Derby Film Festival Preview: What I'm Looking Forward To

  From May 9th-18th at QUAD Derby, the re-named Derby Film Festival (previously IDFest) kicks off, with this year's theme centred around technology. Whether its the exploration of cinematic innovation or the subject matter of films like Mad Max (a double-bill with Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior will be taking place), the programmers this year selected a truly eclectic mix of modern and repertory films from a variety of nations and genres. Here are my picks:

The Punk Singer: A Film about Kathleen Hanna, Dir. Sini Anderson

The lead singer and founding member of Bikini Kill and later of Le Tigre, Kathleen Hanna is the subject of this in-depth documentary on her life, music, and position as a feminist icon. Focused on her role in the Riot Grrrl movement, the film features talking heads from the likes of Adam Horovitz, Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, and Hanna herself.

Venus in Fur, Dir. Roman Polanski

  Polanski's latest arrives after its screening at Cannes last year; it features his wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, in the starring role. Like his previous Carnage, it is an adaptation of a stage play. The story revolves around an actress auditioning for a role in a performance of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's sado-masochistic novel. It looks promisingly postmodern.

  Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, Dir. John Hough 

  This eclectic choice was a pleasure to see on the programme - a real 70's road movie, starring Peter Fonda and Susan George. Fonda dreams of being a NASCAR driver, but can't afford his own car - prompting a robbery and a car chase. Looks like great fun.

                   Illustrated Talk: From Silents to Sound + Singin' in the Rain

 This is the repertory highlight of the festival for me: one of my all-time favourite films on a big screen, where it belongs. Along with film lecturer David Leicester's introductory talk on the industry shift to sound in the late 1920's, it should be great. I can't imagine a better way to revisit the glorious Technicolor confection of this film.

Of course, I'll be there on several days to cover the festival in-depth. You can find Derby Film Festival's full programme here, and the opening night begins tomorrow, May 9th.


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