Film Maudit 2.0: A Celebration of the Scandalous, the Perturbing, and the Too Delicious (Part 1)
The Los Angeles-based Film Maudit 2.0 began on January 12th and suddenly refuses to end until February 12th. I’m sorry. Some good things just can’t be stopped. If you try, it might run until February 13th.
Now, for those of you not on the West Coast who can’t get your butts to the Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica ‑ let’s say for some reason you’re situated in Idaho or Djibouti — you can still partake of the Fest’s extensive offerings online (watch.filmmaudit.org), and you can watch them for free or pay what you will.
As for the literal translation of the term film maudit, it’s “cursed film.” Well, back in 1949, as I noted in last year’s coverage, the writer/director/god Jean Cocteau ushered in a jury that pulled together a showcase of cinematic offerings that’d been slighted at the time or were judged “shocking, outré, and bold.” The result: the legendary Festival du Film Maudit in Biarritz. Among the showcased were Kenneth Anger’s zipper-exploding “Fireworks” (1947) and Jean Vigo’s L’Atalante (1934).
Well, as you’ve might’ve heard, the actress Candice Bergen once insisted: “Dreams are, by definition, cursed with short life spans.” Not so with the over 100 visions from over 25 countries that you will view at Maudit. Once seen, many of these concoctions, which first percolated within the skulls of those who watched Un Chien Andalou and Planet 9 from Outer Space way too often, will instantly begin to rattle your brain cells and continue to do so for years to come.
Take Ryan McGlade’s “Buddymovie,” winner of the Best U.S. Narrative at the prestigious Drunken Film Fest Oakland. This 12-minute short begins with an unshaven, nameless gent (Jeremy Levick) being belittled telepathically by a large, corrugated metal warehouse with a British accent: “If you don’t stop singing, I’m going to cut your fucking dick off. . . Your family doesn’t like you. No…