BUFF Recap - Opening Night, Night 2 (I Declare War, The Manson Family, A Band Called Death, Guilty of Romance)

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A Band Called Death
Though it's already spring, the start of my year truly begins with the Boston Underground Film Festival. Each year since I've lived in the Boston area, at least two or three BUFF selections invariably make my year-end top ten list. Some have gone beyond as all time favorites including last year's offering John Dies at the End or Amer from a few years back.

Opening Night: I Declare War (2013), The Manson Family (2003)

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I Declare War
Opening night of BUFF featured Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson's I Declare War, a deconstruction of the war film using a cast composed entirely of children. It's a commentary on the horror of war, as well as an affecting coming-of-age story. The film is sure to provoke controversy as the characters' fantasy play using sticks as weapons crosses over into a harrowing imaginative landscape where real guns rule the woods. Read my Full Review over at Paracinema Magazine's Website.

Following up was the re-release of James Van Bebber's shocking  The Manson Family, marking its 10th anniversary. The Manson Family is part fictional narrative, part documentary, and a savage imagining told through the eyes of Manson's most recognized cult members. Van Bebber's dizzying grindhouse-era aesthetic is one for which Rob Zombie reaches, but never quite grasps. This film - particularly the third act - will haunt you.  

Night 2: A Band Called Death (2012), Guilty of Romance (2011)

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Guilty of Romance
Sadly, I missed out on Blue Dream. I was, however, able to find myself among an enthusiastic crowd for the stellar documentary A Band Called Death. Mark Christopher Covino and Jeff Howlett trace the history of unknown proto-punk band Death, formed by three brothers in Detroit in 1971. Inspired by the music of Alice Cooper and The Who, this passionate trio was lost to obscurity (including the death of one brother) until record collectors discovered them three decades later which prompted a re-release of their album once relegated to an attic shelf.

Sion Sono concludes his "Trilogy of Hate" with Guilty of Romance, a provocative examination of Japanese culture and the roles of women within a constrictive society. As usual, Sono's film is brazen and beautiful, but requires the viewer crack the codes of his lyrical delivery of challenging themes. You can read my Full Review over at Diabolique Magazine's website.

Recaps of the remainder of BUFF's programming on the way including Cheap Thrills, See You Next Tuesday, White Reindeer, Saturday Morning Cartoons, Jug Face, and BIG ASS SPIDER!