VIFF pushes your ALT buttons with latest festival announcement

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      The lunatic fringe constituency inside the Vancouver International Film Festival has belched up its program for this year’s fest (and it smells like sulphur.)

      Folded inside its new ALT stream, the Altered States series is where you’ll find the more transgressive offerings (like last year’s Green Room) amidst all those classy international movies about farmers in Turkey or whatever.

      Here’s the lineup, also including ALT’s whopping selection of Canadian and international shorts. VIFF runs from September 29-October 14:

      Another Evil (dir. Carson Mell, USA)  Who says that alcohol and exorcism don't mix? Certainly not Os (Mark Proksch), the booze-swilling gonzo ghostbuster who's hired by Dan (Steve Zissis) to rid his home of a sinister presence but seems preoccupied with his personal demons. Just as Proksch elevates Os' account of a "pretty gnarly" memory into a Jaws-calibre monologue, Carson Mell's horror-comedy evolves into a chilling cautionary tale about dismissing a delusional at our own peril. "Beautifully written, funny and awkward..." — Sight & Sound

      The Eyes of My Mother (dir. Nicolas Pesce, USA)  Anyone wondering how witnessing your mother's slaughter might distort an impressionable girl's psyche need look (or peek through trembling fingers) no further than Nicolas Pesce's immaculately shot, intricately calibrated descent into madness. Alluring newcomer Kika Magalhaes is the serene sadist who claims her pound of flesh over the course of decades. "Part German Expressionism, part American Gothic, this austere [film] is fuelled as much by ideas as it is by the power to shock." — Little White Lies

      In a Valley of Violence (dir. Ti West, USA)  With his faithful dog at his side (and stealing scenes), an unassuming drifter (Ethan Hawke) wanders into a desolate outpost and immediately lands on the wrong side of a lawman (John Travolta) and his petulant son (James Ransone). Revered for The House of the Devil, a subtle modern horror classic, Ti West indulges his every whim in this over-the-top Western that comes loaded for bear, armed with cartoonish villains and inventively staged shootouts. "A classic revenge tale with a smirk..." — IndieWire

      Lavender (dir. Ed Gass-Donnelly, Canada)  In the wake of a car crash, repressed horrors from Jane's (Abbie Cornish) past start creeping into her present. Conjuring potent atmospherics that call to mind The Others, Ed Gass-Donnelly displays a masterful touch with set-pieces, be it an anxiety-inducing foray into a hay maze or the macabre staging of an accidental massacre. "[Lavender] reconfirms the efficacy of its genre's most hallowed conventions... [with] its baroque aesthetic gestures and a captivating turn from [Cornish]." — Variety

      Little Sister (dir. Zach Clark, USA)  At the precipice of becoming a full-fledged a nun, a former goth (Addison Timlin) is lured back to her dysfunctional family home to visit her brother (Keith Poulson) who's been left disfigured by the War on Terror. Opening with a 9/11-inspired interpretive dance and climaxing with a mushroom trip, this is "an eccentric, earnest, blackly comic family screwball from Zach Clark... one of the most profoundly empathetic filmmakers to ever point his camera at the delinquent and underserved..." — Village Voice

      The Love Witch (dir. Anna Biller, USA)  Set in a Technicolor fantasia and fuelled by delirium, this is the sordid tale of Elaine (Samantha Robinson, seemingly discovered in a 1960s-era time capsule alongside the lavish sets and costumes), a woman who's looking for love and willing to dabble in the dark arts to attain it. "[Anna Biller's] film pulsates with furious creative energy throughout, sparking excitement and giddy amazement that it even exists... The astounding humor of The Love Witch often ascends to intentional hysteria." — New Yorker

      Operation Avalanche (dir. Matt Johnson, Canada/USA)  In 1967, movie geeks from the CIA's A/V Department are recruited to help NASA stage the moon landing. Operating in true guerrilla fashion (including actually infiltrating NASA to shoot scenes), director-star Matt Johnson and his resourceful team have created a truly audacious conspiracy thriller, with every frame infused with the delirious (and wholly infectious) joy of troublemakers who can't believe that they're getting away with this. "A sly little comedy-thriller... An act of movie love." — Vulture

      She's Allergic to Cats (dir. Michael Reich, USA)  Funded by working as a Daft Punk body double, former dog groomer/video artist Michael Reich's certifiably demented debut is the tale of a Hollywood dog groomer/video artist (Michael Pinkney) harbouring big-screen ambitions: namely, an all-cat remake of Carrie. Habitually drifting into a fever dream that mimics his garish, lo-fi video work, he finds new purpose when he meets Cora (Sonja Kinski). However, his odyssey grows all the more surreal... "A must-see piece of alt-comedy weirdness." — Birth.Movies.Death

      Under the Shadow (dir. Babak Anvari, UK/Jordan/Qatar)  With the Iran-Iraq conflict raging on, Shideh (Narges Rashidi) discovers that her Tehran apartment is no sanctuary when a missile crashes through the roof but fails to detonate. The Damoclean dread is further stoked when a djinn manifests and malevolently targets her daughter, proving itself the most terrifying paranormal interloper since The Babadook. Director Babak Anvari has crafted a small-scale masterpiece rich in subtext. "[A] delectable, increasingly unnerving shiver-fest..." — The New York Times

      We Are the Flesh (Tenemos la carne) (dir. Emiliano Rocha Minter, Mexico/France)  In post-apocalyptic Mexico, siblings fall under the sway of a Mephistophelean figure (a malevolent Noé Hernández,) who coerces them into depravity that would make the Marquis de Sade blush. Endorsed by Oscar-winning countrymen Cuarón and Iñárritu, Emiliano Rocha Minter is undeniably the next big (read: monstrous) thing in Mexican cinema. "[A] joyously demented portrait of humanity... [This] thoroughly arresting vision could squat quite comfortably alongside Hieronymus Bosch's depiction of hell." — Variety

      If you suffer from high blood pressure, weak knees, or any form of the shrinking flutters, do not—repeat: DO NOT—watch this NSFW trailer for The Love Witch.

