Friday, September 11, 2009

Jess Franco at Fantastic Fest!

Fantastic Fest and Ain't It Cool News Present Jess Franco and Lina Romay Live In Person.

Join one of our favorite directors for a rare screening series and Lifetime Achievement Award presentation.

September 28-30, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar Austin TX

For almost 50 years Spanish filmmaker Jess Franco has been making his own kind of cinematic poetry, steeped with themes of sex, violence, jazz, and subversive black humor. He has made around 200 feature films, though no one can say exactly how many. Once an obscure but busy man, he has become a well-known and respected figure over the past ten or so years as DVD audiences have joined earlier admirers like Fritz Lang and Orson Welles in acclaiming Franco's talent and vitality. Last year he was awarded Spain's highest film honor, the Goya Award and the Cinematheque Francaise devoted a season to his work.

Fantastic Fest is deeply honored to present its first Lifetime Achievement Award to Jess Franco. We will screen a selection of three of Franco's finest works. We will also be graced with the presence of his muse and inseparable collaborator Lina Romay. This will be Jess Franco's first ever North American film festival appearance.

This series is made possible by Ain't It Cool News.

Schedule of screenings

Monday, 9/28 7:15 pm VENUS IN FURS with Award Presentation

Dir. Jess Franco, 1969, 35MM, 86 min.

A young jazz musician finds the body of a beautiful woman he saw at a party the previous night washed up on the beach near Istanbul. He thinks back to the mysterious circumstances of the party and the strange people there. Later, in Rio he sees the woman again, and falls in love with her. A kaleidoscope of psychedelic and sexual imagery follows. Based on a plot idea by jazz great Chet Baker. Starring Maria Rohm, Klaus Kinski, James Darren, Barbara McNair, Dennis Price and Margaret Lee.

This screening is free for Fantastic Fest badgeholders. A limited number of tickets will be sold to the general public. Click here for tickets.

Tuesday, 9/29 7pm SUCCUBUS

Dir. Jess Franco, 1968, 35MM, 91 min.

SUCCUBUS is like the shiny side of the REPULSION coin, as we see into the half-dream/half-real life of a vivacious sexpot (Janine Reynaud) whose nightclub act depicts sexualized torture on stage. As we follow her through Lisbon and Berlin, through encounters with lesbians, sadists and little people, we begin to see signs that she is carrying her work home with her. Surreal, at times pretentious, but always compelling and new, even Fritz Lang liked this movie - he called it "a beautiful piece of cinema." We are indebted to another well-known admirer of this film for the loan of the print: Quentin Tarantino. Featuring Jack Taylor and Howard Vernon.

This screening is free for Fantastic Fest badgeholders. A limited number of tickets will be sold to the general public. Click here for tickets.

Wednesday, 9/30 6:45pm THE BARE BREASTED COUNTESS

Dir. Jess Franco, 1973, 35MM, 82 min.

Jess Franco directs his muse Lina Romay in this surreal story of a beautiful female vampire who consumes the sexual effluvia of her victims. This is one of the best Franco films of his most hyper-prolific period. Romay burns up the screen and Franco is at his most austere and poetic. Unforgettable music by frequent collaborator Daniel White helps to create a timeless atmosphere for the bloody, sexy pas de deux between Romay and her metaphysical paramour Jack Taylor. Also features Franco himself in a major role.

This screening is free for Fantastic Fest badgeholders. A limited number of tickets will be sold to the general public. Click here for tickets.

Additionally, there will be a special pre-festival screening of Franco's classic EUGENIE, THE STORY OF HER JOURNEY INTO PERVERSION on Wednesday September 23 at Midnight at the Ritz (320 E. 6th St.). This warm-up screening is part of the long-running Weird Wednesday series, Admission is free for Fantastic Fest badgeholders and $1 for the general public. Mr. Franco will not attend this screening. For full details about this screening click here.

All screenings except EUGENIE, which takes place at the Alamo Ritz, 320 E. 6th Street, will take place at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 South Lamar Blvd. in Austin TX. Fantastic Fest badgeholders will receive first priority of admission. Any additional seats will be made available to the public.

Very special thanks to William Lustig and Greg Chick of Blue Underground; David Gregory of Severin DVD, Ant Timpson, Quentin Tarantino, Daniel Lesouer and the Cinematheque Francaise.