year on Earth, this documentary puts the father of LSD in his rightful place in history.

10 p.m.: Harry Smith: American Magus, dir. Paola Igliori. A profile of one of the leading figures of the New American Cinema movement of the ’60s. And, yes, he was a mystic.

10:00 p.m.: Paradise Now, dir. Marty Topp. The classic film documenting the Living Theatre’s return to America in 1968 with their breakthrough play that shares the title of this film.
Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda, dir. Ira Cohen. A psychedelic trip from 1968 composed of three parts: “The Opium Dream,” “Shaman” and “Heavenly Blue Mylar Pavilions.”

10:15 p.m.: Energy! The Movie, dir. Andrea Marfori. The long-thought-lost sci-fi flick co-written by and starring Timothy Leary. Featuring virtual realities, mysterious energy sources and, best of all, murdering nymphomaniacs.

May 31
4:00 p.m.: Traite de Bave et D’Eternite, dir. Isidore Isou. The classic 1951 avant-garde film directed by Guy Debord’s mentor.

4:30 p.m. : Die Beach Boys Und Der Satan, dir. Christoph Dreher. What do Anton La Vey, Kenneth Anger, Charles Manson and Brian Wilson all have in common? This movie about the so-called “Summer of Love” will tell you.

5:00 p.m.: Eye on the Black Panthers, dir. Newsreel USA. Uncovered historical films show Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldredge Cleaver and more Panthers in action.

6:00 p.m.: Charles Manon Superstar, dir. Nikolas Schreck. Want to hear Manson speak in his own words? If so, this interview of 1988 will fulfill that dream.

7:00 p.m.: The Weather Underground, dir. Sam Green. A profile of the homegrown revolutionary group.

7:00 p.m.: The Burning Man Festival Films, Various directors. Witness the amazing spectacle that is Burning Man as the event has grown between the years 1996 and 2006.

8:00 p.m.: The Manson Family, dir. Jim Van Bebber. A fictionalized take on Charles Manson and his followers, as perceived from their viewpoint.

8:45 p.m.: Twenty to Life, dir. Steve Gebhardt. A documentary about John Sinclair, the popular poet-provocateur. Sinclair will be in attendance at this screening.

9:30 p.m.: “World Traveler Adventures: A Tekno Odissey”
23 Minutes Warning
Storming Sarajevo
African Expedisound

10:00 p.m.: Live Freaky Die Freaky, dir. John Roeker. Witness the terrifying murders committed by the Manson Family — as recreated by puppets!

10:30 p.m.: The War on the War on Drugs, dir. Cevin Soling. Is the so-called “War on Drugs” actually making the drug problem in America better or worse?

June 1
4:00 p.m.: “On the Situationists”
The Situationists International UK
Jaqueline & De Situationisten NL

5:00 p.m.: Interferenze, dir. Zoe D’Amaro. A profile of the Telestreet network, the pirate local TV movement in Italy that began in 2002.
Pirate Radio USA, dir. Jeff Pearson. Documenting the struggle of unlicensed radio stations trying to take back the airwaves for the American public.

5:00 p.m.: Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, dir.Johan Grimonprez. A look back at the skyjacking terrorist movement of the ’60s and ’70s and the men who took part.

6:00 p.m.: Hysteria, dir. Antero Alli. A Catholic soldier thinks he sees the Virgin Mary during the Serb-Croatian war of 1991 who tells him to destroy a “den of iniquity” in Oakland, CA 10 years later.

6:00 p.m.: Le Fond de L’Air est Rouge, dir. Chris Marker. 1968 was a big year for the counter-culture. See what led up to this pivotal year and what effect it had on the culture at large in the years since.

7:00 p.m.: Steal This Film 1 + 2, Various directors. Part One is a profile of Sweden’s Pirate Party; while Part Two focuses on the copyright wars in the U.S.

7:00 p.m.: Nomads and No Zones, dir. Greta Snider & Vanessa Renwick. A collection of short films by two of America’s best renegade underground filmmakers. (Read the underground movie review.)

7:00 p.m.: The Net, dir. Lutz Dammbeck. There’s something connecting utopianism, anarchism, the CIA, LSD and the Unabomber. This documentary aims to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

8:00 p.m.: Les Religions Sauvages, Various directors. A collection of animated films from over 30 artists. As the fest describes it: “Two hours of hypno-epileptic animated ritual and perversion for initiated eyes!”

8:00 p.m.: The Drivetime, dir. Antero Alli. A federal librarian travels back in time to 1999 from 2023 to collect videos from the police riots in Seattle.

8:30 p.m.: Impaler, dir. W. Tray White. Tracking the political candidacy of Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey, a Satanic Vampire who ran for Governor in Minnesota in 2006.

9:00 p.m.: Random Lunacy: Videos from the Road Less Traveled, dirs. Victor Zimet, Stephanie Silber. Poppa Neutrino isn’t your average dad. He refuses to “settle down” and travels the world with his family in tow from one haphazard adventure to another. Yes, it’s a documentary, i.e. a collage of videos made by Poppa Neutrino himself. (Read the underground movie review.)

10:00 p.m.: The Mind Is a Liar and a Whore, dir. Antero Alli. In the near future in Berkeley, CA, a diverse group including an astrologer, a Satanist, an Inuit opera singer and a webcast diva are forced to stay inside during a citywide lockdown.

10:15 p.m.: Sonic Outlaws, dir. Craig Baldwin. The legendary documentary about the band Negativland’s nightmarish legal battle with the band U2.

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