Monday, December 2, 2013

Discopath (2013)

WHO: Renaud Gauthier wrote and collaborated with Marie-Claire Lalonde to direct and co-produce this, the first feature film for either of them.

WHAT: I have not seen it, so let's let an excerpt from Fangoria do the talking:
Everything about Discopath, in fact, feels appropriate to the period that’s its setting and its inspiration—the movie even looks just right, John Londono’s cinematography capturing the hues and image density of pictures from those decades past. Clearly a fan of the era, Gauthier doesn’t filter his affection through ironic detachment or condescend to the material; he’s simply created a film—making the most of his low budget, and bringing it in at a tight 80 minutes—that could easily have played on 42nd Street alongside the latest indie stalker flicks and Italian imports.
WHERE/WHEN: 9PM tonight only at the Balboa Theatre, presented as part of the Another Hole in the Head Film Festival.

WHY: I don't think of myself as a particular fan of horror movies, but I've checked my records and confirmed that I've always attended at least one, and sometimes up to as many as four or five of the programs in Frisco Bay's biggest annual festival of (mostly) new (mostly) horror films over the past ten years of its existence. This is not nearly as much as someone like Jason Wiener, who is a true loyalist to all of SF IndieFest's annual events, but for me it's unusual. As much as I like to keep tabs on Frisco Bay festivals, there are only a few that I make sure to attend year after year, and only one with more longevity (Noir City, soon to be in its 12th year in San Francisco) that I've been with since its inception. Affectionately nicknamed simply HoleHead, the Another Hole In The Head Film Festival (as in, "this town needs another film festival like it needs...") appeals to me because it shows things no other festival in town would even consider booking, like Noboru Iguchi's The Machine Girl, Andrew Lau's Haunted Changi, or Jason J. Tomaric's Cl.One. These and the other HoleHead films I've seen over the years are not exactly profound works of deep meaning, and some of them are certainly better than others, but they all are very confident of what they want to be, with little or no regard for conforming to the rest of the cinematic landscape.

This year I'm intrigued by several of the HoleHead selections, including Discopath, which screens tonight, and The Dirties, a favorite of my blog buddy Michael Guillén, who has called it a "tremendously entertaining low-budget feature that implicates the culpability of its audiences by way of an unidentified camera operator". Wednesday night and Thursday night are extremely special however; HoleHead has always included a retrospective component (the first show I attended my first year at the festival was a revival of Abel Ferrara's Driller Killer and last year an in-person appearance from director Richard Elfman at a digitally-colorized version of Forbidden Zone was a highlight), and this year it's a doozy: 35mm screenings of two classic horror films that I had thought had simply become unavailable to see on film any longer now that their rightsholders are committed to the DCP projection format: Jaws and The Shining. I've never seen the former on the big screen and had pretty much given up on the possibility of ever doing so on film. I have seen the latter in a good 35mm print and a good audience before, and it's one of the highlights of my life as a Kubrick admirer. Don't miss these screenings if you want to see these films the way their makers truly intended them to be seen!

HOW: Discopath screens digitally.

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