Now in its 8th year, the Sydney Underground Film Festival is not your average collection of films in an otherwise crowded season. Dedicated to “screening unique, independent, experimental, provocative and uncompromising films”,the festival brings films to Sydneysider’s attention that may not otherwise hit their radars, or will simply never be released here.
SUFF offers a few intriguing offerings this year. Direct from the Melbourne International Film Festival come the likes of Opening Night film Super, the story of a DIY superhero starring The Office‘s Rainn Wilson, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon. Directed by former Troma writer James Gunn (Tromeo and Juliet), this is sure to attract a cult crowd.
Similarly, The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, winner of Best Documentary at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival, has had some success of the local festival circuit, and follows underground musicians Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV), and his other half and collaborator, Lady Jaye, who are so conjoined that they undertake plastic surgery to literally become alike.
Sion Sono’s Guilty of Romance comes highly recommended from The Reel Bits. Fans of Sono will already be familiar with his over-the-top and brightly coloured view of the world, and the final entry in his “Hate Trilogy” of films – following 2008′s Love Exposure and 2010’s Cold Fish, is an absolute must-see at this year’s SUFF.
The intriguing Trilogy takes one of the most famous film series of all time – Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi – and splices them together as a three-way split-screen montage of all three films. For Star Wars fans who think they have seen it all, this may just stump you.
The eclectic mix of films also includes such provocative titles as Dad Made Dirty Movies, Heavy Metal Picnic and Run! Bitch Run!, and the real joy of SUFF is finding something new. For as little as $85, you can get an entire Festival Pass, allowing you access to all the films, including the opening and closing nights, the latter being Australian filmmaker Jon Hewitt’s X.
The Sydney Underground Film Festival runs from 8 to 11 September 2011 at The Factory Theatre, Sydney College of the Arts and the MuMeson Archives. For more details, check out the official SUFF website.