CLIMAX
2018, A24, 95 min, France, Dir: Gaspar Noé

The setting is France in 1996; Daft Punk has just redefined music and the dance community has responded with a visceral new language as violent as it is beautiful. As a group of dancers unwinds at a remote lodge, an acid-spiked punch turns hedonism into horror, and the gathering quickly descends into Lord of the Flies territory. Sofia Boutella (THE KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE) stars as Selva, the troupe's manager, with some of France’s hottest dancers (including Claude Gajan Maull, Vince Galliot Cumant and Thea Carla Schott) surrounding her. Filled with bravura sequences, the relentlessly immersive onslaught that is CLIMAX reaffirms Gaspar Noé’s status as one of contemporary film’s greatest provocateurs.


LUZ
2018, 70 min, Germany, Dir: Tilman Singer

Shooting on luscious 16mm Scope, first-time feature writer-director Tilman Singer crafts a revelatory experimental shocker, with a dual ’70s arthouse and horror sensibility: Think Fulci by way of Zulawski. Bloodied and bruised, Chilean cab driver Luz (Luana Velis) stumbles into a near-empty police station on a stormy night. Elsewhere, her childhood friend Nora (Julia Riedler) seduces a psychologist with alcohol; by the time the doctor is ushered into the police station, it’s obvious there’s more to him than meets the eye. As Luz is repeatedly forced to rehash the events leading up to her arrival at the station, it becomes clear that something truly sinister is afoot, with life-and-death implications.


ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK
TUTTI I COLORI DEL BUIO
1972, Severin Films, 94 min, Italy/Spain, Dir: Sergio Martino

Adding an occult flavor to Italy’s giallo sub-genre, Sergio Martino diverged from the straight-razor serenade of Dario Argento’s black-gloved killers for this psychedelic nightmare. Undisputed giallo queen Edwige Fenech stars as Jane, who is plagued by recurring dreams of a knife-wielding maniac. When medication and psychotherapy fail to alleviate the visions, she turns to magic. But the black mass (conducted by Italian genre heavy Ivan Rassimov) backfires and her nightmares become all too real. Also featuring giallo regulars George Hilton and Susan Scott, ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK is a kaleidoscopic frenzy of murder and madness bathed in an acid-rock score by Bruno Nicolai.


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