In a film fest that takes pride in its weirdness and originality, Bruce LaBruce’s L.A. Zombie might just take the prize for the strangest film. LaBruce’s film is a strange gay porn gorefest that will likely puzzle and frustrate many. His film casts pornstar Francois Sagat as a zombie (or is he just a schizophrenic?) that scavenges Los Angeles, looking for dead male bodies to have sex with and bring back to life. Yikes.
His film has been categorized as a Queer Cinema Zombie Film, but it is more than that. I saw a parallel and hidden metaphor to the AIDS epidemic. The film has very little dialogue, letting the images speak for themselves.
You will likely come out puzzled.
The Strange Case of Angelica
Portugal’s Manoel De Oliveira is 102 years old, yet age has not prevented him from directing films on a yearly basis. The Strange Case Of Angelica, his 51st movie, portrays a strange young photographer who is given the task of photographing a deceased girl. He develops a strange admiration for her that ultimately turns futile and scary as the photographer begins hallucinating and coping with a mental breakdown. The film is beautifully shot and tells the story in an original fashion.
Tournee (On Tour)
French actor turned director Mathieu Almaric won the Directing Prize earlier this year at Cannes for his tour de force directorial debut, Tournee (On Tour). His film has an incredible atmosphere as it follows American Burlesque performers and their idiosyncratic French manager, played by Almaric.
Almaric’s film and direction owes a big debt to the sprawling character-driven epics of such American masters as Robert Altman and Martin Scorsese. There are well over a dozen characters to pay attention to, but Almaric’s hand makes the surroundings incredibly vibrant and entertaining to watch. For the film, Almaric hired some of the best, most talented Burlesque performers in the States to portray his ladies. These non-professional actresses are genuine and natural on camera.
The film isn’t perfect but the overall feel that Almaric creates is incredible and, like all great films, feels like an important experience.
Festival du Nouveau Cinema runs until Oct. 24. Visit nouveaucinema.ca for more information.
This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 10, published October 19, 2010.