Driving Miss Crazy | Offscreen
While neurotic personalities have been pervasive throughout film history, few capture the imagination as wildly as the offshoots of female psychosis. A favoured staple feature in genre films, the neurotic woman stars as a vicious harpy in both horror and exploitation and incarnates the paranoid, hysterical, obsessive and downright dangerous forces found in the thriller and the psychological drama. Our selection covers a vast array of films made from the 1940s onwards, the era where women fought for equal rights and freed themselves from the stifling bodice of a male centered society. The weaker sex? We beg to differ.
This extensive programme gets its inspiration from the book by the Canadian film curator (Fantastic Fest), journalist (Fangoria) and auteur Kier-La Janisse: “House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films” (Fab Press, 2012). She will provide an introduction for some of the films during the first festival weekend.
American couple Shane and June go to Paris on their honeymoon. Little does June know that her hubby has a secret. He's looking for the man who infected him with a virus that makes him lust after human flesh. A dark and brooding drama that feeds on eroticism, starring Vincent Gallo and Béatrice Dalle.
Their marriage in pieces, Anna and Mark's tense relationship has become a psychotic descent into screaming matches, violence and self-mutilation. The unhinged woman takes on a secret affair with a demonic, tentacled creature... A deeply unsettling experience, this psychotronic classic is not to be missed.
The prim and proper housewife to a successful lawyer condones the loose morals of her promiscuous next-door neighbour, but is secretly excited by her hedonistic lifestyle. Unwillingly, she becomes the prime suspect in the police investigation of her murder. A tantalizing, psychosexual giallo by Lucio Fulci.
Quiet Pinky finds a job in a health spa for the elderly. She is taken under the wing of ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’, her co-worker and soon-to-be roommate. The two develop a tight-knit bond that becomes increasingly dissociative and claustrophobic. Trance-like and surreal, Altman’s film resembles a waking dream.
With the emotional support of a new man in her life, Dora tries hard to settle back into the house she used to share with her late husband but fails to pick up her routine. The walls breathe with a disquieting presence that seems to immediately infect Dora’s son… The last film by the legendary Mario Bava.
Rebellious Cebe feels abandoned by everyone. Father is in jail, mother is a junkie. Even Elvis is dead. A raw character study of a confused teenager drenched in grimy punk ethos. This spiritual follow-up to “Easy Rider” is a lost masterpiece by director Dennis Hopper - shown on a brand new 35mm print!
Carol (a twenty-year-old Catherine Deneuve) comes undone when her sister goes away for the week. Dull-eyed and distressed, she holes herself up in the vacant apartment. Polanski’s breakthrough film is a cinematic tour de force, a claustrophobic psycho thriller and a terrifying case study of female anxiety.
An old mansion in the Hollywood Hills provides the backdrop for a grotesque battle of wills. Bette David plays former child star Baby Jane Hudson, a spoiled and rotten alcoholic who gets a kick out of terrorizing her invalid sister (Joan Crawford). The ultimate camp comedy on sibling rivalry!
A symphony of the foul and the fair that savours disgust: a man searches for his lost love and falls victim to a mentally deranged mother/daughter pair in their secluded mansion. He becomes a pawn in a game of sexual domination and torture. An aesthetically pleasing atrocity exhibition, soaked in bodily fluids!
One of the most remarkable horror features of the 90's crawls under your skin with very little bloodletting. An all-American housewife (Julianne Moore) is led to believe she’s overtly sensitive to environmental toxins. Todd Haynes (“Carol”) blends his take on paranoid delusion with sun-drenched photography.
Jeanne Moreau is the visiting schoolteacher of a sleepy French village. Unable to quell her passion for destruction, she gives in to seemingly random acts of violence. A singular contribution to the British New Wave Cinema, shot in ominous and mesmerizing black and white photography.
Richard is a novelist who rushes into marriage with beautiful socialite Ellen. Their fairytale turns to nightmare when Ellen reveals a mean streak. Morbidly jealous and desperate for attention, she allows no competitors for Richard’s love. A favourite of Martin Scorsese: ‘the perfect film noir – in technicolor’.
Cissy and Ellen are the offspring of a deceased primatologist. For all their differences, the two are incestuously close. Cissy is a feral brat who spends all of her time in a cage, Ellen the conductor orchestrating the madness. The man that enters their universe, had better thought twice…
Teenage infatuation takes a turn for the worse when Simone becomes obsessed with her favourite pop star. She hunts down her idol and gets physically acquainted. When “R” turns cold Simone swears vengeance. A cult classic of unrequited love with controversial nude scenes and an excellent soundtrack.
In the 1980s, this psychological thriller was on everyone’s lips. A happily married man (Michael Douglas) has a brief affair with a business partner (Glenn Close). The momentary flames of passion have dire consequences in a wild mind game where every single minute brings a shocking turn of events.
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