Despite all of the adversity of the last 18 months, we’re incredibly thankful to have built a program that is as diverse and progrogressive as anything we’ve accomplished in our past nine years,” said Beyond Fest Head of Programming, Evrim Ersoy. “Recognizing this adversity, the generous support of filmmakers, studios, distributors, and our partners has also given us the opportunity to make over half of the program free to the film community of Los Angeles. It’s so good to be back in theaters where we belong.”
Icons of Cinema will be honored via a series of screenings over the course of the festival with the first being a celebration of four-time Academy Award® nominee Michael Mann with screenings of COLLATERAL and the 40th anniversary of THIEF with the director in attendance. VFX master Phil Tippett is joining us for a career-spanning Q&A between the West Coast debut of his highly-anticipated, magnum opus MAD GOD and his sci-fi-chef’s-kiss, STARSHIP TROOPERS. Also screening is the West Coast Premiere of the 4K restoration of Stanley Kubrick’s A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, and the legendary Udo Kier will discuss one of his most audacious roles with the theatrical World Premiere of the newly restored BLOOD FOR DRACULA. For the duration of the festival the Aero Theatre will be rebranded as the ‘MUBI Theatre’ in-keeping with the streamers’ mission to help cinema-lovers discover and watch beautiful, interesting, incredible films.
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Beyond Fest will be home to the West Coast Premiere of the new 4K Restoration of Andrzej Żuławski seminal work, POSSESSION, the World Premiere of the newly-discovered, never-finished until now(!) 80’s Kung-fu-ploitation NEW YORK NINJA from the brilliant minds at Vinegar Syndrome with cast members Leon Isaac, Cynthia Rothrock, and original cast member Adrienne Meltzer in attendance, and the World Premiere of the new 4K Restoration of ‘ALISON’S BIRTHDAY’ as part of a folk horror double-bill, and a very special screening of 2020’s cult sensation THE EMPTY MAN with the director David Prior on-stage for an extended Q&A.
As a give-back to the film community of Los Angeles, all Beyond Fest programming at the Los Feliz 3 Theatre will be 100% free to all guests courtesy of our friends at ‘Shudder’,the premium streaming service for horror, thriller and supernatural films and series. Rebranded as the ‘Shudder Theatre,’ we will be screening a series of hotly anticipated titles spanning the World Premieres of Aharon Keshales tough-as-nails neo-noir SOUTH OF HEAVEN starring Jason Sudekis and Evangeline Lilly and Sam Walker’s eye-popping midnight sci-fi chiller THE SEED, to the highly anticipated West Coast Premieres of SXSW sensation THE FEAST, Ruth Paxton’s bone-chilling THE BANQUET, Dasha Nekrasova’s hallucinatory Berlin winnerTHE SCARY OF SIXTY-FIRST (on brand-new 35mm with the director in attendance), extreme horror THE SADNESS, Kier-La Janisse’s definitive folk-horror doc WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED, the Midnight Madness breakout SALOUM, in addition to three shorts blocks celebrating up-and-coming filmmakers.
Celebrating a commitment to the most transgressive cinema we have curated the ultimate late night sidebar with IFC Midnight to commemorate their 10-year anniversary. Reflecting their endlessly provocative slate, six free screenings, courtesy of IFC Midnight, Halloween Kills will begin at the stroke of midnight: the brand-new restoration of Lars von Trier’s ANTICHRIST, THE BABADOOK, KILL LIST, MANIAC, THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE, and BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO.
BLOODY DISGUSTING has us to program a day dedicated to three of the most important films in their celebrated history hosted by Bloody Disgusting’s The Boo Crew Podcast. Opening the day is the battle between the king of the monsters, FREDDY VS. JASON with writers Damian Shannon and Mark Swift in-person, genre superheroes Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett will be on hand to discuss YOU’RE NEXT after a rare 35mm screening, and closing out the event will be Fede Álvarez with world’s first theatrical screening of his uncut EVIL DEAD in all its glory.
“As an institution that values and champions the communal theatrical experience above all, it’s a joy to bring Beyond Fest back to our theaters,” said American Cinematheque Creative Director, Grant Moninger. “With the Aero Theatre, the Los Feliz 3, and our partnership with the Hollywood Legion Theater, film lovers across LA can experience Beyond Fest‘s incredible immersion of cinema together and on the big screen.”
In the digital space, Beyond Fest is presenting with Amazon Studios and Blumhouse Television the virtual panel ‘Women In Horror: The Female Perspective.’ Featuring an all-female roster of filmmakers including Gigi Saul Guerrero (Writer/Director, BINGO HELL), Axelle Carolyn (Writer/Director, THE MANOR), Maritte Lee Go (Director, BLACK AS NIGHT), Marcella Ochoa (Writer, MADRES), and Lisa Bruce (Blumhouse Television), ‘Women In Horror’ delves deep into the process, challenges, and cause for celebration experienced by female genre filmmakers.
he South of France is lovely in May and the snow-capped mountains of Utah are gorgeous in January, but nothing can compare to stepping off a boat in the glorious sunshine of the Italian city built on the sea. Not only is La Biennale Di Venezia the most spectacularly located film festival but also the oldest (thanks Mussolini) and the hardiest: Last year, it was the only major fest that didn’t let the pandemic stop it Halloween Kills from showing some of the world’s best films to a bunch of press and industry types perma-buzzed on Aperol Spritzes.
Taking place on the Lido, an island 15 minutes by water bus from the main city, the 2021 Venice International Film Festival was hardly short on glamour or giddily excited attendees. There was plenty of reason to celebrate: Vaccines made this year’s edition, the 78th, safer than last year’s. Plus, the lineup was agreed to be one of the greatest in recent memory, in large part because of the performances highlighted by its films.
One of the most anticipated titles was Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand Of God. Set in a Naples of grand renaissance architecture and crystal blue Mediterranean water, the film reflected back at the audience everything that made a few days in Italy so special. Sorrentino leans into the Fellini comparisons that have dogged him his entire career, telling the story of his family during his teenage years, the tragedies they endured but also the joy of their shared love of Maradona. While the entire thing is a little baggy and has more false endings than Lord Of The Rings, there are some relationships—particularly between our young protagonist and his brother—that are heart-stoppingly lovely. Slightly more troublesome is his portrayal of women, which tends towards a Madonna/Whore binary, but much can be forgiven when basking in the warm glow of nostalgia for youth.