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2013 London Underground Film Festival: Official Lineup

By Mike Everleth ⋅ November 13, 2013

Man without a nose holding a lantern

The fourth annual London Underground Film Festival is the first edition of the fest to be run by new caretakers Daniel Fawcett and Clara Pais, two accomplished filmmakers. The festival will run November 14-17 at the legendary avant-garde media center, the Horse Hospital.

Fawcett and Pais have programmed a bold fest, which begins on the 14th with the London-based documentary Grasp the Nettle by Dean Puckett. The film follows the challenges faced by a group of land rights activists fighting for a piece of disused land in West London. Also on opening night is Randy Moore’s Escape From Tomorrow, which was filmed surreptitiously at Disneyland; and Táu by Daniel Castro Zimbrón.

Other films screening at the fest include the award winning doc A Body Without Organs, directed by Steven Graves; Alex Munt’s Warhol homage Poor Little Rich Girls (After Warhol); Irene Lusztig’s history of childbirth, The Motherhood Archives; the horror opus The Demon’s Rook by James Sizemore; and more.

Special events at the fest include a tribute to the late and legendary British avant-garde filmmaker Jeff Keen, hosted by his daughter Stella; a look at the pioneering video work by Seattle’s Kelly Hughes; and a talk hosted by the BFI’s William Fowler about Britain’s relationship to the New American Cinema movement.

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

November 14

6:20 p.m.: Grasp the Nettle, dir. Dean Puckett. This documentary follows a group of land rights activists as they do battle with corporations and the government over a piece of disused land in West London.

8:30 p.m.: Escape From Tomorrow, dir. Randy Moore. A man suffers from hallucinogenic nightmares while on a vacation with his family at Disneyland.

10:30 p.m.: Táu, dir. Daniel Castro Zimbrón. A botanical biologist attempts to survive on a trip to the desert of Wirikuta.

November 15

7:00 p.m.: “Love/Hate Relationships: Britain, America and the ’60s Underground Film: A Talk by the BFI’s William Fowler”
This presentation discusses the New American Cinema of the 1960s and it’s influence on film in the UK.

10:30 p.m.: Man to Man, dir. John Maybury. Tilda Swinton stars as a widow who assumes the identity of her deceased husband and carries on in his job as a crane operator in Weimar Germany.

8:00 p.m.: “From Out Beyond the Word: Jeff Keen Poetry + Films Including a Rare 16mm Presentation of White Dust
The late filmmaker Jeff Keen is honored by his daughter Stella and poet Ian Heames as they read Keen’s poetry against the backdrop of his films.

November 16

12:00 p.m.: It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives, dir. Rosa von Praunheim. This 1971 German films is a strong indictment of bourgeois gay German culture. Screening will be followed by a discussion of the film’s themes.

2:00 p.m.: The Motherhood Archives, dir. Irene Lusztig. This documentary essay film that explores the hidden history of childbirth in the 20th century.

4:00 p.m.: “Short Films: Portraits, Documents & Home Movies”
Dunno, dir. Kalina Alabrudzinska
Glass Eyes of Locust Bayou, dir. Simon Mercer
Dog Autopy, dir. Jonathan Hancock
When I Stop Looking, dir. Todd Herman
In Search of Lost Time, dir. Jason Younkman
Shooting the Tribe, dir. Gemma Atkinson and Fred Grace
If These Were Silent, dir. Paul Hinson
Gotland and the Infinite Whistle, dir. Juliacks
Cassette, dir. Jerker Beckman and Tomas Stark

6:00 p.m.: Poor Little Rich Girls (After Warhol), dir. Alex Munt. An homage and conceptual remake of the classic Andy Warhol film Poor Little Rich Girl (1965). Film historian Jack Sargeant provides the off-screen voice of Chuck Wein.

7:15 p.m.: “Short Films: Experimental & Underground”
Alter’dego_A, dir. William R. Bullock
Hex Suffice Cache Ten, dir. Thorsten Fleisch
Monk, dir. Geoffrey Sexton
Yellowblue, dir. Paul Hinson
Binding, dir. Katarzyna Plazinska & Aaron Ellis
Atomic Theory and Chemistry, dir. Jon Behrens
Bloom, dir. Scott Stark
Avalanche, dir. Michael Fleming
Decapoda Shock, dir. Javier Chillon
Epistolary Fusillades, dir. David Finkelstein

9:00 p.m.: Heart Attack! The Early Pulse Pounding Cinema of Kelly Hughes, dir. Kelly Hughes. Filmmaker Hughes recounts her days producing her cable access show in Seattle in the 1990s.
Screening with:
La Cage Aux Zombies: Director’s Cut, dir. Kelly Hughes. A director’s cut of the 1995 straight-to-video mini-feature.

November 17

12:00 p.m.: “Short Films: Meditations”
Traum, dir. Heinrich von Kleist
Tempestarii, dir. Gast Bouschet and Nadine Hilbert
The Realist, dir. Scott Stark

2:00 p.m.: Belly of the Tantra, dir. Pankaj Purohit. This documentary profiles an ancient sect of Hindusim, the Aghori, who practice cannibalism.

3:30 p.m.: “Animated Short Films”
System Overload, dir. Johanna Vaude
Memento Mori, dir. Daniela Wayllace
Roots of the Hidden, dir. Elizabeth Sevenoaks
Reignfall, dir. Ryan Wheeler
Sisters, dir. Lea Vladkovic
Boogodobiegodongo, dir. Peter Millard
Little Vulvah & Her Clitoral Awareness, dir. Sara Koppel
Another Song About the Sea, dir. Jeremy Bessoff

5:00 p.m.: A Body Without Organs, dir. Steven Graves. This documentary captures Graves’ father’s very real struggle with having his colon removed.

6:30 p.m.: Ritual: A Psychomagic Story, dir. Giulia Brazzale and Luca Immesi. The girlfriend of a sadist heads for an ancient village after she’s forced to abort her pregnancy.

8:30 p.m.: The Demon’s Rook, dir. James Sizemore. After being raised by a demon in a parallel dimension, a young man escapes back to his home world, Earth, bringing a horde of monsters with him.