Cine-Excess V: Subverting the Senses: The Politics and Aesthetics of Excess
Italian acting legend Franco Nero (Django, Keoma, Die Hard II) and controversial cult director Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust, House on the Edge of the Park) headlined last year’s Cine-Excess V International Cult Film Conference and Festival.
Cine-Excess V featured filmmaker discussions, exclusive UK theatrical premieres and a 3 day conference with over 30 separate talks on cult controversies from around the world.
The theme of last year’s Cine-Excess was ‘Subverting the Senses: The Politics and Aesthetics of Excess’, which examined the theme of the controversial cult image in its political, historical and aesthetic contexts. With the resurgence of critical interest in the 1980s ‘video nasties’, as well as a whole new generation of films being subject to state control, the cult image is now a crucial index between the censor and the censored. The event featured a wide range of discussions from the topics of realist footage in Cannibal Holocaust and gender politics in 1970s sexploitation, to considerations of Franco Nero’s cult roles and the crime cinema of Enzo G. Castellari. Other topics covered in the event included the social politics of Rob Zombie’s cinema and the cult of controversy surrounding A Serbian Film.
Both Franco Nero and Ruggero Deodato discussed their prolific careers at separate events at the festival, which were open to the public. Cine-Excess V also featured a screening of Deodato’s controversial classic Cannibal Holocaust.
Deodato’s controversial cult catalogue was also discussed by Professor Martin Barker (Aberystwyth University). Professor Barker delivered a keynote address on audience responses to controversial cult material such as Deodato’s House on the Edge of the Park at a historic debate session between Ruggero Deodato and Senior BBFC Examiner Craig Lapper which may be seen as an extra on the recent Shameless Screen Entertainment release of House On The Edge Of The Park.
Italian screen legend will also addressed the Cine-Excess V audience in a special career retrospective that included an exclusive screening of Sergio Corbucci’s spaghetti western classic Django (1966).
Cine-Excess also joined forces with the Italian Cultural Institute to present:
Arthouse Atrocities: Franco Nero Introduces A Quiet Place in the Country (Elio Petri 1969)
An exclusive screening of Elio Petri’s rarely seen and disturbing avant-garde horror movie A Quiet Place in the Country. In this innovative but illusive classic, Franco Nero plays Leonardo Ferri, a tortured painter haunted by disturbing and sadomasochistic memories, which he attempts to evade by isolating himself in a remote country retreat at the behest of his seductive female companion (played superbly by Vanessa Redgrave). Here, Ferri’s unsound mind is pushed beyond its limits when it appears that this ideal rural local and his female have become the target of a female spectre murdered during the fascist era.
Boasting an incredible psychedelic collage of imagery that perfectly reflects the male character’s fractured psyche, Petri’s stunning visual palette is complimented by a deliriously thumping soundtrack by Ennio Morricone, which adds to this unique cinematic experience. Part arthouse intrigue, part giallo precursor, A Quiet Place in the Country is pure Cine-Excess and we were delighted that Cine-Excess V Guest Franco Nero, who provides such a powerful performance in the movie, introduced this very special screening of Elio Petri’s lost classic.
Live Like an Italian, Die Like a Filmmaker: Ruggero Deodato Discusses Police, Politics and Seventies Italian Society
Although best known for his landmark controversial movie Cannibal Holocaust (1979), Deodato also directed a series of prolific thrillers, which often represented stark snapshots of a changing 1970s Italian cultural and political landscape. As well as discussing these films and Italian society of the 1970s, Ruggero Deodato also considered the extent to which wider Italian fears about terrorism and urban crime impacted on the cycle of rogue cop thrillers that proliferated during this decade.
The evening concluded with a rare screening of Ruggero Deodato’s 1976 high octane thriller Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man, which features Marc Porel and Ray Lovelock as two amoral undercover officers whose quest for justice and vengeance pushes the boundaries of permissible policing to the limits. Featuring jaw dropping chase scenes (that includes an incredible extended opening motorcycle heist scene trailed around the streets of Rome), as well jaw busting scenes of gangland brutality, Deodato’s film also benefits from a taut script from crime fiction king Fernando Di Leo. Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man was selected by Ruggero Deodato as one of his own personal favourites to accompany his visit to Cine-Excess V, and we were delighted to host it as this year’s closing film.