Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival

The Show Must Go On

Television and sport have succeeded in creating entertainment that bring crowds together, even if, for ideological or commercial reasons, they have often undermined both physical and moral integrity.

Gladiators are back in the arena, and it hasn’t taken long for cinema to take up the subject. Whether a source of fantasy or a vehicle for creating anxiety, cinema has never ceased to reveal our unconscious. It confronts us with a distorting mirror. The image it reflects may be crude, but it always contains a disturbing element of truth.

From the extreme violence of spectator sport in Rollerball to the murderous urges in The Prize of Peril, filmmakers have never stopped questioning the limits of entertainment. In Videodrome and Benny’s Video, two of the world’s top directors address the power of the image. Staged murder and real death merge. Sometimes, however, the spectacle involves not murder, but taking control of a character’s life, as happens to the protagonist in The Truman Show.

Whether in cinema bis, exploitation films or repertory movies, the theme of a morbid, criminal and amoral spectacle has inspired auteurs from all backgrounds. “The Show Must Go On” retrospective presents a selection of these works that are linked by the same questions.

Terry Gilliam

Carte blanche Terry Gilliam

Poe on screen

As a prelude to the Unesco World Book Capital event in Strasbourg, the Festival will be holding an evening dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe, a poet of the macabre, a fi gurehead of American Romanticism and an author of a considerable number of fantasy, science fiction, and detective and crime works, despite dying at the age of forty.

A double bill of Franco-Italian co-productions will enable viewers to re-immerse themselves in Poe’s works, with Castle of Blood by Antonio Margheriti, a prolifi c craftsman of Italian B-movies, and Spirits of the Dead, an anthology fi lm adapted from Poe’s short stories and directed by Roger Vadim, Louis Malle and Federico Fellini.

Eccentric Night

If you’re a fan of bad taste, continuity errors and ear-splitting dubbing, this is the night for you! A fake Filipino James Bond, American revenge movies, bouts of jealousy in the prehistoric era – the menu for this new Nuit excentrique, put together by the highly esteemed Cinémathèque française, promises to be more than substantial! As always, these three films will be shown on 35mm prints and will be complemented by two programmes of trailers and a breakfast for those valiant souls who have made it through the night.

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