      The following films fall into the Canadian shorts series:

      24.24.24 (dir. Daniel Dietzel, Canada)

      Beyond Blue Waves (dir. Joëlle Desjardins Paquette, Canada)

      Black Cop (dir. Cory Bowles, Canada)

      Blind Vaysha (dir. Theodore Ushev, Canada)

      A Brief History of the Apocalypse (dir. Erica Genereux Smith, Canada)

      By the Pool (dir. Karine Bélanger, Canada)
Cabbie (dirs. Jessica Parsons, Jennifer Chiu, Canada)

      The Cameraman (dir. Connor Gaston, Canada)
Cave of Sighs (dir. Nathan Douglas, Canada)

      Clouds (dir. Diego Maclean, Canada)
Data Mine (dir. Tim Tracey, Canada)
Einst (dir. Jessica Johnson, Canada)

      Emma (dir. Martin Edralin, Canada)

      Fish (dir. Heather Young, Canada)
Four Faces of the Moon (dir. Amanda Strong, Canada)

      Fantassút/Rain on the Borders (Forgetness) (dir. Federica Foglia, Canada)

      Ganjy (dir. Benjamin Ratner, Canada)

      Here Nor There (dir. Julia Hutchings, Canada)

      Homesick (dir. Sophie Jarvis, Canada)

      I am Here (dir. Eoin Duffy, Canada)
Imitations (dirs. Markus Henkel, Milos Mitrovic, Ian Bawa, Fabian Velasco, Canada)
It's No Real Pleasure in Life (dir. Nikolay Michaylov, Canada)

      Last Night (dir. Joel Salaysay, Canada)

      Late Night Drama (dir. Patrice Laliberté, Canada)
The Lift(dir. Manny Mahal, Canada)
Mamie (dir. Janice Nadeau, Canada)

      The Movieland Movie (dir. Zachary Kerrholden, Canada)
The New Canada (dir. Alexander Carson, Canada)

      Nine Behind (dir. Sophy Romvari, Canada)

      Nutag – Homeland (dir. Alisi Telengut, Canada)

      Oh What a Wonderful Feeling (dir. François Jaros, Canada)
Old Man (dir. Alicia Eisen, Canada)

      Parent, Teacher (dir. Roman Tchjen, Canada)

      Popsong (dir. Matthew Taylor Blais, Canada)

      Ranger (dirs. Sandra Ignagni, Trevor Meier, Canada)

      Seven Stars (dirs. Sofia Banzhaf, Matthew Swanson, Canada)
Sigismond Imageless (dir. Albéric Aurtenèche, Canada)
Srorrim(dir. Wayne Wapeemukwa, Canada)
Stone Makers (dir. Jean-Marc E. Roy, Canada)
The Taste of Vietnam (dir. Pier-Luc Latulippe, Canada)

      Those Who Remains (dir. Mathieu Vachon, Canada)

      Two (dir. Christopher Spencer-Lowe, Canada)

      Wild Skin (dir. Ariane Louis-Seize, Canada)

      Your Mother and I (dir. Anna Maguire, Canada/UK)

      The International Shorts programme is made up of the following films:

      Aeris (dir. Lukas Huffman, USA)

      Albedo Absolute (dir. Vlad Marsavin, USA)

      Après Suzanne (dir. Félix Moati, France)

      As One(dir. Alan Powell, UK)
Between Them (Bodas) (dir. Alexia Maltner, Brazil)
Catch (dirs. Dominic Rees-Roberts, Paul Cooke, UK)
Champion (dir. Andrés Passoni, Argentina)

      Don't Leave Me (No me quites) (dir. Laura Jou, Spain)
Éclair (dir. Hugo Keijzer, Netherlands)
Eden Hostel (Hostel Eden) (dir. Gonzaga Manso, Spain)

      Encounter (dir. Fabrizio Rinaldi, Italy)
Fabrizio's Initiation (El inicio de Fabrizio) (dir. Mariano Biasin, Argentina)
Friday Night (dir. Alexis Michalik, France)

      Her Paradise (dir. Shobi Seneviratne, USA)

      I Love Anna  (Rakastan Annaa) (dir. Joonas Rutanen, Finland)

      The Law of Moments (dir. Emma Samms, USA/UK)
Litterbugs (dir. Peter Stanley-Ward, UK)

      Lock In (dir. Neville Pierce, UK)

      Minor Setback (dir. Augustine Frizzell, USA)
On the Roof (En la azotea)  (dir. Damià Serra Cauchetiez, Spain)

      Out of the Village (dir. Jonathan Stein, USA)
Paris, 1971 (dir. David Khachatorian, USA)

      The Sparrow's Flight (dir. Tom Schroeder, USA)
Stars (dir. Krista Vernoff, USA)
This Modern Man is Beat (dir. Alex Merkin, USA)

      Three Minute Warning (dir. Iqbal Mohammed, Palestinian Territories/UK)
Tide (dir. Alexander von Hofmann, Australia)

      Today They Took My Son (dir. Pierre Dawalibi, Lebanon/United Arab Emirates)

      Walden Pink (dir. Peter Bolte, USA)
When Day is Done (dir. Brandon Roots, USA)

      Winds of Furnace (Aire quemado) (dir. Yamil Quintana, Mexico)

      Without You (Sensiz)  (dir. Nariman Aliev, Ukraine)